Even though I live in Dubai, I haven’t sewed a whole lot of summer dresses, in fact I only have one which I made about 4 years ago (when I started sewing seriously). So when Maria from ThreadWerk contacted me about using one of her fabrics to make a garment for the blog, I knew I wanted to address this gap in my handmade wardrobe!
It took me some time to narrow down all the lovely fabric options, but in the end I chose this black and white cotton jersey. It has a good amount of stretch, but is quite stable, so I thought it would be easy to sew. I love the simple and modern print, perfect to make a dress which will be easy to dress up or down with shoes and accessories.
For the pattern, I decided to make the Meredith wrap dress by Sew Over It. I’ve wanted to make a wrap dress for a while, and as this fabric was not 100% opaque I thought the wrap would help make sure it wasn’t transparent in the front (in the end, it’s not an issue in the back either, the dress isn’t see-through at all as long as I wear skin-colour underwear).
The fabric was very easy to lay out and cut, and creased very little in the wash. I made Version 2 of the pattern, which is above the knee and has ¾ length sleeves. Version 1 is slightly longer and has long sleeves, so that would be perfect for winter!
I didn’t alter the pattern much except for shortening the sleeves (I removed 10 ¾ inches from the bottom of the Version 2 sleeve pattern piece). I also interfaced all of my neckband pieces whereas the pattern says to only interface half of them, so I suppose that’s a modification too, although it was accidental! But it turned out great anyway.
I used a size 90 ballpoint needle, with regular sewing thread at my usual tension. Interfacing is not mandatory in the pattern, but I did use a thin stretch iron-on to stabilize the neckband.
When it came to assembling the dress, I expected to use my serger a lot, but in the end due to the way it’s constructed it was easier to sew most of my seams on the sewing machine. Even though it’s a stretch fabric, the end garment does not need to stretch much due to the wrap (you put it on like a jacket), so I used a 2.5-length straight stitch for most of the project. I only used a zigzag stitch to make the belt ties, as those do need to stretch a bit.
(This is where the wrap belt goes through one side seam of the dress, to tie it closed)
The only potential challenge with this project would have been to pattern-match the black lines of my fabric across the side seams, but as the lines were slightly irregular I decided not to sweat it, and just cut my pieces ignoring them. Since the wrap adds lots of pleats ad uneven matching across the front anyway, I thought that non-matching lines would look alright on the sides, and I think they do!
Other than that, the pattern is very straightforward and well explained. The neckband is assembled separately before being attached to the dress, and that’s quite the length of fabric to wrestle at times! But the pattern illustrations are very clear.
I’d love to make this pattern again! Next time I would perhaps narrow the gathered seam a bit at the front, as I have some extra fabric there... but it’s not enough to annoy me, so maybe not.
Overall I’m super pleased with my wrap dress, which I think looks great as a summer piece but could also be worn in winter with a cardigan and tights — black for a sober look, or colourful ones for a more fun vibe!
I would encourage anyone to give this pattern a go, and check out the fabric on the ThreadWerk site as there are a lot of great jerseys you could make it with. The dress was easy to sew in a weekend and I have already received a lot of compliments on it!
Thanks for hanging out with me,
ThreadWerk: Thank you so much Anais for sharing this gorgeous dress with us. If you want to make the same dress, find the paper pattern for the Meredith Dress in the online shop. Use the same fabric, or these fabrics would work great too: