VOGUE 1247 from head to toe

Vogue 1247 - top and skirt

Vogue 1247 – top and skirt. First Vogue 1247 outing, we had a picnic dinner on Town Green, it was getting dark so not the best picture but I do like the vividness of the fabric in this light. I look exhausted… I am….

Vogue 1247 - back view

Vogue 1247 – back view. This is the next afternoon, on the ‘dog beach’.

The Vogue 1247 skirt was one of the first things I made this year. I nicknamed it The Tardis Skirt because it has hidden pockets in the yoke seam – they can hold a truckload of stuff. I was inspired to return to this pattern after Karen from Did You Make That? recently posted her 1247 skirt – I had already purchased the fabric for a skirt and top so Karen’s post provided the motivation I needed to get started.

I had planned to make the Darling Ranges dress first in my Spring/Summer Sewing plans but the bodice muslin was a disaster so I’ve put it aside for now. Vogue 1247 is the first one I can tick off my seasonal sewing list.

Vogue 1247 - on the beach

The top took three evening sewing session in total to trace, cut out and sew. I had been intimidated by all the French seams in this top and allocated it to my mental ‘too hard’ basket. I’ve recently started to French seam anything I can… mainly because it’s faster than zig-zag or overlocking stitch, the interior finish is much neater and saves a lot of thread!

The trickiest part of this project was cutting out the fabric for the top. Rayon is not much fun to cut out so I used my rotary cutter as much as possible.

Despite not feeling confident that I could manage to get all those seams to meet at the front, it’s almost perfect! It’s probably out by less than a millimetre but I think I can live with that. The print is very ‘busy’ and I could have missed by a ‘country mile’ and it would be very hard to spot when I actually have the top on.

Vogue 1247 - French seamed top.

Vogue 1247 – French seamed top.

I machined the hem as the pattern directed but I didn’t like how the hem fell. I ended up handstitching the hem and unpicking the machine stitching. The top is much more fluid as a result, the hem less obvious. It was worth the extra time.

I just adore this pattern and can’t recommend it highly enough.

The top is large but in a soft fluid fabric, it moves beautifully. I can see myself wearing this with the skirt, jeans, a black skirt to work, skinny black pants with heels – it’s very versatile – although I do need to wear a cami under it as the neckline is very wide. It’s the sort of top you could make as a gift, it could fit and flatter just about anyone. I’m slender and blousy things can swamp me but paired with a fitted skirt/pants, I love them. I’m definitely going to make the top again, perhaps in a plain rayon now I know that I can conquer all those French seams.

The skirt only took me two nights to make – including the bias binding finish, I love the finishes on this project – it’s what makes it so special. The skirt is a sensational, practical design as well as an easy flattering shape to wear. I didn’t add any length to the skirt as I like my casual skirts to be shorter. Others might prefer to lengthen it – I could just be a hussy. It’s perfect in hot weather with bare legs and flip-flops (or thongs as us Aussies call that sort of footwear!). And I’ve worn it all through winter with leggings/tights, boots and long sleeve tops – it will definitely be in my bag for my upcoming long weekend trip to Tasmania. I could never have too many of these skirts in my wardrobe. My girls have begged me to conjure up something similar for them. 3 Hours Past has just posted the Book Report dress that she made for her daughter which has similar pockets. That dress is a little young in style for my girls but I could definitely alter a pattern to incorporate hidden pockets in a yoke seam now.

Vogue 1247 skirts

Vogue 1247 – my most recent on the right. Evidence that an invisible zipper foot is really worth every cent!

What I’ve enjoyed most about this project is seeing how my sewing is improving. My second skirt is so much neater. The zip is perfect – it certainly helps having an invisible zipper foot, I also lapped the waistband the wrong way on my first skirt – it’s simple to fix but I can’t be bothered, I love it anyway. My bias binding finish is also much neater. A sewing win!

It’s great to revisit a pattern and see your skills progress. It’s a little exercise I plan on conducting more often. There are lots of things I would like to sew, but I also think it’s also valuable to go back and improve your skills. Not to mention getting value for your pattern spend!

I’m a little disappointed in the pictures as I love this outfit but I don’t think it looks as good in the pictures as it does IRL. The Ever-Lovin’ Husband approves and thinks it looks v.nice. My blog posts feel less than inspiring – I’m battling enormous fatigue and my gift of the gab is somewhat limited. Hopefully some long sleeps will sort me out.

Pattern: Vogue 1247
Skirt: light/medium-weight black denim. It had an unpleasant chemical smell, I washed it twice. ThePerfectNose advised via Twitter to give it a salt wash as the ‘denim’ smell is sometimes caused by the indigo or sealant used in the dyeing process. Two washes fixed it but next time I will try the salt wash!
Top: cotton rayon mix
Time: five evening sessions to trace, cut out and sew.

