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Problem Pattern

SAAM | Posted in Patterns on

Has anyone made Vogue vintage pattern V2962? This has been one of my UFOs because of frustrations I’ve had with the fit and what seems to be an error with the pattern.

Last summer, I cut this pattern out of a light weight satin I got on sale when one of our Joann’s stores closed. I didn’t make a muslin; I figured if this didn’t work out I was out about $6.00. I was hoping to wear the dress for New Year’s.

I’m not really big in the bust so I altered the bodice to reflect that, plus made alterations to fit my waist (made it a little bigger than the pattern was drafted). With those changes, I thought I would be in good shape.

When I got the pieces together, the bodice not only still ballooned out from my bust, but with the pieces laid the way the pattern required, the fabric overlapped practically up to my neck. I looked like I was being strangled. I tried adjusting the overlap, but that just moved the ballooning out to the sides of my bust without opening up the neckline all that much.

On top of that, when I went to put together the skirt, I thought there was way too much width in it. I even checked to make sure I’d cut the correct pieces the correct number of times. (This skirt is HUGE!) And lo and behold, there was no way the fabric of the skirt could be gathered enough to fit the length of the bodice waistline. I think the instruction have you cut out the pieces too many times.

I checked the fabric suggestions on the pattern (I know, I should have done this first.) and saw that most were lighter weight than my satin, though taffeta (one of the suggestions) is about the same weight. I chalked my problems with the skirt up to using a fabric that is too heavy.

However, in the most recent Vogue pattern book, there is a photo of this dress made up in what looks like satin of the same weight as that which I am using. In the photo, the top drapes the way it does in the drawing on the pattern and the skirt obviously fits to the bodice.

I guess what I want to know is if anyone else has had similar problems with this pattern, and if anyone has suggestions for correcting the problems with the bodice. I’m going to take some width out of the skirt so it will fit, and I’m getting ready to take the bodice completely apart. I do have enough fabric to cut new bodice pieces if I need to.

I think this is a beautiful dress and my teal satin looks great even lying in a heap on my dining room chair. I’m hoping I can salvage this project and have a great dress to wear for next New Year’s.



  1. SewistKitty | | #1

    I would make a muslin at least of the bodice if not the whole dress. Most of us are accustomed to many fitting challenges especially with making a dress which I assume is somewhat fitted. It sounds like a beautiful colored fabric. Is this a polyester satin? Good luck with this project. Remember few of us make clothes without a number of alterations.

    1. SAAM | | #2

      Thanks for your comments, Kitty. I'm basically treating this first try as the muslin. I'm going to take the top apart and try to recut it to fit the way it looks in the drawing on the pattern envelope. Once I figure it out, I'll recut the bodice correctly from the extra fabric I have.My issue is with the cut of the pattern. When I originally looked at the bodice pieces I thought they looked huge, even for a B or C cup. I took out approximately 3" from each piece (total of 6"!), but there is still too much fabric, plus if you overlap the pieces according to the markings on the pattern pieces as the instructions direct, the neckline is completely closed up, ie no lovely V neck as shown.My other issue is with seeing the dress made up in a similar fabric (in the Vogue photo) where there are none of the problems I am encountering. Basically, I'm wondering, how did they do that? Is my pattern just defective?I'm a pretty experienced sewist (been sewing for 42 years) and am quite familiar with the alterations I usually need to make to get Vogue patterns to fit me well. With this pattern, the changes just seem really extreme.Sherry

      1. starzoe | | #3

        You didn't say if you measured the actual pattern pieces to compare with your own. I'm not sure if that Vogue pattern has the finished measurements on the pattern, but they are usually provided for the bust and hip.Other than that, it sure looks like they packed the wrong pattern into the package, doesn't it?

        1. SAAM | | #4

          Yes, I did measure. That's why I'd taken out so much to begin with. Though measuring doesn't tell you a whole lot, because these pieces are made to be gathered over the bust. There's just way too much excess fabric to be gathered up, I think. I think the problem has something to do with the shape of the pattern piece, a really huge, sort of tear-drop shape with a lot of roundness in the lower portion.Sherry

      2. krichmond | | #11

        Hi SAAM:

        Just want to know - have you tried contacting the Vogue Pattern Company directly to enquire about this pattern and/or lodge a complaint?  It's entirely possible that it's a faulty pattern and the company would probably appreciate the feedback anyways.  When I worked at a fabric store, we once had a customer come in with a completely finished garment that wouldn't fit her because the pattern had been printed in a child's size 12 rather than Misses size 12 (contrary to what was in the envelope).   We had to refund her for the cost of the fabric and pattern (we may have recovered the loss back from the pattern company - I think it was New Look), but she was out for all of her time and effort. 

        Anyway, best of luck with the alts.


