Sunday, June 7, 2015

Vogue 1440 Donna Karan Collection Top

I don't usually wear button-down blouses especially collared ones but the unique yoke back on this top pattern immediately caught my eye and I decided I needed to have this in my wardrobe.

I made a muslin using only the essential pieces--the front, back and yoke. I skipped the collar and the facings. Based on my bust measurement I should have chosen size 8 but I always find that the big 4 put too much wearing ease on their patterns so I muslined a size 6. I needed to shorten the top by 3" (taking off 2" along the lengthen/shorten line and 1" off the hem), take in 5/8" from each side seam along the bustline to prevent gaping along the armhole and raise the bust dart about 1/2".

For the real version, I used a linen blend fabric from Jo-ann's. It is a beautiful shade of rose and has a lovely drape. Made of 55% linen and 45% rayon, it is not so sheer and lightweight.

I also sewed a second version using leftover stash from a previous project. Pictures are shown below.

The pattern instructions were very detailed. In fact, they were so detailed that they tended to be confusing at times. For instance, in step no. 3, it says "To form fly, with wrong sides together, fold right front along remaining foldline, bring stitching lines together, press." The bolded was not really necessary as folding along the line automatically brought the stitching lines together. This makes it sound like an additional step that needed to be done. Anyway, that's just me nitpicking. On a positive note, all the tiny details make for a well-constructed and cleanly finished top. Here are pics showing some of those details I loved.

Back vent

Center back seam
Hidden button placket

Here are some sewing notes I wrote down that may be helpful as they certainly helped me when it was time to sew the second version.

1) When laying out the front pattern pieces, make sure the right side of the fabric is facing out. Same with the pattern pieces. That way, you make sure the right and left side are cut out correctly.

2) When transferring the markings, it is okay to put the markings for the foldlines on the wrong side. However for the buttonhole markings, it is best to mark them on the right side.

3) When altering the length, make necessary adjustments to the placement of the buttonholes.

4) When doing the French seam, I sewed the seams 3/8" from the edge wrong sides together, trimmed to a scant 1/4" then sewed with right sides together 2/8" (1/4") from the remaining edge. I am still wondering why the pattern instructions state to sew 1/8" from the raw edge, then sew along the seamline.

5)  Be consistent with the edgestitching on the armhole and yoke facings so that the stitches match when it's time to sew the shoulder seams together. I had to rip seams several times when I was sewing the first version as my stitches didn't match. See pic below.

It was better the second time around!

And here are finished tops. One in rose linen blend and another in mustard yellow with cream eyelet accent on the yoke back.


  1. Lovely tops and the Rose version is very flattering.

    1. Thanks Sharon! That was another lucky find for me from Jo-Ann's!

  2. Thanks for showcasing this blouse, I never looked past the jacket on the pattern cover, I'd like this in my summer wardrobe!

    1. You're welcome Stacy! I did not notice this blouse in the Vogue pattern website too as it was categorized under jackets but saw a review at the PR website and that inspired me. This will be a unique addition to your summer wardrobe!