Here it is – the bright blue wrap dress that I’ve had on my dream sewing list forever. Made from one of Mood Fabric’s silk jerseys, this wrap dress has been a long time coming. I’ve wanted to make a wrap dress as long as I’ve been sewing, even though, as I said back in November, I have never been quite convinced a wrap dress was a good style for my figure. Still, I wanted to give it a try.
I had earmarked this particular silk jersey since I thought the color would be stunning as a wrap dress. (As an aside, a resent computer crash has left me without Photoshop. I’ve been trying to learn how to use the free Gimp software, but I don’t yet know enough to allow me to correct the color of the fabric in the photo above. The fabric color is actually closer to the indoor photos.) But, it sat for a couple months as I tried to find a pattern. Enter vintage Vogue 1548, a Diane Von Furstenburg original. There was absolutely no way I was going to splurge on one of the original vintage Vogue patterns (they can run hundreds of dollars on eBay!), but I had a very generous friend who was willing to lend me her pattern (thank you!).
What I hadn’t taken into account though is how much lighter weight this silk jersey is than any of the other silk jerseys from Mood that I’ve sewn with in the past. It’s thin and drapey, and the friend who leant me the pattern actually guessed it was a bamboo jersey when she first saw me wearing the dress. It’s beautiful, but it’s pretty unforgiving to lumps and bumps. In the picture above it’s pretty obvious where my bra slide is! And, it’s a battle to smooth out the wrinkles that want to form when I first put on the dress (a battle that I didn’t even try to fight in the photos of the back of the dress)! But, just try to find the stitching for the neckline facing! As lightweight as it might be, this fabric still has no problem hiding a blind stitch. And, it’s incredibly soft.
I did have a bit of a problem at first with the blind stitches in my skirt and sleeve hems. After wearing the dress for a day, I realized that I’d pulled the hem stitches too tight when hand sewing them. I loosened them and restitched where I needed to, and while you may be able to see a hint of hem here, it’s so much better than it was.
The pattern actually suggests that you can wear the dress backwards. Above is the back as the back, and below is the back as the front (with me messing with the hem since this dress currently hits mid-calf, and I hoped these photos would be helpful for me to get an idea of proportion if I wanted to think about different lengths for future versions!).
Above the knee, or just below the knee?
And now here’s the front as the back.
I pretty much followed every step of the instructions exactly as they were written since I wanted to take full advantage of having an original DVF pattern in my hands while I could (it’s already back safe and sound with my friend!). Instead of being serged, each exposed seam was stitched twice, with the second pass through a quarter inch into the seam allowance, and then trimmed. The waist and shoulder seams were stabilized. I don’t mind the waist having no give (though stabilizing the waist seam with clear elastic might feel a bit more comfortable since the elastic would allow for a the little bit of give), but I didn’t put enough give in the seam in the waist ties, and that does bother me. I used a medium-width zigzag stitch to sew the length of the tie, but maybe I should have gone for an even stretchier stitch instead?
The facing, skirt hem, sleeve hems, and little windows for the wrap ties to poke through are blind stitched down, which made for a lot of blind stitching to finish off this dress.
I’m actually pleasantly surprised to find that I like this style of dress more than I thought I might. I’m still deciding how I like wearing it though – forwards or backwards, with or without camisole? As for the latter, I know this dress is not exactly meant to be modest (I mean, one little tug on the ties would result in a serious wardrobe malfunction!), but it’s definitely pushing my personal comfort level without a camisole underneath! I actually blame the “grading” that I did to my traced pattern. The original pattern had a bust measurement 3″ larger than mine, so I read a bit about how to grade vintage patterns down and got to it. Perhaps I overestimated my abilities?!
Next time I want to use a thicker, more forgiving fabric; sew the ties to allow for more stretch; and take off a few inches of length. I also want to work a bit more on the fit of the bodice. What about you – are you a fan of the wrap dress? Any tips for how to get a good fit?
This post can also be found on Mood Sewing Network. I used my MSN allowance towards the purchase of the fabric.
18 thoughts on “Vogue 1548 Wrap Dress: The Reveal”
You look beautiful in this and the colour is just stunning. WEll worth the effort! I also like the below the knee length – I can’t help feeling that the shorter versions look a bit too girly.
