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Donna Karan Autumn Hemp Silk Wrap Dress Thursday, February 4 2016
Creation: Donna Karan Autumn Hemp Silk Wrap Dress
The Visionary: Rebecca, Sew Pomona
Our ThoughtsRebecca at Sew Pomona made an exquisite Silk Wrap dress using our Silk Charmeuse as a birthday gift to herself. So beautiful and elegant!
Today is my 40th Birthday!!!   I promised myself this year I’d be wearing something fabulous to celebrate. Check out what I’ll be decked out in-Donna Karan for Vogue Collections Wrap Dress in the most beautiful Hemp Silk Charmeuse.  This fabric looks like liquid gold-it’s a stunner!
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!


    March 02, 2016 Raederle says:

    Gorgeous! I love making my own organic dresses from cotton. I’ve yet to try silk. This makes me really want to!

    April 20, 2016 Mary T says:

    Wow! Gorgeous dress Rebecca. And you totally rock it! Congratulations on your workmanship and vision. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for sharing and I’m looking forward to your future variations. Happy Birthday and a great start to this most special year for you!

    April 25, 2016 Theresa H says:

    A beautifully made garment and the color is stunning on you. I love the flounce at the bottom, it adds a bit of fun.

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