Tag Archives: Diane von furstenberg

Vintage Sewing – New Look 6838 and Vintage DVF Fabric

For most of my sewing projects I use vintage patterns, but I found this modern pattern, New Look 6838 when I was looking for one with which to make pajama pants.  I also loved the style of the top, which is designed for knits only, and I put cotton jersey on my fabric shopping list.

I knew that I did not need stripes, as I already have quite a few in this style.  Besides, though the drawing of the matching at the sleeves looks nice and tidy in the illustration, I know that would be easier drawn than sewn. So I started thinking about dots.  But then I got distracted cleaning and sorting my existing fabrics.  And in the middle of my “reds” bin, I pulled out this vintage fabric from designer Diane von Furstenberg.

I found the fabric in an antique store in one of the many little towns in the piedmont of North Carolina that for years survived off the making of cotton textiles.  These towns were a source of the best fabrics for a home sewer as well, as the factories often sent remnants and “seconds” to their factory outlet for sale to the public.  I suspect that is what happened with this fabric, as there was a small wrinkle in it that caused a bare spot in the print.

In 1976 Vogue Patterns magazine did a feature on Diane and her printed dresses.  As you can see, the patterns were by Vogue, and the fabrics were made by Cohama.

I never did finish my sorting job because I laid out the fabric piece and realized I had just enough of it to make the boat-necked top. I spent the rest of the afternoon sewing, and before long my new top was finished.  As the pattern envelope promises, it was easy.  There were only three pieces, the front, the back and the sleeves.  The back has a center seam, which I like because it makes for a smoother fit.

The neck was to be finished simply by turning under the seam allowance and topstitching, but I made a little facing using the selvage of the fabric.  I just could not see “wasting” that Diane von Furstenberg signature.

And here is the finished product.  It is perfect for the early fall weather we are having.


Filed under North Carolina, Sewing, Textiles

Diane Von Furstenberg for Vogue Patterns – 1976

First, let’s talk about prints.  There are some prints that you really don’t even need a label in order to identify them:  Lilly Pulitzer, Pucci, Liberty.  You might even add the 1970s knit prints designed by Diane von Furstenberg to go with her wrap dress and other simple designs.

In 1976, not only could you buy a DVF wrap dress, you could make the very same dress, using the pattern released by Vogue, and her official fabrics, which were produced by Cohama Fabric.  I love the idea of being able to actually buy the designer fabrics in one’s local fabric store.  Yes, I know you can buy Pulitzer and Liberty prints, but can you imagine there being an Oscar de la Renta and a Prada section in the fabric store?

An interesting thought, because there well may be a Prada section – sort of.  Miuccia Prada used at least five Lilly prints in her 2012 Resort collection.  (Start with #15. You can’t see the Lilly signatures, but they are there.  Prada also used Lilly prints in her menswear Spring/summer 2012 collection.)

I don’t know where Cohama produced this fabric, but I found it in one of the little textile producing towns that dotted the North Carolina landscape.  I love visiting the antique and thrift stores in this type of town because I’ve found some incredible textiles over the years.

There is not enough for a dress, but what about a wrap blouse?


Filed under Fashion Magazines, Sewing, Textiles


I’m back from my trip to Savannah, GA, and I had just a super time.  It was the best of two worlds actually: during the daytime my friend was in meetings so I got to spend them as I pleased, but at night I had a friend to go out with.  And even though it was HOT, I still covered a lot of ground and saw many things I missed on my last trip.

Before I travel, I always check any local museums’ websites to see if there are any fashion exhibits.  I also check my trusty Clothing and Textile Collections in the United States, to see if any of the city’s museums and historic sites have clothing collections.    But I’d have missed one had it not been for a short feature in a local Savannah magazine.

The exhibit is Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress, and it is at the Gutstein Gallery of SCAD – Savannah College of Art and Design.   I’ll know next time to check SCAD’s website, as they have not only student work in their galleries, but also feature exhibits that relate to their different departments, and on which the students help.

But this is no student project.  The curator of the exhibit is Andre Leon Talley, and DVF herself played a large role.  Most of the items shown are from her archives, or from her own closet.  And she sent an assistant down to Savannah to help with the installation.

It’s interesting how they juxtaposed vintage with modern garments.  In the above grouping, as in all the groupings, some of the dresses are vintage and some are not. It takes a very good eye to tell the difference in some cases.

The garments above are from Diane’s own closet.

Evening looks, including that Warhol era jumpsuit!

There was also a large selection of articles from all stages of Diane’s career, and examples of her ad campaigns.  I always loved this one from her 1997 wrap dress come back, in which the model says the dress got her boyfriend’s attention because it reminded him of his mother!

Such a well rounded display!  Sometimes exhibits that feature the career of just one person have gaps, and the more current looks are more heavily represented.  Not here.  One gets an excellent feel for the work DVF has done starting with that fabulous 1973 wrap dress, and up to the present day.  In fact, several of the garments shown can still be purchased in stores.

Now through July 3, 2010.

Close-up of a sequined and feathered evening slip dress

Super vintage wrap dress


Posted by Karen/Small Earth Vintage:

Wonderful! I hope to visit Savannah one day. I am most intrigued by that geometric jade green/gray coat(?) dress in your second photo, background center. 

Thanks for sharing your visit with us!

Sunday, June 20th 2010 @ 8:09 AM

Posted by PinkyAGoGo:

Wonderful photos of what looks to be a fun and exciting exhibit. I have only recently come to fully appreciate DVF’s work. Thanks for sharing this with us! 

Sunday, June 20th 2010 @ 11:47 AM

Posted by Amanda/AmandainVermont:

How nice – Her wrap-around dresses were/are so slimming. 

Sunday, June 20th 2010 @ 3:34 PM

Posted by Emily:

This is really interesting. This is so cool to see that this came from SCAD, as i am in the process of looking at colleges for clothing design. This definitely makes me want to check it out. Thanks! 

Sunday, June 20th 2010 @ 9:46 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Emily, yes you should check out SCAD. It’s located in such a beautiful place and I’ve heard great things about the school. 

Karen, yes, that is a coat. It is stunning in reality!

You all are very welcome!

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010 @ 6:44 PM

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Filed under Museums, Road Trip, Vintage Clothing