Me? Wear a wrap dress? Never say never!
Pattern: Simplicity 2369
I picked this pattern primarily because of the many positive reviews by women of all shapes and sizes on PatternReview.com. Wrap dresses are generally thought to be flattering and to smooth over some sins. This one definitely does that!
Telio Monaco Stretch ITY from Fabric.com OMG … I love this fabric. Beautiful to work with, hangs nicely, a great weight for a dress or top, and of course it doesn’t crease.
The kitty cat design is relatively unobtrusive. From a distance, the pattern appears to be just a random black & white, but when you get close you see the cats. So not too crazy-cat-ladyish.
Absolutely none. I cut the 18 and it fit perfectly. Although this is a wrap dress, the skirt does not wrap (just the bodice wraps) so it is important for the hip size to be correct. I would normally do an FBA, but because of the pattern design none was necessary. Plus, let’s face it – with a busy pattern and a knit, a lot is hidden.
Cutting was a bit tedious because the fabric moved a lot and needed to be cut in a single layer. I cut the View B short dress, but used View C’s sleeves. Short flutter sleeves do nothing for my upper arms.
This pattern and fabric are perfect for the serger. I machine basted all of the main seams before serging because I was a bit concerned about fit. Honestly, I can’t be bothered with a toile – especially for a knit.
For the sleeve and skirt hems, I hand basted first, the stitched on the regular machine with a very narrow stretch zig zag.
The neckline edge is finished with a strip of binding of the fabric, and it is stretched down the front which keeps the front pieces taut against the chest and down to the waist tie. Be sure to mark the fabric well so you know where to stretch!
On this fabric I used a Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pen. The ink disappears when exposed to heat, so your markings are gone once you press the fabric. Unfortunately I left the pen in the kitchen and someone used it to painstakingly write out a recipe … on a card that was left on top of the toaster oven. Poof!
I confounded myself three times with finishing the side seam where the skirt, side and wrap top meet. For some reason, I basted it wrong 3 times. I also discovered that the lower edge of the wrap piece gaped at the side seam – like the wrap was too wide for my body. So I shortened that lower edge and now the wrap lies flat.
Total time for this dress was about 6 hours. The hand basting of the skirt added a fair bit of time. Sewing on the serger meant this was a pretty fast make. Next time I think I’ll be able to put this together in about 4 hours.
I’m really happy with this dress. It is comfortable, the length is right for work, and best of all, there is zero gaping on the chest and it isn’t so low that I need a camisole underneath. Unlike every other wrap dress or top I have owned, this one does NOT need fabric tape or a pin to hold the top together. I will definitely make this again, and I recommend both the pattern and the fabric.
Happy February sewing!