Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mock wrap dress, v2.0

After a few less than successful garments over the last month, I wanted to sew something less frustrating. Being me it couldn't of course be something simple like a knit top, but I did keep it fairly straightforward by making a second version of the Simplicity mock-wrap dress. You can read the review of the pattern in my previous post, or over on Pattern Review, so I'm not going to repeat that here, just detail the changes I made.

I of course knew how the first version fit, so could make the pattern adjustments straight away. The first thing was to size it down on the top half - I had originally cut the 18 all over, but took it down to a 16. I also took out extra width on the right hand side of the underlapping side, so that the total corresponded to the amount I pinched out on the first version. To stop the gaping neckline I rotated a wedge out of the neck edge on each front piece to the side seam, where a bust dart would be, and then eased this excess when sewing it to the back pieces. I also raised the neckline by about 1cm at the centre front. I took a wedge out of the front and back sleeve pieces to reduce the space age pointiness of them, and added 6cm to the length of the skirt. I used a long tie again that attaches on the right hand side and wraps around the back of the dress.

I used a rayon blend jersey for this version. I think there's unfortunately a fair amount of polyester in this blend as it's a bit sweaty, but at least it means it doesn't sag or bag. Construction wise, this was fairly straightforward after making the first one. Well, apart from my serger stopping working halfway through (and having to spend 158CHF on a new foot pedal), but we'll gloss over that... Apart from the pleats and the topstitching this was all constructed on the serger. The neckline, bottom of the wrap and sleeve hems were finished in my usual manner with a folded strip of fabric serged on, and were then topstitched with a twin needle. The skirt hem was just folded over and topstitched with a twin needle (to be honest, the wrap hem should probably have been finished like this too).

I mentioned last time that I used a modified version of Trena's method for attaching the tie cleanly to the wrap-over half of the bodice, but I didn't actually say what I did differently! Not helpful for you, and also not helpful for me when I came to remake the dress! So... I serged the attachment seam as per Trena's method, but then serged the entire long side of the tie (as I like living dangerously) and slipstitched the short end closed.

I'm so pleased with the fit in this version, it's now pretty much spot on. I don't know whether I'll make it again though any time soon (as there's plenty of other new things I want to sew), but I may make a top version of it in the near future. The pictures in this post of me wearing it were taken at the FĂȘte de la Musique here yesterday, so this also counts as my extended-MMM'13 post too!

Day 53

Dress: me-made (Simplicity 2369) | Necklace: Random shop in Hammersmith, London | Sandals: Aeschbach | Handbag: Manor | Drink: caipirinha

Worn: to listen to music, eat food, drink local apple juice, and enjoy the sunshine. And a bit of tourism for you: this is the Reformation Wall, built into the old city walls. It's in one of the parks where most of the music festival was being held, and commemorates the city's links with the Protestant Reformation movement in the 16th century.


  1. This is beautiful-I love the green with your coloring, the fit, and the workmanship.

  2. Love this dress! Just realized this pattern is in my stash, too! Thanks for all the notes on it....can't wait to start it now.

  3. This is so pretty! I like your traditional floral print, makes it so ladylike. I need to revisit this dress with the cap sleeve...

  4. Hi Dilly, I've just found your blog (through a google search for a sewing dictionary since I'm trying to find out whatever 'twill tape' could be in French...).

    I'm also in Geneva! Great dress, looks like you did a perfect job, the top-stitching is incredibly straight! Glad to see you also enjoyed the sun for FĂȘte de la Musique this year.

    Thanks for your list of supply stores too, you're right that we're not very well served here...

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Lucy - twill tape is ruban serge in French, I'll add it to my dictionary... I'm pretty certain they sell it in Manor, possibly by the metre, definitely in pre-cut lengths. Mercerie de la Madeleine should also sell it. And HOORAY! Another Geneva sewing person! How long have you been here? If you ever want to say hi and chat about fabrics and sewing machines, let me know :)