Sunday, January 31, 2010

BAD SEWING INSTRUCTIONS

 Vogue 8639


Most of us acknowledge that Burda Style, formally know as Burda World of Fashion has poor
instructions.  Sometimes they are fine and sometimes, like the tailored jacket I'm making for Alex, they are laughable.  if I need help I go to my sewing library, which is fairly extensive, or my collection of Threads articles, which is also pretty extensive.
I learned to sew with Vogue patterns.  Before I ever bought a sewing book I relied on their instructions. I always expect more from them and they seldom come through these days especially with their Very Easy Vogue patterns.   I shopped the latest Vogue sale with Sigrid's list, among them Very Easy Vogue 8639.  I decided to buy it to try their new Custom Fit for  ABCD cup sizes. Sewn as per their instructions and  you are guaranteed to get that loving hands at home look which is my major complaint about  these patterns.  You expect them to be fast as well as easy.  After all there are few details and they are pretty simple designs.  But, with all the handwork in the instructions, this isn't fast or easy, certainly not for the beginner who is probably not very adept at hand sewing yet but is attracted to these patterns because they are 'Easy' Nor is it  durable.  A shirt designed to be thrown in the washing machines should be  able to hold up to multiple washings and some abuse.  Hand sewing just isn't meant for that.  This shirt has a yoke that can be entirely sewn by machine but not according to Vogue.  It's not hard to do, just a little different and every sewing expert has a method for sewing it on entirely by machine.  But, my favorite instructions in this pattern are for hemming. "Turn facing to inside.  Make 5/8" narrow hem at lower edge, folding in fullness at corners"  Right.  Can't they show how to sew a mitered corner  here?  It's not hard and is much more professional and actually much easier.  On top of which, this hem will show from the front when you wear this top so a well finished interior is a must.  Connie Long, in her Easy Guide to Sewing Blouses has a well illustrated and simple method for constructing a yoked blouse that will be durable and professional looking. 
I will make this shirt in a light weight, white linen from  my stash and you can be assured that I won't make it with Vogue's instructions.  I'll also add some buttonholes.  I don't like the off centered button placement with loops.
I like to read instructions and plan out my garment before I ever get to the cutting out stage.  As you can see, with even a simple garment like this different  construction methods will assure a much better outcome.  One I will even wear. 

13 comments:

  1. I was tempted by this pattern, but could too easily imagine the wrinkles in the back after my commute to work... so passed on it. Still like the design, but there is nowhere I go unless it's by car!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah....hand sewing is not good for the wash. Neat pattern though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sometimes think the "Very Easy Vogue" are much harder than the "Advanced!" I shy away from very easy vogue because I think they are a mess!
    I also like this pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the pattern, but I agree, their instructions won't give you professional results. Also, their way is more work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the design but it definitely is not for my 5'0 shape. Does tent ring a bell? Nancy, I know you will make this look gorgeous on you and it will be meticulously put together.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my, this brought back some memories. Like you, I learned the basics with Vogue patterns, and as far as I remember they didn't have any "Very Easy" ones. That was a good thing, because nothing is easy until you know how to do it. I think the reason I like Burda, in addition to their designs and fit, is that I don't expect anything from their instructions. I use books and my acquired knowledge, and of course the internet. The last one is a huge plus for anyone just learning to sew. If Vogue put instructions on the web- and good solid, step by step, with RTW finishes, they could be like mini sewing courses and would appeal greatly to young sewers. It would be of minimal expense to Vogue, no paper and printing involved.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In truth, you have to know how to sew, to be able to use patterns. No wonder beginner's give up without a fight! I love that pattern though, and you will make a beautiful thing, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for posting this. I took a decades long hiatus from sewing and when I came back to it, was absolutely appalled by the terrible quality control and inadequate instructions on patterns. You brought back memories for me too because I taught myself to sew from Vogue instructions. I am thinking that the youngsters will give up if they have to consult a book for every seam. I love this pattern and agree about the buttons.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really enjoyed reading this post because it's nice to find that it's not just me! I'm relatively new to sewing on a regular basis and in the last year I have come to realise that the pattern instructions as written are not necessarily the best way of doing things. I really like the style of that pattern - it's going to look great - made your way!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This weekend I had a similar experience with a Very East Vogue pattern. It makes me wonder why pattern companies don't invest in making their instructions really tip top. If they did, their customers would have greater success sewing which, I would think, would boost their brand loyalty and sales.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm looking forward to this pattern Nancy. Such a shame about the bad instructions, I learned so much from Vogue in the 80's upon discovering their patterns.
    And thank you for mentioning the book by Connie Long, I'll look up the info.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow. I actually learned to miter corners from Vogue!! How disappointing.

    ReplyDelete