Saturday, 9 November 2013

Vogue 1351: DKNY dress w/t cowl neck

It's my first time to sew a DKNY pattern! Vogue 1351 is now one of my favourites. I've named it Donna. Yes, I've started naming my dresses since my last project.

The dress
This cowl neck dress is absolutely gorgeous and simple. I would not say it’s easy to sew as many reviews say. Yes there are only four pattern pieces and a few seams, but crepe fabric is flimsy and slippery to handle and it’s hard to cut it on bias accurately. Nevertheless, it gives an elegant drape and easy fit.  It feels to so different to wear a bias cut dress, it just clings to your skin.

The Fabric
The fashion fabric I used is “Italian Crepe” from Spotlight. I guess it’s something similar to Crepe-de-chine. I wanted some fabric that drapes well enough to make a nice cowl neck. It’s not an easy fabric to handle.

The lining fabric is “delux” (not deluxe) satin from Spotlight. It has a dull back which sticks well to the crepe, and a smooth and glossy surface, which makes it so comfortable to wear close to my skin. The satin also drapes as well as crepe.

Sewing the lining
There are many ways to sew lining to a sleeveless dress. I first learnt this bagging method from NeenoHowever, I can’t apply it on this dress as there is no centre back opening. After a bit of research, I used the rolling method. It’s basically to stitch and understitch the whole neckline, then roll the dress in and sew the armhole seam (as picttured below) and turn the dress out. Don’t forget to understitch. (1) Understitching may not reach the seams close to the shoulder, use edgstitching. (2)

I love the understitch. It makes such a difference. I also use it along the joint of the cowl and the lining.(3) & (4)

The zip

My attempt to sew the invisible zip along the under arm side seam was a nightmare. As the fabric is cut on bias, the fabric is easily stretched and  it ended up looking like this:

I found the bad and good news - the zip was unacceptable but I could actually put on the dress without opening the zip. So I unpicked the zip and stitched it up. Now the side seams are much better.

To sum up
I would not recommend this pattern to beginners as the crepe fabric is difficult to handle and the bias cutting is tricky. I would like to try this pattern on knit fabric although I have never sewn knits/interlocks.

What’s next?
So many patterns but so little time. I am excited to receive two Sewaholic patterns this week. Thanks to Indie Stitches, I don’t have to buy it from the US.
I am also making a Lekala pattern at the moment, hopeful I can finish it this weekend.
I also want to sew a slipcover for my couch. The measurement is done and the fabric is ready.

Feel free to leave comments. I'd love to hear from your experience of bias cutting and sewing crepe!


  1. Lovely dress Celeste! Can't go wrong with red crepe. And the dress fits you perfectly. I can't wait to see your version of Sewaholic Gambie dress. One of my favorite patterns :)


    1. Hi Anna. I was so inspired by your Cambie Dress to get this pattern. I am still hesitating on the fabric.

  2. Your impeccable sewing skills are really showcased in this dress. Just stunning.

  3. Looks great babe!!! Well done on sewing a bias cut pattern... I have not tackled that monster :)
    How awesome is understitching??? I used to be lazy and skip that step altogether, but I did it once and never looked back!!


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