Monday, June 27, 2016

The Fabulous Green Wrap Dress

After two weeks of being separated from my sewing machine, it was wonderful to get back to sewing last week and begin sewing the 50's style dresses I've been planning for over a month!

On the first evening I had a chance to sew last week I pulled out my patterns, looked them over, and decided to start by sewing Simplicity 8085, a reprint of a 50's Simplicity pattern. It looked like it would go together quickly and I was really ready to get something finished!  So I picked some fabric from my stash, ironed it, and got started.

I picked up this green cotton at the Steam Engine Show last fall. Yes, the Steam Engine Show. Old tractors, old house, and lots of vendors, one of whom was selling extra fabric from her stash. This green print quickly caught my eye so I bought all 4 yards (in the form of 2 two yard pieces) she had. I've hung on to it since, just waiting for the perfect project to come along. Well, 4 yards was just barley enough for this dress. (the pattern called for 4 1/2 yards)

The fabric, sadly, was not dyed evenly so I tried to at least make the less dyed sections symmetrical to each other in the finished dress since I had to use just about ever scrap of fabric there was.
I squeezed my pattern pieces onto the two panels of fabric laid atop each other, wrong sides together. Due to to being a 1/2 yard short of the required amount of fabric I wasn't able to cut the front bodice piece on the fold so there is a center front seam. No big deal, with a print a busy as this one you really have to be looking close to see the seams at all.

I made a couple of other minor changes, along with the center front seam. I lowered the front neckline a couple inches to a still modest, but more flattering level. I finished the edges of the dress with single fold, rather than double fold, bias tape and added white lace for embellishment. I also, of course, added pockets. The skirt has no side seams, just a center front seam, so I couldn't do my favorite hidden side seam pockets. Instead I just cut out my pocket shapes and sewed them onto the skirt where the side seams would be if this dress had any. Once again, with this busy print it's almost impossible to see seams so the pockets are almost hidden too, despite these being patch pockets.

One of the most fun parts of sewing this dress was making the belt! I'd never actually made a belt with a buckle before, just simple sashes that tie around the waist. 
The belt is made of two layers of my fabric with one layer of duck canvas sandwiched in between. I sewed some lace down the middle of the belt to help it stand out against the dress. Now, the pattern called for a covered buckle kit like this, but I didn't have one in my stash and I didn't want to buy anything for this dress, so I stole the buckle off of a thrifted belt I had in my stash. 

I used a metal eyelet at the buckle end of the belt for the prong of the buckle to go through. Thus I was able to fold my fabric over the bar of the buckle and stitch it down.  I then tried on the belt, marked where I needed a hole at the other end and added another eyelet. The eyelets started out green, but unfortunately the paint started flaking off as soon as I put them in. Oh well, the dull silver under the paint at least matches the color of the buckle. Overall, I'm pretty proud of how this belt turned out!

Excuse the sunburn, chasing children means lots of being outside and not enough remembering to put sunscreen on myself.
Well, really I'm proud of how the entire dress turned out. It's a wrap dress that fastens in the back with two buttons at the waist and one snap above that to prevent gaping. The skirt overlaps enough that no fasting is required below the waist.

This dress is so comfortable and easy to wear! I've worn it to chase rambunctious children and to do goat chores with no issues what so ever. The below knee length full skirt allows just as much movement as jeans.

While taking pictures I decided to swing on the climbing rope in the front yard, just for fun, and still the wrap skirt stayed in place as it should.

I am ridiculously pleased with this simple dress and feel fabulous wearing it! Now, let's see if the remaining patterns I want to make meet the expectations this one has set. I sure hope so, but that may be a tall order! 



  1. I bought this pattern too! I am thinking of making the bodice in a contrast fabric from the skirt...maybe. :o)

    1. Oh! That's not a bad idea! I'm planning on going through my stash to see if I can find another 4 yard piece of fabric to make a second one of these dressed because I'm so in love with this one.