        1. SAAM | | #13

          I hadn't thought of that. It would probably be a good idea as I'm pretty sure there is a problem with this pattern beyond what one would expect due to the weight of the fabric. I believe there is also a problem with the marking for constructing the bodice. Thanks for the suggestion!Sherry

  2. Teaf5 | | #5

    A cool vintage pattern! It calls for very, very lightweight fabric--georgette, chiffon, voile--all of which can be gathered a lot without much bulk. Satin is probably too stiff for that amount of gathering. It's typical to gather chiffon at a rate of 4 to 1 (the flat piece is four times longer than the gathered piece), but satin is usually gathered at about 1.5 or 2 to 1. (I can't imagine most taffetas, one of the suggested fabrics, would work very well, either, as it is so stiff.) With so much gathering, you also have to consider weight. That skirt probably takes about 8-10 yards or so; 10 yards of chiffon is much, much lighter than 10 yards of satin! It's a very flattering pattern for a small-busted woman, giving the illusion of a bigger bust, but in satin, the gathers would create an incredible volume. You can probably use the satin, but pleat the pattern quite a bit to reduce the gathering overall. Hope it works out!

    1. SAAM | | #6

      Hi Teaf,This is exactly what I was thinking. I just want to know how they got the dress to look so good in the pattern book. I'm also thinking about looking for a coordinating lighter weight fabric for the bustline part of the bodice. This is going to be an interesting experiment.Sherry

      1. Teaf5 | | #14

        I learned from a novel written by a former catalog model that photographers use many kinds of tricks to get the featured dresses to look perfect: clamps, duct tape, hairspray, hot glue, and all kinds of behind-the-scenes hardware! Who knows what's on the back side of that lovely photo?Still, it is entirely possible that there is something wrong with the pattern, and you may get some help from the company. Another option is to drape your own bodice or find a simpler version of the same dress from another company and adapt it for this dress.

        1. SAAM | | #15

          Hi Teaf,Thanks for all of your imput. I'm in the process of taking apart the bodice and I do plan to drape a new bodice top. I believe it will involve taking out a lot of the fullness and sculpting the neckline to get the V neck effect so the great necklace I have to wear with this dress doesn't get lost in folds of fabric.I know what you mean about all of the tricks used to get garments to look great in fashion photos. I get so frustrated even in the department stores where you see a dress on a mannequin that looks wonderful only to discover when you get close that it's pinned to within an inch of its life in the back.Sherry

  3. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #7

    If it works, here's a photo of that dress done in georgette.  My problem was the weight and drape of the georgette.  The only alteration I did to the chest, was to take some length out of the bust,  I'm small chested, I didn't take any width at all.  The lining lays perfect, the georgette sags.

    The waist area, I took out the front darts because I didn't need them.  I made a muslin for the top only and it looked great in the stiffer cotton.

    With the skirt, it seemed a pain to cut all those pattern pieces for a bunch of rectangles, so I just ripped strips of fabric until I had 3 times my hip measurement.  Thought that would be enough, but from the look of the photo's I need a full petticoat underneath.

    The skirt is big time heavy, so this dress definately needs a waist stay!  It looked awful until I hand stitched a belt to the inside to hold up that skirt.

    You should go ahead and make this, put in a waist stay for sure, and if you feel you have too much fabric to gather, then pleat it.  I'm going to do this dress again out of  cotton with more body,  I didn't like the georgette.

    1. SAAM | | #8

      Thanks for posting the photo of your dress. You did beautiful work. I know what you mean about the skirt being very heavy. Your suggestion of a waist stay is a good one. I've sewn a petticoat to incorporate into the dress, but thinking about it, it might be better to just give it a separate waistband rather than adding even more weight to the skirt.The top of your dress looks good, not too much fullness, not nearly as much as there is is mine, which is why I wonder if my pattern was defective. Even with the differences in weight of the fabrics, it looks like your top is gathered an appropriate amount unlike mine, which just looks huge.Sherry

      1. User avater
        CostumerVal | | #9

        I took off a pretty good amount from the bottom of the bust.  About 2 inches.  The lining actually hugs the rib line and around the bust in folds all the way to the back shoulders, the georgette doesn't stand up and fold around the body, it hangs straight down and  billows over the mid section.  My dress actually looks better inside out, but the seam allowances aren't very attractive.  When you make yours, finish the top section completely and attach it last.  Then you can pin down the excess so it's tight from the shoulder to the side seam, and the neck to center front,  then gather it right under the bust line so it lays in tight folds, and hugs the body.  I think it will look great in a stiffer fabric.

        Oh yea,  I put one piece of boning in each side seam.  Not sure it was neccessary, but it made sense so I did it.  If nothing else, it keeps the top smooth with the waist stay cinched in.


        1. SAAM | | #12

          Thanks for your suggestions. Fitting the bodice as you suggest is probably the only way to get it looking right.Sherry

    2. MaryinColorado | | #10

      Wow!  You're ready for Valentines Day in that darling dress that fits you so nicely!  Did you use grosgrain ribbon for the waist support, or what?  Great work, it's obviouse you are an accomplished seamstress. 

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