Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On the Border

I had been waiting for the Vogues to go on sale because I wanted to solve a pattern mystery. Most experienced sewcialists know about how much fabric certain things take, so if they just happen to find themselves in the proximity of some awesome fabric, they know how much to buy. For example, I know most pants take about 2 1/2 yards, of 45 inch wide fabric, so I'd buy three yards. Or two yards for a blouse...You get the idea. So I would expect a dress like Vogue 8847 to take around 3-3 and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric, less for 60 inches wide. Maybe a border print would take more, but not that much more. The back of the envelope said this:
Fabric widths given in inches.
SIZES 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
45",60"*/** 57/8 57/8 6 61/4 63/8 65/8 63/4 67/87

Vogue is clearly messing with our heads, because we aren't making a ball gown here. But when I was able to read the "suggested" layout, all was revealed: They have you lay out the pieces all along the border print, even pieces that don't matter. You are using three yards or less of fabric and wasting the rest!
Lesson for the day: never trust the fabric estimates on the back of the envelope. They should be considered guidelines, or in this case, hallucinations.
Is this just one more instance of quality at the Big Pattern companies going to hell in a hand-basket? First they take the measurements off of the back of the envelope, then they tell us to use purchased bias tape to finish the necklines of silk blouses, and now this. Vogue, you're on thin ice here.

Have you ever encountered a pattern that gave such wrong-headed advice? Examples, please, and show your work.
I'm off to lay this out correctly, just to see how much it really takes.


badmomgoodmom said...

At least they give the layout on the instruction sheet.

I hate it when the layouts are on the pattern tissue, so you can't give them a sanity check at the store.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Layouts on the tissue are an abomination!

Linda said...

I purchased this pattern and did not as of yet paid any attention to the yardage. I am looking forward to your post to see just how much you truly used. Are you using a border print? That is my plan; I don't think it will take as much as they printed as needed.

Venus de Hilo said...

Amy Butler is guilty of this for both her handbag and garment patterns, yardage for which is calculated based on pattern repeat size of her boldest large prints. That Vogue looks like a nice pattern and easy to make from far less yardage.

Julianne said...

I've never seen anything like that pattern layout! That's insane. But it looks like a nice design, so I'm sure your dress will be great!

Gorgeous Things said...

I've found that I can shave at least a half yard, frequently a yard, off almost every one of the Big 4 patterns' requirements. It irks me to no end that they make sewing enthusiasts buy so much extra fabric.

Nina said...

That fabric layout is hilarious! All the little pieces lined up along the edge! @Venus - good to know about the Amy Butler patterns, I have one that I won and haven't used it partly because of the insane fabric requirements.