Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vogue 8597: Headmistress in Space Cowl Top

V8597 Thumbnail

I might as well get both fails of 2009 out of the way in one week. Hearing about patterns that didn't work is perhaps even more valuable than patterns that do work, so I've got to tell y'all about Vogue 8597. I dropped by Joann a while back and figured since Vogues were on sale I'd take a quick look. I loved the pattern envelope drawing for this--it looks kind of slouchy and relaxed but hip. I was thinking it would make a great loose-fitting knit dress, very casual chic.

However, I was idling around online so I decided to check out the reviews. Hmmm. Although there was an explosion of making this top at the same time I did at the end of November, when I made it there was only one review with photo of View A/B with the cut on cowl made up, Nikki's version, and it doesn't look at all like pattern drawing. The drawing indicates that you'll be showing some skin at the neckline but the made up version looks rather prim. I couldn't tell if this might be a function of the fabric, though, as Nikki mentioned that her fabric had quite a bit of body.

I needed to make a pajama t-shirt anyway, so I decided I would use it as a *gasp* muslin. I'm glad I did. This pattern is kind of fug. My fabric is a thin cotton interlock, so it has a *tad* more body than a polyester ITY, but not enough to make this much difference. Instead of looking slouchy and relaxed, this looks like the self-imposed uniform of a strict headmistress of the future who runs the on-board school of a Star Trek-like space ship. Seriously, just picture it made up in a heavy white double knit, add a glass fish-bowl helmet, and voila. She engages in banter with a surprising frisson of sexual tension when she and the captain meet in the hallways. Someday, she will take off the glass fishbowl helmet and they will kiss. In fact, it might make a good Halloween costume. But it does not fit in with my style at all.

It's not just the style either. The drafting is also kind of bad. Check out that wrinkle that catches over my bust. And I have a small bust, tiny even. Imagine on someone with an actual bustline! It would be terrible.

It's drafted with a skimpy hem-type facing for the cowl neckline that you sew in place. First of all, a cowl needs to be fully self-faced. Nikki mentioned that her fabric has a distinct wrong side and the top is very fussy to wear to keep the wrong side from showing, and I can back her up on that. Second of all, in addition to maintaining the look of a cowl, the self facing is also there to avoid having some kind of tacky-ass stitching line across it. Ew.

It was so yucky that I couldn't even wear it as drafted for pajamas, so I chopped off the cowl neck.

I need to get rid of this pattern so that I don't accidentally give it another chance, so I'll send it to the lucky winner of a drawing from this post. After all the bad things I've said about this pattern it's possible nobody will want it, but it is mostly a matter of taste (other than the lack of a full self-facing on the cowl). This is just NOT my style. If you want to enter a giveaway for the pattern, mention that in a comment below. It is size AA(6-8-10-12). The pattern pieces for this view are cut out along the largest size line (I think--that's my usual MO) and the pieces for the other view are uncut.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

27 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Hello, I've been reading your blog for awhile now but have never posted a comment before. I would love to give this pattern a try, I like the neckline on the pink version.

Trudy Callan said...

You're right. The fountain does look like a wedding cake. I hadn't realized that before.

I really love this top on you. It's such a nice fit.

Susan said...

I'm sorry to hear this is a wadder for you. I've made it twice with great success. I've had a lot of other pattern mishaps with other projects that tons of people have had loved, though. You just never know until you try, I guess.

selfishseamstress said...

Hmm... I think the top looks good on you. I think the collar looks very modern and artful. Is that just me? (I don't want the pattern, I'm just saying- you look good there!)

mjb said...

I heard good advice one time (maybe from allbuttonedup or angrychicken) that pattern envelopes without photos were not to be trusted. Now obviously this isn't always the case and pattern review helps with that, but there's a better chance that the pattern company couldn't even make one that matched the design.

Katie said...

Dang, that is a disappointment -- I have a dedicated affection for cowl necks! I don't think that it looks that bad, either, though the wrinkle over the bust is a bit wonky.

neighbourhood.gal said...

I don't want the pattern, either. I just wanted to thank you for making me laugh this morning. The image of the space school headmistress is too funny!

Kyle said...

Gosh, should we have a meet-up where everyone wears their dreams-turned-Star Trek wadders?

http://vacuumingthelawn.blogspot.com/2009/08/star-trek-anyone-aka-simplicity-3559.html

I actually want this pattern! I loves me a cowl neck!

