Let’s talk wrap dresses. Lately there’s been a craze for the DVF wrap dress, and while I’d love to join in I still have a bunch of stiff cotton in my stash to sew through first before playing with knits. McCall’s M6959 screamed perfect since it called for medium weight woven fabrics – exactly what I have too much of!
By the way, for those of you in West Africa… Vlisco just released a new collection with cotton voile fabric. Although I’m no longer there I’m still subscribed to their newsletter because I like to oooh and ahhh over new collections. Vlisco waits until after I leave Benin to finally release a fabric that doesn’t need to have numerous violent hand washes for some drape to happen? Thanks but Vlisco, you’re too late. I’ve moved on. (And aren’t they clever – they named this collection Voila!)
Ahem. Back to McCall’s 6959. In any case this red fabric is a Japanese cotton I purchased from Taiwan in 2012, so hooray to finally using it up. I was originally planning to make a simple skirt, but when I unfolded this fabric and three yards tumbled out and I saw how much leftover fabric I would end up with, I decided that it needed a bigger project. So I chose M6959 view B with view A sleeves. Except after I cut out the skirt I ran out of fabric and I had to run out and buy a suitable contrast for the bodice.
This wrap dress has a hidden tie from the left front to the right side seam, as well as a hook & eye on the right front and left bust dart. As you can tell, that is enough to guarantee this dress is wind safe. You will be fine in this dress on a windy day.
HOWEVER, you will not be safe if you bend or lean forward. IT GAPES. A LOT! The whole world can see EVERYTHING if you dare lean toward the front! So add a snap or a hook & eye on the upper bodice. I’ve marked where I need to add it, but I’ve not been in a hand sewing mood lately so that is on the procrastination table. That means technically this garment isn’t finished, but we’ll pretend I didn’t just admit that.
I will be honest though, this is my first time making a wrap dress of any kind, knit or woven. It is also the first wrap dress I’ve owned. I don’t know why I’ve never purchased one before, maybe they never fit or maybe they weren’t as plentiful as non wrap dresses. Because of that, I am not very familiar with how a wrap dress should fit and flatter. I’ve read that they are hard to fit, but I’m rather happy with mine.
Mine is a straight size 16 with no modifications. Think of it as a wearable muslin since as I stated before, I don’t care to make muslins for fabric I am trying to destash. It’s all fabric I am okay with losing if things go bad.
The bodice is roomy, but not too roomy. The bodice is also made of a 50% rayon and 50% polester blend, so it has much more drape than the skirt.
The bust darts for the bodice, however, are way too high. Also I think I committed a serious error here. The darts are also wide, and the instructions tell you to trim the dart 3/8” from stitching, then press it open and flat. My fabric was fray happy and I didn’t want any raw edges, so I didn’t trim them like I was supposed to. And I think it contributed to a case of nipple darts. Lesson learned.
My sleeves are also a bit too tight. I’ve learned that with the Big 4 patterns – I need to go up a size for the sleeves because my upper arms are not in proportion with the rest of my body. However, for this dress they still worked out, so whew!
I added pockets. Because why not. In the end, regardless of the gape and bust dart issues, I like the end result. It almost feel like some sort of retro diner or bowling outfit, but still works for everyday wear today. Once I add that snap to the top bodice, it’ll be a summer staple for sure.