Good Afternoon Friends,
Everyone talks about wrap dresses and how universally flattering and versatile they are. I have only ever bought one (true) RTW wrap dress, and was never happy with the fit. It has since been passed on to charity. A couple of years ago I made a wrap dress, using this same pattern, Vogue 8784. You can see that version here. Bear in mind that dress was actually the very first thing I ever sewed using a knit fabric, and it was pre-serger days.
I have worn the first version of that dress once. For half a day. I felt frumpy wearing it (due to the longer length), and I wasn’t comfortable with the gaping at the bust. Fast forward two years and I decided to re-visit the pattern and have another go.
This time round I made the bust bigger and used twill tape to stabilise the bodice front edges. I shortened the length of the skirt and the sleeves (although I think if I made this again I would narrow the lower part of the sleeves down). The major change I made was I omitted the lining for this dress, choosing instead to use a bias tape (made from self fabric) as a facing finish. What a pain in the ar*e that was. I should have made the bias tape wider. I got away with it in the end, but it made the front skirt edges stretch out and curl horribly. Look:
I almost threw the whole thing in the bin. But, after sleeping on it for a night, the following day I used my rotary cutter to slice away the offending edge, bias tape and all, and serged the raw edge, turned and stitched. That is what you can see on the finished dress. Not ideal but much better. Next time round, if I don’t add a lining, I need to think about how I am going to finish the edges. Draft a facing for the front and finish the skirt edges before joining skirt to bodice?
So how do I feel about this version? I wore it for most of the day yesterday and I can report it definitely doesn’t gape. I know you can see a fair amount of cleavage here but you can’t see my bra. It feels secure and comfortable and I feel very…womanly…wearing it. In a good way. I can’t decide whether omitting the lining was a good idea or not. I believe Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses are generally unlined. But most of them seem to be made of silk/ silk jersey nowadays? Is silk jersey likely to be more flattering than cotton jersey? BTW, this one’s my favourite at Selfridges. Hmmm, finding (printed) silk jersey in these parts is a little like finding hen’s teeth I fear….
In short, I do like this pattern for the versatility it offers. You have the choice of the flared skirt or the more fitted skirt, and the fitted skirt has pleats over the tummy which I like, a lot. I think maybe I should try a different weight of jersey next time round. Or possibly just try putting the lining back in. The first time I made this pattern I used a pongee stretch lining, which doesn’t have a comparable stretch to the jersey used. I think that’s what I didn’t like. Next time I could use a tricot or stretch lining or even self fabric for the bodice at least and I think I might feel happier. Making this version has made me see why women rave about the wrap dress. Another version, a little more tweaking, and I might have the perfect pattern for me.
Lined, wrap dress has close-fitting bodice with front tucks, back princess seams, side opening for tie ends, and topstitching. A: narrow hem. B: semi-fitted, front pleated skirt, and stitched hemline/sleeve hem.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, although I omitted the lining.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is my second time making this pattern. The first time round I wasn’t happy with the fit on the bust or the length (too long). This time I made modifications to address both those issues. I do like this pattern for the versatility it offers. You have the choice of the flared skirt or the more fitted skirt, and the fitted skirt has pleats over the tummy which I like, a lot. The first time I made this pattern I used a pongee stretch lining, which doesn’t have a comparable stretch to the jersey used. I think that’s what I didn’t like. So this time round I omitted the lining. If I made this dress again I might include a tricot or stretch lining or even self fabric for the bodice at least and I think I might feel happier.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made the bust bigger relative to the first time of sewing.
I used twill tape along the front bodice edges to prevent gaping.
I stabilised the shoulders using clear elastic.
I set the sleeves in flat.
I omitted the lining, using a self fabric bias tape as facing.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. Yes, I would recommend.
Making this version has made me see why women rave about the wrap dress. Another version, a little more tweaking, and I might have the perfect pattern for me.
Have a great week everyone, and remember you still have until next Sunday to enter my Linton Tweed Giveaway.