Wrap Dress Construction

Time for construction of the Wrap dress. I made this whole dress using 3 different Apostrophe Patterns, the MyFit Tee, the Circle Skirt calculator, and the Gathered Skirt calculator.
 
I love that the benefit of having a really well fitting Tee is that the door to modifications and hacks is wide open. The MyFit tee becomes a base for a world of ideas. I modified the front into a full wrap as seen here and modified the sleeves to be Bishop sleeves here
 
I used two different fabrics for this wrap dress, in the image below is a length of fabric, that is folded along the grainline with the selvedge edge visible. The back bodice is along the folded edge while the sleeves, cuffs, and front bodice are cut on a double layer of fabric resulting in mirrored image pieces.  
 
 
The first sewing step is to sew the shoulder seams using your selected seam allowance. In the image below, I have the bodice pieces laying right side up. The front bodice pieces are laid over one another so that I could double check the coverage before continuing.
 
I was happy with my pieces and so took the back bodice, and with right sides aligned the shoulders and pinned in place. 
 
 
I recommend stabilizing the shoulder seams since this will be a dress, and will be heavier than a t-shirt. I don't want the shoulders to pull under the weight. There are a few options for what to use to do this, like cotton twill tape or the selvedge edge of a woven fabric, that you can stitch into the seam allowance on the wrong side of the back shoulder.
 
My favorite method is to use clear elastic in the seam allowance. I add this during construction in a 1:1 ratio. I start by feeding the 1/4" clear elastic through a slot in my serger foot and then sewing on just the elastic for an inch or so. I do this to double check that my elastic is being caught and is in the seam allowance. Once your elastic is feeding, you can sew your shoulder seams. I sew with the back bodice on top so that the elastic ends up on the back shoulder seam.  
 
The image below is from a different project, but clearly shows the elastic in the presser foot.
 
In my modification of the sleeve, I didn't adjust the sleeve head or armscye, so I followed the pattern instructions for attaching the sleeves. 
 
 
Continue to follow the pattern instructions to close the sleeve and side seam. But there will be one modification to allow for a functional wrap dress. 
 
 
I will be making 1" (2.5cm) straps so left a 1" (2.5cm) opening at the bottom of the bodice, this is indicated by the red line between the clip and the pin. Stop sewing at the clip, leave a gap, then sew from the pin to the raw edge. Reinforce at the beginning and end of the strap opening. Because this is a knit fabric, I didn't do anything else to finish the opening. 
 
 
I wanted to use a band to finish off the neckline, so I started by measuring my neckline opening along the whole length of the wrap neckline.  I took that number and multiplied it by 90%. This became the length of my neckband. 
 
 
My desired width for my finished neckband was about 3/4" (2cm), I had opted to use a 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance, so I cut my band 2" (5cm) wide x the length I calculated above. Calculate the band width by determining desired width, adding seam allowance, and then double that number. The grainline will go with the width/smaller number so that the band can stretch.

Fold the neckband in half along the length with wrong sides together. Press well. Then mark the quarter points of your band and neckline. (You will see only 3 clips on the band and neckline. These are at the center and quarter points, with raw edges being the final marker.) Match the raw edges, sew using your selected seam allowance stretching the band to match the neckline. Press the seam towards the bodice, and topstitch your seam.
 
 
Before adding the skirt, it is time to finish the sleeves. I opted to use the cuff included in the pattern to finish the sleeve. As you can see the wrist opening is now a lot bigger than the cuff, this will be too much to try and stretch or ease in.
 
 
Use one or two basting stitches to gather the wrist opening to match the cuff. Evenly distribute the gathers and then attach your cuff, with right sides together.
  
 
Finished Sleeve
 
With my bodice completed it was time to calculate the skirt using the Circle Skirt calculator. Step 1 is to measure the waist opening. Step 2 was to put this bodice on my daughter and measure from the waist down her body until I reached the desired length. 
 
 
I wanted the circle skirt to be knee length. I took those measurements and entered them into the circle skirt calculator.
When asked how many panels I wanted my skirt cut in, I decided that I wanted seams at the side seams, and since my bodice is 3 equal lengths, I divided my circle skirt into 3 pieces. 

Sew the 3 panels together, but do not close into a full circle. Leave one seam open so that the dress is a true wrap dress. 

I wanted to add a gathered flounce on the bottom of the circle skirt, so I went to the measurement summary of my circle skirt and used Length of outer raw edge to enter into the gathered skirt calculator for the waist measurement. 
 
 
I entered my measurements into the Gathered Skirt calculator with a 10" height to bring the skirt to ankle length. I wanted full gathers and opted for 2x gather factor. I used the cut chart to cut my pieces and then followed the pattern instructions to attach the gathered skirt to bottom edge of the circle. I opted to have my raw edges on the right side to give it a ruffled look at the joining seam. I just matched wrong sides together instead of right sides together. Then removed my basting stitches after attaching the gathered skirt. This was done on a sewing machine instead of a serger. I left those edges raw. 
 
 
After the skirt is completed, you can attach the circle skirt waist to the bodice. Match side seams and raw edges. I like to put clear elastic into this seam as well, depending on the fabric used, the skirt can be quite heavy. Use the same method described above. I put the elastic on the skirt side. 
 
Next time to make the ties. I cut the ties with the grainline running along the length because I don't want the ties to stretch as they are pulled and tied. 

I had  decided to make 1"(2.5cm) ties when I was preparing my bodice, so I cut my width at 2.5" (6.3cm). Then with right sides together, I sewed the tie into a tube and closed one end of the tie. Turn right side out and press. I pressed the seam to be on the bottom edge of the ties. You will need 2 ties. 
 
Attach the open edge of each tie to the bodice at the open side, right sides together and the seam of the tie towards the skirt. Position the tie above the waist seam and back from the raw edge enough the the entire width of the tie is on the fabric of the bodice. Sew the edge of the tie to the bodice. 
 
 
Fold the tie under to the wrong side and sew again to secure the tie to the dress. Consider sewing a boxed x to reinforce and strengthen the tie. 

Continue sewing down the raw edge of the skirt to finish the skirts raw edge along the opening of the wrap dress. 
 
 
That completes our sewing steps. Let's take a look at the finished dress.
Thanks for joining me today, This dress is one of my favorite makes ever and I plan on making a matching mommy and me set in a gorgeous plum rayon.  

Cyn

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