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Sometimes Vogue patterns are wrong, or, The Matilda Wormwood Dress

October 10, 2016

Have you ever known a Vogue pattern to be wrong?  No?  Well, I have!  Earlier this year I was using the Vogue pattern V9142 as a basis for a custom design jacket I was making, and I found several errors with the pattern drafting.  The front and back did not match up at the shoulder seams, the armhole was too big for the sleeve (even accounting for the pleats), and, although a minor issue, a front notch was missing.  Now, the jacket was the first time I had ever worked with a Vogue pattern, and I have to say I had extremely high expectations.  I mean, Vogue are meant to be la creme de la creme, aren’t they?  When I first spotted the error, I thought it was me making a mistake, but after checking it and rechecking it obsessively, I concluded that the pattern drafting was incorrect.

V9142 - pattern drafting error

V9142 – pattern drafting error

Having purchased the pattern from Minerva Crafts, I first of all contacted them to ask for a refund.  They asked me to return the pattern and were good enough to refund the money upon receipt of the faulty pattern.  They then put me in contact with the head of Vogue/McCall Pattern Company customer relations in the UK, who apologised and forwarded my enquiry to the head dressmaker in New York.  I explained the errors to her via email, and when she checked, she confirmed that the pattern had errors.  I was afterwards compensated for my wasted time and fabric – Vogue sent me a cheque to cover the cost of the fabric and notions, and two Vogue patterns of my choice.  I chose the Claire Schaeffer Advanced Jacket pattern V8333, and a girl’s dress pattern, V9141.



I used V9141 to make a dress for my daughter, who wanted to dress up as Matilda on the day of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday.  It’s a lovely design of dress and I’m happy to report that I detected no errors in the pattern!!  I used a denim-style cotton poplin from Boyes for the dress, and it is fully lined with some light blue antistatic lining fabric.

Fully lined dress

Fully lined dress

The circle skirt is gloriously full and swishy, as you can see in the rather blurred photos below!

Twirly whirly fun

Twirly whirly fun

I used some vintage buttons for the back, given to me by my great aunt.  I sewed the buttons on by machine, which is, in my opinion, worth the initial faff of setting the correct width.  It’s easier as well if you sellotape the buttons in place before sewing, that way they stay put and then you can just peel the sellotape off after sewing.

Sewing buttons on by machine

Sewing buttons on by machine

I really like the back detail.  There is also a hidden button in the continuous lap of the skirt (basically a placket finishing the overlapping slit edges of the top of the skirt).

V9141 - back view

V9141 – back view

I even did actually do some hand sewing to secure the button placket to the lining without it showing on the outside.  I’m not the best at hand sewing, but it turned out ok.

Hand sewing on the inside

Hand sewing on the inside

I think the dress is beautiful.  It worked brilliantly as a Matilda dress, and it will continue to be worn all year around.  I even got into the spirit of the day by wearing my Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake ‘Lickswishy Sweets’ dress, made with the By Hand London Flora pattern.

Roald Dahl day outfits!

Roald Dahl day outfits!


  1. Rachel Mann permalink
    October 10, 2016 8:51 am

    Question about Vogue Patterns from a newbie – what does it mean when it says (e.g. on the Minerva site) that they come in ‘two sizes’? Are they dead tiny patterns just for 2 size of bodies?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 10, 2016 9:01 am

      It really means two size ranges – so for example size ‘AA’ might be dress sizes 2-14 and size ‘BB’ might mean dress sizes 16-28. Usually when you select a size from the drop down menu it will specify what that size means. Bear in mind that sewing pattern sizes are not like shop sizes which are vanity sizes! If you’re a size 12 in shops you could be a 14 or even 16 in dress patterns…depending on the pattern company! American and Canadian ones are different again. Each pattern company will give an indication of what size you are on their pattern envelopes – so you need to know your measurements and take it from there. Hope that helps xxx

  2. October 10, 2016 10:02 am

    Wow, you really wouldn’t expect a Vogue pattern to have such a major error! Good for you for following it up with them and lucky you are experienced enough to know the pattern was at fault, not you

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 10, 2016 10:08 am

      It was quite nerve wracking to point it out and follow it up, kept hoping and praying it wasn’t just me being thick!! 😁

  3. October 10, 2016 12:52 pm

    Good for you for returning it. And what a great dress. I shall remember your sellotape trick!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 10, 2016 1:35 pm

      I’m glad I did return it! The sellotape definitely makes sewing on buttons much easier.

  4. October 10, 2016 3:50 pm

    I’m impressed with how they compensated you and I love the dress you made, it’s so cute!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 10, 2016 7:33 pm

      Yes, I was well compensated, I think they were just as surprised as I was!

  5. October 11, 2016 4:13 pm

    I totally get that; the initial compulsion to doubt yourself but well done on sticking to your guns and informing Vogue on the error of their ways! Glad they compensated you and you made something lovely in the end! 👏🏻

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 12, 2016 8:45 am

      Yes, they compensated me well. It’s in their interests though isn’t it?! Prestigious companies must keep their customers and potential customers happy 😊

  6. October 12, 2016 8:12 pm

    What a brilliant dress, and I am going to remember that sellotape trick! That’s disappointing about the errors on the Vogue pattern, but good for Vogue for helping you out.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 12, 2016 8:15 pm

      Hope you find the sellotape helpful!

  7. Darleen Hernandez permalink
    October 27, 2016 3:04 am

    Thank you so much for your information. My daughter and I are not really sewers – only Halloween costumes. This year, because we are making 3 little boys costumes, we decided it would be easier to buy a pattern instead of making it up as we go. We thought it was us!!!! The sleeves are horrible! The back looks a mess but we don’t have the time to start over and the fabric was pretty expensive. Thankfully, it’s just a costume but so frustrating! Really appreciate you sharing. Thanks again!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      October 27, 2016 8:58 am

      I’m sorry to hear that. It is so frustrating! Hope you all enjoy Hallowe’en regardless.

  8. November 4, 2016 2:20 pm

    Love the sellotape trick but have to ask, are you using regular tape? Does the sticky stuff gunk up your needle or is it OK? Thanks

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      November 4, 2016 2:24 pm

      Yes, regular tape from Tesco I think. And no – the needle is so sharp it just goes straight through.

  9. March 15, 2018 10:23 am

    Hi, I just bought this out of print Vogue pattern from Amazon as it seemed to fit exactly the lines I was after. Yours is the only review I found on the internet and of course now I wished I’d searched before I purchased! Anyway, thanks for the heads up, knowing the error is there should make it easier to work around it. here’s hoping…

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      March 26, 2018 11:21 am

      Good luck! 🙂

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