Vogue 1038: The Dramatic Shirt

Vogue patterns Donna Karan

Wow.  It feels good to be sewing so much again.  And sewing garments that I like, that fit and that are fun to make and wear!  Case in point, this fantastic over-sized tunic – blouse? – shirt? – from Donna Karan, courtesy Vogue 1038.https://mezzocouture.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/fa1a3-v1038.jpgI’ve made the skirt, although I’ve never blogged it.  You can see the skirt here.  It’s a dream to wear.  But this post is about the shirt.  That glorgiously oversized off-the-shoulder shirt that I don’t wear off the shoulder…

Vogue 1038 shirt back

I delved into my linen stash for this very lightweight semi-opaque woven stripe, and started cutting. I’ve always loved Donna Karan’s designs from a construction point of view, and the fact that they are so very unusual.  This top was no disappointment in either department.

The yoke is cut so that the shoulder seam is actually sitting on the bias.  Because I don’t really want to have to wear this off the shoulder, I added strap keepers at the shoulder points along the collar seam.

Vogue 1038 bra keepers

It makes the back yoke curve down a little bit, but it’s secure this way, and the sleeve cap sits at the edge of my shoulder like it should this way.

Vogue 1038 shoulders

I made absolutely no adjustments to this shirt, except to add a self-fabric wrapped 3-inch long piece of spiral steel boning at the CF to tuck behind undergarments in order to keep the front securely in place.

Vogue 1038 bra stay

The silhouette of the shirt is so dramatic.  It’s got great lines from all angles.  And people love seeing Donna Karan garments.  Wearing this shirt was no exception.  People stopped to comment on it and ask “who I was wearing”.

Vogue 1038 side

I’m not a model, so wearing it with the skirt is completely out of the question.

Vogue 1038 front

See?  Ridiculous on anything but a 6 foot stick with legs.

Vogue 1038

I’ll pair it with one of my many versions of another Donna Karan pattern:  Vogue 1039. I’ve tried to make this pattern a TNT – I just love the details on the capris –  and I’ve made them up just recently in a leopard laminated denim and the light olive stretch denim I’m wearing with this shirt for these pics.

Donna Karan head to toe

Yeah, maybe it’s a bit on the big and loose side, but it’s super comfortable and something different for those days when I crave “unusual”.  Have you made anything outside the tried and true world of staid jeans, trousers, tops or dresses?  Do you wear your unusual make very often?


29 thoughts on “Vogue 1038: The Dramatic Shirt

  1. That’s a lot of fabulous wrapped up in one blouse. And goodness me you wear it well! I love it with the capri pants. I also love seeing how other people can see past the limit I see at, to turn something into special 🙂

    1. Thanks! I often feel so stumped by what I think is my lack of creativity with patterns/fabric, but we are each our own artists! And I am trying to stash-bust these days and wanted to try something crazy to get me out of tees-capris-jeans boring mode. 😉

  2. Spectacular!!! I’ve always admired this pattern from a far, never finding the courage to order it because of the said dramatism of it…but looking at your rendition of the pattern it will go to the “oh, why didn’t I?” list

  3. Really like your execution of this pattern and the excellent idea re. boning… if it’s not a rude question is it sitting at the CF of your bra and is that OK comfort wise? I do like that idea for garments that you love but might otherwise create “wardrobe moments”! Also second (or third, whatever) that you are totally ROCKING that hair colour. I so wish my hair would stand up to such a treatment but it would most definitely not.

    1. Thanks! The boning gets tucked behind the CF panel of my bra and pretty much stays there. I don’t notice it – it’s quite comfortable. As for the hair… I thought I’d “experiment” with going grey. It’s my natural colour with a few highlights to even it out.

  4. Hello, I just discovered your wonderful blog and must follow! Your blog grabbed my attention as it is perfectly suited for a very dear artist friend of mine. As for me, nothing too funky for the most part, but there is still time! Thanks for some grand inspiration.

  5. Sorry, you look better than the model, even when paired with the skirt. That combo reminds me of turn of 20th century Euro Bohemians. On the elongated model the proportion just looks off. But you’re right it’s best companion is pants. And your hair & coloring. Fab!

  6. Such drama, such innovations…and looking so fine with pants and your gorgeous hair! I have not tried anything outside of my comfort zone yet except today I left my hair to dry naturally and curly and my husband asked before we went out if I had forgotten to brush it…so much for breaking out of my box. Can’t imagine what would be the comment if I showed up in a Donna Karan creation!

  7. I LOVE it!! It’s fabulous and I’d love to be able to wear this style, but I’m definitely not brave enough!! A brilliant piece of work.

  8. Looks fabulous on you. I made this blouse, when the pattern was first released, but I didn’t wear it often, because of the “off the shoulders”. Now I am going to fix this, so thank you for your tip.

    1. Hi, Annie! You’re welcome about the tip. I stumbled upon the idea a few years ago reading a blog post (can’t remember which one), and bookmarked the idea.

  9. Oh it’s spectacular!! I like it better on the shoulder than off, too. I’ve been dreaming of dramatic blouses recently. It’s a total crapshoot for me whether my unusual makes get wear – no on a romper, yes on an artsy hemp wrap blouse, jury’s still out on my printed Gabriola.

    1. Ooooo the Gabriola… I have wanted that pattern, but I have so many years worth of Burda with similar gorgeous skirts that I just can’t justify yet another almost-duplicate pattern in my stash.


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