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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Slip on Suzie

To explain myself here is the Slip on Suzie faux wrap dress I made from this StyleArc pattern:

I am always a bit wary about wrap dresses. In my experience they tend to unwrap if you live in a windy place like I do most of the time, or fall open at the Christmas concert when you sit down which is not an optimal grandmother look IMO.

This dress has a closed skirt at the bottom, no wrap, and goes together in an hour if you don't spend three hours trying to figure out how to overlap the various pieces to get the wrap.

I bound the neckline rather than turn and stitch because I am chicken and like to use my hands to head off disaster.

I had read several pattern reviews that said this dress was too low (probably is here too) so I made it in a size smaller than I usually wear to get the fit on my bony shoulders and added to the width from there down. It is my general policy to alway fit the smallest area first and add - always more successful than trying to take something in when the core fabric has already been cut away.

Here are two shots taken on the old RV site and not accessorized at all. If I were a better blogger it would be, but I am sort of waiting on my lunch and getting ready to go golfing.

This really does need a necklace and maybe a belt. The spouse, who rarely offers fashion comments unless you count "what am I supposed to say?," tells me this is not my best look which probably means too bare at the neck and too wide in the middle, which actually describes me so this is not really a surprise.

Here is another shot, that verifies the need for a belt or maybe a another look at Stylearc's other wrap dresses that have more shape, and might give me some.

The truth is I kinda just like this dress myself. I see this design as a real basic, great for travelling, good for accessorizing if you weren't in your flip flops in an RV park, and timeless in that you can keep wearing it until your daughter says "mom you always wear that dress."

My photographer thinks maybe I need blog reader feedback since his didn't impress me and in the meantime I am thinking of this two alternate patterns in the quest for a classic wrap for this not too classic sewer:

What do you think?


Robin said...

I have that pattern. I liked it because it wasn't a true wrap so no worries about keeping your goodies covered on a windy day. So nice to see it sewn up. It is a little open in the chest. Maybe a camisole or a modestly panel?

Andrea said...

I just cut this pattern out in a black ITY last night. I may get to sew it tonight, with any luck. I did not realize how low cut that neckline is on Miss Suzie. I do appreciate the heads up! I believe I will add a band of some width to the neckline.

How would you feel about a belt of the same fabric? It may add some waist definition. The color is really pretty on you. I agree accessories are needed! If it were me, I'd likely add a cami or modesty panel, but that is a very personal choice. A necklace may be enough.

The dress with the collar & stand appeals to me. Believe there is a pattern by perhaps Kwik Sew or New Look (one of the conglomerates) that is quite similar. Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics sewed a series of wrap dress patterns on her blog. All lovely, as is she.

Marianne said...

How about adding a white cami and a blue necklace? I love the print on you!

SewRuthie said...

Vogue 2989 has ruching detail which gives the impression of a waist whilst covering a tummy. Magical. I think it's a pretty print you've used here. You can make a faux cami and sew it in from scraps. If you attach to the armholes it works well.

patsijean said...

I have been looking at this dress pattern ( http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/patterns/p_4019.htm ) by Peggy Sagers. I have several of her patterns and love her webcasts ( http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media/livestreamchannel/index_replays.htm ). Here is Peggy's webcast about her wrap dress pattern, the No Gap Wrap, ( http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media/livestreamchannel/replay_07_14_2014.htm ).

Vicki said...

I think it looks great. How about adding a self belt like the other two patterns you show? The Slip on Susie is better as it can't unwrap but adding the belt will give some definition. Also the cami :) Do you have a scrap of fabric to add to the front like a dickie? A necklace will also fill in the neck/chest area. I have the same issue as I don't have a lot of flesh in the upper chest.

birdmommy said...

I agree with the other comments that the openness of the neckline isn't the most flattering on you. I'd love to see you post pictures again with a white cami underneath.

Anonymous said...

I quite like it, even taking into account the wonderful color and happy face influencing my preferences. Not a fan of extraneous belts, I wouldn't add one. For me, would have to adjust the neckline up (because when I look down at myself it can be alarmingly revealing) but this straight on shot doesn't seem too low.


Lisa Laree said...

