After making quite a lot of straight shift dresses recently I felt as though I wanted a change of style. Believe it or not I have never made or even owned a wrap dress or top. I know that this is a very popular design and thought it was about time that I found out what I was missing. I found four wrap style patterns in my pattern collection, all slightly different.
I liked the interesting lines of Simplicity 1916 view B so decided to make this version. I had a remnant from Leicester Market, just over 1 metre long, that I thought would suit this pattern. It is quite similar to the fabric used in view D and I know other people have commented that they often choose a fabric which is similar to the pattern illustration. I am sure that we are influenced by these images, what do you think?
I owe a debt to all the bloggers who have made this top before me and found the neckline rather too low cut to wear everyday. I really didn't want a top with a low neckline and since it can get very warm in our office sometimes I didn't want to have to wear a cami underneath. I found the advice from Myra on her blog "Simple Inspirations" very helpful and added an extra 1 1/2 inches to the front neckline. Here is a link to her instructions. I also transferred all of the pattern markings with tailors tacking as she recommended, which was so helpful in matching up the gathered sections and coping with the stretch in the fabric.
I was very careful to lay the fabric the right way up when I cut out the front sections. I made an asymmetrical blouse once before which ended up with the front pieces the wrong way round and I was determined that this wasn't going to happen to me again. This time I got it right!
The pattern instructions were clear and helpful. Whenever they suggested using a serger, I used the overlock stitch on my sewing machine and otherwise I used a narrow zigzag stitch.
I used a size 70 ballpoint needle throughout.
This has to be the stretchiest, most draping jersey fabric I have ever worked with! I was really worried about stretching out the neck so I stitched it very carefully, fitting it on my dressmaking dummy at every stage. If I make this top again I think that I will use stay tape to stabilise the neck edge and save myself the stress. In the end, the wrap-over turned out well. I am pleased with the way it sits and have just worn my top all day with hardly any gaping issues. I haven't even needed to sew on a press stud to keep the cross-over closed. I really feel quite proud that I actually achieved this.
The corner detail looks complicated but the instructions explained clearly what you had to do and I thought it was surprisingly straight forward.
I do like the centre back seam, which gives extra shaping to the back. I was tempted to leave this out, because there was no way that I could match the pattern when I had such a small piece of fabric, but I am very glad that I followed the instructions because it pulls in the waist nicely and gives the back a flattering shape.
Would I change anything about this pattern?
I am only 5ft 4ins tall (1.62m) and I think this top is just a little bit long on me. I made a size 14 to match my measurements but if I make this again, I may make a slightly smaller size. In such a stretchy fabric it has come out a bit looser that I imagined. I like the sleeve length on this version but when I am busy and push the sleeves up, they quickly fall down again so I would like them to be a bit tighter.
Overall though, I am very pleased with how this top turned out, especially as it is very comfortable to wear.