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.
Hemp Silk Blend Charmeuse in Autumn from Organic Cottons Plus
(affiliate link- fabric given to me in exchange for an honest review)
Take eye-catching to a whole new level with this incredibly beautiful, stunningly colored 70% hemp/ 30% silk blend. Shiny on one side and muted on the other, it’s perfect for making absolutely splendid formal and semi-formal outfits.
Width: 56″ Weight: 5.8 oz/sq yd (195 gsm) Content: 70% Hemp / 30% Silk Made In: China
You’ll love the feel and how sumptuously it drapes. Some people make the most opulent duvet covers and curtains imaginable with hemp silk charmeuse, and you could too! Perfect for luxurious everyday wear, and fancy crafts (eye pillows, sachets, etc).
Made from tussah silk and naturally-grown hemp raised as a companion crop in the fields of China without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The vast majority of the silkworms are allowed to work their way free of the cocoon and continue their lives; the few that don’t end up as highly-prized delicacies for the fiber workers. Farm and mill workers are paid a fair wage for their work, receive benefits, and have a significant amount of say about their jobs. Purchase this fabric knowing you are making a difference!
Silk should be hand-washed only, preferably with a special silk detergent. Pull into shape after washing and air dry. Be careful to iron the slightly damp cloth on low temperatures only. Sprinkling before ironing may cause water stains.
ESTIMATED BACK IN STOCK DATE: SUMMER 2022
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!
Happy birthday!! The photography and quality of sewing make this look like a magazine spread! Not to mention that color of fabric is perfect with your hair and coloring. Beautiful and fancy. Interesting fabric and pattern. Nicely done!
Thanks Lisa! I’m so happy with how this dress turned out! I’m super lucky- my sister is an amazing photographer!
Happy Birthday, Rebecca!! What a gorgeous outfit for celebrating! I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and that everyone loves your new dress – no doubt they will. :)
Thanks so much Carolyn! The day is off to a wonderful start! :)
Stunning! Happy birthday. x
Congratulations, Rebecca! The dress is absolutely stunning and you look simply gorgeous in it. Happy birthday!
Thanks so much Lori! I adore this dress-definitely my best make yet! :)
Happy Birthday! A most glamorous beginning to your forties.
Thanks Jen! It’s a perfect start to my 40’s!
Happy Birthday! What a beauty, both you and the dress! Great photoshoot too.
Thanks so much! And thanks for the compliments! :)
You look glorious!!! That’s a beautiful dress, and it seems to be very easy to wear. I’m starting to think I need some wrap dresses in my wardrobe, and this is a gorgeous inspiration piece. You picked the perfect match of fabric and pattern.
Thanks Bea! This dress is surprisingly comfortable too. Thank you!
Happy Birthday! You look so chic, congrats!
Thanks so much Tasha!
It’s rare to see a dress that is so beautiful inside and out. That makes is a great dual outfit– wrap dress and coat! All eyes were on you at the Halston/YSL Exhibit at the Baker Museum today! Great tailoring makes a world of difference! 40 and FABULOUS!
Thanks Mom! It was an amazing birthday! So glad we could spend the day together viewing all that amazing fashion! Thanks for making today so special:)
Happy birthday, Rebecca! What a spectacular dress, and it looks great as a cardigan as you’ve styled it.
Thanks Morgan! I really love it as a jacket, it feels so sleek and modern. Glad I’ll be getting lots of wear out of this make.
Happy Birthday…. you are stunning on your dress….congratulations!
Thanks so much!
Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you had great plans for your birthday, hope they turned out well. The dress is perfect for starting your 40s in style and I love that it doubles as a cardigan as well.
Thanks Helena! I had a fabulous birthday! :)
Wow – what a gorgeous dress! Happy birthday!
Thanks so much Lindsay !
Happy birthday Rebecca! that is some glorious fabric
Thanks Sasha! The fabric really is amazing!
Happy birthday! The fabric sounds dreamy, and you and your dress both look fabulous.
Thanks so much Becky! I just love this dress and the fabric is really so gorgeous! :)
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