I have two ultimate wrap dresses to share today. I was given this pattern for my birthday in September by my lovely sister-in-law. I had to make it up right away!
My first version was made with a lovely purple double knit from my stash. It came from Calico Laine– one of the most friendly and helpful stores I have used. It has a nice weight and drape and is just perfect for this type of project.
The pattern is described as an advanced beginner pattern, and if you have ever sewn with a knit fabric before you should have no problems. The construction is really simple and well explained. The whole dress came together very quickly. The only tricky parts are turning the ties and top stitching the very long hem/facing! The ties are very long, perhaps because they are the same length whichever size you make and I made a size 8. If you were a bit bigger, the extra length might be needed.
Having had success with the first attempt, I decided to make another in a more special fabric. This dress is made from a stretch cotton bought at the Exeter Sewing Machine Company. I couldn’t find it on their website, but in store they have a fantastic basement of fabric- a sewists treasure trove!
Because this version is a woven, rather than a knit, I did need to finish all the seams to stop them unravelling. Enter the new birthday overlocker! I was too scared to just overlock the seams, and some of them needed pressing open anyway to allow for the ties, so I just overlocked the seam allowance instead after sewing on my machine.
I also decided to square off the corners on the bottom of the wrap sections. I just thought it might be simpler to keep all my seams neat that way.
Having found the ties too long previously I guessed a little at what would be a better length this time. They are a tiny bit short to tie on the side, but tie at the back just fine. The little bit of stretch in this cotton still helps it to conform to the body and is pretty comfortable. I usually wear a cami underneath because the cross-over neckline is a little bit low without.
Both of these dresses are lovely with tights and a cardigan. I might have to think about making a lighter, short sleeved one for the spring and summer.