Up until I sewed Simplicity 8606 last year I'd never owned a wrap dress. Crazy I know. It has become a firm favourite in my wardrobe so I decided to sew another one, this time I opted for Simplicity 8735. I was intrigued to work with a sewing pattern with cup sizes and thought the princess seams were a nice touch on a wrap dress too. This project was a little piece of heaven.
Pattern and Fabric
The pattern was released last year and after searching for reviews I was surprised to find very few. The cup sizes, princess seams and length and sleeve variations were an immediate draw for me.
I am also always late to the party with a lot of trends and had been watching the midi length trend from the sidelines for some time. I thought this dress was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
The pattern instructions say it is suitable for stretch or woven fabrics, but I thought it would work best with a nice fluid woven fabric. I was also desperate to make something with our delightful viscose fabric in red, blue and black so this pattern was a great excuse.
I loved the print and colours of the fabric, but it also has a lovely almost slub like texture to it and feels incredibly high quality. It drapes and moves beautifully. In fact, one of our lovely customers liked it so much when she saw it made up she had to buy some for herself.
I did advise her to cut any pieces on the fold on a single layer due to the fluidity of the fabric. I originally cut the back bodice on the fold and had to re-cut it on a single layer because the two sides didn't match. Silly me, should have known better. Luckily everything else worked out ok so it was a quick fix.
Adjustment and Sizing
I cut a size 12 B cup and the fit in the bust was absolutely spot on. I was so pleased.
I made my usual high round back and forward shoulder adjustments and noticed the back armhole was gaping. I decided to insert a shoulder dart to rectify the issue and it worked a treat.
I have protruding shoulder blades and creating the shoulder dart created extra room in this area, which massively improved the fit, look and comfort. Win win.
I filmed a video of how to insert a shoulder dart, which you can watch here.
I also rotated the sleeve forward to meet the new, forward position of the shoulder seam after my adjustments making sure I added on 1/2" at the back sleeve seam and removed 1/2" off the front sleeve seam so the sleeve seams would be in the correct position too.
All in all I'm absolutely thrilled with the fit of this dress. It feels very flattering and comfortable.
The dress was a super simple sew. It suggested lining the bodice, but I chose not to. I finished the princess seams with a narrow three thread overlock, which was lovely and neat and negated the need for lining.
Instead of sewing narrow hems by pressing the fabric under 1/4" and 1/4" again as suggested by the pattern instructions I also finished these with a three thread overlocking stitch. This is just a personal preference of mine because it reduces bulk.
The neckline is finished with a simple facing, which I top stitched in keeping with the 1/4" hems along the front opening. This also means no annoying flappy facings.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well behaved the fabric was when sewing. I sewed a lot of 1/4" hems expecting the fabric to twist, but they stayed beautifully flat. I used my 1/4" foot for these tasks which I'm sure helped.
I chose the simple tie rather than the buckle option and short sleeves, which I felt worked better with a busy print.
I'm incredibly pleased with the finished dress. It fits beautifully and is very comfortable to wear.
I like the way I can style it differently depending on the season/weather to create lots of different looks. Ankle boots and a leather jacket for those colder days and sandals or trainers and a denim jacket when the sun is out.
Ed said I look like Nora Batty and should be doing my washing with a dolly with the ankle boots combo, which made me laugh. I can see what he means, but I still love the look and what does he know about fashion anyway?!
Have fun sewing!
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