Ohhh Donna! Coming back to my main pattern squeeze.

Sewing Vogue 2512

In my previous sewing existence I amassed a lot of patterns which I have yet to sew. Many of these are Donna Karan which I imagined myself swanning around in. I keep having conversations with myself about why I have not made any of these patterns and why I’m keeping them. Most of them are kind of suit/work wear, so that’s a big part of it. I simply don’t need that sort of clothing much anymore. It’s ironic that when I was working and needed these, I thought I was too busy to sew and it was too easy to buy RTW.

I decided that I am going to start using some of my precious DKNY patterns. This is one I’ve been musing over for a while, wondering how I can use this 80s ish power suit in my post career-woman life.

Vogue 2512 1990s style

For part one, I’m starting with the blouse and building up. It’s a raglan sleeved, button front blouse with a deep V neck and facing. An important thing to note on this pattern is that bottom right corner. Yep the toll of nearly thirty years since I bought this pattern is that it no longer fits. This means I’m going to have to do a bit of grading jiggery-pokery before I can start cutting out.

Grading the pattern up

I’ve been trying to teach myself pattern drafting and grading is one of the skills associated with making your own patterns. I needed to add 3 sizes to this pattern as sadly I am no longer a size 12. Cue a pause for lamenting the passing of my waistline.

I’ve found with straightforward patterns it is relatively easy to increase the size, especially if your original is a multi size pattern. You can use the grading of the existing sizes as a guide to how much you need to add to your pattern.

With a multi-size pattern, you can look at the difference between each size and then estimate how much you need to add on to increase the size. However, the more sizes you are adding, the more the difficulty increases. I noticed that certainly on Vogue patterns it’s not simply a case of adding X amount for each size. There is an increase in the additional amount in each size.


The pattern itself is quite interesting in that although the back is a regular raglan shape, the blouse front and sleeve are one piece. Although unconventional, I still think it should be easy to put together. I make it 4 seams and a facing.

I’m often one for sticking closely to the suggested fabric on the pattern but this time I had my mind on a piece in my stash which I’ve been itching to use. I got this piece of cotton from my favourite bricks and mortar store Ditto here in Brighton and although it was a naughty bought-without-purpose piece I feel quite pleased that it is only spending one year in the stash. This delicate cotton with a lovely print of irises will be perfect for a blouse.

This beautiful cotton from Ditto

Due to the shape of this pattern piece, I had to cut each piece out individually on a single layer of cloth. I didn’t have enough for pattern matching – typical random fabric buying error – if you absolutely have to do it, always buy 3 metres not 2.

Don’t think of this piece as weird, think of it as one fewer seams to sew!

This unusual piece eliminates a seam
The back
Preparing the facing

There always seem to be some interesting diversions in DKNY pattern constructions and this sleeve was it. The pattern came together easily and was soon ready to come with me on a little socially distanced trip we took to Southend with a spot of birdwatching thrown in.

I’m really happy with the final look, I love the print and I think it will be great dressed up or casual over jeans.

Taking it for a swing on a weekend getaway
I like it

There was a time when I would never where florals, but now I know the right florals for me – BIG and bold! Prints or solid? Florals or no florals? Have your preferences changed over time? Tell me about it.

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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