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DonnaKaran, take 2

December 21, 2010
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The worm’s eye-view pictures are somewhat misleading, this skirt doesn’t make my waist disappear but the other pictures didn’t turn out so good. You can still see the overall silhouette:

The main pattern piece for this skirt is ginormous! Here’s what cutting it looked like:

The tracing was an even greater pain than the cutting. I’ll be honest: I’m used to tracing patterns but if it hadn’t been the very prohibitive shipping fees on the Vogue website, I would have cut this one away in a heartbeat. There’s been discussion on whether to trace or cut here and here, to cite a couple. You’re welcome to speak up here if you haven’t there.

The fabrics I used is wool jersey and viscose lycra for the lining. For the top, the fabric must be 150cm in width but for the skirt, 140cm does it just as well.

This pattern is really not that difficult. But then again, it spent quite some time on my bedside table. I can’t say I could’ve sewn this in my sleep, but it might just be the reason why I found the instructions okay. The most critical step is joining the lining to the outer skirt but with the help of the pictures and after some sleep, it’s nothing the average sewer won’t master. I’m proof. All you need is complete confidence in Donna Karan because even in its finished state, this skirt  looks like a lump of fabric if not on a human body or at least a fitting form.

Maybe I forgot to transfer them but at step 27 I was missing the square markings on the lining I just relied on the pictures and tacked on the lining at the intersection of the side seams and stitching lines. I was a bit bothered by the fact that the lining is inserted with the right side to the wrong side of the outer skirt (this has also been pointed out in another DK pattern, Vogue 1159) but I figured it could be due to the fact that the lining could be seen through the skirt opening so I left it that way. Turns out the lining doesn’t peek out so I could have changed it. However, remember if you make this pattern and do flip the lining, don’t forget to take it into account in the following steps! Also, the instructions don’t tell you to undo the wrap from step 10 in step 29 and redo it in step 30 but if you look at the pictures, you don’t need the precision. Again, the pics are essential with this pattern.

As far as the fit is concerned, I had two problems. The first one is that the skirt is extremely long. Extremely like: it would have been the right length for a 1.80m-tall model. I’m 1.68m. Here’s what it looked like before hemming:

Baste the hem and try on the skirt before hemming and trimming! Then come back and thank me lol

The second and somewhat trickier issue, was that the side view was not flattering at all due to the fabric being a bit loose at the waist and staying away from the waist in the back:

I don’t consider my fashion fabric thick but there’s a LOT of fabric gathering around the waist and at the back wrap. The only way to remedy I’ve found is to pin a safety pin under the wrap after putting on the skirt and pulling the fabric taut around the waist, since I wouldn’t be able to put the skirt on if I tacked the back wrap in place like I did with V1159. I’m unsure if this means I cut the skirt too big… I did ponder on cutting the pattern one or two sizes smaller than my size measurements, since Donna Karan patterns seem to run big. But after reading the instructions, I noticed that the fit was achieved by a waist elastic in the lining. Also, having the skirt a bit big wouldn’t result in something as annoying as too much cleavage so I cut according to the size chart. Now I think I could have cut this one size smaller, possibly even two. That’s what happens when you’re the first to review a pattern, I guess. And don’t muslin. My own fault. 🙂 I would recommend choosing the size by flat measuring the lining waist. You should be able to pull it on over the hips without problem.

I had hopes of wearing this backwards too but because of fit problem 2 and because the wrap sits kind of low, it’s not going to happen. Also, I think it’s best combined with a fitting top in a contrasting color, just like on the pattern envelope.

Call me crazy, but I think this skirt would be a fantastic and stylish maternity garment. It’s extremely comfortable.

If I make the top, I HAVE to remember to pick the thinnest fabric possible. Wouldn’t like to have that wrap problem on the front… But I’m not sure it would be flattering on a full bust. What do you think?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Serenity permalink
    December 22, 2010 13:36

    I made the top of v1202. Took longer than I thougt it would. WAY Longer. I wouldn’t even attempt to make the skirt. The skirt seemed to crazy. Now it looks nice on you and I give you kudos for making it, but my gut is big enough without adding additional layers to it.

    I Like.



  2. December 24, 2010 23:30

    Late in commeting, but this is a gorgeous skirt. love the look on you. Shorter is much better.

    Merry Christmas!


  3. January 6, 2011 05:18

    Thanks for posting – it’s good to have these tips ahead of time for the Australian winter (when I may make it 🙂 ). This skirt works really well for you – it looks great on, so well done!


  4. Karen permalink
    May 13, 2011 09:17

    I’m about to make this …GULP and am not looking forward to it now lol. I have to say I’m not keen on that big lump at the back of the skirt! Vogue are good aren’t they? I’ve made so many of their patterns and they are always able to make something complicated out of something easy! I’m going to run a line of stitching midway through the batwing…legacy of the 8Os perhaps but I don’t like the sweat running down my armpit to waistline. Also, I didn’t want to weight of the lining on the skirt. Is there any way I can do without it? Also, you think it’s oversized??? So if I’m usually a 1o I should make an 8? (that’s US 6 I think)


    • May 13, 2011 10:16

      If you want to minimize the back lump, go for a fabric as thin as possible. I wouldn’t recommend skipping the lining on the skirt but I think you could get away with an 8 instead of a 10. I’d recommend doing a flat measurement of the lining and ensuring that it will fit snuggly around your hips. Than you should be good to go.


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