Sailing – Vogue Donna Karan 1116

It’s been a while since I have had any time at all to work on my dear sewing blog. Since starting full time Interior Design studies at the beginning of this year, I haven’t had time to do anything but concentrate on my course, which I love and am fully committed to, but at the same time, I really miss having the time to sew and blog.

During mid semester break, I decided it was time to at least partially revive my blog. So here is a short post that has been sitting in the pipeline for over 6 months about a dress that I made a long time ago and never posted. The photos were taken during our Whitsunday sailing holiday last September!

The pattern is a casual Donna Karan dress by Vogue 1116. I like all three dress patterns and would like to have the time to make the other two one day. But for the first one, I chose the strappy backed dress.  The fabric is a nice navy cotton with some spandex in it to give it a good amount of stretch, making it very comfortable and wearable on hot summer days or while sailing! The stretch in the fabric allows for a good amount of movement, even when doing sailing manoeuvres!


You can easily make this dress up in a day. It only has the front, the back and the straps with elastic inside to fit your size and shape. Making up the straps can be a bit fiddly, but the rest is a piece of cake.

I’ve worn this dress on numerous summer holidays and because it’s cotton jersey with spandex, you really don’t need to iron it if you are living out of a suitcase. It will just stretch on your body and iron itself out!

You could probably line the front of the dress if you are using a very thin stretchy fabric, but I didn’t. I just wanted to keep it light and airy for hot days. There is the issue of wearing a bra or not with the back being so low cut. If not, I would suggest to line the front!

I had no problems making this dress. A very easy and quick pattern to sew up. The only thing while wearing it, is make sure you can ask someone to set the straps straight once you have it on, otherwise they will twist around a bit and look untidy.

The dresses in this pattern set are all only for stretch fabrics. I think they would all look great in stretch striped fabrics too!

Couldn’t help myself and not do the Titanic pose!!

Happy sewing and hope to be back soon with another blog post in the very near future!


LOCATION: Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia.

STYLING: hat – Borsalino, Rome, sunglasses – Tom Ford, Margot, ring – Apart Fashion

Chloe Collection

When the Chloe spring/summer 2016 collection came out, I flicked through the pictures of each garment on the runway and fell in love with the dresses, top and skirt in the pictures below. They all have a girly retro look about them. I really like the bows and the top stitching. So of course I decided to copy one (for now) and decided it would be the first dress with the two bows on the shoulders – also in navy but without the extreme low cut front.

chloe-dress1     chloe3     chloe2

By doing some research on the internet, I found out that the Chloe dress was made in crepe. I didn’t have navy crepe in my stash, so I thought a navy ponte knit would do the job. I find ponte knit very easy to sew and work with and also nice to wear. Unfortunately I didn’t think about how thick the ponte would be when it came to top stitching. There was a reason for the crepe and not ponte knit in the Chloe collection. But if you don’t look too close…

My ponte knit was from a remnant fabric/clothing store that sells remnants from Australian fashion labels, which I have mentioned a few times on my blog. I stop by every now and then to see what they have in stock when I am in the area, as they are only a few doors down from one of my favourites – The Fabric Store.

I am quite sure it’s a rayon ponte knit because of the beautiful drape of the fabric. And it doesn’t have a synthetic feel to it.

In the photos the ponte comes across as a deep blue but that is just the lighting in the pictures. It is in fact a medium navy blue.

I had to make up the pattern for this dress myself, as I didn’t really have anything similar in my pattern stash. So trial and error it was again until I thought it looked ok! The dress is a slight A line, so it wasn’t rocket science.

I guessed the length of the ties by studying photos of the original on the internet and in magazines and made them a bit longer just in case. Cutting off is easier than regretting and redoing…

The original Chloe dress has a plunging V in the front and back, which was not for me and my bra shapes! So I cut it to a more modest and wearable depth.

The only real issue I had with this dress was the top stitching, which I did with white top stitching thread. The ponte knit was just too thick to top stitch through well and tidily in the shoulder area. Double layers of fabric were fine, but four layers were just too much. The tension was constantly wrong and I had to undo lots of it and start again and again until it was satisfactory at least. Such a pain!

I am not super proud of the result, but I think I can get away with it.

We took the photos of my Chloe dress at Mt Buffalo, while holidaying in beautiful Bright, Victoria. It’s autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and the temperature at Mt Buffalo’s Torpedo Rock (almost at the peak) was a cool 9 degrees Celsius, while down below in town it was 22 degrees! Straight back into the jeans and warm gear after the photos!

Keep sewing and until next time!

STYLING: sunglasses – Carlina Square by Chloe, shoes – Zara, ring – Apart Fashion

LOCATION: Torpedo Rock, Mt Buffalo, Victoria