Wrap Dress

This is the result of my drafting class for a surplice dress.  The class is part of Craftsy's "Patternmaking + Design: Creative Necklines". 

 I meant to follow the draft as instructed in the class, but really, some of the design decisions seemed a little bit crazy.  The instructions were for a gathered skirt.  There is already a whole lotta fabric going on in a wrap dress, without adding a gathered skirt.  If you google wrap dresses, you'll be hard put to find one with a gathered skirt.  Having gathers on the overlap and the underlap was way too bulky for me, so I changed the underlap to have darts instead.  In the class example, the gathers were applied to the regular portion of the skirt, with no gathers on the extension.  I guess this was so that the gathers on the overlap and underlap did not sit on top of each other, but I thought it just looked weird, so I distributed the gathers across the whole front section, stopping short about 2 inches from the side seams.  The class made a skirt facing to the whole skirt extension, but I was feeling weighed down by all the fabric, so I only faced about an inch of the skirt extension.

This next photo shows some of the bodice detail.  I used shoulder yokes, and then rotated all the darts into shoulder gathers.  The class had you draft facings for the bodice, but I think there is already enough fabric flapping around on a wrap dress without facings, so I drafted a band to finish the neckline.  I finished the armholes with bias binding.  

The back of the skirt is gathered as well.  It is a bit hard to see, but I rotated the back waist darts up into back neckline gathers, to tie in with the rest of the gathers on the dress.  I quite like the bodice design I ended up with, and I think it has enough interesting detail to work well in a plain fabric as well.

This dress has pockets.  Usually I can't see the fuss about pockets in dresses, as they add bulk, and I always carry a bag anyways.  These pockets were drafted by placing your hand on the skirt pattern and drawing a shape around it to make the pocket, which I must say makes for a very comfortable pocket shape with a good pocket depth.

I made this dress midi length, but I still may cut it off to knee length.  It looks more fun at knee length, but most of my dresses are knee length, so I thought I would mix it up a bit.

This fabric is a cotton lycra blend.  I'm not too fussed on cotton lycra blends, as they are so much hotter to wear than straight cotton, which means that this very tropical print will actually be too hot to wear in tropical weather.  I must have bought this print after seeing something similar looking great on somebody else...just another trap for fabric buyers!  I still have red velvet stashed from about 20 years ago when I momentarily lusted after somebody else's red velvet pants.  This fabric is not as disastrous a choice as the (actually fake) red velvet, and it is good to have less precious fabric to test out the class drafts.


  1. What a beautiful style of dress, and it's even more impressive that you drafted it yourself. I think the style choices you made which deviated from class instructions were the right ones. And that fabric!

  2. Lovely dress, you did a great job drafting it yourself. Congrats on your recent PR Sewing Bee achievements too!

  3. Really cute dress! Your adaptations look spot on. And velvet seems to be back in a big way so it's not too late for red velvet pants!!

  4. Love it. The bodice is really lovely. I think it will be more fun at knee length also. Such beautiful colours on you but yeah... cotton lycra isn't for steaming weather!

  5. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who purchases fabric after seeing something that looks great on someone else. I think your dress looks great - particularly the bodice.

  6. I think it looks really lovely. The neckline especially. And I think gathering on the top and bottom piece of the overlap would have made it look terrible!

    And yes about lycra and cotton. Only in aircon. but that dress looks like you ought to be on a yacht sailing in balmy tropical seas sipping champagne and eating squares of perfectly ripe mangoes.

    Maybe if you do take the hem up it will be more wearable in the kind of situations it really belongs in. Maybe.

  7. Love it, as it is! Don't change the length, it comes across as elegant.