The Cutting Edge: A Summer with Donna Karan!

With the pleasure of a bit of time on my hands and limited activities that I can engage in because of the carpal tunnel, (knitting is out), I have turned my hand to a bit of sewing. This is completely practical given that I am inevitably going to be a little bit bigger than my regular wardrobe for at least a few months after our little one is born but I also don’t want to go through the ongoing drama of truly, truly having nothing to wear. Seriously, right now I am down to four outfits!

So early this week I began “the hunt”. I was somewhat mortified that Ganters in Kingston had closed down. It was a beautiful shop with bolts of luxurious and fabulously expensive fabrics displayed in the windows. Many of my vintage patterns acquired over the years have the Ganters stamp. The shop name remained printed in gold and beyond the glass panes remained the shell of what the shop had been. Stripped! I thought this was very sad given that it had been around for two generations (at least) but it was also one of the few family stores to sell that kind of merchandise. The only options left now for anyone that sews are the warehouse-like Spotlight or Lincraft that are less specialist, less personal and at times of questionable quality.

In the spirit of my love of “vintage” I decided to use two metres of luxurious Malay batik that I was lucky enough to chance upon in an op shop one afternoon. I holidayed in that part of Malaysia with my Dad a decade ago and immediately recognised the style and the quality. The fabric was in immaculate condition, simply unrecognised and under-appreciated beneath a pile of poly-something-a-rather and I snapped it up for a few humble dollars- I had an absolute gem!

Evokes an exotic Summer garden- perfect for an Aussie Summer!

Terengganu is an area of Northern Malaysia famed for its batik artisans

The pattern I settled on was fairly simple- a wrap skirt from a 1992 Vogue American Designer pattern by Donna Karan New York. The pattern  has held its own in almost twenty years- classic and simple. It is also versatile, offering little difficulty to alter for the following Summer when hopefully my figure has returned to some semblance of what it was! It was easy enough having read the instructions with a few teeny little new challenges… The pattern was also pre-cut by a various owner (I buy lots of patterns I admire on Etsy and eBay), so I didn’t have any qualms that I was somehow depreciating the value of an item in my collection!

I love this line of patterns... very addictive.

The skirt is nearly done, though I cannot tailor it properly yet. I made it longer to show off the fabric design Not bad for an afternoon. Here are a few snaps of the sewing process.

Now…. What to wear with it… It feels almost as good as shopping! Actually, it feels better!

Pinned

The cutting edge...

2 thoughts on “The Cutting Edge: A Summer with Donna Karan!

  1. I have some very similar fabric that was sent via Singapore – it´s beautiful! Love the skirt and was thinking of making something similar too. Have already made a top out of one piece which turned out great!

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