V is for Vogue 1247 – A Pattern Review – AKA: My Vogue Curse

For the 22nd post in my  series, the letter V, I chose to sew Vogue 1247. This pattern is a Rachel Comey design that had tons of favorable reviews in 2011 when the pattern was first issued. The pattern is a skirt and top, and the skirt,  “a semi-fitted A-line with front in-seam pockets” quickly became a favorite with the blogosphere sewing community.

However, Vogue 1247 was not my first V choice. Vogue 1120 was and I dutifully worked on it for what seemed like forever. 1120 is rated easy by Vogue standards. Who knew easy could involve 37 steps of sewing instructions? Definitely not me! I completed approximately 34 of those steps before I had to admit I couldn’t save 1120. Although this dress turned out unwearable, I did gain some valuable sewing knowledge by attempting it.

On PatternReview the reviewers were stymied by 1120s pockets with French seams. I was able to figure out this construction technique and was super proud of myself until I tried on the dress. Great seams, but it had a gaping front which was impossible to fix due to all the pleats around the neckline. Since we all know what a talented bunch the PatternReview contributors are, I should add here that following the pattern instructions makes it is literally impossible to sew the pockets correctly on this dress. Perhaps Vogue realized 37 steps was excessive for a dress they rated easy and purposely left out the 3 additional steps needed in order to French seam the pockets on 1120. The pocket pattern has misplaced notches, drawn 2 inches too high on the pocket, which effectively eliminate any chance of sewing the pockets correctly. This is a discontinued pattern for good reason!

My second (and third) choice project for my V post was Vogue 8405. A hat pattern! What a poor choice on my part. Out of 20 hats I consider myself lucky if even one looks good on me. I constructed view D and then view B, but neither hat turned out to be that one-in-a-million flattering style on me. So 2 more wadders for the garbage bin. But both Vogue 8405 and 1120 were from my pattern stash – 8405 cost just a quarter at a thrift store. And the fabric I used for all 3 failed projects cost a total of about $8.00. So not a lot was lost except for my time. I guess this explains why I love thrift store patterns and fabric – I have a lot of failures but at least I never feel bad about the amount of money I’ve wasted.

Hoping the 4th time would be the charm, I moved on to Vogue 1247. 45 favorable reviews on PatternReview bolstered my confidence even though I’m sure I must have some kind of curse when it comes to Vogue patterns. I can’t think of a single Vogue pattern that has ever turned out well for me. To quote Jamie: “Vogue is like a boyfriend who is always a jerk to you but you just keep going back… I don’t know why I still find their patterns so attractive?!!” Well said Jamie!

But except for originally cutting and sewing 1247 in too large a size and struggling with how those in-seam pockets are constructed, this Vogue pattern worked out well for me. Of course I dumbed it down quite a bit. I didn’t have enough fabric (another thrift store find, of course) to do the self-bound seams so I just serged them all instead. And I didn’t have an invisible zipper so I just did a lapped one. So is my Vogue curse broken? I wouldn’t bet on it, but stay tuned to DenverSews to find out!


  1. I’ve only sewn one vogue clothing pattern. An easy vest. So far so good. just need to finish up the hems. And then to find something to wear with it. Its Navy and Off white. I tend to be a Black wearer. Oh darn a shopping trip is needed.


  2. I like the skirt and the pocket placement. I don’t know Vogue, patterns in general are a mystery. I think that’s another reason I like that blue Vogue dress i recently made, no darts, no zipper, really it was pretty fool proof. My kind of pattern!


  3. Jane, Vogue 7080 looks great! Maybe I’ll give it a try. prttynpnk, you must really like the top to make it 4 X. It didn’t seem to be nearly as popular as the skirt in the sewing community, which is why I made the skirt. But I don’t think the top would be flattering on me. And I loved your “less origami” comment! Marnie, thanks for always being so supportive and encouraging – you’re the best! Jill, it’s funny, the easy Vogue dress was a lot harder than the skirt, which was rated average. Maybe they just rate it easy if there’s no zipper?


  4. You know, Ive made 4 of the top, but none of the skirt- why have I not? Yours is very spiffy- I need one now!
    Burda is my bad boy pattern company- Vogue is the cool kids lunch table- I dont always get invited to sit there!


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