Almost the Ultimate Wrap Dress – attempt no. 1

P1220517I have been wanting to make a decent, well fitting wrap dress forever. I love the idea in principle and I used to own a couple of RTW ones that were okay but it is a tricky garment to get right.  Maybe it’s just my body shape, but I have struggled to find one that doesn’t flap open or gape, and at my age there is only so much cleavage or thigh that you can expose without looking like mutton dressed as lamb.

When I saw the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress pattern I had to buy it. I mean, the Ultimate Wrap Dress – this had to be the answer.  It sewed up pretty quickly with no major problems, the cotton knit fabric came from eBay but I can’t find it on there now. However I am going to have to treat this one as a not quite wearable muslin for a number of reasons.

Firstly I don’t think the fabric does anything for me.  I am not a beige person. I was convinced there was more red in there but once I’d made it up it was predominantly this plastic doll skin colour that does not flatter me.  Actually the photos make it look better than it is in real life, which is a first.

Secondly the shoulders are too wide.  Easy to fix on my next attempt, but not worth doing on this one.

P1220514P1220504I think once I fix the shoulders the arms will be a better length, but at the moment they are too long. All I need to do on this dress is hem them shorter, but can I be bothered?

The ties and the hole to thread the ties through also need to be higher.  I’m not sure whether to just attach them higher (easy) or try and shorten the whole bodice part of the dress.  The bodice and skirt parts are all one piece so I would have get my head around where to shorten and what would need lengthening to compensate, and of course remember to do the back as well as the front.  Easy for most of you, I’m sure, but as someone who usually bodges the fitting stuff in favour of a quick fix it seems like a lot of work.  However I think it will sort out some of the gaping. And if I don’t sort out the gaping I will have a lot more of these moments:

P1220519P1220520And possibly get done for indecent exposure.

For the sake of decency I have put a couple of stitches in the front to keep it together, but now it pulls where the stitches are so it is not an ideal solution.  I’m going to have to do it properly, aren’t I.

The other issue I have with this pattern at the moment is the facings, which attach all the way around.  I think I made my feelings about facings pretty clear in my last post.  I’m not sure how I can make this pattern without them because of the way the ties are attached so I will need to find a way to stop them flopping out (yes, I do mean the facings) by stitching them down securely, as top stitching wasn’t enough.

I realise that all this makes it sound like I hate this pattern but I really don’t.  It was so easy to sew up and I don’t think it will be too difficult to get it to match the picture in my head. Anyway how many people actually fit a pattern straight out of the packet? That’s why we sew muslins first (or should do, I know).  Making this dress has still been a worthwhile experience. In fact now I know what I need to do I am determined to fix all the problems and make it again. I shall have my ultimate wrap dress, hopefully using this pattern. Unfortunately this particular version isn’t it.



41 thoughts on “Almost the Ultimate Wrap Dress – attempt no. 1

  1. sewbusylizzy

    So pleased you have made & blogged this… I keep thinking about buying this… then I think perhaps I should trace off my favourite wrap dress instead… still thinking.
    I’m with you on beige, can’t wear it either. Not sure if it’s my colouring or personality that disagrees with it…

  2. IngeMaakt

    Too bad that it has some issues, because it does look nice and the fabric is pretty. Maybe you can take off the top part and make a wrap skirt out of it? Then the gaping is solved and you can wear it with a red or black top so the beige isn’t as close to your face?

  3. Katy

    It’s a shame that it didn’t work out quite as you’d hoped as I think the style looks great on you. I hope you manage to fix it as it could be gorgeous!

  4. Jenny

    Ooh I love me a wrap dress! I think it looks fab and if you’re worried about gapping you could just wear a camisole under it (M&S do great 5 pound ones).

    I hate facings too though! For the neckline there are two other approaches I use: bias binding or ( my favourite) doing a neckband like on a t shirt, but narrower. This has always worked great for me!

    I actually have a little section on my blog about wrap dresses if you’d like to read more!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi Jenny! I think it might just work with a camisole. Next time I make it I think I’ll try bias binding. I love the way neckbands look but I usually end up having several attempts before I get it right. And I love your blog – you really are the wrap dress queen!

      1. Jenny

        The nice thing about the neckband approach on a wrap dress is because it isn’t circular you don’t have to do all the pulling and adjusting – I can never get them right on t-shirts, either. But on wrap dresses there’s no stretching so it’s a lot easier! Bias also looks great, though it can be hard with squishy jersey 😀 I’m intending to put up some “wrap dress finishing” tutorials on the blog soon, now that I just finished my coat project!

