With my husband off at a conference this past weekend, I had a long stretch of time to sew my wrap dress while binge-watching TV (Transparent and Broad City). I think the only time I stepped out of the house the entire weekend was to walk the dog a few times. But sequestering myself paid off nicely, because the wrap dress is done save for the hem and it looks FABULOUS! I can’t wait for you to see it next week. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of my dress’s sewing details. I’m sewing Vogue Patterns V8379.
In this photo above you can see how I altered the bodice in two places. One, I lengthened it by an inch, because my niece has a long torso and I think this bodice is a little on the short side anyway. Two, instead of a separate front facing I created a folded self-facing, similar to the the real DVF dress I showed you here. I took the pattern facing piece and marked the seamline on the tissue, and then I marked the seamline on the bodice. Matching seamlines at the bodice front edge, I traced the facing on tracing paper and then taped it to the bodice; then I cut the bodice as one pattern piece with a self facing that folds to the inside. Sounds complicated but it was remarkably easy to do.
Above, the bodice self-facing and the neck facing. Order of construction if you make a self facing like this: 1. Stitch shoulder seams. Do not stitch self-facing as part of shoulder seam. 2. Stitch neck facing to back neck edge. (Finish facing edge as you normally do.) Trim seamline and understitch. 3. Turn self-facing to inside at fold line (the former seam line in the original pattern). Baste or pin in place at shoulder seam. 4. Fold under the seam allowance on the short ends of the neck facing; trim seamline to eliminate bulk. 5. Hand-stitch the neck facing in place at the shoulder seam so the self-facing and the neck facing meet neatly; tack in place in the shoulder seam to keep the facing from rolling out.
In this photo above you can see the facing and shoulder seam area. I did stabilize the shoulder seam with clear elastic, but I screwed up and sewed it to the top part of the seam rather than placing it on the underside of the seam where it wouldn’t be seen or felt by the wearer. You can also see here that I did not use my serger on the seams but chose to double-stitch the seams instead. Either type of seam finish is acceptable with knits.
The downside of using a self-facing is that you can no longer neatly insert your ties between the facing and the bodice. But this really isn’t much of a dilemma because the ties wrap around anyway and you don’t actually see the point where the tie is attached to the bodice. So I just folded the raw edge under and stitched it to the bodice, as above.
What the inside of the tie opening looks like. I stitched the upper edge in place.
Above, the waist seam. Here I was a smart girl and stitched the stabilizing clear elastic to the underside of the seam.
This photo shows how I gave substance to the front facings (skirt and bodice) by fusing a lightweight interfacing to them. Then I turned and stitched the edges of the facings for a finished appearance.
I wanted to have the sleeve end in a foldover band rather than cuff like we show in the pattern. This is really simple to do. Just determine how wide you want your cuff to be when folded. My width from folded edge of cuff to the seamline where it’s attached to the sleeve is 2 inches. For example, if you want a cuff that’s 2 inches wide like mine, you cut two pieces that are 4.5″ (includes 1/4″ seam allowance) x width of lower sleeve. Look at the photo above and hopefully this is more clear.
Here’s what the attached cuff looks like. I stitched one side to the lower sleeve edge, folded it in half, turned the edge under, then hand-stitched it in place.
A little glimpse of how it looks so far. Like I said earlier, the only thing left to do is the hem. I’ll probably serge the skirt edge and hem in place by hand.
Next week: The big reveal! Where do you stand with your wrap dress?!