Monday, May 13, 2013

Vogue drops the ball


I have just reviewed V 8876 and posted it on PatternReview.  Besides directing you to my review (so you can read and enjoy), I also want to let you know that what I write here is NOT the same as a pattern review.  I want to talk about the process of making this dress, and some of my disappointments and successes.  PR has become such a busy spot in the digital universe that I have decided to be a bit more businesslike there.  Lucky you, dear reader, as that means you benefit from my innermost thoughts here.

Vogue website link

When I first saw this design, I knew I would make the dress.  I loved the shape and the collar, which can be worn up or down.
Every Marcy Tilton design is special to me, as I feel like I know her after Design Outside The Lines and visiting her studio.  I don't make all her designs or even buy them...but I do study them.  I love this pattern for the ease in which it goes together, and the artful details included in it.   I think the patternmaker did a great job taking Marcy's design and developing a flat pattern for the rest of us.  It would be interesting, and very educational,  to hear what Marcy has to say about the pattern.

Constructing the dress was not overly difficult, but it did take concentration to keep track of 12 pattern pieces, and 25 fabric pieces for the dress and lining/facings.  All the pieces line up well, and the markings are good.  I did lose a marking somewhere-I cannot even remember what piece it was.  Didn't matter as everything fit together like a well made jigsaw puzzle!

I sewed this dress during a very emotional time, and while depression was knocking on my back door.  I would work on it, and then worry a bit about the style.  Was it right for me?  Did I choose good fabric?  What will others think?  Gah!!!!!  I am well acquainted with depression, being one of those people who have had it since childhood.  It is almost a friend to me, leading me into behaviors that are helpful.  Like labeling all those pattern pieces, and laying out the front and the back to be sure I had every piece needed.  Depression also helped me by making me sloooowww down and take my time.  I'd love to be the first PR member to review a new design...but that is unlikely and this was no exception.  I think I'm #5.  Good enough.

Depression, and some of the antidepressants available, make people spacy.  That's me at my worst now.  In the past, I was very "off" but now I usually skate through those times and engage with life later on.  As I sewed V 8876, I got confused at times.  Like how the hell do I attach this zipper?  I know how to do it on a casual jacket...how do you do it on a dress?  The directions STILL seem odd to me.  Basically, fold on fold line and then turn raw edge 1/4" under.  HERE you are asked to baste, and then flip it over and stitch close to basting.  Then, you attach one side of the zipper.  This means there will be three lines of stitching.  Remove basting, and now you have two.  Isn't there a nicer way to do this?  Vogue, could you have added a separate facing for the zipper so the stitching would be hidden?  


The yoke and its lining was a similar mental problem.  I could see how it was to be constructed but it would leave areas that needed slip stitching.  Come on Vogue!!  You can do better.  I used the "burrito method" and was as happy as I could be while swimming through depression.


The band at the bottom of the dress is really cool.  The wider part is attached to the dress and the more narrow angles inward at the hem.  Very interesting...and very hard to hand sew.  I didn't even try to read their directions but just sewed away with my needle and thread.

Sizing-a whole 'nother story.  This is a wide dress.  I cut a size smaller than normal and still have room for another of me in there.  The bodice fits loosely, and the rest is just a cute little tent of a dress.  In fact, this dress is very similar to an orange pink paisley tent dress I had in 1969.

I love this summer dress and will wear it happily.  I don't think it is a style that will take off, but will appeal to a group of women who want comfort and some quirky style on a hot day.  What could be better than that?




20 comments:

  1. First of all, I do so wish you were closer so that I could give you a 3D hug instead of a {{{virtual hug}}}. I love the authenticity with which you write about depression, and the concept of making friends with it - a lovely and healthy way to meet all of our challenges :)

    I LOVE this print on you! I'm going through a similar conversation with myself about summer dresses - how to make a summery dress both comfortable and flattering (is that even POSSIBLE on a short, aging body? lol!). I've already decided that Marcy's dress won't work for me, but I just got fabric today for Katharine's newest dress design, so I'm diving into that one! Hope mine looks as good on me as yours does on you :)

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  2. Very gutsy and poignant post, Mary...I, too, am well acquainted with depression since childhood, and, with the help of some of those anti-depressants, have "made friends" with it over the years. Bless you for bringing it out in the open...sometimes scary to do, but always the healthy choice...

    Margy

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  3. Hi Mary, I think this is a super dress - especially for those really hot days when you don't want anything clinging to you at all. Sorry to hear about the depression. Comes and goes with me as well, although basically I tend to deliberately detach so as not to go there. I find that the nicest people tend to be depressives - shows a soul, I think. As depression is sometimes called the black dog, it seems most apt to make a friend of it.

