You know, I have a fantasy. In my dreams, someone at a pattern company appoints me pattern instruction proof reader - you know I would be paid to say what your average sewer would find confusing. I would love to tell the instruction writers how to make things just easier and more successful.
How many sewers, new sewers in particular, have been turned off the whole process of sewing because they couldn't manage to do what the instructions said, or what the picture looked like? They quit sewing because they thought it was them when in fact it is instructions anyone would have trouble with.
In my view, one of the main purposes of any instruction, sewing guides in particular, is to make the user feel smart and not stupid - that is, if you want them to keep coming back. In fact, I would argue one of the things the independent pattern companies have going for them, even if they are sometimes limited in the styles and currency of what they offer, is that their instructions are generally helpful.
O.K. let's talk about Vogue 1264's pants. Then I better go to bed.
Good things first.
The nice thing about a designer pattern is the details. This one advised me that the waistline facing (and BTW even though it is a faced waistline it is right up at the real waistline no more of the dangling stuff) needed to be bound rather than say serged. I did this and used an old silk tie I bought at a second hand store for $1.50. The tie like all ties was of course already cut on the bias so it was easy and fabric economical to just cut a strip from the middle of it.
I cut this binding much wider than I needed rather than using the pattern piece. I did this so I would have something to hold on to while I stitched it down from the right side. I hate turning things over and finding I have missed catching something. Of course I will trim the extra off and the net effect will be as if I had used a narrow binding in the first place but was a really good sewer:
Now onto Things Make No sense.
Things that make no sense #1:
These pants call for an invisible zipper which of course is inserted before the seam below is sewn (I might do an invisible zipper tutorial sometime - they are the easiest zippers for beginners). This of course is easiest done with two garment pieces, in this case the left front and back legs.
So why then are you asked to do it after this step, pictured below? If you do this you are going to have far too much random and out of control fabric around your sewing machine and as a result are in danger of applying the zipper to one leg and say one hem, or waistline, or something even more creative:
Makes no sense #2:
In this step, and in the final one in these instructions, you are told to sew the inside button tab to the back of the pants, meaning that it comes forward on the inside and is buttoned on the inside of your front waist. Maybe there is a good reason for this but to me a tab and a button should go towards the back, just like you would if there was a waistband that buttoned. I changed mine to the back because I don't see a button on the front of my side, even on the inside:
Makes no sense #3:
The continuation of the above with the button sewn to the front part, but note that you are also told, as the nearly last stage, to make a button hole in the tab.
That little tab was made all on its own a while ago and that is the time to put in the buttonhole, when you have the option of making another little tab or several if you have to in case you mess up this up. Who wants to unpick that facing and that invisible zipper just because you made a crummy buttonhole because you were nearly done and you were tired? Why instruct in stress?
This is probably not the way to have the Big Four hire me as an instruction proof reader is it?