I would love to wear wrap dresses myself, but I always feel so exposed in them that I never used to reach for the one I had made a while ago. So off to Goodwill it went – maybe someone more blessed in the cup-department than me is going to enjoy it.
Wow! That fabric is amazing- – love the texture and color, and that dress looks great on you! You should take that to the streets…I’ve only made one wrap dress and struggled with the fit. For me, the issue was two fold – – the placement of the waist line was tricky because I’m so short waisted. Also, I found the front opening to be a bit too revealing too and always wore a camisole. But I love the look and agree with Chris that the longer length is great. You’ve inspired me to try another.
It’s beautiful. I actually really like it worn “backwards” – so elegant! – and I’d choose an above-knee length for variety the next time.
You did a beautiful job! What year was your pattern from? I made a wrap dress last year from a 1976 pattern that was a simplicity knockoff of a dvf dress with french cuffs and a collar. http://www.sewcountrychick.com/diy-diane-von-furstenberg-style-wrap-dress-channeling-70s-glamour/
Terrific result, especially as that fabric is not that easy to work with, really beautiful.
Really impressed with this. I cant see any lumps and bumps from here! It looks fabulous. A wonderful colour and superb fit.
Beautiful wrap dress – looks lovely on you and I bet the fabric feels divine! Definitely can’t see any lumps or bumps.
I’ve made quite a few wrap dresses over the years – mostly using a Kwik Sew pattern which was nice and simple to sew. I’ve found that often wrap dresses can be difficult to fit around the waist as where this sits varies so much depending on the drapiness and weight of the fabric you use. I think I had to unpick and resew the skirt to the top pieces with each version I’ve sewn as although the waist hits at the right point initially, when the skirt is sewn on it tends to pull the top down an inch or so and then the waist sits a bit too low on me.
The neckline can also be a bit tricky, as it can stretch out or just be a bit too revealing. I find that stabilising it with clear elastic definitely helps, and also stabilising the shoulder seams in the same way to prevent drooping.
Also, I like both lengths on you – looks wonderful. Now I need to go and find some silk jersey for my next wrap dress…
I’ve never been a fan of the wrap dress, but lately I can’t get enough! Your version looks pretty great! Such a stunning color, and it does look wonderful worn backwards too 🙂
I love the DvF wrap dresses. I think the perfect length is just below the knee, although you are tall enough to carry off the longer length. I have found that the DvF patterns tend to run a little short-waisted (I think it has something to do with the double wrapped belt which pulls the waist up a bit), so I always add 3/4″ in length to the bodice. The silk jersey you used is beautiful – and a beautiful color – but I agree that silk jersey can be unforgiving in showing every little bump and underpinning! For that reason, I have found that a cotton or cotton blend lightweight knit is better for the DvF patterns. They are also more forgiving with those pesky blind hems.
I love this dress on you worn “backwards”!
What a gorgeous color! I haven’t any tips for you because my one attempt at a wrap is in the unfinished pile at the moment… yours is lovely and your height does make it easier for you to wear a longer length. I can’t see that you would have any “lumps or bumps” to worry about showing! Great job!
It’s a lovely colour on you. I personally would shorten it – below the knee would still keep it chic but still youthful. Otherwise I think it fits really well, maybe the wrap tie could sit a little higher on your waist? I must admit I’d wear a cami with it too – no ‘bend and snaps’ in that frock!
Gorgeous frock. Such a stunning blue on you. I love a wrap dress and have made myself many (in knit and woven) using my trusty Vogue 8379. I also have a silk jersey DvF that I bought RTW which is one of my very favourite frocks. And while I do love my DvF, I feel rather smug that my finishing is just as good.
Beautiful & simple sophistication. That colour is also perfect on you. Also, I love that this dress can be worn both back & front – genius!
Looks beautiful and a gorgeous shade of blue!
Such a GORGEOUS dress! I’ve been wanting to sew with silk jersey for a loooong time… but this makes me a bit nervous about it! You’ve clearly taken a lot of time to get sewing this right – because your finishing couldn’t be better (no one looks that closely at the hem ;)) Very elegant too!
The wrap style looks fabulous on you. And in that wonderful blue silk jersey. I am sure it is delightful to wear.