Who doesn’t love Donna Karan’s draped garments, like this cardigan?
I’ve been eying another drapy garment of hers, Vogue 1159, since at least May. At the time I thought I had suitable fabric and only found out after tracing the pattern that it would not work with any fabric less than 150cm wide. So it went back on the “to-do/to shop for” list. I found a suitable fabric a couple of weeks ago and since the pattern was already traced, here it is!
This pattern is rated “average”, rightfully so. There’s really more basting and staystitching than “actual” sewing involved but it requires a lot of attention to get all the steps right. And abandon and confidence in DonnaKaran, because it doesn’t even remotely look like a dress until the last ten minutes of sewing.
There are a few mistakes in the instructions but they’ve been pointed out on patternreview.com already. For example, you’ll find out in step 18 that some markings don’t match. Just work according to the picture. Then you’ll find that the lining shouldn’t be sewn wrong sides together but rather right lining side to wrong dress side (step 21). And then the overlap on the “sleeves” (step 3) should be done on the inside rather than the outside but this is easily corrected even if noticed at the very end (step 26). I also did not understand step 7 but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference.
Although I cut one size smaller than my usual size (judging from the waist fit, the size is spot on, I wouldn’t recommend going down 2 sizes), the armholes and neckline are still rather low, but they actually came out even lower. So I sew the side seams up about 3 cm and tacked at various places in the front, making sure that my tacks would neither be visible nor put under stress when the dress is on. So this is still going to be worn with a tank, closed bolero or discreet brooch at the neckline for work. For evenings, the right bra will suffice. Also make sure to try it on before you hem it because the drape in the front pulls the fabric down.
I don’t know why nobody has shown the inside of the dress in their reviews. It’s got a lining and the bust is partially self-faced, all with two pattern pieces (three including lining)! Also you can see from the picture how the drape knot pulls the fabric down.
This dress is super comfortable. It’s a brilliant design!
Other DonnaKaran patterns I might try to sew in this lifetime:
Vogue 1202, Vogue 2784 (OOP) and Vogue 1076 (OOP). I love the drapy and wow effect of V1202, the femininity and lightness of V2784 (but first I need a bias binding foot) and the apparent formality of V1076 (would you believe it’s a knit with a bra and foundation? And those pants seem plain but they feature a side back seam and back zipper, which I find unusual). I love that Donna Karan’s designs always look like they’re as comfortable as my V1159! And she wears them so well herself!