Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vogue 1175, the Donna Karan dress/jumper


We may have hit 70 ยบ today so I figured let's do some outside pics and my handsome photographer gladly accommodated. Of course he wanted pictures close to the river, which is way over its banks right now, but getting there required sinking in the mud a near foot with every step. So outside the kitchen door it was!


 I did have fun with the picture taking today and actually used Caroline's technique of dancing to my favorite music for the interior shots.

I love this jumper. It's a jumper for now and when all was said and done the back did not come below my bra band after all but the front still was pretty low. I can see wearing it with a tank underneath on a hot summer day. I think it is pretty versatile and hubby really liked it as well.

Pattern:

This is Vogue 1175, an out of print pattern but one that can be found on Etsy and Ebay with a bit of patience. All the patterns for sale that I found ran from 20 - 25 dollars but I managed to find this one, uncut, still in factory folds, in the right size, for 5.00! Woo hoo!

The pattern description says, "Close-fitting, above mid-knee length, pullover, lined dress has contrast bodice back, seam detail, pleated front and back, side front in-seam pockets and puffed hem." Whew... that exhausted me, but there is a lot going on with this dress. The good news is there is no zipper, no buttons, lots of angles and some very interesting seaming. It is unique. It really is not hard to put together as long as you follow the instructions closely and mark it well. You can make this dress with 2 1/2 yards of fabric. You have to be careful here. Karan has designed this with a back bodice in a contrasting fabric. If you are going to do it all in one fabric, no contrast, you will need   2  1/2 yards, not the 2 yards specified for dress.

This dress is not hard to make. It is just different. And that is what makes it special, IMO! I chose not to do the "puff hem" and liked it long as well so "above mid-knee" didn't happen either. I also did not do the in seam pockets. Why? Maybe someone needs pockets that badly but in this dress, it's not me so I left them out.


I stinkin' LOVE the back of this dress!

Fabric:

While this looks like denim, it is actually a cross dyed linen and I love it. This dress MUST be made in a lightweight fabric and this fabric is just a bit heavier than handkerchief linen, not quite a pantweight. There are seam angles where many layers meet, particularly at center front and back. I did some serious grading , not mentioned in the pattern, as well as understitching to get things to lie flat. This would be wonderful in a lawn or voile, so floaty and pretty. There is no interfacing but I may be tempted to interface the strap area on the lining if I make this one again.

That wrinkle isn't really there. I am just dancing! I think it works better for Caroline than me!

The lining is the anti-static poly from Joanns. I find it relatively breathable and very available to someone needing lining fast. This is lined very differently with the lining for the back skirt being hand stitched to the back bodice.

Construction:

This is definitely not a pattern you can make without reading. There is nothing really difficult about it but you do have to pay attention. Marking is extremely important and I have discussed that in a previous post here. Big squares, little squares, triangles, big and little circles, pleats, it's got them all so pay attention to the marking if you make this.

My first challenge with this pattern was finding out how it would fit. I ended up doing a pivot and slide to get some extra width for a C cup bust. I show that here. The muslin looked good after that. But every fabric is different and this linen really wanted to stretch a lot on all those bias edges. What was a good fitting bodice ended up gaping at the armhole edge once made in the linen and that was despite the edges being stayed with selvedge. The neckline was perfect. It was the armscye that had a tiny bit of a gape. So I added a small dart in the side seam which barely even shows when worn.

 I really think this is because the bodice is pretty flat with the only bust adjustment being the one pleat at center front.  I raised the height of the neckline about an inch and that allowed me to add a second pleat at center bust for  boob accommodation. From the waist down everything fit just fine so no alterations there. I like the length of this without the puff hem. But I am five feet tall so if you are taller  and want the long hem you will definitely have to add yardage.

