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Alice + Olivia Vogue 1214 Top and Leggings pattern

I bought this Vogue designer Alice + Olivia pattern for a top and leggings when it first came out- I think in August.  I thought it was cute, and made it up, but never really felt comfortable with the back godets or with wearing the top/vest as a top without another top underneath it.   I've been struggling with this one for a couple of months now!  About the time that I made it, there was a thread on about "Tights are not Pants", with a plethora of venting about people wearing this type of legging without a top long enough to cover up the rear end area.  This pattern combination was definitely in the grey area.  If I was 20 years younger, I would have worn it, no problem, but to be on the safe side, I decided to remove the flaps in the back, and to not wear the leggings with the vest.
This is the version of this pattern that I ended up with after a few modifications:

What I really liked about the pattern was the curved lines in the back and the in-seam pockets in the front. I could remove the godets without effecting these features, so that's what I did!

So, to show you the changes- here is the original back with the leggings.  I actually don't think that the leggings show too much. They aren't super tight, and they are really very comfy.  The bottom of the leggings are ruched for a nice change from the ordinary.  I made them from a nylon lycra jersey knit and they are great.  I have been wearing them with all kinds of tunic length tops- just not the top/vest in this pattern!

Before removing godets.  With leggings from pattern

After removing godets and stitching down center back belt

After I removed the top snap
Before I removed the top snap.
I used a wool herringbone for the vest. At first, the armhole area was too large, and was showing my bra, so I took up the shoulder seams by about 1/2", angling to nothing at the neck.  The pattern calls for 3 hidden snaps for the front closure.

You can see in the picture on the left with the black skirt what the original version looked like from the front.

After I decided that I wouldn't wear it as a top without a shirt underneath, I took off the top snap, and it lays much nicer and will show a little more of whatever top goes underneath.

This version is pictured with blouse to the right.

In the end, I do recommend this pattern.  Maybe not as the designer intended, depending on your own comfort zone, but the pieces are great separates and will work with lots of things.  I think that is how you have to look at designer patterns- as a starting off point and modify to your own world.

So, what do you think?  Godets versus no godets? Better as a vest or stand alone top?


  1. I'm actually in the process of finishing the vest now. You are the second one I've seen that opted out of the godets. I thought that's what "made" the vest. But then I'm a sucker for details. And if you hadn't mentioned that those where leggings, I would have never known. They look like fitted pants to me. But they way you styled it with the top and boots look nice.

  2. I think it looks fantastic both ways! I wouldn't have looked twice at this pattern, I didn't really see the versatility you achieved here when looking at it. I like it better without the godets, but I like a plainer look usually.

  3. I'm so glad to see this pattern made up. I bought it a couple of months ago. I think your instincts were right with your final look and styling. I really like it as a vest. I might have liked the "flaps" in a different fabric, but I don't think they hang as nicely as they could in the wool. Removing them really tidied up the back view. I am also like sownbrooklyn in that I usually prefer simpler lines. Your final look is very stylish. I just love the boots, jeans, and flowing shirt under the vest.

  4. I like the elongated godets. Your version is more tailored, and I like that look very much, as well. Love the leggings, too. Based on your wonderful results, I ordered the pattern today. Like you, I will wear this top as a vest.

  5. I like both versions - the version you ended up with and the pattern's picture. I think with the fabric you used the godets were a bit too much. Maybe in a tropical weight wool that would lay down more? And I do agree that leggings should be worn with something that covers your butt. I'm currently on a tear to make tunics that are long enough for me, because I'm 5'11" and nothing in RTW is long enough! I'm bummed I didn't buy this pattern when Hancock's had them for $3.99 this weekend.

  6. This is a pattern I passed right by, but your version is so nice. Adding the blouse layer makes a huge difference. You look so fresh & current. I like it both ways - with the godets and without.
    The thing I disliked before was seeing the leggings in full display. It looks so much better in layers the way you've done.

  7. Yes, I think that you are right- a very thin wool, or another lightweight fabric could work better. One reason I found the godets awkward is that they didn't fit under coats well- either they stuck out from a too short jacket, or they made a longer jacket look lumpy. This pattern could work for warmer weather when you don't need a coat. Their recommended fabrics are lightweight denim, cotton sateen and lightweight wool flannel.

  8. You look FAN-tabulously-Tastic! I really love the first pic, layered over a lightweight blouse, leggings and, oh, those boots! I like the godets, too, but can understand if your environment isn't fashion-forward friendly (I'd wear them anyways, but that's just me!)

  9. To me, the godets could easily go from trendy to "faddish" very quickly. I love the way you made this and looking at the back view, I think the beautiful curved seams in the back are center stage now without the distraction of the godets. This looks gorgeous on you and I love the way you've styled it with the top, jeans, and boots. You look fabulous!

  10. I really like it without the godets, but then I like a tailored look. The picture after you took off the top snap is a selling point for the pattern. It is a very nice look that you can dress up or make casual. Great advice and wonderful pics.

  11. This is SUCH a cute outfit! Very stylish. I love the vest without the godets. I thought about this one too, and dismissed it because my butt really NEEDS to be covered (ha) and I thought the godets were more "Gone in 60 Seconds", meaning by the time I got around to actually sewing it up, the dang thing would be out of style! But your version without godets is seriously adorable. The design lines in the back are so much more noticeable now!

  12. Love it. I have this pattern and bought it because of the godets. But as EricaB. said you opted to leave them off too. I'll have to see when I finally get to it. Your leggings are terrific. I see nothing wrong with them. For me, I plan on wearing the leggings. I love it with the boots and jeans too. Outstanding job! I can't wait to get to mine...

  13. Wow, I love this vest and the leggings. I purchased this pattern when it hit the stores. I really like the godets as well as your version (w/o the godets). Thanks for the review. I will probably make it with the godets. Like Erica, the godets were the selling point.

  14. I like your vest without the godets and the way you styled it with the blouse underneath. Very stylish and chic.

  15. I like the vest either way and it looks great styled with the skirt or jeans.


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