QUESTION: Are Vogue patterns really that hard? Is it just an urban sewing myth? I think so. I’ve had a number of women, older women in particular (including my mother), tell me that Vogue patterns are more difficult than the other patterns.

Yes some Vogue patterns are difficult and Vogue is so kind to tell you up front. They even tell you if they think it’s suited to your  body type (I just wish they had a symbol for vertically challenged skinny people – but you can’t have it all I guess). I’ve always found Vogue instructions to be clear, well illustrated and I’ve never had any trouble.

What do you think – have I just been lucky with Vogue?


Koala in my backyard

Koala in my backyard

The koalas around my house are driving me nuts. It’s breeding season, and despite their cute and cuddly looks these little fellas are very very noisy when they are out and about looking for a ‘good time’ – and some little fella carried on a treat until 2am a few nights ago. Despite having a koala-unfriendly fence, they still manage to get into our backyard – which gets Banjo (our whippet) most excited. Dogs and koalas are not a good mix so Banjo is enjoying lots of inside and lounge time!

So that’s one project (or two really!) achieved out of my Spring/Summer sewing plans… what next??

58 thoughts on “VOGUE 1247 from head to toe

  1. My home ec teacher was a staunch anti-voguer! Now I’ve done a few- love 1247!- and I wonder if it is different now? Have printed instructions changed over the years in terms and order and we just haven’t seen the dark side of Vogue? By the way- Banjo the Whippet is my new favorite pet name!

  2. It looks great on you, a really relaxed but pretty combination. I love the skirt, I might have to pick this pattern up in the next sales!
    The photos are great too, I love the beach background.

    • Thanks, it’s a great pattern. It takes a little patience but it’s not hard.
      I’ve really got to get myself to a new beach for photos – we have another 6 in town but this is the dog friendly one, and Banjo enjoys it so much we always go there.

  3. Lovely! And it looks good on you. Good pattern with excellent fabric choices. I am heading into winter, so it is lovely to see your spring/summer clothes! I shall live vicariously through you until spring comes back around to me. Great job!

  4. First, that outfit is really cute on you. You can wear that skirt length well; it looks summery, cute, casual. However, the length on the model on the pattern….. Wow. She looks barely covered to me. While she may not personally be a hussy, Vogue was putting forth that image. 🙂 It’s funny that this outfit is one that both you and Karen talk about as being truly comfortable.

    The Vogue pattern thing may well be a myth, or urban sewing legend, if you will. Maybe it’s the general reputation they have for being the most fashion-forward of the big companies. One would not think that the most fashionable would be the easiest to sew. It’s nice to hear that you and others feel they are very well written and no more difficult than any other.

  5. Love this outfit!! It looks great on you! I just picked up this pattern in a recent Vogue sale, but I’ve been hemming and hawing as loose tops can look a little sloppy on me. But I feel like we have similar frames, and yours looks so nice that I’m tempted to try it!

    • Thanks Gillian! I think it’s going to be worn lots so it was a great investment in time and money. Now off to tidy up the sewing room and decide what to make next… I’m trying very hard to stay focussed on my Spring/Summer plans… which is much harder than it sounds! LOL

  6. I am yet to try vogue patterns! Your outfit looks lovely though. I like flowy tops like that and the fabric choice is gorgeous.
    French seams are on my skills to gain list! Urs matched perfectly!
    Wow koalas! It is so incredible to read about such different animals being normal. I guess I would complain about the foxes. Lol.
    Hope you get some rest soon. Is Tasmania a holiday trip?

    • I’ve made four Vogue patterns and the instructions have all been great. Sometimes the pattern is tricky but the instructions drag you through, just need to take some time.
      Koalas aren’t this common everywhere in Australia, we have lots here. There is even a koala hospital in town!
      Off to see if I can make the Gertie Butterick dress – and there is also the Anise Sewalong. MUST sleep first…

  7. Congrats on a great job! The blouse looks beautiful and you’re right about the zipper foot… can’t imagine trying to put an invisibile zipper in without one.

    I love Vogue patterns, they are always my first choice, although i’m willing to work with any pattern that looks interesting. I was told in one of my C&T classes back at school that the reason Vogue patterns fit so well is, because they are developed from start to finish in the same department, while other pattern lines such as Simplicity an McCalls have collar department, sleeve department, etc. where they make the sleeve to fit into an arm. That may be why Vogue patterns are usually more expensive.

    As for sewing instructions, they do tend to assume a certain level of knowledge, for example I am currently working on a jacket with open side seams and the corners are mitered. I looked and looked for the instructions on how to miter, but there were none, so I had to rely on what I remembered from how to miter a vented sleeve (my sewing books are packed away at the moment, so I had to rely on memory). It worked out fine, but if one lacked that experience, you might be in a fix trying to figure it out on your own.

