30 May 2022
I'm really pleased with how this frilly wrap dress has turned out - it wasn't all plain sailing though!
I'd purchased some beautiful Dashwood Studio rayon fabric online from Minerva a while ago with no specific garment in mind. I saw a blouse that someone had made with the fabric and I just had to have it!
I was thinking about what to make with it and I wondered if I could squeeze a ruffled wrap dress out of the 2.5 metres I had. I've wanted to make a wrap dress with frills for quite awhile now. I have a pattern from the 1970's which is just what I want, however it's far too small for me to try to grade up. So I looked for a pattern I could use.
I found McCall's 7745, view C, which looked exactly what I wanted. On second thoughts, a set-in sleeve might have been better as I usually avoid raglan sleeves due to that style not working well with my rounded shoulders. But I had made up my mind!
I found a few reviews where it was mentioned that the bodice for the style I was making was a strange shape. So I messed around a bit, making a toile of the bodice and trying both the C and D cup pattern pieces. It didn't fit very well, however just a small tweak to the dart and bringing the side seam in a little seemed to resolve it. So I was all set to start cutting out.
Ah, next problem. I didn't have enough fabric! Normally I can cut something out of far less fabric than the pattern calls for, but not this time. The pattern called for 150cm wide fabric and this is 140cm wide, which isn't usually an issue, but it was this time. Also, I'd washed the fabric and I think it shrank a little in the wash. I always wash rayon/viscose as it does have a tendency to shrink. So that reduced my fabric even more. End result - it just wasn't going to fit!
So off I go to the local fabric shop to look for a contrast fabric to use for the ruffles. I was thinking of plain, but I ended up choosing this almost negative effect fabric which echoed the orange flowers and was nice and drapey. I thought it would work. The alternative was to make something completely different and I didn't want to go down that route unless I really had to.
Once I got started with the actual sewing, things went well. The fabric from Minerva is absolutely beautiful to work with and the colours are so vibrant. I would definitely buy more Dashwood Studio fabric in the future!
The pattern calls for ribbon to use as the ties at both sides but I decided to make my own ties from the main dress fabric as I didn't want to introduce another pattern onto the dress, even if it was just a plain colour.
I had thought that the ruffles around the neck were a bit much and so I tucked them all in and took a photo of myself. I felt more comfortable, but looking at the photo later, I decided that it looked unbalanced with ruffles at the bottom but not on the top half of the dress. So all of the ruffles are definitely staying!
Okay, here's some photos of me twirling. I had been a little concerned about how much I might flash, it being a wrap skirt, but I had to work hard to get even close to being indecent! 😁