A cautionary tale – becoming a VoPIF with vintage Vogue 5434

What’s a VoPIF, I hear you ask. A Victim of Pattern Illustration Fraud – when the allure of the envelope image does not match the reality.  Eventually every stitcher will become a VoPIF, the most experienced amongst us will have fallen victim more than once. Vintage Vogue 5434 from the 1960’s has victimized me yet again.

The tale starts with a wedding invitation. Guests are requested to dress colourfully – “as bright as a garden of summer flowers”. Into the stash I headed, where a piece of dupion silk in a stunning red has been languishing for far too long. (Showed a swatch to the bride as wearing red to a wedding can be considered inappropriate, but she’s thrilled. Colour is actually several shades darker than it appears in these photos.)  I also pulled out a piece of burgundy frangipani print cotton to make a wearable toilé and Vogue 5434 from my pattern collection.

Frangipani Vogue 5434

After a few adjustments to the sizing, I whizzed together the frangipani toilé dress – love the skirt, but the bodice just doesn’t cut the mustard. The neckline is too high, and the pleats which looked so stylish on the envelope are in reality very “roomy”. (I kept patting them into place during fitting.) Another toilé bodice was cut with a lower neckline and less fullness in the pleats, but wasn’t much better. After toying with the idea of cutting yet another toilé bodice, I decided to abandon it completely for the moment because I’m running out of time, and instead replace it altogether with a trusted bodice from an old favourite pattern – Style 1751 from 1990. Boldly cutting straight into the silk I made one change – a simplified neckline – best leave sweethearts to the bride and bridesmaids!

Red dupion silk, Vogue 5434 skirt and Style 1751 bodice

Very happy with the results, and because using this bodice pattern was much more economical ,there’s enough silk left over to make a shrug jacket as well. As for the frangipani dress, I can’t decided whether to leave the bodice as is, or change it as well. Your thoughts?

So, in conclusion everyone lived happily ever after. Head over to my blog to check out the accessories.

The end.

Please feel free to share your own VoPIF stories in the comments below. I for one would appreciate warnings about patterns that don’t live up to expectations!

13 thoughts on “A cautionary tale – becoming a VoPIF with vintage Vogue 5434

  1. Pingback: Frangipani frock mash-up | The Monthly Stitch

  2. The red silk dress is beautiful on you and beautifully sewn! I think part of the issue on your floral dress is the large print, to be honest. To me, with the draping, the asymmetry, and the large scale print, there are just one too many places for the eye to go. Can you rebuild the bodice to a simpler style? If not, no worries. It is still very pretty. Hurray for vintage patterns, VoPIF, and all:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Piper. There is just too much going on. Yes, I will remake it. I’ve seen similar wrap skirts with halter neck bodices (see: vintage Hawaiian) which I think will work better. Thanks!


  3. The floral one looks great on the model. Perhaps you feel less happy wearing it though? Yes, I’ve been a victim – I’m not sure whether it’s my poor choices, styles that don’t suit, or actual problems with the pattern, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, like the illustration, it does look good static, however, movement makes me feel like I need to stuff the chest area with socks! Maybe this pattern would be great on someone with a bigger bust? (I admit I lack in that department!)


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