Wrap Dress Central
There’s nothing I like more than a good wrap dress! So here’s everything you need to make your own.
This is probably the biggest finishing decision on a wrap dress: how to finish the raw neckline. Here are a few of my favourite methods:
- The neckband adaptation. You can find a full tutorial here. This is how the Cashmerette Patterns Appleton Dress is made!
- Bias binding: on the outside. This is what I think of as ‘traditional bias’ technique. You make bias tape out of your jersey or contrasting fabric, and finish in the normal way (like a quilt), encasing the raw neckline edge in the binding, which you can then see on the inside and outside of the garment. You can see a full tutorial at A Fashionable Stitch. The downside to this is jersey is pretty squishy and it can be hard to get a neat finish.
- Bias binding: on the inside. This is the bias technique where you flip the bias tape to the *inside* of the garment. For this, you can either use your jersey as a “self-bias”, or you can use a more stable homemade or pre-made bias. If you use a woven bias, your neckline will look great, but it will not be stretchy so check the fit. Here’s a tutorial from Craftsy which demonstrates the technique.
Hemming wrap dresses
- Coverstitch. If you’re lucky enough to have a coverstitch machine or a convertible serger-coverstitch (that’s what I have), then it’s quick and easy to finish your hems. I’ve written a tutorial here.
- Twin needle. If you don’t have a coverstitch you can finish your hem using a twin needle on your regular sewing machine. I recommend stabilizing the hem with fusible knit stay tape first, and lowering your tension slightly.
Sources of good jersey
Alas, it’s quite hard to find jersey with nice prints! But I am ever-valiant in my mission. A lot of jersey you can buy online turns out to be really poor quality, so it’s definitely worth getting a swatch before you order. Bear in mind that “lightweight” and “featherweight” are often not opaque enough to make a wrap dress.
I sell a selection of limited edition jersey prints which I find as I develop my patterns! You can check them out at my fabric store.
Here are my other favourite sources:
- Emma One Sock. EOS scores the end rolls of famous designers, so you can end up with some really high end, high quality jersey. She has a range of fabric types from cotton to rayon to silk jersey. This is my go-to!
- Gorgeous Fabrics often has a decent selection of prints
- Mood Fabrics has an enormous selection of printed jersey (cotton, rayon and silk) but the quality is very variable so I advise you to get swatches first or visit the store if you can.