Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pattern Review: Donna Karen Shirtdress

I was drawn to this pattern because I love the shape of this shirt dress. I like the hidden placket and the slight tulip shaped skirt. I didn't study the line drawings very well and didn't realize what a uniquely designed dress this really is until I got to making it.

I went with a size 18. It ended up just a bit on the large side but the large fabric belt cinches it in nicely. (I'm still getting used to that post-pregnancy body. I think I over compensate. That, and I have lost some weight. Just a few more pounds and I'll be back to pre-baby-body! It only took a year... lol!) I made petite adjustments by taking off a half inch length in the bodice and in the skirt for a total of one inch.

I had my eye on this blue and white print fabric from Jo-ann for some time but I could decide what I would use it for. It is a larger scale print so it needed just the right pattern for it. I think this pattern fit the bill. I can't remember what I paid for the fabric but I am guessing under $25.
Vogue rates the pattern as "average" and I think that's about right. There are some tricky corners and details but I didn't think it was overly difficult. I spent about 6-8 hours sewing after cutting it out.

I made a couple of minor changes, the first one being on the construction of the roll-up sleeve. Because my fabric had an obvious wrong side, I didn't want it to show on the roll-up sleeve. So what I did was made a deep hem- about 4 inches to the inside of the sleeve. Then I folded the hem of the sleeve to the outside to give it the rolled up look without having the wrong side of the fabric show. For this same reason, I folded the tie belt in half lengthwise, sewed it together, and turned it right side out. So now it is a skinnier belt. But I think it looks a lot cleaner without the wrong side showing.

It turned out to be a very flattering, well designed dress! I have not had a chance to wear this out yet but I think I will wear it on date night with the hubby once the weather warms up.

My legs have not seen the light of day for several months and you can tell! And yes, I chopped my hair off! Well I didn't- the nice ladies at JcPenney Salon did it for me. I've been thinking about it for a long time and I bit the bullet and went for it! I have a love-hate relationship with the new do. Sometimes I look in the mirror and say "what have I done?", and other times I really like the new, short, choppy look!



  1. Jenny, you look great! love, the dress and the fabric is soooo beautiful and your hair gorgeous!

  2. I am the same way with new hair cuts. I love them one day and hate the next. Rock it girl! Also, you may have made one of my favorite versions of this dress so far.

  3. Love this pattern. It says though not for a pear shape which is putting me off as I'm very "pear" Susan

  4. This is really sharp- I've never seen it in a print and it really sits. Nicely done.

  5. Love it! You inspired me earlier to get the lissette pattern. I intended to make the shirt, but I found a remnant at Joann and am almost with the skirt. It's cut on the biased and makes for interesting sewing!

  6. This dress looks fabulous on you. I've looked at the Donna Karan pattern before and just couldn't see it in a regular fabric. All her models look so dressed up and I need clothes I can wear to work. Yours looks beautiful! I'm glad you had more vision than me. Now, I want that pattern!