Vogue Pattern 2923 Donna Karan Jacket

I enjoy Donna Karan designs and I imagined this jacket would look good with either dress pants and jeans.  I made two fitting shells before cutting into my fashion fabric.  Even so I was disappointed in the turnout.  Here is the link so you can see the pattern.  I see that they now offer it on clearance so maybe it is being fazed out. 


Pros: The style of the jacket is cute and spunky.  It could be artsy or a bit more formal for work.

Cons: Applying the ruffle collar is tricky and the pattern instructions don’t cut it with all of the pitfall possibilities of seaming a woolen bias ruffle. 

Some Assembly Required:  I am disappointed because the collar was troublesome to finish.  The pattern instructions could have been better diagramed.  For awhile I was nonplussed as to how to handle the piece marked “contrast”.  Like the jacket pictured on the pattern envelope both of my collar pieces were cut of the same fabric and would not actually contrast with anything as would say two different collar pieces in two different colors.  The illustrations never really show the “contrast” piece in relation to the main piece so I was left to assume that they meant the second collar piece.  It is a small thing but it did waste some of my already restricted sewing time trying to figure out the instruction diagrams.

The collar ruined the whole jacket!  Now I am out a wardrobe piece I could use, have wasted money on quality fabric, and wasted a lot of time.   This kind of thing makes me despair of ever sewing really well.   In a nutshell here is what happened to the finished collar. ( I would include a photo but the jacket is of such dark fabric that none of the pictures came out clear enough.)

  • The collar is wavy, floppy and sloppy, not intentionally jaunty and ruffly. 
  • The bottom left front corner juts out a bit funny which no amount of notching the seam has helped.

I’m sure the pattern companies will say I lacked skill which I most certainly do, but I felt as an intermediate sewer and their target consumer that they could have provided more instruction on what they must have known was a difficult collar to construct well.

Fabric : I choose a lightweight soft wool blend with some drape because I knew it would hide any topstitching errors in the flat felled seams and I imagined the collar would look better with some drape.  I love the fabric and find it very forgiving and nice-looking when seamed.  Though my fabric choice was listed as a recommendation on the pattern envelope it still doesn’t look quite fitting.  The jacket on the pattern cover actually looks to be of a stiffer fabric.


  • In hindsight I would cut back the collar to a 3/8th seam because 5/8ths was just too big as I went around the tight curves. 
  • I would choose a stiffer fabric and construct a muslin down to the finish details because that is where I was most challenged. 
  • Since the sleeve is two pieces and I require an extensive alteration to accomodate both sloping shoulders and a large upper arm I should have just used the muslin as the pattern instead of trying to unsuccessfully transfer the changes to the paper.

Will I Sew It Again?  Probably not.  I think my result is a amateurish and definitely doesn’t look store-bought. I should start on a simpler jacket for beginning tailoring.  Since the pattern directions are giving the traditional approach where a serger is not assumed the home sewer isn’t given any professional pointers on what is actually a quite tricky collar application. 

My husband says it looks like I slept in it.  I am a bit bummed.

Advice to Others: If you love this pattern I suggest you make a fitting muslin from start to finish and get that practice under your belt.  Also you may want to make a mini-ruffle and attach it to a square of fabric to see if your chosen fabric has enough body to work successfully as a large ruffled collar.

Overall: Style – Terrific,  Results-Dorky and Homemade Looking

Next Post: Thursday, February 11, 2010; Dum-Dum-Da-Dum: Marrying Thread to Fabric



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