I bought the Hannah wrap dress a while ago but hadn’t found the right fabric until I saw this cotton from New Craft House. New Craft House have the best selection of ex-designer deadstock fabrics, and the fact that they are limited quantity and sustainably sourced, makes me feel 99% guilt free when buying them! Although I hadn’t made the Hannah dress pattern in full yet, I had used the bishop sleeves for a few makes already. For this make, I wanted a summery tea dress style so I chose the tulip sleeves and midi skirt (I also only had 2m of fabric).
I guess I’ve put off making a wrap dress, this is actually my first ever wrap dress (except for the By Hand London Orsola that wraps at the back). The main reason is because I had it in my head that it wouldn’t suit me because I’m small busted, and I think this is something that’s just been instilled into me because high street wrap dresses have never fit right, they gape and make you feel like you need bigger boobs.
I did two alterations to the bodice to make sure it fit right at the bust; a small bust adjustment and increased the neckline height. For the SBA I followed the tutorial from By Hand London. I went to their Bodice Fitting Masterclass last year at New Craft House and learnt how to do an SBA – it was the most enlightening and fantastic course and I truly recommend it. However if you don’t have the budget for it or aren’t in London (OR can’t leave the house, like now!), they released a Bodice Fitting Guide which has a step by step. They also have a tutorial on their blog for a full or small bust adjustment for darted bodices. You can use any of these to follow a step by step for FBA or SBA. I really recommend to not skip this, and I’m an impatient person so I understand the temptation. The SBA was so worth it, and it looks a thousand times better than it would with a gapey neckline.
I did a ½ inch SBA which means I reduced the overall bust measurement by 1 inch (1/2 inch on each side). I also graded between a size 10 at the shoulders to a size 8 at the bust and waist since my shoulders are “broad” for the pattern and I wanted the sleeves to sit right.
For the neckline, I just cut it out about 1.5cm higher following the same shape, just in case I wanted more coverage, as I knew I could always trim it off if I didn’t. I didn’t end up trimming it and I quite like the neckline as it’s not too modest but not too low cut.
I messed up on the rouleaus as I didn’t read the instructions – classic – and sewed them double the width – I quite like this on the outer bows but obviously it’s a bit bulky on the inside, so I would change that for the future (and follow the instructions!)
Overall, I absolutely love the pattern and I’m already dreaming up a version with a bit more leg, which I’ll make by curving the front and inside skirt pieces. Something I unexpectedly love is the tulip sleeves, and I think they would look amazing in a sheer fabric or lace, so that’s definitely one for the list too.