A while back I asked for advice on this wrap dress from Gap and consensus was – copy it. So I did, with a little help and lots of improvements!
Tessuti run a ‘copy your fave garment’ from time to time and it was just the motivation I needed. The teacher, Megan, is all sorts of fabulous, a real sweetie with possibly endless patience. She helped me copy this dress. Not sure why I’m always surprised, but guess how many iterations before I was happy with the pattern? Four (4), yes four – again. No matter what I design or what method I use, it takes four goes before I’m happy with the fit. Might as well just give into it and go with the flow.
Copying the dress was fairly straightforward, I could probably have nutted it out myself, but sometimes I need a prod and some hand holding. Besides, sewing is such a lonely pastime, it’s an excuse to commune with my type!
The CF bodice was lengthened to accommodate the overbust measurement vertically – unsightly hitching gone – tick!
I wasn’t crazy about the gathers at the shoulders or the sleeve head but Megan felt I should make it up as drafted, then decide. That’s me, always trying to expedite the process. Here’s the first draft of the bodice. You can see I’m still trying to do away with those shoulder gathers!
After tweaking this version I decided it was good enough for a crappy fabric wearable toile – which is an oxymoron BTW ‘cos I never wear those toiles from crappy fabric. The bodice was tossed, the skirt was salvaged. It’s creasy, crappy rayon fabric that most definitely wasn’t worth the effort. I like the skirt a lot, but the fabric is just nasty. Looking into my crystal ball I see a short future in a wardrobe unworn, then out she’ll go.
More tweaks which included rotating those gathers off my bust, various amounts of tightening the front neckline, moving the waistline darts more toward CF, them move ’em toward the side seam, redraft the sleeve sans gathered head and voila – the green fairy dressed in linen flowers from The Fabric Store.
The original dress only hits about 2cm below the knee, but since I’m pursuing the Kibbe Flamboyant natural body type influences, I went long line all the way to maxi! No definite waist, but a hint of waist. Almost no ditsy prissy details – this dress has been worn lots.
There’s quite a bit of extra fabric in the back and the front of this bodice is a little too long. I hadn’t even noticed the original dress’ darts are sewn rather than tucked – must do that, it will clean up the front a bit. But how about the modesty of that left front panel hey? All the way to the side seam – it will take a cyclonic gust to expose me bloomers!
Regrets… why didn’t I add pockets – dammit!
Reasons to sew a maxi wrap dress
1.You have varicose veins you’d rather not show/tell
2. You have anaphylaxis to mosquitoes at BBQs
3. Your prosthetic leg is from Costco not a designer! Watch this TED talk
4. Someone gave you a whopping 4 metres of excellent fabric and you want to use it all at once
5. You love a wrap but live somewhere windy, like Wellington, NZ or Kansas?
6. You’re a Kibbe flamboyant natural seeking a long line silhouette
7. Things have been bad, really bad and you live in a tower with 200 stairs and WILL trip one day
8. It’s just so damned dramatic and elegant
9. Fat ankles in steamy weather?
10. Because with so much fabric swooshing around, who needs A/C – no really – it’s remarkably cool!