I’m jumping back in time a little with this garment, as it was sewn in time for a Professional Association dinner back at the beginning of August. This pattern has been around for a while, and I’ve seen a number of positive reviews on the blogosphere. It’s the Style Arc Kate dress.
For the dinner I wore this with sheer stockings and heels, plus turquoise jewellery. For work I wore it with thicker tights, boots, and a jacket. This is a very versatile style.
I sewed this in size 12 without any fit alterations. I should have made a short back waist alteration (I sound like a broken record on that one – I really need to get into the habit of doing that alteration pretty much as standard). I am currently at my highest weight, and am very thick through the middle, but think that this style is fairly forgiving in that regard. (Side note – this dress would probably be a great one for early to mid pregnancy, if that is something that you need). There is one thing that I will do differently next time, and that is the neckline. I stabilised it with fusible tape and elastic, and as a result it is actually too firm and has no give at all, especially around the back of the neckline. You can see that it is pulling a bit in some of these photos. Next time I’ll just use the elastic and will leave out the fusible tape.
I did leave off the sleeve pleats and so shortened the sleeve accordingly. The waist is a little on the high side. I was aware of that from the reviews I had read, and because I am short-waisted that actually works pretty well for me (and is one of the reasons why I didn’t do a short back alteration). I also took a decent chunk from the dress length. This is a proper wrap dress. It is well drafted and doesn’t fly open once tied. From the Style Arc website:
KATE DRESS: Fabulous versatile wrap dress – easy to wear, great for any occasion. Try it Royal Blue for that special occasion. Or in pattern to imitate Kate’s Australian wardrobe item.
FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: fine knit jersey, any soft knit fabric
I especially love the fabric, which came to me from Liz via the Jungle January swap. It’s got it all! Animal print! More than one type of animal print! Paisley! And it was great to sew with and to wear. This photo of the dress on Ada shows how beautifully the pleats sit if you have more of a waist and less tummy than I do. On me they provide lovely fitting ease. I used a twin needle for all the hem edges, including along the neckline and fronts. Most of the construction was on the overlocker.
So overall, this dress is definitely a winner. I have some more fabric earmarked for a 3/4 sleeve version. It’s perfect for the air-conditioned office but transitions beautifully to other situations as well.
There are loads of different wrap dress patterns around, and it intrigues me how they differ from one another. Full wrap, fake wrap, straight skirts, flared skirts, gathered skirts, waist seam, no waist seam, collars, no collars…the list goes on. There are some others already in my stash that I want to try, but I can tell that this wrap dress pattern is one that I will return to.