A cami would go a long way with this, I think. And it looks like the wrap hits below your natural waistline; if you added a bit of fabric to raise that edge up so that it hits an inch or so higher, tapering it to nothing at the neckline that would raise the cross point a bit too. And I think a higher edge would perk the whole dress up a bit; I think that below-the-waist edge is giving it a bit of a droopy look.

Just my two cents. ;-)

Wendy said...

IMHO, I think this dress looks great on you. It looks easy and chic. OK, maybe the neckline could be an inch higher, so maybe next time just cut the wrap an inch higher. But I don't see a need for more waist definition, and I don't think the waist-length wrap looks droopy.

sewingkm said...

I say yes to wearing a cami and a bold blue statement necklace. That would bring attention to your lovely face and the need for a belt would be unnecessary - yeah comfort! Karen

Ginger said...

I like your dress. But a necklace or cami would be a good addition. Maybe a self fabric belt. If you are looking for a new wrap dress pattern check out Christine Jonson's wrap dress. Craftsy did a sew along. Check and see if they still have the kit for sale. It was a good deal. That is my favorite wrap.

Sue said...

Love the pattern, but the shape is a little boxy. A belt might add a little more shape to it.

Shelly said...

I always find wrap dresses to revealing for my liking so I would wear a cami under it in one of the colours in the print. You may find then that you don't need to add a necklace then. It's a very pretty fabric and the style looks so comfy.

I've been looking at your two alternate choices but haven't purchased them yet for the same reason as above.

Jen in Oz said...

I think it was the McCalls blog that recently had a wrap dress sewalong running. One of the ones that they suggested was an OLD one (I think mid-80s) I still had in my stash: Vogue 8379. I think it's still in their catalogue!
I liked it because it was easy to sew (I hadn't been sewing stretch fabric long when I made this one) and because it doesn't seem to fly open at the slightest breeze. I've kept it in my wardrobe for many years now unlike most of my self-made dresses.
Jen in sunny Melbourne (not)

Sewing as Therapy said...

I love it! ! I don't think it is unflattering at all!! It may just be the way you're standing, but it looks like the top wrap layer is a little loose? Cinching it in where it inserts in the side seam (or for the lazy, running some shirring elastic inside the wrap/neck hem) would raise the neckline but maintain the elegant lines. I have the Kate pattern which I adore, so it you decide to try another one, that is a great one. I've made it both as pictured, and also with the pleats removed on the overlap. But I think your dress looks great, and super comfy as-is.

BTW, I will miss your columns in Australian Stitches magazine :-(

KathyS said...

I made that dress and I love it. I crossed the neckline wrap over a little bit higher and put a couple of stitches in to hold it in place. Also made a self fabric tie just to give my shapelessness a little definition. Your dress is lovely and I just love the blue fabric.

Beth said...

I really like this dress on you. I agree a bit lower than I would like. I don't think it would be too difficult to add a bit of coverage to the the neckline wrap. Haven't sewn any Style Arc patterns yet but you make this very appealing. Thanks for all your great reviews.

Anonymous said...

Love your blue dress; I'd hate to have to add a cami in Florida weather. I made the first Style Arc wrap dress last month. I really like the flare of the skirt; the wrap tied a little too much above my waist in my trial version, so I tried to lower it somewhat by adding an extra inch to the wrap skirt overlays. I printed out the second one as well, and it appears that she gets the extra length for the ties to reach the waist by altering the shoulder angle. A bit tricky, but I'm going to try that next. The instructions call for 1/4" elastic as a stay along the neckline, and although it's a teensy bit low, it really helps to hug the fabric all along. TinaLou

CaribSun said...

Regarding the Slip on Suzie, I find that dress patterns without darts are very difficult to fit nicely unless you are built like a twelve year old boy.

Having said that,(and I don't think that you are built like a twelve year old boy) it does look nice on you.

Cathie said...

Both dressses are just adorable. The first could be in a brighter colour. Both would be terrific with accessories and make-up. Just love them. Bravo to Daisy!

Teacherann said...

I have a store bought dress that is just like the wrap dress, but it has ruching on the side where the crossover is attached to the dress. This gives it more definition in the waist. You might be able to add that detail in if you lengthened the front????