    • That’s fascinating and certainly it makes much more sense for a pattern to be designed in one department.
      I guess you are right, there is a level of assumed knowledge and so far I’ve been fortunate to know most of the techniques that have cropped up. Perhaps terror awaits around the corner…

  8. I hope you’re feeling less tired now, you’ve sure been doing a lot of sewing of late! This outfit looks really lovely and the floral fabric is gorgeous. It’s funny that koalas are such a pain for you, in my garden I just get the odd cat, very dull!

    • The koalas never bothered me until I got a dog. If they were in the backyard at night pre-Banjo I never knew, however Banjo thrives on defending his territory against these cute fluffy invaders with great vigor!
      It’s funny, although I see koalas regularly, the excitement of seeing them in your garden or street never diminishes – they are so cute.

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  10. Wow I think I need to add this pattern to my next purchase list. I’ve seen some great skirt versions but yours is the first top that’s made me go, “Ohhhh, want”. Your seaming at the centre front is perfect, what’s 1 millimetre between friends huh? Amazing fabric choice too.

    Wow that Koala seriously has some scary lazer eyes, pew pew! Hehe

  11. Love this! It’s so nice to see your skills get more epic 🙂 I have a Vogue pattern in my stash but haven’t tried it yet. I hadn’t heard they were any different but then my head is under a rock with my fingers in my ears when it comes to the big four. Good luck surviving koala breeding season! Ear plug times!!!

    • Oh I often think it’s bette rto stick your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALA when someone tells you something will be too hard. Best off to approach things with a sense of heroic naivety I say!

  12. My American brain can’t seem to get over the fact that you have KOALAS IN YOUR BACKYARD. This is amazing to me! I have squirrels. And sometimes cows.

    I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m getting along just fine without an invisible zipper foot, but your invisible zipper looks so good, you may have convinced me otherwise!

    • Yes I thought I could live with an invisible zipper foot but I love mine. It makes zippers a dream to sew in.
      Koalas are not this common everywhere in Australia but they are where I live. I was amazed when I visited London to discover squirrels were absolutely everywhere – they were things out of Beatrix Potter books in my childhood!

    • LOL not at all! If I listened to my mum I never would have bought a Vogue pattern and I think that is what happens to many. Fortunately I’m rather pigheaded and throw caution to the wind – often!

  13. I enjoy your photoshoot locations as much as the sewing news. I’ve made a few Vogue patterns in the past. They often do a reprint of a classic outfit that’s so timeless, you can wear it today. That’s what I like about Vogue, they’re stylish classics. Maybe yes more detailed, but worth it. I think it’d be great to have Koala’s in the hood, I’m a night owl anyways…..sorry you’re loosing sleep though.

    • I think you are right, Vogue is great for classics. I’ve got a ton of Vogue patterns (quite frightening really) and I find their site hardest of all to resist – even with the recent dodgy stylised photo shoots!
      I must make more of an effort to get to some more of our spectacular scenery. I do live in a beautiful part of the world – some days it’s easy to forget when you are tired and busy – but I have been making an effort to drive home via the beaches in the evening to remind myself why I live here.

  14. Ok, deep breath as I am very excitable after reading this…love fest of koalas in your yard? Seaside pics that take my breath away? And those French seams meeting like that? Are you a robot lady? That is serious technical sewing to get that kind of finish! You clearly need to make more of these tops. I’m with you that they make great presses for friends….and that’s what I did. But totally a look that suits you too. I am also reliving your cutting experience…there is something about cutting those bias aligned triangles that really challenges drapey fabric isn’t there? So well done on a beautiful and perfect make. I am so looking forward to making the skirt and to hear you rave about it makes it creep higher on my evolving list.

    • I do live somewhere quite unique! It seems every day to me – however I never tire of seeing koalas, they are just so cute, although it would be nice if they toned it down in mating season. LOL. Mind you I was in raptures when I visited Bath a few years ago – I could not quite believe I was there!
      I was thinking perhaps it is my background in patchwork and learning about bias edges and makign corner meet perfect that helped with this top. I worked from the centre to the edges with this top. One side looked a little out at the edges but once it the side seams were done you could not see where the ‘oops’ nearly was.
      Oh make the skirt, it’s amazing. If you love a good pocket this is the piece of clothing you NEED to own. And all the bias trimming…. oh you are going to love it…

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  23. I made this top and skirt not long ago. I made the size 12 skirt and it turned out like a size 6. I don’t know what I did wrong? Did you have a sizing problem with the skirt?

    • Hmmmmm no I didn’t have that problem. The skirt is a neat fit & high waisted – and doesn’t seem to have the amount of ease that some Vogue patterns does. Do the finished measurements of your skirt match the finished measurements specified in the pattern &/or pattern sheets?

  24. Hi can you still purchase this pattern in Australia I am having trouble finding it in Melbourne
    Thanks sophien

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