Donna Karan 1440


Hello Summer, well… hello rainy summer. It’s Wimbledon season so rain is to be expected. Not that I have just finished this sleeveless top in time to wear it during the summer. This is one of those projects that got a fast start and than was forgotten. This top was cut while I was working on the Peacoat sew-along. You know when you see a pattern and want to make it immediately even when is not weather appropriate? ‘Love at first sight, buy, wash the fabric and cut’. The meticulous plaid matching of my coat probably caused a little meltdown on my attention to details because I cut my top with the flowers facing down. Print placement failure. The realisation of this misstep almost made me not want to continue to work on this pattern. Would it look too silly and obvious? I made all the markings than stored the project.The fabric was too nice to waste.

During a lazy May sunday morning finding a ‘ready-to-sew’ project felt like a wonderful gift to self. I had the top finished at the end of the afternoon. The pattern wasn’t hard but instructions are nebulous. The facings are on the outside so there is a lot of visible topstitching. The pattern was really fun to make and I’m happy with the result however I’m not inclined to make again. At least not in the near future.

The back details is just lovely and require a strapless bra. All these patterns with special bra requirements just make me want to delve back into lingerie making.

Size wise I made size 12 without any fittings alterations. For those that aren’t long time readers I always measure the pattern flat before I start to avoid getting frustrated. I used to talk a lot about fitting when I was learning. Now my process is second nature. I will try to slow down a few times to show you the behind the seams on more complex fitting projects. Do note the pattern original length. I think on a shorter person this top would be looking like a  mini dress. The only modification was to raise the neckline by adding more buttons. I don’t like how the original collar sits. Is it me or you also think collars need to sit close to the neck? If I nitpick I could have placed the last button (the neckline) a smidgen higher.

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Pattern: Donna Karan Vogue 1440. “Top has collar, collar band, back and armhole bands, yoke back, mock-front band, bias hem facing and concealed button-down closure.”

Fabric:Art Gallery Voile. Left over denim for the collar. My skin tone needs brighter tones so when I sewn with pastels colours I tend to add a darker colour near my face.

Noteworthy: As of July 14, 2016, BMV will no longer sell Donna Karan and DKNY patterns (current & out-of-print styles). A lot of the patterns are on sale so hurry.

  • I’ve had my eye on this pattern….just for the top alone. And…I just checked the website; they still have this pattern available. You have made a beautiful version…loving’ the collar as well. I agree that collars with collar stands should be fairly close fitting to the neck.

    Okay…love the top, but your curls are stealing the show! Gorgeous!

  • I had to look thru all the pictures again after you mentioned the flowers facing down, it actually doesnt seem to make an obvious difference as the flowers still look fine and there is a blue flower that seems to be neither up or down that catches the eye most…. love that pattern, I have a cream patterned voile that I am struggling to use and the accented collar you have used here may just be the thing. love it

    • thank you Eimear, yes that blue flower must have been what I used to guide me and only after that i realised i didn’t place the print correctly

  • Yes to collars that sit close to the neck! what an interesting way to construct a racer back

  • I really love this Rachel, it looks amazing on you and the back detail is fabulous.

  • Amy Ingvoldstad

    Hey Rachel, this top looks great! The flowers look pleasantly mirrored on each side to me… Also I like the tip about measuring patterns flat before cutting- never would have thought to do that…

    • Thanks Amy. if you dig my early posts i share loads of fitting tips

  • This is so lovely! I love this pattern- the back yoke is gorgeous and looks so pretty on everyone I’ve seen make it. It’s funny that you want to sew lingerie when you make something that needs a special bra- I just end up not wearing the clothes that need something different! I should take a page out of your book! 🙂

    • This pattern is really a gem. The construction with the facing outside make it really strand out of just a sleeves shirt

  • Hélène Martin

    Love it when you wear your curls! The top is amazing and can’t wait to read the “behind the seams” look at your fitting process!

  • I don’t think I would have noticed the upside down flowers if you hadn’t mentioned it- the blouse turned out lovely!
    The Artyologist

  • I don’t think I would have noticed the upside down flowers if you hadn’t mentioned it- the blouse turned out lovely!
    The Artyologist