A lovely Donna Karan top! I made mine out of poly georgette, and it worked beautifully despite the pattern suggesting charmeuse, which is heavier and drapier. Actually, I think it looks better on me in a flimsier fabric than the called-for charmeuse because I’m not a model with a small bust and long waist, and the georgette falls in softer less voluminous folds than a charmeuse would, imho. This is a typical DK design – very interesting and fun to sew because it’s just such a fun riff on staples: the pencil skirt and a full-sleeve cowl-necked blouse. The blouse pattern front comes in 2 piece and requires taping together prior to cutting, and it’s huge. The pattern dictates 60″ (150cm) wide fabric but this large piece easily fit on my 45″ (125cm) fabric on the cross grain. Obviously this wouldn’t work if you wanted the effect of contrasting grains like the pattern photo. But for my print, it didn’t matter, and I was determined to get this blouse out of 3 yards of 45″ fabric from my stash.
The two-piece raglan sleeves are cut on the bias, and the seams twist around to the front of the forearm in a large 3-inch deep pleat. The idea is wonderful, but I don’t think it really works unless your normal pattern adjustment for sleeve length is to add 4 inches. This is the tunic untucked with the sleeves hanging where they’d like to on me. Please note that I usually do not make any adjustments to sleeve length on patterns.
The cuffs are supposed to be single layers attached in a regular seam to the sleeve with a deep 1-inch hem, but because the georgette was transparent, I cut two cuffs per sleeve, shortened them by 1 inch, stitched them right sides together, turned them and attached them as per the instructions. However, after putting it on to wear for the day, I realized they were waaaaay too long, and rolled up the cuffs for my morning engagements. When I got home (and after taking all these pics) I turned them up to the inside and fell stitched them into place, as below. Much better, no? You can see the very deep pleat and the seam on the top of my wrist. It’s an interesting sleeve.
The upper back is in two pieces, seamed down the CB with an opening about 3 inches long.
It’s hidden in a deep 2-inch pleat, and falls above the bra line. It’s rather unnoticeable, even if you go around with your arms reaching out in front of you. A neat little detail that probably only you will notice!
The finishing of the CB of the collar is interesting, too. The pleats are all basted, the cowl folded down and then the CB is sewn. I don’t think I’d do it this way again if I were to make up another. I’d baste all the collar pleats, stitch the CB seam and then turn the collar/cowl facing in and tack it down. As per the pattern, though, the CB seam allowances are simply pressed open and finished hong kong style. You’ll notice that the facings for the cowl are different on each side, too. This isn’t a mistake, but a quirk of the cowl. It doesn’t affect how the cowl drapes or wears.
The top has a band around the bottom, which would be a cool way to wear this top, but not on my silhouette. You can see some of the front pleating detail in the pic below. I cut my usual size based on my upper chest measurement. I did not to the requisite FBA, and it really doesn’t make a difference. I usually grade up a size through the hips, and if I wanted to wear this top outside my skirt/trousers, it would be necessary to do so. This photo was taken prior to shortening the sleeves.
And here’s the back view untucked. Yup. I need a sway back/short waist adjustment with more width through the hips, but since I’m only likely to wear this tucked in, I don’t really care. If I make this up again, I may make the necessary adjustments to be able to wear this as a tunic.
And now I’m hunkering down in the sewing corner to work on my coat. It’s not quite cold enough to wear my usual interlined winter coat, so I need something in a “between” weight: Marfy, you’re next!