Donna Karan top and floral capris
For a while ago I bought V1440 pattern from the Donna Karan collection since I thought the white top looked interesting. This collection had also a pair of basic leggings and a jacket.
I had some leftover navy blue poplin left after making a shirt for my husband and that was just enough for this blouse. The sizes range from 6 to 14 but again as with most of the big pattern companies there is a ridiculous amount of ease involved. According to the size chart I should have made size 12 but after checking for the actual finished garment measurements I ended up cutting size 6. The size 12 would have had 15 cm of ease!
After cutting the fabric I took a break for this project, which wasn’t a best idea since when I yesterday decided to complete the blouse, I had totally forgotten that I had cut two identical front pieces to save some time, when I should have cut the left side narrower since the hidden button placket is only on the right side. This caused some confusion when the left hand side of the blouse came out way too wide! (Note to self: Next time make notes of what you have done if you have taken short-cuts!)
Sewing the blouse wasn’t the easiest of makes, so I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for the beginners. I think there were several unnecessary steps that slowed the project considerably that I ended up skipping. Also at some points I would have done things differently to make some of the steps easier.
At first, all the button band facings were hand sewn with invisible stitches after the first fold, even if the button bands were later fixed with machine topstitching. As even “invisible” stitches can easily show up in solid coloured fabrics I did not get this. With tops and bottoms of the button bands fixed and with the vertical top stitching, the edges of the first folds aren’t going to move. I thus decided to skip this step.
The good thing is that a serger was never used so this blouse can be sewn by anyone with a sewing machine. The more annoying thing was that there was a lot of topstitching and the distance of the topstitching from the edge was never mentioned. As I went trough some of the sewing blogs and viewed some of the accomplishments of other bloggers I noticed several different ways the sewists had dealt with topstitching.
One special thing about this pattern is that all the facings (besides the bottom hem) are sewn to the right side of the blouse. This mean that the edges needed to be folded and pressed carefully before edge stitching the facings in place. I ended up burning my fingers trying to make nice and smooth edges into to curved armhole facings. I have, however, done a lot of curved patch pockets before and I know there is a trick to do nice curved folds and that is to stitch a easing stitch line just underneath the fold. This helps the fold to turn nicely and smoothly. This time I ended up following the instructions to the letter which well… ended with me nursing (slightly) burned fingers.
The most interesting part about this blouse is undoubtedly the upper back which has this angular pattern created by seams and facings. Making it required some accurate pinning and ironing but I refused to baste any pieces together since the blouse fabric was so well-behaved.
I liked how the hem of the blouse was finished using bias binding. I have always turned the hems of the blouses but I think that the bias binding gives beautiful and more smooth finish to the curved hem.
The blouse is perhaps a bit loose for my taste but then it suits well with tight capri trousers. The size 6 was a good choice for me. The size 12 would have looked like a tent! Even as I have criticised some of the aspects of this pattern, I would still think that this is an unique blouse and it presents a nice challenge even to someone who has sewn dozens of blouses before. So, if you have some experience in sewing and want to sew something different to wear this summer, here is a good pattern for it. Unfortunately this pattern is from the year 2015 and you may have to look for it a bit if you are interested.
Well, about the trousers in the pictures… These trousers are one of my attempts to create the perfect fitting pair for me. I started with the Claudia pants pattern by Style Arc and with the lovely help from a reader of this blog, Michele, I have been making a toile after in order to achieve a good fit. These trousers are the first pair I actually finished with the waistband and all. They still tend to slide down a bit from the waist which results in some wrinkles around my crotch. Well, I must keep practicing… Anyway, I must thank Michele, since in a short amount of time I have learned so much about fitting from her!
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