For quite a while I wanted to try to make a wrap top that would be fitted and just come to around hip length. I tried lots of different patterns some of which didn't suit me at all and some that I liked but couldn't get to fit very well.
Then I decided to try the Simplicity 8735 Wrap Dress. The pattern is for a wrap dress with flared skirt in two lengths plus a slim skirt option. The pattern also has multiple bra cup size options for B, C, D and DD and 4 sleeve variations.
As I am a bit miserly when it comes to the fabric for my toiles I decided just to cut out up to the hip as I know that if I could get that bit to fit, the skirt would be fine. After a few tweaks to the fit of the toile, I loved the hacked version so much I decided to use up some cotton from my stash to make my first version.
It is designed for medium wovens and stable knits with not much stretch. The pattern recommends chambray, cotton types, crepe, jersey, lightweight denim, linen types, microsuede, ponte, silky types and stretch velvet.
Sizing goes from 6 to 24. This covers
bust sizes from 30 1/2 inches (77.5 cm) to 46 inches (117 cm)
waist sizes from 23 inches (58.5 cm) to 39 inches (99 cm)
hip sizes from 32 1/2 inches (88.5 cm) to 48 inches (122 cm).
The pattern envelope also gives the finished garment measurements for the different cup sizes and in the instructions there are notes on how to work out what cup size you need based on your high/upper bust measurement and your full bust measurement.
As a guide there are 4 inches (10 cm) of ease built into the B cup bust then 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) added on for each cup size up to DD.
Size I Made
I made the size 14 C cup but I did have to make some modifications (see details below).
My Measurements and Body Type
Body type: I am an H shape from the front but I stick out a bit at the front at the boobs and at the back at the bum. I also have a bit of a rounded upper back (from too much time on a computer!)
Adjustments I Made
For the first version working with the non-stretch cotton was quite straightforward. I did make some adjustments which I commonly make on other patterns.
It was great that the back of the pattern was in two pieces joined at the waist as this allowed me to take out 1 cm from the length of the upper bodice at the centre back to 0 cm at the side seam. I shortened the overall length by 1.5 cm too as I have a short back.
For the back skirt piece I widened it to fit my hips as I quite narrow at my back waist and carry more of my weight across the back of my hips/bum.
I pinned out the curve of the princess seam slightly to remove around 1/4 inch from each front piece just above the bust. I also shortened the side seam for the side front by 5/8 inch.
This helped to get a more snug fit across the wrap.
When I made the cotton jersey version I found I had to take it in a bit more to get it more fitted so ended up shortening the shoulder by 1/2 inch at the armhole and blending back into the original armhole curve on the front and back.
I also took 1/2 inch off the side seams from the armhole, through the waist to about half way down the peplum.
I also ended up halving the length of the tie on this version because I used D-rings to create the fastening which doesn't require as much length as tying a bow.
Fabric I Used
I have now made 3 versions of this top in different fabrics.
The first is just a medium weight cotton with a printed pattern. This worked really well and was a great starting point. I would use this fabric again.
The second one I made was in cotton Jersey. If you choose to use a stretchy fabric I would definitely recommend sizing down and not using the stretchy fabric for the tie, pick something more stable.
The third version I made in a stretch woven which is linen blend with elastane. This is my favourite version. It holds its shape well, doesn't really crease too much and yet is really comfortable to move around in. It was easy to sew too.
Construction Process and Instructions
The hardest part I found with this pattern was choosing the size to make. I opted for the C cup version but had to make a few tweaks to the fit.
I think the instructions were quite easy to follow though to actually make the garment. It has a couple of darts in the front and back skirt pieces. If you haven't sewn a princess seam before then this is a great one to start with. The sleeve went in easily as there wasn't too much ease in the sleeve head but the sleeve is not too tight.
There are no buttons or zips with just a tie at the side and hand sewn press-studs inside to hold the other end of the wrap.
I haven't found the best way to secure the wrap where it crosses above the bust. It was easiest on the first version because the cotton is quite firm so you can't see the press-stud. On the jersey version it pulls too much so I need to find an alternative solution.
On the mustard version I think I will just add a small hand stitch as it goes on easily over my head so I don't need it to fully open.
My Thoughts About the Pattern
I do love this pattern so much that I have made 3 versions so far and definitely plan to make more, including a dress version.
I am not sure I would make it again in the jersey but stretch wovens lend themselves really well to it and so I am on the look out for more of those.
Because the pattern fits so nicely at the front and the back I have used it to help me alter some of my ready to wear clothes (to add or change darts in the back) and also to help me get a better initial fit with other patterns.
Sizing - 3.5/5. It offers an OK range of sizes including different cup options. I did have to make quite a few tweaks though but it could be that starting with a different cup and size would have helped.
Instructions - 4/5. Good instructions on how to make the garment. It is reasonably simple to make once you work out which pattern pieces you are using.
Construction Process - 5/5. Easy to put together. Pattern pieces fit together well and markings are good.
Final Fit - 4/5. Good fit and I love that it is separate at the waist to help with my back adjustments. I still want to fine tune a bit further now that I have settled on what fabrics work best.
Overall Rating - 4/5!! Well I have made 3 so far so that should give a bit of a clue!
Over to you!
So let me know in the comments what you think. Has it inspired you to make some of your own? Have you made these already? Do share as I am super inquisitive and love to know what you are up to!
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full disclaimer here.