Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Sew Over It’s Ultimate Wrap Dress

I’ve made wrap dresses before. I’ve always self drafted them and I’ve always been really disappointed with them. Actually I tried on a DvF one once and I was disappointed with that too for that matter, so it may not be my drafting skills that was the problem there.

That being said I love how elegant wrap dresses can look (on others) and I was determined to keep trying until I found one I was happy with!

That brought me to this – the Sew Over It Ultimate Wrap Dress.

I was very excited to be approached by Lucy from Sew Essential to make a project for them using their products and when I saw this wrap dress I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to try it out!

I chose a bright red wool mix jersey from Sew Essential pto make it out of (I figured it’s a go big or go home moment…) which, when it arrived, was a lot stretchier and softer than expected. A nice surprise! Although that meant I had concerns about how easily it would stretch out of shape when sewing up.

The Sew Over It wrap is a very simple slim fit wrap dress with sleeves. The pattern is designed for knits and so relies on the stretch of fabrics rather than any darts for shaping.

Check mine out!

The good news? It’s a superbly quick dress to make up even by my standards. The red wool jersey was lovely to work with.

The bad? It just didn’t fit very well.  Maybe I’m not the right shape for Sew Over It patterns. Or at least compared to other pattern companies I’ve tried.

I ended up having to add a huge dart into the centre back in order to get the dress to sit on my shoulders properly – a good 3″ off the neckline. Lucky with this fabric it’s easily done and barely noticeable but it’s the first time I’ve ever had to make this type of adjustment. It also feels like the neckline is way too low on me. And for me to say that it really has to be uncomfortably low because I like a bit of cleavage. It just feels like there’s not enough fabric across the bust. (I definitely cut the right size by the way!). 

I think it’s time to start giving up on wrap dresses.
This’ll be a fabulous date night dress but definitely not something for day/office wear. Now I just need to go find a date to wear this out with…

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  1. I thought the wrap dress suits you πŸ™‚ and don’t give up, miss! When you find the perfect pattern please do share.

  2. Emily I had exactly the same problems as you with this pattern. Had to take a big chunk out of the back and it was far far far too low cut! I didn’t bother making a toile as I was using a stretch fabric which is quite forgiving. And, if the finished garment measurements on the pattern are correct, it should have fitted me perfectly. How I regret that now. Such a waste of beautiful fabric. I ended up putting the dress in a charity collection bin!

    1. Oh no! That’s such a shame!

      I think I can still just about wear this one out (if I ever find the right occasion). I think it’s the pattern must designed for someone with MUCH broader shoulders than us perhaps? And more flat chested for that matter too!

  3. that dress looks great on you! i, too, have always loved wrap dresses. in my younger and tinier days, wraps were a constant go-to. now that i am curvier (which i love!), wrap dresses are definitely trickier because of the cleavage issue. i don’t mind low-cut, even prefer, but gotta be safe for work! haven’t found one yet that is un-sexy enough for day wear, and i don’t care for the little cami underneath for modesty look. keep us posted if you find one for us curvier girls!

    1. Lol. This one is definitely not safe for work! I’ll just need to keep going until I find one which is bust friendly!

  4. I think it looks great. I wore wrap dresses a lot when I worked in schools, but always wore a cami underneath for deceny’s sake! I hear great things about Cashmerette’s wrap pattern, as it allows for boobs…

  5. It looks really nice in the photos! I went on the evening class for this dress and the teacher said it sits very low on most people. I ended up drafting the front bodice a bit higher to reduce the cleavage effect – so that is definitely the pattern design!

    1. Thanks! Glad to know that wasn’t just me finding it low. It didn’t look that low on any of the sample ones I’ve seen from SOI or Lisa Comfort. I wonder if they’ve all adjusted their patterns too?

  6. Like others have said, that red looks fantastic on you! I can see what you mean about the fit along the neckline & waist, though. It might not fit exactly as you’d hoped, but it still looks pretty good (like rtw fit) and very wearable imo!

  7. I love the color and the dress too…. I have the same problem with wrap dresses, I’ve always assumed I was too top heavy for them πŸ™ FYI I would often use a safety pin in front on RTW dresses, while not the most elegant solution it could allow you more daytime wear out of it πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! There’s definitely work arounds for the fit to be able to wear this one. It’s just annoying when you’re trying to make things yourself so it fits better than a RTW version!

  8. Such a shame that you aren’t happy with the finished dress. I just finished my simple sew wrap dress and was considering this pattern as my next wrap dress, but might leave it now. Low cut dresses are no good for me!

    1. Yeah, if you don’t like low cut, don’t go for this one unless you’re in the mood for some serious redrafting! Were you happy with the Simple Sew one?

      1. I am happy with it but don’t think I’ll make a second one. I used a viscose jersey and the neckline got a bit stretched out of shape. I steamed it loads and it seemed to recover but a bit gutting. I had to adjust the front cross over to fit but that was easily done.

    1. I’m thinking of just wearing a cami top underneath. I can’t think of a way of adding a panel that would work with the wrap opening!

    1. I’ve made a faux wrap before. I did a grey jersey and a velvet one at the end of last year. It did work out a lot better than this one did! I might have to stick with that style in future!

  9. Hi. I thought your dress was a lovely colour on you. You look about the same size as me on your photos. Have you tried cutting a smaller size according to your high bust measurement & doing a FBA . There’s a good YouTube video by Melissa Watson for McCalls patterns on adjustments for a wrap dress.

  10. Firstly – the dress looks great on you and the colour really suits you – but I understand the low cut problem. Just a suggestion – have you looked at the Cashmerette wrap dress (I think it’s called Appleton) She designs for much curvier ladies than you, but they start at size 12, and come in different cup sizes so that might work. I haven’t made one, but I am about to start another of her patterns for my niece, who was at the front of the queue when they Ε΅ere giving out boobs! Good luck, Gill

    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚
      I always find it hard to match things to red clothes. Weird, I know. I don’t know what colour cami I’d be able to wear underneath it!

  11. Am sure you will find plenty of offers of a date in this dress , you look fab! Is a shame that the fit was not perfect, I have not found a wrap that feels secure enough over the bust to wear especially for day wear. Darts were invented for curves , you should definitely wear more red though 😊

    1. Haha, thanks!. You’re right, definitely more darts needed for any future wraps. Relying on the stretch of fabric really isn’t working out!

  12. I’ve had the exact same issues with this pattern. The shoulders ended up too wide and cleavage too deep. I used ponte for stability and it hasn’t stretched but the facing still rolls out at my neck, and I have to readjust all day long. I also find that the length is too short (I’m 5’5), although this issue is easier to correct than the cleavage line.

    I think this red dress looks fab on you, although you have to be quite confident for such a cleavage !

    1. Thanks! Yeah it definitely requires some confidence, it’s a very daring low cut! I think it’s just not the best drafted pattern πŸ™ Unless you’re quite broad shouldered? I think I’m gonna look for another pattern rather than try to fix this one!

  13. I think the colour looks amazing and the low cleavage is very va va voom! πŸ˜‰ Looks fantastic but not for everyone, it is a personal thing.
    Personally, I have a short body and long limbs for my height so I generally need to reduce the upper bodice, maybe it’s an adjustment you may need to consider , either between shoulder and bust or between shoulder and waist.
    Don’t give up on the wrap just yet, tweak this one or try another.. Really love this on you!

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