crafts · finished objects · Sewing

A wrap dress that fits (McCall 5974)

Pattern: McCall 5974, view C

Fabric: ITY knit from Joann’s, 2.5 yards

Notes: I have never liked wrap dresses.  I’ve always felt like they added bulk to the midsection, and I hated their tendency towards wardrobe malfunction at the slightest wind.  I remember that in high school I had a few wrap dresses.  I took classes at both the performing arts school and a regular high school, so I was often treking around outside between classes.  I remember those wrap dresses leading to at least two really embarrassing moments on windy days!  Fortunately, this is a mock wrap.  The dress is entirely closed, and the wrap is sewn into the side seams.  I also find this style of wrap to be much more flattering than the typical side wrap dress on me.

It might make you wonder why I made a dress that I had not evidence at all I would like.  Well, I was doing some inspiration shopping (ie, browsing websites for things I can copy) and kept coming back to this Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress.  I had this pattern already, so I thought “why not?”  Plus, I was sick and on lots of cold medicine, but it seemed logical at the time!  Luckily, I think the dress is very flattering, mostly due to the larger than usual wrap.

I made several deviations from the pattern.  This is a size 8 with no alterations.  I believe I would have to take the dress in were I to make the version without ties, but as it is the sizing is fine.  I left out the zipper (which the pattern does mention as a possibility.)  I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams for stability.  I did not do any hand sewing, notably I did not slipstitch the midriff band closed on the inside.  I topstitched it instead – after all, it’s covered with the wrap anyway, and this way I know it won’t come undone.  The midriff called for interfacing, which I left out.  I forgot to remove the sleeve ease, as I have done several recent knit patterns that didn’t bother with having any.  This one had plenty, and I was forced to employ some super ghetto easing – I basically drew in my seamlines, and then sewed the sleeve in the way it wanted to fit, trimming about an inch off the top of each sleeve at the end.   It worked, but I would certainly not attempt it in a woven!  The midriff ties are open at the middle, and suggested sewing down the inside edges.  I didn’t bother, since they are covered anyway, and as I said, I think handsewing in a knit is a bad idea.

I have yet to hem this dress, as I can’t decide on a length.  I think it needs to come above the knee, but on the other hand I sort of like it this length.  I probably won’t hem the sleeves.  I hemmed the neckline edges by serging the edge, turning under and stitching in place with a narrow zigzag.  I think this is a pretty great pattern – it’s a very flattering style, and it was very quick to sew!  I’m not sure my mind is changed about wrap dresses, but maybe about mock wraps.  Baby steps, people.  My high school embarrassments still haunt me!

I made another video, since some of you said it was helpful.  This time I show how the ties wrap, which was something I would have found helpful – I had  hard time imagining how many layers of fabric would actually be on my waist!  Watch for the cat cameo about thirty seconds in.

13 thoughts on “A wrap dress that fits (McCall 5974)

  1. I used to wear wrap skirts in high school, and I still cringe when I try to remember them…

    Anyway, your dress is very nice, and flattering. I like, especially, the length of the sleeves. Also, the draping on the front is so flattering!

  2. I love the dress. I have the same pattern but have been putting off making it because knits make me nervous. I have even already bought the fabric for my dress. I just need to get brave and make it.

  3. Hello, I read your blog since forever, I love your pieces and your photos are wonderful, it’s a beautiful dress, the pattern and fabric are perfect and fit is impeccable. Congratulations.


    Eilan – Brazil

    Ps – Sorry if you are not very clear, do not speak your language and I am using a google translator.

    Olá, leio seu blog desde sempre, amo as suas peças e suas fotos, são maravilhosas, é um lindo vestido, a estampa e o tecido são perfeitos e o caimento é impecável. Parabéns.


    Eilane – Brasil

    Ps – Desculpe se não ficar muito claro, não falo seu idioma e estou usando um tradutor google.

  4. Like you – I like the concept of a wrap dress, but not the reality. Your new dress however, has all the fab elements of a wrap dress without the issues. Lovely!

  5. I generally dislike wrap dresses as well, but I love this. Will you wear it to work? For some reason, I’m anti wearing knit dresses to work. I fear that a wrap dress will be viewed as too clingy.

  6. I like it! Very sophisticated and beautiful colors w/ your hair, complexion, etc. More sedate & dignified appearance than some of your other ensembles.

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