Vogue 1250

Ok, so this post started with a rant of how much I dislike this very popular Vogue 1250 – a Donna Karan creation.

It was sooooo plain and even in a different colour, like Ms Karan’s red, I didn’t think it would be saved. It was destined for the donation pile, not a huge loss since it’s a 3 pattern piece wearable toile. You can see in the plain greige version below, it’s been belted in an effort to make it exciting! Seemed to me there was way too much plain expanse of fabric over the body. Boring, boring, boring. Does the slip at the hemline make it more interesting? No, I didn’t think so either!

Vogue 1250 before lengthening
Original Vogue 1250 back view

Wore it to visit the Princess on a very hot day, walked Zelda dawg around a river and golf course – very sweaty Betty. But then I had an idea after looking back over these photos and rereading this blog post that I’d made it too short, which was the limitation of the $7 remnant and not a feature of the original draft. Amaaaazing to come to that realisation – cue brain explosion!

The version with white is what happened when I raced home to attach a double layered white band in the same rayon/spandex. Then moved the hem length twice which necessitated unpicking 3 thread overlock twice – phew, I quite like it now! She’s a keeper.

Lesson learned? There is a right length for a body. Probably not just 1 right length so perhaps that should read – there’s a right length for a dress, top, pant in a given design considering details, overall silhouette and where each panel/section is broken up on the body. True to Kibbe’s Flamboyant Natural, adding detail at the lower part of this garment does seem to create balance. I kept the link to this article about hem length and golden mean a few years ago – well worth a read (she mutters to herself) BEFORE you decide on a hem length!

Using the formula in the article my hem length from the shoulder is 89.3cm and that’s exactly where the dress ended up! There was about a 7cm difference in hem length between the shorter greige V1250 and the lengthened white banded V1250, but it made all the difference even considering heel height difference.

Other versions of V1250 on the www…

Dr T Designs doesn’t like it, neckline a bit too low, a bit too tight.

Sew Wrong likes it, but finds the cowl low.

By the seat of my pants loves it.

Gorgeous Fabrics likes it a lot in ocelot!

I kinda like it with the white band and anyway, a dress that can take a sports shoe is always a winner in my world, the plantar fasciitis is back!


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  1. I like this musing, Lesley. I had an almost identical dress in black in the 1990s that I wore to death. My version of the sport shoe was a jean jacket! My dress hit right at the knee and the cowl was slightly less deep, which seemed to keep the proportions right for me.

    Agree about length, too. It can really make the difference depending on the garment.

    • Have you ever worked out your length mathematically. It’d be interesting to know if it works for you too. But for dog’s sake, don’t risk an ankle!

      • Yeah, it might have to wait! I have used this ratio in painting but not on my body! I do find that lengths of garments really depend also on features of the garment. Part of the length issue here might be related to balance between the cowl depth and skirt length. Not sure. Will try this when I can. Am guessing that mine would work out to just below the knee.

  2. That hem band really does make all the difference! It looks very elegant paired with the white shoes.

    I haven’t had any success with this pattern. I made it twice but neither fabric was ideal. Yours looks like a good weight: heavy enough not to cling but still drapey.

  3. What a difference the bend makes! The dress looks great now – a definite keeper. Sorry to hear the foot problem is back. Sports shoes are too comfortable to ignore anyway 😉

  4. Vicki Maiorano 17/03/2019 — 6:10 am

    I’ve made this a couple of times and both in prints. The cowls are a bit low and I have to re arrange at times. I also shortened it to a tunic which I quite liked too.

  5. So much better in the longer length and much less bland with that band. All the unpicking was worth it. Thanks too for the link to the hem calculator. I’m miss stumpy legs so anything that helps disguise that is very welcome. The version I read a few years ago didn’t mention heel height so I am interested to see how that changes things. Probably not much unless I take to sky high heels.

    I am a bit late to say it too but I’m so glad to hear that your year of horror is over and life is getting better.

    • Why thank you Tracy, so lovely to hear from you. Not sure if you know Trinny (of Trinny and Susannah fame)? She has a self proclaimed long torso and I think her advice to disguise it sounds spot on. She has her own channel on the YouTube! Actually I love her channel, she’s a gem and sooooo much energy! Good Luck, I’d love to hear if this works for you.

      • Big fan of Trinny and Susannah. I’ve always wondered what they would have said about skinny jeans given their love for the bootleg. Now I’m off to look for Trinny’s advice. As I said, anything that helps…

  6. You found the perfect solution – your dress looks lovely! I’m going to get my measuring tape out tomorrow and figure out my golden number!

  7. ellegeemakes 17/03/2019 — 2:59 pm

    Oh, I just love how the band transformed that dress. Brilliant move – a definite keeper.

  8. I’m convinced you’d look good in anything but that is a fantastic dress on you. It’s very liberating, isn’t it, to look very feminine, but retain the ability to stride about allegro!
    I hope the PF goes soon.

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