Today’s Pattern Story: Vogue 8937

by Erin on April 4, 2011


Check out this elaborate shirtdress from Janet at Lanetz Living.

I can't tell if that kick pleat at the front is most amazing design detail I've ever seen, or whether it's essentially a sofa skirt. It could go either way. But the sleeve cuffs and the tuxedo-shirt collar are both genius.

I wish the bodice had princess seams than ran into the seams of that kind of tent-flap-button opening on the skirt …

As for the story, obviously Blue Dress is trying to hide her extremely recent rhinoplasty from Beige Dress, who is a notorious gossip. (See her squinty eyes? Dead giveaway. Of either gossipiness or myopia.)

So: yea or nay on that skirt pleat? Leave your answer in the comments and show your work.  

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Toby Wollin April 4, 2011 at 6:21 am

That pleat on the skirt is a answer to a design question that no one is asking. If I had that pattern, I’d just eliminate it – the dress has lots of other deliciousness going for it.


Mary Fran Archer April 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

Ummm, sofa skirt. The collar and cuffs are entertaining enough. If it could have a kick pleat without the seam above it (a design impossibility) it would work.


Ann April 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

Hmmm I must say it’s a “Nay”for the pleat on the skirt. But who knows – it might look great in a real dress – I would probably not make the pleat myself though


Bramble April 4, 2011 at 7:40 am

I think the pleat would be a nice detail on the BACK of the skirt. The top and sleeves have enough going on as well as all the seaming. think I would just make it w/o and extend the button placket on the front so a little leg or underskirt/petticoat could show. Would be delicious in a beautiful cotton voile or dressed up in a textured silk. But that’s just my take on it!


Zeila April 4, 2011 at 8:00 am

I’m not sold on that pleat…it looks like an afterthought that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the design. The skirt seaming is interesting, but the pleat just doesn’t do it.


Kristen April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

the pleat looks like an imposter. and it becomes difficult to look anywhere but AT the pleat. I declare it a hot mess!


Evalyn April 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

It looks to me like that front pleat would make the front hem sag. It also makes the over all design somewhat fussy. BESIDES: in both illustrations, the fold for the pleat does not match the seam just above it, which drives me crazy. I was hoping for a princess bodice seam, which would please me.

As it is, that front design borders on faux-apron.


Margret April 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

I also see furniture and apron structures. I say defeat the pleat! Carry on with the buttons!


Dianne April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

The pleat might look better without the button/apron front, just have the pleat go up to the waistline and cover with a narrow belt to show off one’s 50’s cinched waist, and just spend the day gasping like my grandmother used to…


The Domina April 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Uh – the skirt looks like it was designed by a committee. “I want buttons!” “I want a center pleat!” what the heck….let’s do it all! The horizontal seam just above the pleat is meh. Pleat the back, button the front!


Liz in Ypsilanti April 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Nothing to do with the posting today, although I totally love the pleat. Last week, on a short vacation, I read your book, and it was very very good. It reminded me, in a way, of the work of Joshilyn Jackson, another fine young writer out there right now. Your characters were well rounded, the story kept moving along, the various bits of backstory came into play in believable and relevant ways. I will be pressing this book into other people’s hands, starting with a couple of nieces of mine.


Susan D April 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm

The word that comes to mind for me is “complex.” I so would not have chosen this pattern for my home ec project in 1963.

As for the story, I think Taupe is wishing she’d chosen something a little less, well, taupe, now that she sees her flower-loving friend’s choice of varying shades of blue. And matching shoes.


Jan April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I agree with Bramble–on the back would be fun. I like quirky design and this definitely fits in that category. Drafting princess lines on the bodice would be fairly easy. I’m wondering what the back looks like–oh wait: I can go to Janet’s site and see it.


Cel April 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I was ruined after reading “sofa pleat”—


Caroline April 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I would get rid of the pleat but keep the horizontal seam. Actually, I’d make the place where the pleat is an extension of the side piece, making an “L” shape. I like the way the square echoes (somewhat) the shape of the paired darts above. To be really crazy, I’d make the two darts into a “princess” seam with an inset corner like that.

I think, though, by that time it’s not the same dress.

Reply April 5, 2011 at 1:18 am

Ï think the seams would be superannoying in real life, whereas in a drawing they seem light and hardly even there.

And Liz’s mention of Erin’s book reminded me that I entired the charity draw for it at Christmas – or rather, I gave to the charity but forgot to send Erin the e-mail, lol. I am a numpty!


Erin April 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Banis, it’s not too late! Email me. :-)


georgie April 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I used to use Vogue patterns a lot and they were complex. The pleat is there because it keeps the skirt from being too tight over the crinolines (at least 4 of them) over the button-up-the-front placket area. Also, the horizontal apron seam across the skirt keeps the corner there from being too awkward to tie in. And besides, the 45-inch probably cotton fabric that would be used is too narrow to manage with the fullness of the skirt. You can notice that it is a flaired-gore skirt. Besides, they loved making the dressmaker feel like they’d done something wonderful.
Notice how tiny our waists were then! lol


jacqueline b. April 25, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I have to admit, I really do love the possibilities the pleat and the other seaming details suggest. I would more than likely play with grain-line for the different pieces. Having each going a different way, especially with stripes. I LOVE stripes…especially ones of the horizontal variety. Keep the pleat and have fun with the seam-lines. Isn’t that what sewing is all about? Having fun? Who cares if it’s not actually wear-able in the end. Heh.



Pat Flannagan May 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I’d answer that question about the kickpleat if I could….just …..catch my breath. This fitted waistband….is …killing me…..Quick, somebody hand me the elastic.


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