I bought this pattern specifically for the top. I really liked the volume in the front drape, and it looked easy enough to be a basic “wardrobe builder” pattern, if executed in different fabrics. I was prepared for some sort of “surprise” that always comes with a finished Donna Karan project (fit, shoulders, drape, etc), and often disguised with a fashion photo shoot. It was apparent that a liquid fabric, like slinky, is needed for this design to realize its potential.
Based upon the photo shoot, I knew this was going to be low-cut … The fabric that I selected was a find from Michael Levine Loft in the Los Angeles Fashion District. It is a very liquid poly-lycra with a metallic sheen. The fabric here is priced by the pound, about $2.
The pattern for the top is only a single pattern piece, with a couple of additional armhole binding strips. In order to alter it, you will need to be very careful. I am a petite, so I needed to take ½” out of the torso, otherwise the CF would end at my belly-button. To accomplish this, I pleated out the ½” across the front of the top (armpit-to-armpit), and then graded my size (12) to the shoulder seam for the next smaller size (10) in the back, effectively removing ½” from the upper torso. (See photo)
There are only a couple of seams in the main body (one in the center to secure the drape, which is weighted – I used a heavy glass bead – and the single center back seam. The neckline is self-faced – you can hem it if you want to (I didn’t). I also didn’t hem the finished top.I did alter the binding method for the armholes, per my previously documented method, since I don’t like Vogue’s method – which often results in distortion.
I also found the shoulders to be wide, with a tendency to slide out if you do not have square shoulders like the model. The self-facing in the back did not particularly stay put because of this (kept rolling out in the back). I took the CB seam in a bit, and then applied a small amount of fusible interfacing in the back to stabilize the shoulders. Tacking would have created dimples and drag lines.
As expected, it was VERY low cut, but still a wearable low-cut. It is also very easy to fix this by extending the sew-line for the pleat to the desirable neckline. You could also add a snap so that the look is convertible from day to night.
Would I make this again, as planned? Absolutely. It took less than an hour to put together. A winner in my book – just be aware of the surprises noted.