I heart wrap dresses

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After spending spring tackling some more challenging patterns and wrestling with lots of fitting issues I really needed some simpler makes to keep my sewjo up. Step forward an old-favourite tried and tested (TNT) pattern – V8379, which I’ve made twice before (one here, and one pre-blog). This is a super wrap dress pattern with two distinct variations, and it comes together pretty quickly. There are literally hundreds of these in the wild, it’s still in print, and I think it’s as good as any of the indie wrap dress patterns.

Fabric

I opted for the more summery, slightly less 70s version with the short sleeves and no collar this time, and paired it with this gorgeous fabric I found in a shop in High Bentham, North Yorkshire, last summer. It’s a viscose jersey with good drape, stretch and recovery. This off-white background and cerise print work with my colouring, and the design is a heart shape that’s just off-kilter enough not to be too cutesy. Plus it’s random, so it doesn’t need matching and it’s non-directional. Perfect!

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Browsing other wrap dress patterns on Pinterest last week, I realised I may have subconsciously copied Rachel Pinheiro’s Maria Denmark ‘Rachel’ wrap dress. It uses a similar print, and I definitely remember admiring hers at the time. If you’re reading this, Rachel, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Fit and alterations

I cut the size 14 on top, and graded out to a 16 at the waist. (Looking at the back shots, I think I might need a little more room at the waist. And that my bra band is a bit tight, too. Sigh.)

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I’ve made a few alterations to this pattern over the years, which are:

  • Added 1″ to the bodice length, 1″ to the skirt above the hipline, and 1/2″ to the short sleeve length
  • Reduced the flare on the skirt by 10 degrees or so – it feels more versatile when it’s less swishy, and in the right fabric I’d wear it for work with this skirt shape
  • Raised the crossover point by around 1″ – the standard crossover was a bit indecent on me
  • Added a 2″ FBA, which I think I need to revisit as there was too much fabric vertically this time.

Construction

I did most of this on the overlocker to save time, apart from the side seam with the hole for the belt, setting in the sleeves and joining the skirt to the bodice. For some reason I can not work out the instructions for the part where the waist tie, bodice facing and skirt all meet, so I’ve bodged this, but I fully intend to work it out properly next time. Honest.

The only other things I’ve changed were to interface the belt with a lightweight knit interfacing, which gives it a better shape and stops it stretching out when you tie it; and to apply some clear elastic to the shoulder seams.  And for the hems, I dragged out my twin needle rather than hand sewing them – just to save time.

The facing is flipping out a little bit on me, so I might end up handstitching that to the bodice, we’ll see. So now the only thing I need to sort out is more pairs of shoes that work with this dress!

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