If you were to stop by my house on most days, you would most likely find me in some version of worn out t-shirt and shabby, loose-fitting pants. To work outside or in the barn, you would find my shabby, casual work “style” covered with an equally shabby pair of overalls.
For certain neither look is something you would find on the fashion runways.
And speaking is definitely not needed for you to know the farmer I am (the barn coverall aroma will help tell the story too!)
But, for the small part of my life that I get to shower, properly dry(& comb) my hair, and put on clean clothes, I love to have clothes that represent other parts of the person I am.
A few weeks ago I spent an early morning scrolling through new sewing pattern releases with a trip to JoAnn Fabrics for a customer project slated for later that day. Unfortunately, for my pocketbook, several patterns caught my attention.
With new patterns sparking inspiration, my necessary shopping trip became a little more “necessary.” 🙂
I love the look of wrap dresses and tops, so many fashion experts speak highly about wrap dresses being comfortable, flattering, and easy to wear, but I have never had much luck finding a piece of wrap style clothing that felt or looked right on me. So, going into this project, there was some risk of disappointment in the finished garment. My challenge became, “Is a wrap dress part of my style?”
Enthusiasm for the project increased after finding a great floral piece of fabric.
Instead of making a muslin test garment (because…well…enthusiasm drums out good common sense sometimes…**shake head**I know**never learn**) Instead….I did some pattern review research to see if I could connect any other sewer’s common issues; nothing major turned up, so full throttle ahead.
After reading the reviews, I did make a few changes in construction:
!. Eliminated the neck facings and added a bodice and skirt lining
2. Lengthened the right belt to be able to wrap completely around
3. Added a stretch knit neck band
The lining addition is something I do to most dresses because it eliminates the need for a slip and the dress wears better with a lining.
The added belt length came from reading Emily Hallman Designs posts about her wrap dress sewing experience, having a belt that wraps completely around keeps the dress more securely closed.
The stretch knit band of black scuba knit fabric was added for additional modesty and closer fit through the crossover. The dress without the band buckled open and seemed to expose my chest down to my belly button (not really to my belly button, but much lower than was in my comfort zone). My wrap dress research turned up this band technique as a way to overcome this common problem.
I also had to change the angle of the bust darts with the original placement pointing awkwardly high (thanks 50+ year old bosom).
And, after wearing the dress twice now, I am still deciding if a wrap garment speaks my style language. This dress checks all the boxes identified with a wrap dress in that it is comfortable. It is easy to wear; slip it on, tie it around, accessorize and off I go. Finally, flattering, hmm…? I love the print and seeing my reflection in the mirror isn’t painful , but when I see the pictures taken for this post I am still undecided….would it be better with a longer skirt length or the view with the ruffle?…should the bodice have been longer or cross-over differently? Just not sure, maybe it is a style “language” that has an accent I have not yet perfected?