Dear Mrs Darling


Dear Mrs Darling,

I have always cherished you as the Home Ec teacher who taught me that marking notches as the right thing to do and that if the pattern envelope said ‘not suitable for obvious diagnals, plaids or 1-way stretch’ that that was the law and no matter how cool a similiar outfit looked on that Debbie Harry person, it was not to be done.  Your torch of sewing guidance never flickers in the sewers bordello.

But, I have to say something. All these years I have lived in dread of Vogue patterns because you said they were too hard to follow  and looked like crazy Europeans were making them!

Well, I must confess, I have been hoarding Vogue patterns for years and never sewing them. Just following Pattern Review and marvelling at other peoples Vogue achievements and stroking the envelopes by the light of the moon.

This weekend I wanted a blouse. So after shuffling thru the bins, I thought..’Should I? Dare I? Is it ok?’ and grabbed Vogue 1247:

and Mrs Darling- I loved it! First I felt shameful- I wondered if somewhere out there in a central Jersey nursing home you were there- an elderly woman in a very proper house dress with bound button holes screaming in horror……maybe just a little. Now I’m hooked. I plan a dress, a coat and maybe a vintage Vogue dress! If the camera had been playing nice with me, I’d have a picture here to show you……well, if it makes you feel any better, I still pin left handed just like you do.

Love,

Anne B –  class of ’88.

12 thoughts on “Dear Mrs Darling

  1. aliesje says:

    i used a poly charmeuse, which was pretty lightweight, and i want to make a second one out of crepe de chine. in order to sew it, i used some washable stabilizer that completely saved my bacon – esp with the bias band around the neckline.

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  2. I just made up a maxi dress from a Vogue pattern, and several people commented that they were scared of Vogue patterns. That was the first I’d heard… until this post! Now! What timing. Though I had trouble with my pattern, I think it mostly fell to my lack of experience and not really any fault of the pattern. I can’t wait to see your blouse!

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  3. OMG, I’m scared of Vogue patterns too! And I didn’t even have Mrs. Darling as my Home Ec teacher (I can’t remember a thing about my Home Ec teacher, actually — I was in 8th grade and I think my skill level might already have been ahead of hers). I also find Vogue a little too fussy — they seem to make mostly fancy designer-type clothes which don’t fit my lifestyle.

    Plus, their patterns are the most expensive and generally have only one view each, which just offends the Scot in me.

    Let us see the blouse! I’m all curious now.

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  4. Sometimes I wonder if I would’ve been better off with sewing instruction, instead of grudgingly finding out the hard way why all of those markings are important, but on the other hand at least no one ever told me what I couldn’t do. You can get a lot of mileage out of assuming you can do anything…

    Glad your blouse turned out well, I am terrified of soft slippery fabrics like that far more than I am of Vogue patterns (although it occurs to me I’ve never made up a Vogue pattern yet, either). Can’t wait to see! 🙂

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  5. I keep hearing whisperings lately that Vogue patterns are difficult. You know how that happens…you learn of a new band, or the definition of some dusty word, and then hear it all over the place. I swear I’ve sewn up a Vogue or two, and have several in the stack to sew. But don’t remember them being any more difficult than the usual. Is this a common sewing room legend? I’ll probably eat my words….just wait.

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