The pattern does not mention grading or understitching. I recommend both. If I made this in a casual fabric again, I would also definitely topstitch. I think it would emphasise  the unique seaming as well as keep all those edges down. There is serious bulk at the angles and I did not use a mid weight fabric. I also recommend serging the seams as you go along if you are going to leave your lining hanging free at the hem like I did.

Conclusion:

I recommend this pattern to any novice sewist who is interested in a fun but doable challenge and a unique garment. It may not be the best choice for a beginner.  This dress can be very dressy or casual, like my version. It is cut very low in front so if you don't want unwanted admiration  of your mammaries, cut  it higher or wear a cami underneath. Remember to lengthen the center front piece if you do add height to the neckline.  I think the hourglass shape of this is very flattering. I have a narrow torso and didn't have to make any adjustments there but I can see where others might have to. That could be a bit of a challenge. I highly recommend muslin or two to get the fit down. I would definitely make this again and may but not real soon!
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I am making some design changes in the blog and will be adding some pages as well as I try to clean up the layout. My goal is to make things readable, easy to find, and kind to the eyes. It's also just time for a bit of spring cleaning! Hope you like it when it's all done. 

Our raging spring river today:


......Bunny


20 comments:

  1. What a great dress/jumper- so unique and flattering on your petite figure! I appreciate your careful review and muslin suggestion.

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  2. so many of those Donna Karan patterns are fantastic, this one is so interesting with all the angles and intersections. great choice of fabric and I think you will get lots of use in the summer as well. Did you change the blog background? I like it!

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    1. Yes, I did, Beth. I thought it was time for a bit of spring cleaning. I am adding pages at the top, bit by bit, that I hope will help make the blog a little more organized and readable. Thanks for asking and liking.

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  3. Love Donna Karan, and love this dress on you Bunny! Beautiful work by you - per usual. Enjoy this pretty dress!

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  4. Stunning dress and it looks so beautiful in that setting. You live in a wintery paradise.

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  5. Oh, I love it! The fabric is gorgeous and the angles are really interesting... Your blog exposes me to patterns I'd never consider, but after I see you make them in different fabric with different styling, I can see their potential. Seriously, I'd never have thought to make V1175!

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  6. What a fabulous jumper and it looks just great on you! I like the longer length too. You always choose the most interesting patterns to sew for yourself and have a knack for picking the perfect fabrics to make them up. Love everything about this.

    Your pictures (without snow) are great! I know you're ready for spring. :) I love the new look of the blog as well. It has a cleaner look than before - another win!

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  7. You look really lovely in this outfit Bunny, and aren't your surroundings beautiful.
    Always fantastic choice of design and fabric..................you are perfect at getting things spot on!

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  8. I was really skeptical when I first saw this but I have to say it looks great! All those pleats look difficult but you got then down perfectly. I would like it with a higher neckline and maybe some floaty sleeves, not sure it that would work, but worth considering. It gets too hot in So Cal to wear layers in the summer.

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  9. Oh it came out so nice! I love the fabric. The layout of the blog looks good too.

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  10. This dress is cool, and yes awesome details in the back!

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  11. Different and fun! I love the back too!

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  12. What a fun dress from every angle and terrific outdoor pictures.

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  13. What a fun outfit! Looks wonderful on you. But then, everything always does :)

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  14. The back of this dress is just brilliant, and so is your cross-dyed (I call is "shot") linen fabric choice.

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  15. A lovely dress Bunny - you can almost see the influence of the nuns in this dress. Beautifully made, as all your clothes are.

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  16. very inspiring Bunny - not just the sewing, which is always to a very high standard, but your sense of style. The scenery's not bad either!!

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  17. I have this exact pattern, and have been wondering about its difficulty. I am considering making it in Dupioni but your linen looks really wonderful. I like how it feels more casual than the version on the pattern itself. It's the dressiness of the original pattern that has stopped me from pursuing this...and the fact that it's Donna Karan. I tried one other DK pattern and failed miserably. I guess I didn't transfer all the markings over...like you suggested.

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