Carolyn in AR said...

Oh dear, I made this pattern and never got around to reviewing it although I knew I needed to.

Mine is loose and slouchy like the illustration. I added from the bust on down as there wasn't going to be much ease. The hemming instructions for the cowl self-facing, however, clearly would not work. Instead of hemming, I just tacked the self-facing on the inside at the side seams. That worked great.

I love my top and get compliments on it all the time. However, had I not altered the sizing and the cowl construction, I would not have liked the results.

Andrea said...

I actually just made a muslin of this top last night and posted a pic. I wasn't interested in the short version that was posted on the envelope. I had an idea of making a more hooded version that could transition into a cowl, so I modified the pattern a little. I love it. You can check out my version here. http://knit-knac.blogspot.com/2010/01/vogue-8597-1.html.

I talk about my modifications here.
http://knit-knac.blogspot.com/2010/01/hanging-with-cowls.html

Anonymous said...

I have this pattern, bud didn't make it yet, bought it on special. I'm glad to see it on a real person, from the illustration it looked really loose, and I was worried that it would not look fitted on me, but looking at your version, it looks like a fitted top, unless you made adjustments...but I will try it, and thanks to your review, I will self face the scowl neck! It does look good on you, but I agree that the scowl neck seems to tight compared to the illustration! That color also looks good on you!

kelly said...

How funny -- I've made two of these and, well, like them. But I think you're right that there's some goofiness in the bust area and the cowl isn't really what I imagined.

I kind of like the spaceship look, though.

Little Hunting Creek said...

It doesn't look bad, but not as slouchy as Vogue implies. The Space Headmistress look suits you :)

Sophie said...

I would like to be entered into the drawing. I love cowl necks and I like the stiff headmistress style. :P Truly, I don't think it looks bad on you either.

Michelle said...

I'll take the pattern. I need something to wear on my mission to take over the world. This will do nicely.

Jenny said...

Aw, I'm sorry you don't like this. Except for the bust wrinkles, I think it looks nice and the color looks pretty on you. I can understand that it's not really your style, though.

spottedroo said...

Hmm,

Is it wrong that I really liked this top when I saw the picture? Maybe I am a space-headmistress in my heart of hearts. I do love the orange sherbet color. I agree that there is something weird with recent Vogue top drafts. I made 8616 and it has a similar problem with wrinkles above the bust.

Vicki said...

When your picture popped up, I thought, that doesn't look like the pattern drawing! Actually there is only a vague resemblance. Shame on Vogue!!

lsaspacey said...

I think I want to try that pattern. Except for the bust wrinkle, I think it looks pretty cool, and it reminds me of a Romeo Gigli design from the early 90s. So, put me in for the drawing?

I also think that color looks amazing on you. Definitely get more of that color, if you can.

ELMO said...

I agree with Isaspacey, that color looks great on you. Thank you for posting, there is value in a review even if it didn't turn out as planned.

Cindy said...

I love the color on you!

Sew4Fun said...

This is why pattern reviews with photos of the garment on a person are so helpful. I had my doubts about this pattern already which you have confirmed. I've crossed the pattern off my list. :)

AllisonC said...

As someone with an "actual bustline" don't send it to me! It sure looks nothing like the pattern drawing, how odd, it's not like it's a really complicated pattern. I like the colour on you though.

BConky said...

I think you look cute in it. It just needs a little more room. Just add to the seam allowences. I'd love to have this pattern for my daughter.

Kathi said...

I agree with the other who say you need to make more items in the orange color - it looks really good on you. Where do you get your glasses? You have really cute ones.

Katharine in Brussels said...

You look great in orange. Don't look now, but yesterday at the newsstand I saw the Feb issue of KM is out, and it features a slouchy neck cowl top that is actually pictured on a live model :) She appears to be a normal woman rather than a bubble-headed Martian. I checked the size range for you, it starts at 34. Drop me a line if you're still game for this style... (Running and ducking for enabling.)

Marie-Christine said...

I think you're being unfair to this one. OK, the chest wrinkle is weird and I'd have no idea what to do about it (tug??). But it does look very good on you, just not your usual style. Not headmistress but modern.
But you'd be a lot warmer with a higher neck :-). You who're always bemoaning the lack of winter clothes...