  5. Jacq

    Your dress looks pretty good in the photos, but I know it’s no help if it doesn’t feel right on. I can’t wear beige either – it’s not a terribly friendly colour! I think the perfect wrap dress is the holy grail – I hope you can figure it out entirely and then I’ll copy everything you do 😀

  6. Gjeometry

    Hmm, I think it looks great! But, I’m not there wearing it with you, so I hear you on the fitting issues. I think wrap dresses in general don’t really ‘fit’ well, it’s the nature of the style.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers, I’m actually amazed how good it looks in the photos, much better than I thought but I’m not sure how it will stand up to wearing out in real life. I’ve got a feeling the fit is just too ‘off’. I am going to try and make it work one more time, but maybe you are right and it’s just one of those difficult styles (and not me and my shape/ sewing skills 🙂 )

  7. Ruth

    I think the colour is fine on you. Well done on tackling a wrap dress, but I think from your experience, it’s not a dress style I am going to try!

  8. rachelinred

    Too bad about the big amount of beige in the fabric, it’s actually pretty lovely fabric. Beige don’t suit me either.
    I’m with Gjemetry on this, I think wrap dresses just don’t fit very well in general. There’s always some gaping somewhere.or you have to re-adjust averything a few times a day. I’m just too lazy for that anyway.
    Maybe you should wear a shirt underneath, to prevent any indecent exposure LOL!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi! I may try it with something underneath, but I agree life is too short to be constantly tucking things in or readjusting them. That is one of the reasons I started sewing, to avoid all that.

  9. Janet

    Hi, I have always been reluctant to wear a wrap dress. I know how flattering they are supposed to be…but I think their are more comfortable styles that are also flattering. I think this one looks terrific and the fabric is gorgeous. I think it is a winner.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks Janet! You are right, there are definitely lots of more comfortable styles out there, which is why this probably won’t get worn much. I am determined to try it one more time though.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Ooh, I must have missed Rachel’s, it’s gorgeous. Now I really want to make this work. I’ll have to try it with bias binding like she did. And I love your idea of a sleeveless wrap top. Definitely worth a try.

      1. Sarah

        The fabric is just too nice, and once you’ve decided to scrap it anyway you can be a bit more daring and try “refashioning” with less fear of making a mistake!

  10. Helen

    I think the fabric looks ok on you! But I guess you need to feel comfortable in it. Could you replace the facings with binding? I don’t know the pattern, so maybe there is an obvious reason why that wouldn’t work. Hope you get it to work for you!

  11. busylizzieinbrizzy

    Great review of this pattern. I think you have convinced me to stay clear! Facings, ick!
    I don’t find that wrap dresses fit anyone with boobs particularly well. The wrap doesn’t know whether to go over top or in between, perhaps a tank underneath would assist, but is it worth the bother??

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers, and you have a very good point about the boobs. Come to think of it most of the successful wrap dresses I’ve seen tend to be modelled by ladies with slightly less chest than me. Not that I’m spectacularly over-endowed or anything, but the over, under or in between dilemma probably doesn’t impact on them quite as much.

  12. Katy

    Cutting the top off and resewing it into a skirt, then pairing with a red top sounds like a great idea! I quite like a good wrap dress, but usually end up pairing a tank under it. I’m of the “no-chest” variety and find I often can’t fill out the wrap bits.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi Katy! After Lizzie’s comment above and now yours I am starting to think that boobs are crucial to making this kind of dress look good. Not too much or too little. And there was me thinking this would be a simple make…:)

  13. Miss Demeanour

    I think you look very foxy. I’m keen to have a crack at it because I’m packing heat at the front and RTW drop a little to low for commony decency to prevail. Good luck with the changes. It will be a knockout I’m sure!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi! And thank you, I try my best 🙂 I bet you would look amazing in this, you have to give it a go! I am definitely going to try and tackle the gaping front, in theory this style should be great with curves. Still debating the wrap over, under, or through the middle question though.

  14. Anne

    It looks good in the photos, so I think it’s worth continuing to develop the pattern. Threads magazine had an article recently on fitting wrap dresses with a lot of good tips. A key point with the boobs – there needs to be enough fabric to cover the boobs vertically and horizontally, but the neckline may need to be shortened so that it hugs the chest rather than gaping. I hope to make a wrap dress fit myself soon – similar fitting issues of largish bust and short waist.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s