Let's start with the whole issue of designer patterns.
Now I doubt that Kay Unger or Alice and Olivia or DKY sit down and write out these instruction sheets for us home sewers. Most likely some version of a sample or standard size pattern is sent over and the folks at Vogue go into the cut and paste library or translate what they see into instructions. But it is quite clear to me that the garment on the envelope is not made exactly the way the guide sheet inside describes. This is particularly true in knit garments, and very true with this pattern.
I am going to try to organize my thoughts under headings, but begin by saying that this is an interesting pattern with some good shapes but the instructions are way out there. Way out.
Now from the general to the specific:
Thing that drives me crazy #1:
O.K. let's lose the straight stitched double seamed illustrations. Knit tops are not being sewn on treadles. Anyone post WWII has a zig zag and sergers have been around a very, very long time. In fact I bought my first serger after I attended a workshop given by some machine reps at a local motel. I was so desperate to see this new machine I ran through the snow and because I was late climbed over a snow bank with a fresh episiotomy - that's as graphically as I can describe how LONG ago it was that I saw my first serger.
We all have sergers or at the very least a good zig zag with some straight stitches. So what's with illustrating and writing the instructions as if electricity hadn't been invented yet?
Let me tell you none of those folks down at Vogue are sitting there writing this stuff in serger-free clothes.
OK, now let me tell you how I really feel.
In case you want to know what sent me over the edge (see name of blog above) it is this: A bias arrow printed on the collar binding pattern piece in a knit. Of course you only cut something like a binding on the bias to make it stretchy but of course this is completely irrelevant as the fabric is two way stretch - and says so on the very same pattern piece:
I mean I have been around the block enough times to ignore that bias arrow, but think of the children, think of the children.
Thing that drives me crazy #2 (pattern specific):
OK, I got ahead of myself last night in talking about the seam in the centre back (it's straight and you can put this pattern piece on the fold - I did) and the seam at the back of the collar. As far as I can figure out they were trying to replicate a flatlock or maybe a coverhem but since the rules were not to use or imply the use of modern machinery they made up this weird twin-needle stuff. Now remember most twin-needles are really close together, unless you get yourself off to a sewing machine dealer for a $6.00 speciality one and most people won't.
Which means you are being asked to straddle butt seams with a tiny little space between two needles. I am not even going to go into the fact that in most cases you are advised to stitch from the wrong side which means a sort of messy zig zag is what is going to show on the right side - I mean why not just use a zig zag to start with?
Here is what those destructions look like:
|By tape they mean the scotch tape holding on paper behind the butt seam made by pressing under each cut edge 3/8"|
Less hysterical commentary:
Sleeves: As I said last night these are cut real slim and the cap is high, I hate to say it but these would best go in as a set-in sleeve if you don't want to distort the cap, or at least ease in the cap before you try flat construction just as the pattern suggests. The seam allowances are left to the outside and you are told to do this to them. I in fact just zig-zagged instead:
The collar: FYI the band that is folded over the cut edge of this single layer collar is smaller than the opening which means it pulls the collar in a bit so if you fold the top of the collar in it doesn't flip out. This is not a bad idea. Instead of all the twin-needle business I just zig-zagged this down, three step so it wouldn't tunnel. On a more substantial fabric (I made a million samples with my coverhem with starch and stabilizer but still got some tunneling in my soft single layer of bamboo rayon) I would and will use my coverhem to do this:
|My fabric actually looks nice in real life but I had to distort/lighten it so you could see the details in navy fabric|
The raw edge hem: