Friday, February 1, 2013

Donna Karan + Shiny Fabric = Slinky Frosting Top

When I was done sewing this top, I fist bumped my sewing machine.


Vogue 1282 Donna Karan top

Let me explain: I had been having a sense of deja vu. The last time I had sewn a Vogue Donna Karan pattern that only had one seam - like this pattern does - I also chose a shiny fabric for it. It didn't end well (thighs of despair skirt).

The thing I love about Donna Karan patterns is that they have so few pieces and are entirely made by twisting and draping and a few strategic tacks. Cool, right? The thing I hate about Donna Karan patterns is that there are usually so few pieces that they are nearly impossible to alter. Or at least not in any kind of intuitive way. It's a conundrum.


This is my take-the-damn-picture-before-I freeze-to-death face.

This top (Vogue 1282) has just one pattern piece plus binding for the armscyes. So, the one yard remnant of fabric that I had from the Fashion Star tunic that I made for PR Weekend was exactly the right size for this pattern, provided that I didn't cut the top on the bias, as the pattern instructed.

Actually, this is something that I'm rather curious about. The pattern is for knit fabrics. Does anyone out there know why you would cut a knit on the bias? Is there any benefit? I can't imagine that it would significantly help the drape. Am I missing something?

I made this top without any alterations. But next time I would take it in some at the back of the neck and add some wiggle room at the hip. Somehow. Fortunately in a drapey top made of a very stretchy knit, I don't think my fitting concerns are too apparent. One thing I liked is that they have you put a small weight at the center front drape point. I used a dime.

My pose-like-the-pattern-model pose. I promptly fell over.

Anyway, I was totally psyched with how this top turned out. It's shiny, slinky, dramatically low cut, and ridiculously drapey. All things I love. And I felt confident enough in it to wear it out with this very well heeled crowd.


Smiling thru the pain of being so cold.


So, I think the theme of the week is redemption. DK, you are back "in" with me. In fact, I may have to turn the fabric from the skirt of despair into another of these tops. I also might try to figure out if I can make this out of a silk charmeuse. Wouldn't that be gorgeous?

Have a great weekend everyone!

30 comments:

K-Line said...

You look AWESOME! Love it. And I do think, if the stretch fabric is a 2-way knit (vs. 4-way) or if it's a firm knit (like a light ponte) that cutting it on the bias would impact the drape. By that account, a really stretch 4-way knit could get VERY drapey on the bias.

puu said...

it looked even more fabulous in person, i promise. and that is certainly a pattern candidate for peter's shiny black knit!

House of Pinheiro said...

That's hot... Love the drape and fabric

Cennetta said...

Clio - You look fabulous! Love the model shots. I have to tell you, I cracked up after reading "I fist bumped my sewing machine."

T. Sedai said...

Don't you love making easy things that look awesome! Especially after complicated projects. Love the fabric you used - looks fantastic!

Clio said...

Well, my sewing machine always leaves me hanging when I try to high five her, so... LOL

Clio said...

Yeah, I'm kinda sad I have no more of it. But I do have two great garments, which I guess is enough for one wardrobe.

Clio said...

Oooh, good idea! Thanks so much - it's always a bit intimidating to decide what to wear to hang out with other sewists!

Clio said...

Huh. Ok, I didn't consider how 2 way vs 4 way stretch would change things. A more stable knit would need more added drape, whereas the fabric I used was born to be draped.

Karin said...

Whoa! You look smokin in that top! It looks fab, you chose the perfect fabric for it.

Faye Lewis said...

Great top on you Clio!

HeathersSphere said...

SLEEK looking top on you!

Rosie said...

You should have no fear! You looked absolutely beautiful. I'm so glad we met - lots more in common that people might expect :-)! Hope to see you soon!!

lisette said...

Another winner! Can't imagine doing a photo shoot outside!brrr...

Clio said...

Yeah, that pale but rosy glow my skin had was actually just the onset of hypothermia. LOL.

Clio said...

Yes!

Clio said...

Thanks Faye!

oonaballoona said...

i love knowing you have a dime in your sexy ass top. seriously.

Gwendolyn LeLacheur said...

That look fantastic on you. I see more in your future. But maybe in warmer weather?

LindaM said...

Looks great on you! I have this pattern and just made the skirt and was not sure about the top. Seeing yours on PR makes me want to try it!

Ginger said...

This is gorgeous! I love it on you!

theperfectnose said...

Love it. Have you added stitching down the neckline to stop it gaping while moving around (or did you not have to make any changes there at all? I ask because I made a similar neckline from the Mannish style book and had to end up using the front for the back XD). Re cutting knits on the bias-don't. Everything stretches a fair bit on the bias and depending on the fabric recovery may be next to zero along that axis. However, if it's a specialty knit with next to no stretch and therefore should be treated like a woven then go nuts with the bias...

Clio said...

No I didn't, but there is a tiny pocket at the center front point of the neckline (at the very bottom of the cowl) that you put a weight in (I used a dime) and that keeps it from gaping and basically makes it lay flat across the bust/neckline. How it works/how well it works was a bit of a revelation to me. I did crack stitch the back facing to the center back seam because I was worried it would flip out. It's also tacked to the shoulder seams



Yeah, that's kind of what I was wondering about with the bias cutting.

Clio said...

LOL - yep!

theperfectnose said...

Oh cool-good to know. I don't know what the instructions for this pattern are but Japanese books suggest cutting out bias pieces (for wovens) with 4 cm seam allowances (on all sides) hanging each piece individually for a couple of days (clipped to a wire or what have you) then laying flat and cutting out the final version (with 1-1.5 cm seam allowances). This way there will be no further mechanical stretching during wear.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love the look of this! Very glam but somehow the shine gives it a bit of an edge.

allisonc said...

Wow that is gorgeous, thank you for braving the cold (and falling over!) to share it with us.

Elizabeth said...

So funny, my reader had your review and Cennetta's review of this top next to each other. Love your version, but you know I love a little sparkle. :)

Tia Dia said...

Gaw-gee-us! I've this top made in a sparkly knit too, and am just wanting the perfect pencil skirt with which to wear it! I shortened it at the shoulders, since I usually make a short-waist adjustment - just to get the proportion correct. The dime idea is terrific - I'll remember that for the next cowl-necked adventure that needs a weight!

Meg the Grand said...

LOVE IT! It's the perfect slinky top, and I love that you put a dime in the front to weigh it down - that's actually very smart. I can think of several patterns that should have called for the same thing! Well done, you are totally ROCKING this look!