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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vogue 1159 Donna Karan dress

See my last post for the pattern photo and insane pattern pieces for this draped jersey dress.

As Nancy commented, one huge problem with this pattern is that it is impossible to work out how to alter the pattern pieces. Even now that I have made it I still cannot figure it out. Usually I cut a mixture of size 12 (shoulders, waist) and 14 (bust, hips) on my Vogue patterns and on this one I just cut a 14 and hoped for the best. Miraculously it worked out, so if your usual bust and hip size are about the same pattern size then I suggest using that size.





Sewing wise this is not a difficult pattern, but if you have ever had any problem with any kind of twist top or assembling flat pack furniture, stay away from this pattern for your own sanity! You have to just faithfully follow the instructions - or at least the illustrations and make sure your pile of fabric looks exactly like each diagram before moving on.

I had to make one alteration at the end. As many reviewers have noted this is very low cut under the arms and I didn't want to have to wear a cami underneath. I did try sewing the side seam higher but this messed up the front drape so I just applied two little triangles of fabric to fill in the gap and handstitched them in.

This patch works better on me than on the dressform for covering underwear

See, although not planning on standing like this too often.

It's a pretty rubbishy alteration but it works and no one is really going to notice it I hope. When I wear it in real life I will also have to put a safety in in the front wrap for security otherwise there is a very real chance of a wardrobe malfunction.

I absolutely loved making this and was amazed when it turned out to look like the original at the end, and even more amazed that it fitted. I love how the waist draping looks and I also like that there is a straight skirt knit lining underneath which keeps it all in place. I still can't really understand how the pattern pieces become a dress, Donna Karan is some kind of genius.

Close up of the waist draping - this shows the true colour too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting carried away now...

Is it OK to be matchy-matchy when you are 2? I think there is no better time, so I made a little hat (Burda magazine 04/2009 142, super easy to sew). I hope I will be able to post a photo here of the outfit on my little muse soon.


I have also finished a dress for me but its very stormy here and too dark to take decent photos so we will all have to wait till the sun comes back....

It's this one - Vogue 1159, Donna Karan draped jersey dress.


This was such fun to make, it looked nothing like a dress until the last moment and it was so satisfying at the end - like finishing a sudoku puzzle or something. These are the pattern pieces!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Burda 06/2006 - 138 Girl's dress

I made this cute dress for my friend's daughter, based on a Burda magazine pattern that I cannot show you thanks to the silly website changes, but it looks a lot like this....


The original has 4 flounces and I decided 2 was enough in this size (3T), but I will check the length and add another flounce if needed, I have lots of fabric left over. I also self lined the bodice and sewed a separate casing for the waist drawstring.

I also made a matching bolero which is from Simplicity 3943; this was in my pattern stash from last years bridesmaid dress project.






I hope she likes it, it was fun working with loud fabric and frilly patterns!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Burda 06/2010 - 123 Dress


This is yet another very easy dress to make. As you can see from the line drawing it's pretty shapeless - to make it work it's all about the belt and the fabric.


I used a silk that has been in my stash for a while. I really loved the colours - chocolate brown and blue - but didn't quite know how to use it as it had horizontal stripes arranged in vertical blocks. In the end I cut it on the cross grain, it looked OK but needed something else so I decided to experiment with the fabric a bit. I cut some additional strips of fabric, on grain this time and added two bands at the hem so it looks like a border print fabric now.


I didn't add the side slits as I found there was plenty of walking ease in the dress and leaving out the slits made life easier when it came to attaching the bands. Otherwise there is really nothing to say about the construction, it's two pattern pieces, plus two strips for the neck facing and the belt and a bit of elastic in the back yoke seam. Easy!

Back detail

I wore this out last night and for hot humid climates this is ideal, I'm really happy with it.


Gorgeous summer evening in Stanley, on the south side of HK island


Friday, July 2, 2010

Vogue 8633 Dress

Thank you for the comments on the McCall's dress, it seems I am a bit of a prude! Anyway, the sun has come out here and yesterday was a public holiday so we had a BBQ party on our rooftop and I wore the dress. It was so cool and comfortable to wear that I'm no longer going to worry about the low back!

So here is another summer dress - Vogue 8633;


I made view B, the straight skirt, sleeveless version in the border print Japanese cotton I bought in NY from Metro Textiles. I say border print, on closer inspection of the fabric which has a signature on it, I think it is supposed to go up the other way, beige at the top, black at the bottom. Originally I wanted the striped section to be nearer the hem, but I didn't have enough fabric for that and stubbornly decided to make it anyway. As it turns out I am really happy with the finished dress and stripe placement, it's a bit more unusual.


This dress was easy to make and the darts in the bodice give it great shape. I changed the order of construction so that I sewed the side seams last - I like to do this so I can fine tune the fit, although it does make it harder to match up the horizontal seamlines. I also didn't add the lining.

This is a Vogue options pattern and there are indeed many possibilities for this dress, I'm sure I'm going to make it again.