The Faux Wrap Dress for No One

See this girl? She looks happy in her dress, doesn’t she? Albeit the fabric choices are a bit juvenile, but I looked past the fabric and found a dress with a wrap twist on both the bodice and the skirt. I imagined it for the wedding I was attending in Cape Cod, in something nice and flowy.

McCalls’ 7317. Stay Away!

I bought a quite expensive cotton sateen, along with loads of cheap IKEA cotton, thinking that I am far enough into sewing that I can alter the bodice to make it fit. I happily set off on the journey, at that moment not realizing that ignorance is bliss.

This is what a screenshot of my phone gallery looked liked. In the middle of fitting, I stopped for grilled bananas with chocolate. And blue wine.

I don’t know how many times I made up that bodice. The 3 metres of IKEA cotton I had bought was all gone by the end of it and *spoiler alert* the dress still did not fit properly.  In a toile I sew using basting stitches, in order to easily rip them out. After a while I had pulled out the thread so many times that I got a cut on my finger. Cut by thread.

The problem lies in the neckline is my semi-qualified guess.

One of the major issues with this pattern is that the front neckline is the same for all sizes. Meaning that if you change the size you only change where the side and shoulder seam hit you. After a while my list of modification was long, I ran out of IKEA cotton, and I had a fit that was OK. In this case OK meaning not too much gape, not too low cleavage (or so I thought…) and adequate room in the waist. I cut my pretty fabric. One reviewer at Pattern Review says that she couldn’t get the dress to fit, but that it might be better suited for someone with a larger bust. Since I am that person, doesn’t this speak of really bad drafting?

The bodice was lengthened, bottom curve reshaped, I sewed with a smaller seam allwoanc at some places, pinched out a portion from the neckline and made the pleats longer. Still not enough.

This dress did come with me to Cape Cod and I wore it for my American cousin’s wedding. A year later I wore it to another wedding and this summer it also made an appearance at a party. The goal was to have a dress that would be that one go-to dress for fancy occasions. Sadly this is not that dress.

It needs a belt to be kept in place. And a safety pin in the clevage.

In order to not get an indecent cleavage I need to use a safety pin in a strategic place. I also always wear this dress with a belt to cover up the crocked waistline. Plus, the alterations of the bodice ultimately also lead to that the skirt didn’t line up properly and the overlap is much smaller than intended, leading to wardrobe malfunctions. I always get plenty of compliments, but I feel like such a fraud. Usually I take in the compliments, but when it fits this badly after putting so much effort into it, I feel they aren’t warranted. Plus, I just don’t feel comfortable in it.

I do love the back neckline

The pattern went off to one of my sewing friends, can’t remember who. I gave it to her for free, I couldn’t charge for such a bad pattern, but it did come with caution from me. I don’t know if she’s done anything with it. As for the dress, it will meet the scissors. I still love the fabric and the shape of the skirt. So I will take off that ill-fitting bodice and make a wrap skirt. I’m giving it another chance on life. As Tim Gunn says to Barney “Your [dress’] death could mean another [skirt’s] life”. That’s how I will view it.


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