I have a starting point now for the wrap dress and would love to get any input. As usual, I expect the first draft of any pattern to have issues… but that’s how the development process goes.
You can join the discussion over at PatternReview.com HERE!
My intended fabric is silk jersey which has a moderate mechanical stretch to it. It’s thick enough to skim over/hide fleshy lumps, but thin enough to be light and comfortable. A print will certainly be more forgiving in figure/fit flaws than a solid.
I started with a woven muslin mock-up to get the overall fit and concept down. Just needing to test the core fit, I did this as a “blouse” version with short sleeves.
Size: My dressform is a 6: Bust 34.5, Waist 25.5, Hips 36
Here is the main concept:
- Fitted/tailored shoulder width
- Back yoke with shoulder seam wrapping to the front
- Contoured French bust darts
- Contoured neckline facing that eases in bust fullness
- Fitted armhole for full range of motion
- Back pleat on body at yoke
- Back waist seam for easy fit adjustments
- Back waist darts (bleh boo! … conflicts with the pleats in the back yoke)
- Back skirt darts (still think those are good)
- Wrap ties start slightly above the waist level, and wrap around to nestle at smallest waist.
… and here is the first pattern draft
(1) Back (on fold)
(2) Collar (fused)
(2) Front Neck Facing (fused)
(1) Back Skirt/Peplum
(1) Short Tie (not pictured)
(1) Long Tie (not pictured)
I used a printed silk jersey, and here is how the sewing process went:
I Started with the collar to get it out of the way.
- Fuse each side
- Stitch 3/8″ seam across top edge
- Understitch seam allowance towards undercollar 1/16th inch
- Stitch sides 3/8″, trim corners
- Done! Nice clean finished collar.
- Sew the side bust darts at 3/8″, serge the raw edge
- Stay/ease stitch between notches at neckline
(I put a bust pad underneath for this picture to show the shaping)
- Tack the shoulder pleats
- Sew the back waist darts (I think in the future version this should be eliminated, poo)
Attach outer back yoke to shoulders of front bodice pieces
Serge edges of front neckline facing, and attach to shoulders of back yoke facing
Don’t worry about the raw edge of the rest of the shoulder seam exposed, it will get clean finished with the self shoulder seam.
Attach collar to self neckline
Attach neckline facing and back yoke facing to neckline (to clean finish)
Understitch the facing edge
Nice and clean!
Attach the back yoke to the back bodice (ONLY the Self outside yoke)
The inside of the yoke will get clean finished with the yoke facing. It’s a little tricky/tedious to get in there to catch that seam, but not impossible.
The inside of the shoulder seam also gets clean finished with the yoke facing
I prepare the sleeves:
- Staystich/ease the cap
- Seam and serge the inseam
- Serge the hem edge , flip and topstitch 3/4″
I serge the side seams of the bodice (noting the “jog out” notch that will be the opening for the wearer’s right side)
I sewed the darts to the back “skirt/peplum” and attached it to the waist of the bodice.
I attached the sleeves.
I created and attached the belts. Short belt cut 30″ x 5″ (finishes 2″ wide). Long belt cut 40″ x 5″. Length of belting cut on grain (no stretch)
(( I still have not hemmed the bottom of the bodice ))
So now to evaluate the fit and where we go from here:
((hint: this is where I need YOUR opinions and constructive criticism))
On the form, it looked to me like the armhole was too high in the armpit, and the shoulder seam looked a little saggy.
Even when I put my hand in the sleeve cap, it still looked like there was some drag in the shoulders
The back seemed a little too “blousy” and loose at the waist to me- and this is with waist darts in the bodice and skirt/peplum.
I couldn’t help but try it on even though MY measurements are bust: 37(C) waist: 32 Hips: 44
Surprisingly, I sausaged into it, and it actually felt pretty good (except I DO need my correct size and the extra ease in there)
The neckline overlap actually felt really good- I think the neckline easing at the bust level and the contoured neckline facing are a winner.
I like the collar size and shape, but you can easily omit the collar if you choose.
The shoulders where a little too narrow for me (but I think fine for a size 6)
The armhole depth could go down 3/8″, even for a 6 I think.
The shoulder slope in the front definitely had some drag, so that slope needs to come down about 3/8 inch.
Sleeves were OK I think considering they are for a size 6. The “real” sleeves for the dress will have the option of short, 3/4, and long. Not sure if we should just do a plain hem or a band or cuff?
There WAS enough room in the waist for ME (32″ waist), so for a size 6 I definitely think that could be reduced. Not sure how all that extra ease ended up there when the fabric has minimal stretch.
The lower portion is riding up on me, no surprise with the 44″ hips… but probably fine for a 6/8 girl.
Then neckline facing “rolls out” a little bit. I was undecided if I should topstitch the edge at 1/4″ or maybe even 3/4″ so it looks more “band” like.
The crisscross of the neckline actually feels pretty secure. I’m just wearing a sports bra, so the girls are hanging a bit low…. I need to try it on with an underwire bra and see how that looks/feels as well.
I guess I’m OK with the back shoulder pleats, but I think there isn’t really a reason to have the bodice waist darts, or if we want the fullness there they should be a continuation of the pleats coming out of the shoulders- right now it just looks like a fight between the two.
I still like the waist seam in the back for fitting purposes, and think the waist darts in the skirt portion are handy. Of course if this were “really” going to be a blouse, I would eliminate those back darts and it would just be a back “peplum” panel… but this will be morphing into a dress version by the time we are all done.
In looking at the pictures, just keep in mind this is a size 6/8 …. so all that crumpling on the back is my 44″ hips instead of the intended 36/37″ hipped girl.
After I get some input from everyone today and tomorrow, I will make some revisions the to pattern accordingly. Then Sunday I will post this 6/8 size and also a plus size for anyone who wants to play around with it.
For me personally, I like the “blouse” version enough to make a few wearable muslins in my size. For the skirt portion, since I have generous hips I think I need more of an a line shape… or I was even thinking of just adding a gathered skirt to the bottom of this blouse tester.
Categories: Iconic Wrap Dress project at PatternReview.com