Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's a Wrap!!!

The weather has finally taken a turn for the better and everyone is out on the town wearing easy, breezy dresses with lots of pizzazz. One of our favorite summertime looks is the classic wrap...worn as a cool top over summer skirts and shorts...or even the form of a printed wrap dress á la Diane Von Furstenberg (who, by the way, has four boutiques in Paris).

The DVF wrap dress was legendary in the 1970's. Her label was revived 30 years later when it was discovered that models were snapping them up from vintage shops in New York and wearing them everywhere.

This is really simple to make. I'll start with the wrap top. Most of my blouses and tops don't have sleeves because my dolls wear them under jackets and they create unnecessary bulk. However, feel free to add sleeves to the top or the dress.

For this pattern, I have shifted the dart from the waist to the armhole. You do this by drawing a line from the apex (the tip) of the dart to midpoint on the armhole. Cut along this line, then fold the dart completely shut. There will now be an opening radiating from the armhole.

Trace your new pattern onto a sheet of paper, then flip the original draft over, attaching it along the center front line and draw in the other side. You now have a complete front bodice in one piece. Draw your style line. Mine extends from the shoulder the the opposite waist. Cut away. Draw in your seam allowance. You will need to cut two of these from fabric. The back is a regular back bodice except you will place the center back on the fold, thus cutting only one (complete) back bodice. Sew along the shoulders and sides. You can either use snaps on both tips of the front bodice and at the sides of each waist or you can attach a length of ribbon to wrap around the waist of the doll and tie in the front.

For the dress, the procedure is the same. I've drawn in a slightly different style line that extends from the shoulder to half way between the center front and the opposite side at the waist. Complete as you did for the top.

Now make the skirt. You can make any style you want. For this one, I chose the flared skirt (where I've simply folded out the darts in the front and back skirt patterns. For the front skirt, you will need to trace then add both sides together to create a full front pattern. Note the exact point you extended the bodice and extend your skirt pattern to match that point. Cut away the excess. Add your seam allowance all the way around. You will need to cut two of these from fabric. The back only requires you to place the CB on the fold, thus cutting one full back pattern.

Attach the top and skirt together along the waist seam, matching them up at the side seams. Roll your edges under. You can close the dress either with snaps at both tips of the bodice on the waist. Or, attach a bit of ribbon at each side of the waist. Leave a small opening on one side so that you can feed the ribbon through the waist to wrap it over the back and tie into a bow in the front.

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