Beene Good

Finally, the clouds parted for twenty minutes and I got a picture of Vintage Vogue2031, by Goeffrey Beene.


(avoid noticing bad hair day and trying not to laugh expression svp)

In keeping with the plan this is made from a stash fabric,  despite the ‘unsuitable for plaids’ instruction. Its a printed fabric, not a woven plaid, made with a crinkled yarn which gives it a crepe texture. Apart from that,  its composition is a mystery. I only paid £1 a yard for it, so wasn’t taking a big gamble.

The pattern calls for mounting the fabric on lining,  I had just enough grey in stash, and bound the raw seam edges together with some bias tape.  I will be making this again, for me and for one daughter, who sees hers in black satin with the darts pulled in a bit more at the waist. I love this pattern. It works as a pinafore dress (jumper if you’re in the USA), but also works on its own, climate permitting. The pockets are great, the shaping is great, and the mega-cap sleeves are good too. Its shaped, but has breathing room. You can easily change the top part for a different look. You could put a wide belt round it, it could take some dramatic beads. It could be day or evening wear.

I cut a twelve, and made no alterations. The measurement chart indicates a fourteen for  bust measurement and below twelve for hip, but as all Vogue’s I’d made up before cutting this had run big I downsized. The waist darts were pulled in a smidge, still leaving Christmas binge room. Its a reasonably quick to assemble pattern, with no especially tricky bits.

If you’re a right way up pear, note that this pattern is generous round the hipline, and gives finished measurements there as well as at the bustline.

Then Vogue 1218 

IMG_1082Grizzled about already, this is being sent down to solitary in the Drawer of the Damned for a while. Lets see if that’ll larn it.

Case for the Prosecution.

I cut a twelve – see above for my reasoning. It was snug enough for corsetry. I let it out on all seams by a quarter of an inch, gaining half an inch per seam that is. This gave it more of a slither past than a tight grip look, just about acceptable. Could Vogue please decide what size a twelve is?

Then I tried to address the absurdly low neckline and the side bra revealing armholes.

First I ripped off the facing on the neck edge, and unpicked the wire ribbon. Then I cut a binding strip and a facing for it in black, and stitched this on, wiring the edge again, to gain an inch of extra boob cover.

IMG_1094 I tried it on, the front still flopped, I stitched the binding that holds the bottom of the pleats, tried it on again, still a flop. Irritation set in, I hacked through and made a shoulder seam, removing over two inches , redid the armhole facings, redid the neckbinding, tried it on again.

I can wear this over the top of something, say a black knitted top. It can be another pinafore dress. Photographed from the front, posing just right, with an assistant to adjust the pleats just so before the shot, its not merely ok, it has impact, drama, style. I could have shown you such a picture, sat back and waited for hearty congratulations and exclamations of envy.

But from the side it looks s**t. The front pleats still flop down, like a sort of tray – the dress equivalent of a lip plate.

The bust point has been hoisted so far from where nature intended that the dress squashes where it should allow at least some intake of oxygen.  The too big armholes are still too big. Shoulders slip coquettishly off at the least movement. Not so much a dress as an undress.


Here is a picture of the front pattern piece, the pleats are released only one and three quarter inches above the bust point. Ladies of the jury, is that enough coverage for you?


Here’s a picture of the armhole after I’d taken over two inches out of it, next to a standard 12 block for wovens. The dress has an inch more in the armhole after taking out two + inches. The block is for wovens which means it should have more armhole room than the knit dress, and the block armhole is for a set in sleeve, for sleeveless it would have the underarm point raised. So, M’Lud, is not the Vogue armhole impossibly large? I rest my case.

I’m not finishing the hem. Its had its chance, there’s only so much you can do.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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7 Responses to Beene Good

  1. Looks suitable for plaids to me! Seriously, that is very stylish.

    Sorry the red dress didn’t work out. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses I guess. I did like the black binding effect against the red though!


  2. Pella says:

    Yes, the black on the red was good, shame about the fit!


  3. Augh-what a mess of a sloper it must be based on. How annoying.. Yea the whole thing with sizing inconsistencies even in the one brand is why I don’t buy big four patterns. Simplicity is comparatively better and seems to have more patterns for petite sizes.. On the plus side though the Geoffery Beene looks great-that seems like an awesome pattern-I looked around for it after you first featured it but it no longer exists anywhere. XD


  4. Pella says:

    Nice find, I think you will like the pockets!


  5. sew2pro says:

    What a shame about the red dress: looks like you ended up with one of those crumb-catcher vinyl baby bibs. But great that the Geoffrey Beene is done. I’m sure you’ll get lots of wear out of it.


  6. savagecoco says:

    Hi Pella! Your Beene came out great. I too have this pattern, but sadly, it’s missing the dress instructions, pgs 3 & 4. May I be bold enough to request a copy or scan from yours? My email is Thanks very much.



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