On the Saturday of the Frocktails weekend, I met up with Christie (Clever Tinker) and Rachel (RachelSews) to get a tram from the city out to Fitzroy to visit Clear It and The Fabric Store. And then a bit later on we met up with Sarah (FabricTragic), who'd offered to drive Christie and Rachel out to Darn Cheap Fabrics in Heidelberg. Having seen so many lovely pieces of DCF fabric blogged as clothes by Lara (Thornberry) I was very keen to tag along, and Sarah was absolutely fine with it :).
Deep gulp of air. Darn Cheap Fabrics - wow.
I don't know if that weekend was a special one, but DCF was incredibly full of fabrics I wanted. It was tough to choose just a few... They had Dolce & Gabbana silk organzas and silks and crepe de chines, they had the famous pineapple print, they had crazy pinocchio fabric, they had jungle print polyester...
I bought the jungle print, some grown up looking cream and blue silk cotton, a 3 metre length of fake pearls and some stretchy gold stuff for a dress up party, and a couple of D&G silks (red and white polka dot silk chiffon, another silk chiffon featuring squirrels and other critters on a blue background, and some pretty floral silk organza).
So back in Sydney, full of sewing inspiration after a night of decadent and desirable frocks, I got cracking - cheapest fabric first, of course! And this DKNY top pattern, Vogue 1454 from the Spring/Summer 15 pattern range, is what I sewed up:
It's a boxy, loose-fitting, pullover top with no closures or fastenings. There are side slits that are just the right height if you want to use your pockets without flashing your stomach, and there's a back flounce or peplum which is longer than the front - I like it very much, and I want to make it in a solid colour like the original :).
In the next picture you can see how the side slit works out, as well as the length difference between front and back:
That back flounce is sewn on in a curve, like sewing just the back half of a circle skirt, and makes for smooth, graceful lines on what some like to call a "butt canopy":
I like the length of the front on me - it's hip length, and long enough to cover my stomach even when I lift my arms!
Now you've seen what the top looks like sewn up, let's talk about the sewing details.
I sewed a straight size 12, and the result is a top that's very loose and boxy - however, the top is described on the pattern envelope as being "very loose-fitting". To date I've found the Vogue designer patterns to be a bit more roomy than the Vogue basics, so if you've yet to try out a designer pattern that's something you might want to bear in mind - the difference is probably less than a full size though.
The pattern comes together very easily, with the hardest part being the narrow hems around the split - and of course they'd be super easy with the sort of fabric that irons crisply - and I was able to knock the top together over two late evening bursts of sewing.
In terms of fabric yardage, this pattern is also a winner. The pattern envelope suggests you'll need 1.4 metres of 150cm wide fabric; I had 1.5 metres of this width. For a size 12 I was able to cut the pattern out with two quarter folds to the centre of my 150cm width, and although I did need about 1.4 metres of length I've now got a decent rectangle of fabric left over - maybe enough for a simple bag lining.
And if you're wondering how close the pattern is to the original designer garment, I'd say very!
I spent a bit of time searching this top out among past seasons of Donna Karan and DKNY, and it looks to have come from the DKNY Spring 2014 collection - which doesn't seem that long ago to me because we haven't yet had Spring 2015 here in Australia! Here it is on the runway:
It looks the same as the pattern to me, though perhaps a bit larger - though I'm not sure if that's just because the models are very thin under the tops? Here's a back view of the top as shown on a retail website:
All the DKNY versions of the top look to be made from crisp cotton, and on the retail sites it was listed as 97% cotton and 3% elastane - I think I want my next version of this top to be cotton too!
Final thoughts? Well obviously I love the pattern, but I'm not sure I love this fabric on me - I don't mind its polyester-ness, but I'm not convinced this is *my* green. On the positive side, I may be on my way to a Jungle print conversion...
Up next I'm planning to blog my frocktails outfit. The weather was stunning yesterday so I went out for blog photos, embarrassed myself horribly (I even ran into the whole family of a good friend of my son's, arghh!) BUT I think the photos are going to be alright.
See you soon
- Gabrielle xx