Sunday, 19 June 2011

Pattern review - mock wrap dress

Pattern description

Simplicity 2369. I made view A: Misses' dress with wrap-look front and raglan cap sleeves, with the long ties from views A/C.

Pattern sizing

Sizes 8-24. I cut the 18.

Fabric used

A slightly odd and springy cotton jersey with elastane that I bought online many years ago. It wasn't quite what I was expecting (much thicker and spongier than I thought!) and I wasn't particularly in love with it, but I wanted to make a test garment with this pattern, so used this stuff as it wouldn't be a loss if it was a wadder!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when you were done?

Yep, pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep, fairly straightforward although I did need to read them carefully for the attachment of the two fronts and the ties (I'd had it in my mind that the right front was attached at the left side, but it's not, rather it's closed with the tie slightly in front of the left side seam).

I'd had a look at the Pattern Review opinions on this, and there were many that said that there was a printing error in the instructions with one of the pieces reversed, but this seems to have been corrected. I also used (a modified version of) Trena's instructions for attaching the tie to the right front piece in order to enclose the seam allowances.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the half-wrap front, I think the pleats in the front piece into the ties is very flattering, not least because it covers a "tummy" very effectively. I also think the raglan sleeves are very cute, but I'm not convinced they suit me.

I have some issues with the sizing of this pattern, as usual for many "Big 4" patterns it had rather a lot of ease, especially as it's sized for knits. This wasn't a huge problem for me as I prefer looser fitting jersey clothes, but I will adjust for this if I make it again. The main front piece also seemed weirdly wide at the right hand side (I had to take it in by over 2"). I also thought the cap version of the sleeves were too big (i.e. too wide on the lower edge) - this might have been less of an issue with a softer, more drapey fabric, but with my fabric they were very sticky-uppy (wow, my vocabulary is not working today). You also need to extend the grainline on the cap sleeve pattern piece, as the printed on ends about an inch after the cutting line.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made

I wanted the tie to extend around my back to keep my waist defined, so cut the long tie piece plus the back waist measurement, and caught it in the right side seam instead of the left one. I omitted the neck facing and just turned the edge and topstitched it with a twin needle. Ideally I would have added clear elastic, but I'm currently not on speaking terms with my clear elastic, so I added a snap at centre front to keep it from gaping.

I needed to take in the sides of the bodice by about 1cm on each piece (i.e. to the size smaller!) and could have taken in the waist even more. I took width out the sleeves at the underarm seam, tapering from 1cm (both back and front) at the underarm (to match the side seam) to about 2cm at the sleeve hem. This stopped the sleeves looking too ridiculous. The main front piece was also insanely wide, I took out 2.5-3" of width at the neckline edge/waist by simply taking a tuck next to the side seam - I didn't particularly fancy unpicking the serged seams, and figured it wouldn't particularly show as it's under the other side piece. One thing that's good is that I don't seem to need an FBA - I made this up as a test garment in part to see if this was needed. This is quite fortunate as I didn't really know how to add this to these pattern pieces!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I might sew this again, although a different view, either the tunic length view C, or another dress but with the longer sleeves from view C. I would recommend it to others, but with the caveats above.


I'm not entirely sure raglan sleeves suit me - because of the seamline, they tend to narrow my shoulders and make them appear less straight, which then can make my larger bottom half look slightly out of balance. I might experiment with some colour blocking and see how that looks. Having said that, I do like this dress, as a house dress and occasional summer casual dress.


  1. I think you look great in this dress. That was a very popular pattern - but I like how it looks so different with the fabric you chose. Also, the snap at the neckline is genius.

  2. Thank you! I'm still not entirely sold on the fabric (because of the hand rather than the print), but I'm planning to make a version of this pattern as a top with long sleeves (it doesn't work terribly well with a cardie on top because of the tie). Have you seen Trena's version as a top on Pattern Review? She redrafted the sleeves a bit, and it's gorgeous. I'm glad you think the snap is good (and other people too) - I wasn't sure if it looked a bit "home-made", but tbh I've added this to RTW wrap dresses too, so I figured it couldn't be too bad!

  3. This is one of the best looking dresses made up in this pattern! Thanks for the idea of the tie around the back. :)