DVF-Inspired Wrap Dress in Silk Jersey

A couple of years ago, I was trolling around the local estate sales in my neighborhood and I came across one of the holy grails of sewing – a copy of Vogue 1610, a Vogue American Designer pattern from the 70s, this particular one dedicated to Diane Von Furstenberg. Not only did I score with finding the pattern, it was my size *and* I bought it for $1. That’s a pretty sweet score, so naturally I did with it what I do best – shove it in my pattern cabinet and forget about it for two years.

When I finally came to my senses and rediscovered this beauty, I decided to do the pattern it’s true justice and make it up in a gorgeous silk jersey and pretend like I had my very own DVF (I mean, it sort of is a DVF in a sense, right? The pattern is branded with her name, that’s close enough… right??). I know, I know, an original DVF from the 70s would probably be sewn up in some ~futuristic~ polyester, but I’m a lady who loves her silk and silk jersey just sounded so dreamy. I had to have some and it had to be a wrap dress.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

After making up a quick wearable muslin using a rayon knit I bought from Mood Fabrics while it was on sale (I posted the final on my blog, which you can see here), I was ready to cut into my dream fabric – this paisley silk jersey, also from Mood Fabrics. It’s actually by Marc Jacobs – I hope Diane doesn’t mind!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Silk jersey is a new-to-me fabric, and I certainly enjoyed the process of really getting to know this fine lady. While silk jersey comes in many different weights, this particular fabric I used is on the heavier side. It actually handles a lot like a ponte, except with a better drape and that wonderful feeling of, well, silk. It is a fairly staple knit, which means you can sew it on a regular machine without much fuss. For the most part, I treated this fabric the same way I treat any other knit – the seams are constructed on my serger (again, not necessary – but hey, I have a serger and it’s there, so why not?), and I stabilized the shoulders with strips of iron-on interfacing to keep them from stretching out over time.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

The few parts that I did sew on my sewing machine, I used a fine 70/10 ballpoint needle and regular polyester thread. What is different here (as opposed to how I normally sew knits) is that I included facings at the arm holes and blindstitched them down, as well as blindstitched the hem and the facing on the skirt overlap. I know, I know – it’s a knit, throw a binding on it and call it a day, yeah? – but I felt like this dress deserved just a little more finesse, it being a silk jersey DVF and all. Since the silk jersey is so, well, robust, it lends nicely to blindstitching as the stitches really sink it and are completely invisible on the right side. Plus, it presses like a dream. Yay silk!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

One big concern I had when I was picking out this fabric was upkeep – y’all, I don’t take stuff to the dry cleaners. EVER. Things that cannot be washed in the machine simply do not belong in my house as far as I’m concerned. As I’ve been prewashing all my silk in the washing machine at home (well, ok, fine, at the laundromat – my washer is broken THANKS FOR THE REMINDER) and nobody has died yet, I decided to take a leap of faith and prewash my silk jersey just to see what would happen. And hey – it worked! It definitely dulled the saturation of the colors ever so slightly, as well as removed the sheen on the fabric (which is fine with me, I like the matte look!), but the silk looks great and it makes me really happy to know that cleaning it won’t be an ordeal – which means I’ll wear it much more frequently. Yeah!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Overall, I’m really pleased with how this dress turned out and I can’t wait to test those silk-breathing properties in the dead of summer. Not to mention – how about those colors, eh? Seriously, is it even possible to be unhappy while wearing this dress? :)

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

So, there you go – baby’s first (faux)DVF! What do you think? Are you ready to fall in love with silk jersey yet?

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Comments


  • Frenchfancy
    April 21, 2014

    What a fabulous dress. It looks amazing on you, goes great with your hair.

  • Kimberly
    April 21, 2014

    Beautiful! Thanks for the extra detailing.

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      You are most welcome :)

  • Sallie
    April 21, 2014

    Lauren, I think you just made my dream dress! The perfect wrap style AND a beautiful, bright, happy silk jersey!?!?! Yep, dream dress. And it looks magnificent on you! Also, I am ALLL about throwing my silks in the washing machine!

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      I think it’s my dream dress too! Bonus for being machine-washable, woohoo!

  • Keeks
    April 21, 2014

    That print looks really great in those closeup pictures. The print and fit make it fantastic!

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      It’s a pretty fabulous print for sure! Thank you!

  • Jenny
    April 21, 2014

    I’m such a fan of wrap dresses and well jell you found an original DVF! I really like that way of finishing the neckline too – it looks really professional and polished.

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      I’ve been looking for a good knit wrap dress pattern for ages… stupid me for forgetting that I had the QUEEN OF ALL WRAP PATTERNS in my sewing box this whole time! I’ll be keeping this pattern close to my heart from now on, ha! :)

  • Rachel
    April 21, 2014

    AMAZING! What a fabulous pattern? And combined with that fabric.. a prefect designer dress!

