Dresses are the perfect thing to wear in mid-summer heat…and thank goodness they’re also one of our favorite things to sew! Join us this month as the Sew News and BurdaStyle editors discuss our favorite dress patterns, starting with wrap dresses.
Burda Style # 6946 is the perfect summer wrap dress. It’s quick to make (no sleeves!) and works well with easy sew cotton fabrics. This dress is from BurdaStyle paper patterns that you can buy online and in sewing stores. These patterns have the seam allowances already ‘built’ in, no adding necessary.
The fit on this dress was perfect, with one exception. The arm holes were super tiny! All that was needed for that was a quick slice at the bottom of the armhole, tapering upward before the notches. Repeat on for the other arm. I did not do my usual lining of the dress but left it as a lightweight cotton dress perfect for hot summer days and nights.
I’d make this again. It has so many ways to change it up, including adding cap sleeves or going with the full sleeved version and trying it in a softer, drapey fabric. I also love the faux wrap. In Colorado our summers are frequented by windy days and with this pattern there will be no wardrobe malfunctions. Everything keeps inside. Plus, it would be easy to add pockets and even a cute tulip sleeve.
As far as I can remember, I’ve never actually made a wrap dress, so for this blog I was asked to find one that I’d like to make instead.
Turns out that when it comes to wrap dresses, I’m a traditionalist. As I scanned images of wrap dresses, looking for one I liked, it was Butterick 5030 that caught my eye. It seemed almost boring — exactly what the baseline picture of “wrap dress” means to me — and yet I kind of adored it. Then I considered that maybe the reason that it seems so basic to me is not because this is necessarily a “traditional” wrap dress, but because it’s my ideal wrap dress. Suddenly it didn’t seem so boring anymore.
I love the lines of this dress. My favorite is view C, with no collar and flutter sleeves. It’s simple, but the little details like the ruching at the shoulders and the collar bands give it an elegant, almost vintage feel. As I’m not a fan of very fitted clothing, I appreciate that the bodice is semi-fitted, and the A-line skirt should work with my wide hips rather than emphasizing them. I suspect that this dress could go casual or dressy, depending on fabric — it may even be possible to get both out of a single garment, depending on shoes and accessories. Since it just happened to be on sale when I found it, I’ll have the chance to try out my theory!
I really have trouble picking one of anything so today, I’m sharing two of my favorite wrap dress patterns. Also, I think I have a bit of a bias against wrap dresses – I wore a lot while pregnant and afterwards, while nursing. It actually makes a lot of sense, though: if there’s a style of dress that is universally flattering, the wrap dress is probably it.
It’s not a traditional wrap dress but the Kielo Wrap Dress from Named is a top contender for wrap dress champion in my book. Unlike many wrap dresses, the silhouette is trim and modern, feminine but not girly, if you know what I mean. The ties and extra fabric provide perfect coverage for the mid-section. Bonus points: you can arrange the ties in multiple ways!
Search #kielowrapdress Instagram for zillions of lovely makes.
Maybe it’s partly the tropical local, but I also have major love for the Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson of Indie Sew. The maxi length is stunning but there’s a midi version as well – and I love that this dress is drafted for wovens. There’s a version with sleeves, too, if that’s more your thing. Again, this dress offers the traditional wrap look – so flattering! – without a ton of extra fabric to swamp us short ladies. It’s effortless and chic and feminine while maintaining a modern vibe. You could totally go all out with a big bold print – something tropical maybe? – or stick with a nice solid and style it in a billion different ways with accessories. Either way, I’m ready for a walk on the beach – anyone else?
And here are a few picks from Meg Healy, of BurdaStyle.
Love the dress is our Fave Wrap Dress image at the top? It’s the Appleton Wrap Dress by Cashmerette – our February Sew Along. We’re out of the pattern in our online store, but head over to Cashmerette Patterns for a copy.