Creation: Donna Karan Autumn Hemp Silk Wrap Dress
Fabrics Used: Autumn Hemp Silk Charmeuse
The Visionary: Rebecca, Sew Pomona
Our Thoughts: Rebecca at Sew Pomona made an exquisite Silk Wrap dress using our Silk Charmeuse as a birthday gift to herself. So beautiful and elegant!
I saw this bronze colored hemp silk and fell in love. It has a beautiful sheen but none of the slipperiness of traditional silk. The hemp content gives it a firmer hand and makes it a dream to sew. Unwrapping the yardage was like Christmas all over again. This fabric is really a show stopper.
This Donna Karan Pattern, V1384, has been in my sewing queue since I first started this blog two years ago. I loved the fabric it was shown in-a crisp pink silk-but wondered where I could ever wear something so formal. But once I saw this fabric the dress seemed like an inspired choice. I graded this pattern from a 12 at the bust down to a 14 at the hips for ease of wear.
I can’t rave enough about how this dress is drafted. It’s such a clever design how the facings are attached and then the lining is bagged. This dress is beautiful inside and out. I’m a sucker for interesting darts! They really shape the dress and make the fit. What I love most about this dress though is it’s versatility. I can wear it how it was designed but it also makes a fabulous modern cut jacket. That’s how I’ll be wearing it today- over a navy knit midi dress with some pretty seaming (another new make!) which keeps it a bit more casual.
I don’t know about you but I never dry clean anything. I haven’t in years. I made sure to hand wash my fabric as soon as it arrived and hung it to dry to make sure I wouldn’t have any issues laundering this dress. No spotting and it looked just as lovely.
This dress is cut on the bias so it does use a lot more fabric then a typical knee-length dress. I used all of the 4 yards in length-the fabric is 56″ wide. I was right at the edge cutting the last pieces. My tip for cutting bias pieces easily- make a nice fold on the grainline of your pattern pieces to easily line them up before cutting. It really makes layout easier-especially with shiny fabric.
This dress was made almost completely on my regular sewing machine with quite a bit of hand finishing for all the hems. I went back and redid the hem you see in these pictures to make it invisible from the exterior with catch stitches. I didn’t like the line it made at the hem-though that is the way it’s sewn based on the instructions.
I’m excited to make another version now! I wasn’t sure how I’d like this silhouette. I really was worried about how low-cut this looked but it’s totally fine. I had attached a small snap for modesty but removed it since It wasn’t necessary. The only changes I’ll make next time are to widen the sleeves a bit. I had to use a very small seam allowance to make these work. I’d also like to try this lengthened to mid calf and maybe make a sleeveless version too. Oh the possibilities…..I just need more fabric!
I’m starting my 40’s in style! Happy Sewing!