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  4. I'm so glad to see that there are other people out there that wonder at the reason for convoluted instructions- I even feel guilty when I don't follow them! I think you win- you have found ways to embrace and overcome both Vogue and the way you feel. I love that you shared both journeys with us.

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  5. Thank you for writing about your depression, I too, suffer from it. Unlike you I don't take medication for it, the side effects are worse than the disease 8-). I have however, discovered exercise as an antidote. Works like a hot damn and the only side effect is my tighter butt.

    I always like reading how sewists with far more experience than I have issues with pattern instructions. It really helps. Thank you.

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  6. Your dress is beautiful, Mary. Thinking of you :-)

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  7. Thank you for sharing, Mary. Both your honesty and integrity (which I noted the first time I met you in person) are inspiring. I raise my hand as another quite experienced with depression, both on meds and off. Your dress looks perfect for a hot Oregon day.

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  8. Mary, I think the dress looks good on you and I really like the print. I also think you are one courageous woman for being able to talk openly and honesty about your dealings with depression and for facing it right on - you go girl!

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  9. I know you commented about being proud of one of my posts recently, and I send that right back atcha sister. What a beautiful and touchingly honest post. I find it admirable that you're able to sew *at all* while dealing with depression, who cares if it's slower. Thank you for writing this, from the bottom of my heart.

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  10. Your dress really is lovely, the fabric is bright and happy and the style is airy. It doesn't seem too tent-like to me, the many panels must make for a really nice fit. And I like your approach to differentiating the PR review with a blog post. Thank you for your openness too, you sound very much like my best friends.

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  11. Looks like the perfect summer dress! Hope that wearing it puts a smile on your face.

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  12. A beautiful dress, on a beautiful gal, on a beautiful sunny day! Thanks for sharing your brave words.

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  13. Enjoyed reading your process of construction on this dress. We have a group here in Madison that gets together in the winter and sews together and Marcy alway gives us a run for the money. We invariably complain about instructions (how much is really Vogue's input versus hers?) but the styles are for the most part wonderful. My greatest success was with her Vogue pattern 8582 the t-shirt with the side drape. I had not done much with knits before and this pattern was fantastic--it's my new go to pattern for knits. I traced the pattern onto muslin and use it to compare other patterns to form fit. I even cut it out in a size 8 for my tiny Mom and it fits her great too.

    I so enjoyed meeting you at the PR weekend and appreciated your willingness to share the SF shopping experience with me. It was truly one of the highlights of my week. I would never have guessed you were dealing with depression issues and was so impressed to hear how you deal with it. Sewers are just the best people!

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  14. Sorry to hear about your battle with depression - however out of something so dark and ugly to have you have produced a most beautiful dress . You should wear this dress with pride because it says that you are strong and a survivor. Virtual hugs and hoping for more contented days ahead . Janine.

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  15. I completely agree with your style, I love dresses like this. Your fabric is a perfect match for a comfy but stylish summer dress in Oregon. I also sympathize with your depression, and the medication rollercoaster that seems to come with it. As someone with extreme anxiety, and depression many years ago, I want to send you lots of hugs and understanding.
    Also, I have to agree that PR reviews should not be the same as the blog posts. Blogs are personal, the PR reviews are meant to convey info to help others who want to buy or make that pattern. I appreciate that you make the effort to do both. :)

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  16. Your dress looks cool and comfortable. Lovely fun print. I always study Marci's patterns and this variation on a shirt dress is very interesting. But loose styles like this don't work on me, so I will have to admire the versions that others sew.

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  17. I looked and looked at that pattern & decided I would be overwhelmed by the volume at 5'2" but I like it on you. You're marec at PR! I always liked your comments there tho I wasn't active when you signed on. Hello! Glad we've reconnected ~Mary Beth

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  18. Oh my, what an adventure you had sewing this one! The dress is adorable; I love the bright florals and flouncy volume for Spring.

    I'm sorry to hear you are going through a depressive episode. Even when you know what to expect, it's hard to see up out of that deep, dark well. Take care of yourself.

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  19. I've just found your blog, Mary, and so glad I did! You made the same dress that I'm working on. Very slowly. It's not a race after all! The process and perhaps eventually wearable results are what counts, right? And your version is really lovely and much more flattering than you think. It's a great dress! Sorry that you've had dark days but so glad you were able to sew through them. Be well, hon'.

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  20. Thanks for your review of this, Mary. It's an interesting design, and it looks super cool and comfortable. I've never been diagnosed with depression, although it flirts with me. I'm an extreme introvert and tend to freak out at the thought of being in a group of people, but if I'm alone for too long, it becomes hard to hold up my end of a decent conversation. Thanks for sharing your story. It's encouraging.

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