Thursday, February 21, 2013

V1342: This Pattern is Bananas

This Donna Karan dress pattern (V1342) is ridonkulous.

Vogue 1342 - Donna Karan Collection

I mean that in a good way. Really! Let me explain.

 "Very close-fitting, lined dress has front, back and shoulder straps cut-in-one, no side seam, bias, gathered upper left front, pleated and gathered back, and stitched hem." - from Vogue website/envelope back

What you see of this dress consists of just 2 pattern pieces. There's one piece for the "gathered upper left front" and then one piece for the whole rest of the dress, which did not fit on a dining room table that comfortably seats eight (see below).




 
The pattern has 6 pleats, 5 gathered areas (some of which you have to break the basting and gather in two sections), 2 or 3 fold lines, several notches, at least 20 dots of all different sizes that need to be matched up and one square (I forget what the square denotes). And there is only one vertical(ish) seam that runs down the back. Oh, right, and the additional 2 lining pieces have 2 bust darts and two fish eye darts.

Wow, that really didn't sound like "but in a good way", did it?  Somehow I'm finding myself really really into this patten. When I figured how this bizarre amoeboid pattern piece would morph into a dress, it was one of those "eureka!" sewing moments. This is actually why I love Donna Karan patterns.

One thing I don't love, is the lack of alteration lines. I had to take a guess at how (and where) to add room thru the hips. I did a slash and spread on the right side of the main pattern piece (above) in order to preserve the pleat markings, and I simply graded out on the left. I altered the lining pieces the same amount and the fit was spot on. So, fingers crossed that my wildcat alterations will work. (Um, if you have a better idea, feel free to volunteer it for posterity. It's too late for me since the fabric is cut.)

Now, why on earth I thought I would be able to finish this dress in a weekend - even a three day one - is beyond me. I guess with just two main pieces it seemed, um, easy. LOL There is a reason this pattern is rated Advanced.

So, my question for you is: Do you like complicated sewing? By "complicated" I don't mean tailoring or labor intensive hand sewing. What I mean is complicated construction - the kind of sewing where you go into the project not really knowing how the pieces are all going to fit together in the end. I kind of love it. Or do you prefer straightforward patterns with simple lines where you create the drama by adding your own touches to it? Like mixing it up with cool fabric or trim?

In one of those bizarre twists of sewing fate, the rated Easy pattern that I was also working on as a break from the brain work of this dress was a total fail. Go figure. But more on that tomorrow... 

19 comments:

Cuada Designs cuada said...

I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out - I love more complex patterns. It bothers me that Burda Magazine rarely do very complicated patterns any more - I love puzzling unusual shaped pieces together, even though , like you mentioned - they are more difficult to alter.

Neeno - Sew Me Love said...

This dress looks HOT!!!!!! Adding it to my wishlist.
Will have to find a larger working space though!!

Clio said...

LOL, yeah. Part of the problem is that I added 4 inches to the hem and that is what put it over the edge.

Clio said...

Me too! And with Burda, it's always a puzzle!

Houseofoinheiro said...

Gosh, this is so cool.. I must have it... I love challenging myself with patterns and I'm making a project from the drape drape series and it's the same feeling. I cannot wait to see your version x

Clio said...

Yeah, I'm thinking that Drape Drape would be a good investment for me at this point... ;-)

Sofie said...

Oh I just got this pattern in the mail yesterday and was (foolishly) thinking I could make it up to wear for my Sydney trip on Tuesday! ha ha. I love the 'cleverness' in pattern drafting but haven't made too many yet. I love seeing clothing in shops and working out how to draft it. That has to wait for more time at this stage in life. Good alteration - I'll probably use this too, thanks.

Kimbersew said...

This is the kind of project where a perfect replica dress-form could be nice... or crucial. (like La Sewista! 's!!! oh my! gorrrgeous!) Or maybe this dress is easy- just make sure that it's really snug and that your fabric has good recovery. Slinky!

Clio said...

Yeah, the just 2 pattern pieces is deceptive. But maybe you sew faster than I do? I spent a lot of time altering and trying to figure out how to proceed.

Clio said...

Um yeah. I need to get me one of those. Bunny's IS gorgeous!

SewingSveta said...

I would like to try something like this one day!I think this should be a fun! Right now for me even some simple patterns are pretty big fun and challenge too%))) especially with Burda instructions%)

Tanit-Isis Sews said...

Can't wait to see how this turns out! I kind of love complicated sewing. At least, I love the idea, maybe for a time when my brain is a little less full-to-overflowing and I have the mental space and time to actually think about my sewing again (rather than just banging out yet another set of leggings...)

Clio said...

LOL - there's something to be said for leggings too if my recent experience is any indication!

Clio said...

Burda is always an adventure!

poppykettle said...

Wowzer. All that amazing from only 2 fabric pieces? It's a smack-bang in your face dress for sure - in a really good way! I'm loving this pattern - looking forward to seeing it made up!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I'm so glad you have your craft lounge back! When people visit me, they sleep on an air mattress in the living room. I'm not kidding. Ain't nobody taking over the sewing room.


I am kind of lazy, and generally prefer straightforward patterns. However, there is nothing like the triumph of figuring out the complicated geometry of a non-intuitive pattern.

Ginger said...

Wow! This is crazy! How cool!

Kathy Lost said...

Kathy Lost said...

Hi did you ever finish this dress? I'm trying to make it at the moment. I'm at the lining stage but it has fried my brain a bit. Did you find the pattern to be correct? After attaching the lining to the dress the straps were on the wrong side! I think they need to be added after the lining but I'm not sure if it's just me.