  • BeckyW
    April 21, 2014

    Love the dress. So gorgeous! Love that you talked about pre-washing. If a fabric can’t take the washing machine, it can’t live in my house! I am sometimes intimidated by some fabrics that would be gorgeous, but I am afraid that they will require more care than I am willing to give them. I’m looking forward to giving silk jersey a try. Your incredible pattern find would be really cool in a frame hanging in your sewing room now that you have finished with it.

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      I know what you mean, because I’ve definitely felt the same way in the past. In my experience, most fabrics are ok to be machine-washed (*as the prewash*!!!), except for stuff with wool, which will felt. This has seriously opened my eyes up to sooo many fabrics i would have otherwise overlooked, knowing that they are easy to take care of.

      Great idea for displaying the pattern! Right now, I have it at the front of my sewing pattern box, so I can at least sort of see it :)

  • Ginger
    April 21, 2014

    This is so lovely! The print is amazing, and really suits the wrap dress style!

  • Serenity
    April 21, 2014

    this is REALLY cute… but I wish you would have done the long maxidress version

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      I would have loved to, but I think this fabric would have been a bit too heavy for a maxi (not to mention expensive!) :)

  • Lori
    April 21, 2014

    Super cute and what a find with the pattern. I have had my eye on that fabric, it is marvelous.

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      Get you some, Lori! I can only imagine the fabulousness you’d come up with…

  • Fiona
    April 21, 2014

    Silk jersey sounds like HEAVEN, especially if you can throw it in the machine! This is the perfect print choice for a DVF and I would have been literally jumping for joy at finding that pattern in first place! It looks gorgeous on you

    • Lladybird
      April 21, 2014

      It is pretty heavenly! And yay for machine washing! Ain’t nobody (me) got time to handwash stuff, ha!

  • Fabric Tragic
    April 21, 2014

    It looks amazing on you! That wrap front sits perfectly – I bet it’s better made than a genuine DVF too ;)

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Well, maybe better made than a current one – but not an original 70s DVF :)

  • Kelly
    April 22, 2014

    Fantastic!! It looks great, the colors and print are very “you” :) I just made a muslin for another vintage DVF pattern, Vogue 1548. All of the original DVF dresses I’ve seen were made from a cotton/rayon jersey, and then later (and now) most are made from silk jersey- so you are right on with your fabric choice! DVF is all about empowering women, and I bet she would love that you made this dress from her pattern!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Ah, good to know! I love being unintentionally right ;)

  • Sonja
    April 22, 2014

    I think it’s a very lovely and spectacular dress. I like the fabric and pattern which enhance each other. Good pattern and fabric choice! And it’s fits amazing!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Thank you!!

  • Janine
    April 22, 2014

    I just finished a wrap dress yesterday, so I loved your post. Boy, I wish I could stumble upon this DVF pattern! The style flatters everyone, and it is so easy to wear. I made my version (Vogue 8379) for a 1970s version of an Italian play called Scapino. I would have loved to find your fabric though, it’s so retro. After teaching my student actress how to put it on, she loved it!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      I think it’s hilarious that you had to show her how to put it on. Ah, kids :) I bet it looks gorgeous, tho!

  • ShanniLoves
    April 22, 2014

    Holy *&@ talk about a sweet score!! Since seeing the first version on your blog I just had to get my hands on this pattern but I’ve only been able to find it anywhere from $50-$80 on etsy and ebay. I’ve tried my hand at a couple of faux wrap dresses but they just don’t compare to the real thang!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Haha yeah, when I saw the prices they are selling them for it’s like… wait, why? (and I’m probably not helping with my posts, SORRY!!!). You know there are probably millions of them floating around, too, it’s not like she’s an unheard of designer! I’m sure lots of people bought them when they were new. Some of the prices people charge for old stuff is just insane :)

  • Amanda S.
    April 22, 2014

    *Swoon* Love it. Especially the neckline finish and the colors of the fabric. We have the same philosophy about dry-cleaning.

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Yay to never dry-cleaning! :D

  • liza jane
    April 22, 2014

    Beautiful!!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Thank you! :)

  • Peter
    April 23, 2014

    This is gorgeous, Lauren. I LOVE the print!

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Thanks, Peter! This might be my favorite print ever from Mood :)

  • Sarah Gunn
    April 24, 2014

    So so so pretty! :)

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Thanks, Sarah! :)

  • Mary B
    April 25, 2014

    The dress looks fabulous! Beautiful fabric and the fit is great.

    • Lauren
      April 25, 2014

      Thank you! Loove fitting knits, especially silk knits :)

  • Cennetta
    April 25, 2014

    You are so lucky to find this great pattern for $1.00. I love how your dress turned out. The fabric is perfect for it. Great job.