In January I bought a sewing book that changed my favourite hobby forever. I already owned „Gerties ultimate dressbook“ which contains a lot of nice patterns and sewing tipps for making gorgeous dresses. But since 2020 is the „year of the basics“ in my sewing life, I needed some advice for the more casual sewing projects. So I bought „Gertie sews vintage casual“, the best sewing book I ever owned. Not only the patterns in this book are awesome, it also contains a lot of tricks and hacks for better sewing that opened my eyes in many ways. There is so much that I have been doing wrong.
Now I made my fourth piece from the patterns in the book: The vintage inspired wrapdress.*
*That link goes to gerties blog where she describes the pattern and shows two examples of the dress.
The „wrapdress“ from the book is designed after a fourties „housedress“. It’s meant to be comfortable and well-fitting, even during house- or gardenwork. Not that I do a lot of that both – I don’t even have a garden – But it’s a perfect casual wardrobe piece.
The dress has short sleeves and a narrow shawl collar. The shoulder pieces in the front are gathered, also is the skirt. And whats most important for a casual dress: It has pockets!
Before I cut the dress from my good viscose fabric, I made a test garment from some old curtain to look how the pattern would fit. Since I have a very curvy bodyshape, many dresses doesn’t fit right around the waistline. I was surprised how well it fitted. I cut out the pattern in a size 10 with size 8 around the waistline and it was nearly perfect.
Anyway I needed to do these pattern alterations:
- Since the backpiece of the dress was too puffy, I made the darts bigger and the whole backpiece about 1cm shorter on the side seams
- The sleeves were a little too tight, I made them a little wider
- I added little beltloops on the backside to prevent the tie from slipping up.
At this point I have to mention that my gathered skirt looks much more fluffy than the one in the book. Maybe it’s because I altered the pattern of the backpiece and didn’t adjust the skirt width? I did that on purpose, because I like my skirt a little more ruffled on the back. This gives my butt a nice silhouette. To prevent it from being bulky around the hips, I gathered only the backside and a part of the front and left the space around the side seams straight.
The dress in the book is made out of plaid seersucker. I chose viskose crepe for it. First I was afraid, that fabric would be too thin, but I’m very happy how it came out. I used normal vlieseline for the inlay of the collar, the shoulders and the facing.
The fabric I found at my local sewing supplies store. I already saw it last year in November at fell in love with the vintage pattern and the border. When I came to the store in January that fabric was still laying there – So I decided to make a spring/summer wrapdress out of it. It’s a light viskose crepe that drapes around the body
Bobbles and ties
Although I love that fabric, the dress felt a little too much „fifties housewife“ in that fabric. So I tought about ways to make it a little more fun and extraordinary. I found inspiration in my great sewing book. In the chapter about finishing seams with lace and trims, there was a passage about bobble trim. So I looked into my big box of laces and trims and I found that cute black trim with mini bobbles!
I added this black bobble trim to the collar and the sleeves.
Furthermore I made the ties from the border color of the fabric, to give it a little contrast.
Wrap me up before you go go
As I mentioned before, that dress is perfect for the casual wardrobe. When I wear it at home, I always feel elegant and well-dressed. The wrapped skirt allows me to climb stairs, play with my daughter and even sit on the floor without ripped seams or exposed legs.
The fabric is very light and comfortable to wear, so it will be perfect for the hotter summer days. Right now it is still a little too cold for short sleeves, so I’m wearing it with my leather jacket when I’m outside.
Did you already sew a wrapdress?
What do you think about it? Leave a comment or write me on Facebook, Instagram or Mewe.