Donna Karan Autumn Hemp Silk Wrap Dress
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!
My Mom, Ami and I are heading over to The Baker Museum to check out the fashion exhibit: YVES SAINT LAURENT + HALSTON- FASHIONING THE 70’S! Perfect way to spend my birthday. Then we’re having lunch out at Season’s 52 with my sister. We’ll have a small family dinner party when the boys get home.
I’m one of Organic Cotton Plus’s preferred blogger’s and so when they offered me my choice of fabric I knew I wanted to try something I hadn’t sewn with before. 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.
All the Details-
*Please note this post contains an affiliate link. I’ve partnered with Organic Cottons Plus as a preferred blogger and receive fabric from them for review.
Graded from 12 at bust to 14 at waist and hips. Pattern Sizing puts this at 34-28-38 with generous ease. Finished measurements from the pattern(w/ my grading) are 38-33.5-41.5 while my actual measurements are 36.5-30-40. I’m 5’7″ and this hits above the knee.
All images courtesy of Megan DiPiero Photography
Here’s a behind the scenes glimpse of my mini photo shoot in my Dad’s Garage. As you can see my sister is an amazing photographer! Best birthday present!
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 after reading Erika’s review of this pattern. I wish I was half as stylish as she always looks! Check out her version in pale grey-it’s lovely.
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!