|Pattern Description: This is a Donna Karan dress, with shawl collar, button front (over fly), waisted, back darts/princess seam, cuff short sleeves. Pleats and pockets. Faced hem. Optional tie belt. This is a Best of 2011 pattern. |
Pattern Sizing: 8-22. I cut 18, based on bust measurement, but found ease at midriff less than I expected. The dress is definitely high-waisted.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? OK.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This surprises me as a "Best of" choice, because there are number of fussy things about this. I omitted the neck bias facing (not sure what this is about), just finished the seams with the serger. Both the shawl collar and back seams require a clipped right-angle seam, and these are not so easy to execute precisely. The waist pleats hide the back seam problem, so don't stress about this. I don't find that the fly-concealed buttons lie very flat either. I tacked down the fly facing by hand at the center to reduce this but in the future might omit the fly and just put buttons up the front, no fly. I didn't make the sash, but this would help with the waist/midriff issues. I love the pockets and the shawl collar is great. The hem facing works well. The final version looks nice, shapely and vaguely vintage. Looks good in this fabric. I think it is the shapeliness of the dress that have made it so popular.
Fabric Used: I'm making this as part of my Fabric Stash reduction June/July project. This is a deep stash fabric from a remnant table. I estimate the fabric as 12 years old, in a purple, yellow and beige orchids on black Hawaiian print. I'm really not sure what the fabric is--I thought it was rayon based on a flame test but it feels like it has some polyester too. So maybe a cotton/rayon/poly blend.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 1 inch to the torso length but find that the waist of the dress doesn't come close to my natural waist (it's really a midriff seam, not at the waist). I had to reduce the front pleats to add some ease here. I need to add another inch at least to the torso here.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is already a popular pattern, but not for beginners IMO. It would be fun in a retro cotton print.
Conclusion: Shapely, vaguely vintage-looking dress, Best of 2011. Comfortable and stylish. High waisted, beware.