This pattern is a classic and it really does deserve the glowing reviews on Pattern Review. It’s taken me 10 years to get round to making this dress – this was the first vogue pattern I ever bought – but I’m glad I decided to make it up because it really is a great wrap dress. I’ve wanted a wrap dress for as long as I can remember as they seem both flattering and practical so I’m glad I’ve finally got one!
Fabric: A synthetic mix knit – most probably viscose/polyester but with no lycra. Not super stretchy but with a nice drape without being clingy. I squeezed this dress out of 2m (2 1/4 yards) – see below for the alterations I made.
Pattern and construction notes:
I made up a 10 in the shoulders and bust and then out to a 14 waist and hip.
I shortened the bodice between shoulder and bustline by 3/8″ but I didn’t make my usual alteration to shorten between bustline and waist (I usually shorten the bodice by another 1″ or so) as nearly all the reviews emphasise how short waisted this pattern is. It fits perfectly so it’s definitely something to bear in mind when you’re making your flat pattern alterations.
I made my usual broad back alterations – I cut a size 12 back armhole and adjusted the sleeve cap accordingly. Take a look at this Threads article – it’s taken from Sandra Betzina’s Fast Fit alterations book which is great book and has taught me a lot about pattern alterations including the importance of flat pattern measurements. I also have Fit for Real People by Palmer and Alto which is also good – these two books have slightly different approaches but they are both extremely helpful and complement each other. I’d say I probably prefer Sandra Betzina’s approach as I really am not a fan of tissue fitting, but it’s great to have another perspective on the same fitting issue.
The other changes I made were to make it long-sleeved as I find it more practical for colder days and I also took 15″ of fullness out of the skirt due to fabric constaints. I shortened the hem but 1 1/2″ and I sewed the hem using my double needle – I had no desire to hem this dress by hand!
A little tip that I’ve picked up from the HotPatterns I’ve made up is to get all the little jobs out of the way before you start major constuction. For example, I applied all the interfacing, joined the facing pieces, made the belt and collar all before I started constructing the dress. I find it extremely frustrating to have to do these little jobs in the middle of construction when you’re on a roll and enjoying that feeling of it all coming together and taking shape. It means you have to study the constuction before you begin but I think that’s a good habit to get into anyway. I used to be so impatient when I sewed as I just wanted to be able to wear what I was making. But slowly I realised that if I don’t do things properly, or don’t correct my mistakes (if possible!) as I go along, I won’t be happy with the result and I won’t wear it.
The only thing I’m unhappy with on this dress is the neckline – it stretched out and the facing rolls to the outside. I topstitched the neckline to try to keep the facings in place which has helped but it still gapes. I must confess that I forgot to shorten the facing when I altered the bodice and sleeve pieces so I dare say that played it’s part too in the neckline not lying as it should! Anyway, next time I’m going to try stabilizing the neckline with clear elastic or go for a bound neckline (as used here by Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics) on a collarless version.
I’ve haven’t taken any photos of the dress on my because I’m 5 months pregnant (Yay!) and the wrap silouette is lost really! So, when I’ve got my waist back and the weather has turned autumnal here I’ll update the post with some photos on me!
Overall, it’s a great pattern and I’m sure I’ll make many more!