“Someone told me many years ago that the Vogue patterns are difficult and hard to follow. What is the general opinion on that? I’m still at the [beginner] level but I’ve seen some Vogue patterns I’d like to buy.” —P.B. McCall’s Facebook Group member
Does the thought of sewing a Vogue pattern strike fear into your heart? I remember in college being awestruck by a senior named Melody*, who was able to whip up exquisite and complicated Vogue designer patterns in a weekend for sorority formals. Though I was a decent sewer at that age, I was content to stay in my lane with Butterick and McCall’s patterns. Vogue was too hard!, I believed.
So today when I scroll through McCall’s Facebook Group newsfeed and read comments like the one above, I totally get it. Since the 1940s Vogue Patterns has been the source for designer sewing patterns, which are often more complex than non-designer patterns. It only makes sense there’s a perception that Vogue patterns are more difficult to sew.
But ok, it’s time to get rid of that dated perception. Did you know we have a line of Very Easy Vogue patterns? If you’re already comfortable sewing other pattern brands and you’ve accomplished some basic sewing skills—putting in a zipper, sewing a dart and/or princess seams, attaching facings or a partial lining, for example—then you should be able to confidently sew a Very Easy Vogue pattern.
Every Vogue pattern has a difficulty code rating, which you can find on the back of the envelope or on the website product page:
The easiest and quickest patterns to sew. Great for beginner or the experienced sewer with limited time available. Expect limited construction details, hand sewing and fitting. Easy-to-sew fabrics are recommended.
Easy-to-sew patterns but with more details than the Very Easy category. Perfect for those with limited sewing knowledge or little time. Expect a wide variety of sewing procedures—there will be more details when the techniques are simple and fewer details when the techniques are more involved. Some fitting knowledge required.
These patterns are perfect if you have more time to sew, and more experience sewing. Look for challenging designer techniques, tailoring, unique construction details. Expect more fitting and inner construction. Find more variety in fabrics from the stretchiest knits to synthetic leathers and suedes.
The finest patterns featuring the best of European and American Couture. Perfect for those who like the sewing challenge of professional tailoring and fine couture techniques. Expect intricate fashion shaping, hidden construction details, couture inner construction, fine touches of hand sewing and bias draping.
By definition, Very Easy Vogue patterns cannot be rated more difficult than Very Easy, so beginning sewers should start here. The designs we feature are very on-trend, but they’ve also been chosen because there are fewer pattern pieces. Also, the fabrics we recommend for Very Easy Vogue patterns are easy to work with. You won’t find us recommending a slippery silk, for example.
Some Very Easy Vogues have Custom Fit options, meaning they have separate pieces for A, B, C and D cup sizes. I love Custom Fit patterns because choosing the right cup size helps you streamline the whole fit process.
After you’ve sewn a few Very Easy Vogues, then try a Vogue Easy Options pattern. These are rated Easy—a small but manageable step up in difficulty from Very Easy—and offer a basic design with customizable options like sleeve or skirt style choices.
Also in the Easy sewing category are Vogue Five Easy Pieces patterns. Each pattern has five pieces that can be sewn as a complete mini wardrobe or as separates.
When the McCall’s Facebook Group members were talking about the perceived complexity of Vogue Patterns, member Charlotte chimed in with this sound advice: “Remember that any pattern is a compilation of individual steps.” Instead of ruling out a pattern as beyond your sewing wheelhouse, isolate the part(s) you find daunting.
What I tend to do is first practice on spare fabric the step(s) that intimidate me until I feel comfortable enough to try it on the real thing. And don’t forget there are how-to videos on YouTube, tutorial blog posts, and the incredibly helpful members of the McCall’s Facebook Group who are always there to offer advice and suggestions to fellow members.
“We used Vogue patterns when I was first learning to sew because the style and fit were worth the work. I find them to be thorough…. Just take your time. Your garment will be better-made for your effort.” M.J., McCall’s Facebook Group member
“I find Vogue Patterns easy to use because they have great instructions and detailed drawings. Plus, they do an excellent job of labeling the patterns with their degree of difficulty.” C.H., McCall’s Facebook Group member
“I learned to sew using Vogue patterns. The instructions are so detailed and clear. Start with Very Easy Vogue and work your way up.” N.S., McCall’s Facebook Group member
*Melody went on to helm a Fortune 500 company. Hmm, could sewing Vogue Patterns help develop leadership skills and business acumen?!