Pretty much the entire way through the process of making this top, I hated it…and then I finished it, tried it on and loved it. Why are sometimes even the simplest of projects such a rollercoaster?
I can’t even pinpoint (no pun intended) a reason for it – the pattern was quick and easy to make (The Wrap Dress from Simply Sewing issue 54), and the fabric is a lovely block print from Merchant & Mills. I think it’s just not a style or print I’d usually wear, so I wasn’t sure about it until it came together at the end.
The fabric choice was inspired by all the lovely rust, caramel and burnt orange colours that seem to have been everywhere on the high street recently in the likes of & Other Stories and similar. Brown isn’t a colour I often sew with or wear (if at all), yet I’m a bit obsessed with it at the moment.
Wrap tops and dresses are usually pretty inappropriate on me as I’m so short – rather than the cross-over and ties being at my waist, they often end up at my hip, and so the wrap gapes open completely and covers nothing. So rather than showing my bra to the world, I’ve just never bothered wearing them. Altering the pattern was fairly simple to do: I raised the the tie position so the ties would be at my waist (and the wrap would actually, you know, cover my body), and altered the side seam and grown-on sleeve accordingly so the gap to thread the tie through would be in the correct place. I also shortened the length and the ties quite a bit, and shortened the sleeves as well. Okay, so that sounds like quite a lot of alterations – but all of them were easy ones.
My one niggle is that the neckline gapes slightly on the right side at the back depending on where the wrap sits at the front, but I’m not going to obsess over that. I did take a chunk out of the back shoulder seams which helped a little, but I’ll need to work out a proper fix for the next one (yup, definitely making another).
This project has also made me realise that I need to start fitting for my scoliosis; I had a spinal fusion when I was 13, but my right shoulder blade juts out more than my left, and my right shoulder is lower than my left one.
It’s often not that noticable, but on certain garments it can cause fitting issues that I haven’t totally worked out how to tackle yet – e.g. that back neckline gape on one side, the centre-back seam/zip being pulled out of line on more fitted garments, etc. Amazingly, I’ve somehow never considered making adjustments for it.
I’m thinking I’ll need to add a wedge to the top right side of bodice pieces to account for the shoulder blade (as per this tutorial). I’ll also need to cut the back bodice pieces separately rather than as a mirror-image pair so I can adjust each side of the back bodice. Learning how to fit for my scoliosis is going to be my new aim for the rest of this year. I see lots of toiles in my sewing future!
That all doesn’t take away from how much I love this top, though. The soft cotton fabric is a dream to wear – it has a lovely crinkled texture when it washes, so I don’t have to iron it (and, let’s face it, I probably won’t).
Pattern: The Wrap Dress from Simply Sewing issue 54 (PDF available here).
Alterations: I raised the front wrap for more coverage and changed the tie position so that the ties are at my waist, and also altered the side seam gap and grown-on sleeve accordingly. I also shortened the length, tie length and sleeves.
Fabric: Block print cotton from Merchant & Mills (now only available in navy).
Sewing soundtrack: Anything from the Pose TV series. So. Many. 80s. Tunes.