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Wrap Dress Central

There’s nothing I like more than a good wrap dress! So here’s everything you need to make your own.

Wrap Dress Central / Cashmerette All you need to know to make your own wrap dress! Patterns, tutorials, fabric recommendations, and more.

Pattern

If you’re curvy, then of course I recommend the Appleton Dress! This classic wrap dress is designed to play up your curves with a crossover front, a built-in waist tie, and a deep V-neck. Designed by and for curvy women, the Appleton’s innovative neckband construction prevents gaping across your bust. It comes in sizes 12 -28 and cup sizes C – H. You can buy it here! 
If you’re not curvy, then I recommend
  • Christine Jonson 526 wrap dress: see it here.
  • McCall’s M6884 fixed wrap dress: see it here.
Tutorials 

Finishing necklines

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:

  1. The neckband adaptation. You can find a full tutorial here. This is how the Cashmerette Patterns Appleton Dress is made!
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
And finally: I was very excited when Spoonflower started offering custom printed jersey. However I was massively disappointed when the first dress I made from my pre-washed fabric lost half its dye in a cold water wash and was totally unwearable after. Then this happened a second time with their printed silk… So, proceed with caution on that front.

15 Responses to Wrap Dress Central

  1. Helen White August 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Oh, your darling young lady, thanks for the tutes and you. Have lost 100# took me 3 yrs. so now I want to sew some dresses with Asian fabs, Cheaper than US. You must have had a great time, Thanks. Helen from Rocky Mts. of Colorado and Black Hills of SD, who turned a mere 73 in July. Retired H>S> educator, who can’t type. HA

  2. Emma November 9, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    Hello. I’ve bought some jersey which on arrival is quite thick – and on checking back it’s described as scuba jersey. I gather it’s a bit like ponte. Is this going to work for the dress d’you think?

    Thanks!

    • Jenny Rushmore November 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi Emma – unfortunately scuba/ponte is too thick to have the drape you need for a wrap dress. Might be better for something like a Colette Moneta instead!

      • Emma November 10, 2015 at 3:26 am #

        Oh bother! Shopping for something else then…

        Thanks Jenny for your help. I’ll use it for a skirt instead.

  3. Rebecca Grace January 14, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Hi, Jenny. I sewed one short sleeved wrap dress for myself using a Kwik Sew pattern and a pretty EOS jersey print a few years ago, but I didn’t nail the FBA or something and ended up with a way too low neckline that I can only wear with a cami underneath the dress. I notice that in your pictures where you are wearing the Christine Johnson wrap dress, you have a cami, too, but not in your Appleton photos. Is that just a preference, or is there something in the way that the Appleton dress is drafted/constructed that makes the neckline more wearable for those who like to keep their boobage LITERALLY “under wraps?”

    • Jenny Rushmore January 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Rebecca – so indeed I don’t have to wear a camisole with the Appleton, because I’m an H cup and wearing the G/H cup size, so it has enough coverage! I’m not sure what size Kwik Sew or Christine Jonson draft for, but it’s like to be a B/C and even with an FBA it can be difficult.

  4. kellynjeanne88KJN January 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    thanks so much for all of the info!!! I have been wanting to make my own dresses like yours for years but have not found the fabric, plus I admit I have not been brave enough to try sewing knits yet. You look amazing! Cant wait to try out the pattern, thanks!

  5. kat July 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Hello! Has anyone modified this dress for maternity-wear?

  6. Cate Fitt August 2, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    I have used 100% cotton knit flat sheets from the Company Store for garments. They are mainly solids in attractive colors but sometimes in large scale prints.

  7. Jeanne October 16, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    Could you advise me on how to alter this pattern for a significantly lower bust point and lack of fullness in the upper bust? I have the material chosen already and can’t wait to purchase my first Cashmerette pattern when I can get this advice. Thank you, Jeanne

  8. suzy November 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

    would the Appleton dress covert to woven fabrics?

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