Monday, December 4, 2017

The Return of an Old Favorite

When this Donna Karan pattern came out back in 2011, I fell in love with the dress.

So many of her designs use knit fabrics which means I have a collection of the patterns, but rarely cut into them.

But this one called for a stretch woven, and the style lines were so interesting I just could not resist.

I made a version of this dress in silk when the pattern was first released.  It was not a stretch woven, but there was enough ease in the pattern that it works just fine.  The peg to the skirt hem is a bit constricting, but not enough to make wearing the garment uncomfortable, but I always wondered how the pattern would work with the suggested fabric.

Not too long ago, I found this stretch woven at JoAnn Fabrics in an amazing blue and white print and the first thing I thought about was how perfect it would be for this Donna Karan design.

One of my favorite design details is that the button band is hidden, which makes it the perfect opportunity for me to practice using machine made buttonholes.  If they don't work out to my satisfaction, they aren't going to be visible anyway.  

And, of course, these ones turn out fine.  Go figure!

While this is a very modern design, with very ready-to-wear construction details, I really like that the style lines are not your standard front and back with side seams.  The diagonal pocket openings extend around the back hip and curve around towards the back and the pleats create a lovely waistline.  Most importantly, I have yet to see this dress look anything but amazing on an incredibly diverse set of body shapes - and that is a true sign of a fabulously drafted design.

Unfortunately, I purchased all of the remaining yardage which was not quite enough for this particular pattern.

The good news is that most of that extra fabric needed is used for the very large self-belt that gets wrapped and tied in a bow at the waistline.  This fabric does not look especially good on the wrong side, so I needed to rethink that element anyway.  

I do love the front bow, so I kept that detail, and made a fabric belt from the remaining yardage.  The closure is hidden behind that front bow.  Sometimes things turn out for the best!  And I am not one to let a little thing like 1/2 yard too little fabric stop me!


  1. It's gorgeous! But then again I'm partial to blue and white prints!!!

  2. Excellent work, I love that pattern!

  3. So beautiful and I'll bet it really suits you. I would like to have a go at that one myself

  4. Love your construction detail on the inside (Hong Kong seams!) - the fabric is beautiful and with the bow at your waist I'm sure it looks stunning!

  5. Ah, those buttonholes are beautiful! No need for you to fear machine buttonholes any more.