I like to start each wardrobe plan with something from the “cheap and easy” quadrant at bottom left – those projects that promise not to take up too much of my time, energy, materials or money.
Of the three projects, I only had all materials in hand for the Mirri faux wrap dress from Wardrobe By Me, so that was the obvious place to start. A few hours later, ta-da:
This is the fastest easiest dress I think I’ve ever made, and I really like the results!
The dress is very simple – a skirt you cut twice on the fold (same front and back), two front bodices (one with pleats that overlays the other plain bodice) a back bodice, and some sleeve cuffs. The front bodice pieces use cut-on facings that fold in to form the collar, and cut-on cap sleeves. It’s a clever design that sews up quick and offers very modest coverage for the style.
The dress has only a 1/4 inch seam allowance, which is a bit skimpy for handing three and four layers of fabric where the bodice meets the skirt. I expanded that seam allowance to 1/2 inch and basted before sewing it with the serger.
The dress comes with four length options, from maxi skirt to a short top, where the wrap detail forms a kind of peplum.
I went for the midi length, as I wanted to play with something a bit longer than my usual. I don’t know about this – we’ll see how it wears. Also, I was a skosh short on fabric, so I pieced together the back skirt.
I cut a 10 bodice and graded to a 12 at the hips. It’s still a bit tight back there, pulling at my hips. I lengthened the bodice, as the pattern states the waist sits 1.5 inches above the natural waist. I often have to lengthen bodices, and when I measured the pattern against an RTW mock wrap dress I like, it seemed like the waist would sit way too high. I think this was a mistake, however, or I also should have graded out the hips more. Anyway, some different underwear would help. (And losing a few pounds of winter weight!)
I didn’t try much to pattern-match this fabric. I just tried to line up the main horizontal motifs on the bodice and center a strong motif along the back bodice. I also ran the small black squares on the front along the left, to balance out the pleats on the right.
The dress doesn’t come with a belt, but I think it needs one. I mocked up a self belt and a black belt made of leftover jersey. What do you think?
Other changes I made were just those little details that come from experience with knits. I reinforced the shoulder seams with a bit of clear elastic, topstitched the sleeve cuffs, and coverstitched the hem.
I think this will get a lot of spring and summer wear, with some black sheer hose and a jacket or sweater for the office. I look forward to making another version of this, and maybe the top too.
I got this pattern on sale for $10 (normally $12). It’s produced with a .pdf that doesn’t require trimming the margins, and it offers nested views of the sizes, so you can just print what you want. The pattern itself goes together quickly, and all the pieces lined up nicely. It’s worth the price!