Autumn sewing starts... Ultimate Wrap Dress

Friday, 3 October 2014

Ahhh Summer...

It feels like it was a million years ago now! This photo was from the Sew Over It Summer party, where we all had a great night making lampshades (which are awesome, and mine has been in use ever since!).

On the night, I finally got my hands on the pattern I had been lust after for quite a while - the Ultimate Wrap Dress (which can also be taken as a class). Although I also spent most of the night lusting after Lisa's Doris dress (that's Lisa in the grey on the far right - as if you didn't know!).

It didn't take me long to get to tracing this pattern, and it was one of those makes that just flowed out of me, with no major issues or unpicking. I had the bulk of it sewn up in the last hour of sewing club!

The fabric is a Black/Grey animal print knit I bought quite a while ago from Minerva Crafts. I think it's a heavy jersey or ponte. It's very stable, and was a dream to sew with!

I wouldn't normally wear something like this without tights at this time of the year, but I felt they were obscuring the dress for photos! I've been wearing the dress with black tights and heeled lace-up ankle boots. Which I wish I had taken at least one photo of, because they are awesome boots. Next time!

It fits perfectly around the bust line, but I like to keep my cleavage covered, so I've popped a plain black cami underneath for modesty. There would be a lo of bewbage otherwise!

I'm seriously trying to remember what adjustments I made before I started. I'm pretty sure I tried to get the most out of using a stretch fabric but making it all pretty simple. For the front pieces I cut a 14 for my bust. I was going to grade it in at the waist, but decided instead to take the excess width away from the under and over wrap edge instead. I thought this would ensure that it wasn't too big at the under wrap - the worst would be if I couldn't pull in for a snug fit. I cut the back as a 14 bust/12 waist.

I could probably afford to add a little more on the underlap with no issues, but I think it's pretty good! It's a comfortable fit, and as I said - the bust fits well. I could probably lengthen it a smidge, I think I traced a piece off wrong because the front pieces turned up shorter than the back- so of course I ended up a little shorter than I meant to be. I'll check my pieces before the next try.

I was warned the ties are pretty long. I stupidly didn't cut them on the fold, so mine are pieced at the centre and therefore slightly shorter. I tend not to knot them, or even double knot, as the ponte is a bit thick and it stands off my body a bit bonkers. The fabric has enough grip to not unravel so I'm safe! If I was making it in a ponte again, I might consider making the ties marginally thinner.

I'm sure I must have shortened the sleeves, but I love having sleeves that finish where I like them for once in my life! It's awfully exciting. The only tricky sewing bit was sewing the curved front edges of the hem. I took it nice and slow with my machine's triple stitch. One went fine, but one was a bit more difficult for me! They were coming out a bit wavy, but with a good steam they flattened right out!

I used the facing pieces included in the pattern. I was going to give bias binding a go as an interior finish but I didn't have any premade stretch binding (and I was too lazy to make some!). I decided that the facings would probably stay put okay with this thicker fabric, and I also topstitched 1cm from the from edge to keep it in place. I used the triple stitch again here.

The only mistake I made sewing up the pattern was the placing of the wrap ties. They really need to be in the perfect position for the turn out. I didn't really consider perfecting the placement before I had my first crack at it and ended up with the seam ripper!

My tip would be to ensure you have measured down 1.5cm from the top edge of the wrap, and ensure you're not sewing into the wrap tie before you pivot the corner. Because if you do, your tie will be all sorts of buckled at the top. Oh yes! I did consider this before I did it but I didn't listen to my instincts!

All in all, I'm really happy with how it turned out overall, and my Mum loved it too. Although you wouldn't have thought it with the face she made at me when she realised I had made it. Sometimes she's so impressed, she's disgusted, haha!

This is the beginning of my comfy day dresses, and it's working out well so far. There will be many more of these popping out! Has anyone else fallen into Autumn sewing yet??

Emmie xx


  1. This is gorgeous! It's so stylish, and I love the fabric.

  2. This is gorgeous Emmie! I've been lusting after the pattern for a while too, but I now have it, so will hopefully be able to make it soon :) I love your fabric, and the dress is a good length on you - I have a friend who made it, planning on wearing it to work, but it ended up way too low cut and way to short for that (she's a primary teacher).

  3. Beautiful! The fabric and pattern go really well together!

  4. Very pretty silhouette on you! I like how you made it in a fabric with interesting visual texture that can be dressed up or down depending on how you style it with accessories. This is a beautiful yet completely practical dress! Love it!

  5. Emmie it is fab and may I say you are looking extremley trim since Minerva in the Summer. Jo x


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