I have been searching for months for an easy wrap dress pattern and finally scored with Vogue 8379, on sale for $3.99. I don't remember ever using a Vogue pattern before, so I was glad to see that it's one of Vogue's 'Very Easy Dresses'. I love this style, and from the looks of it on Patternreview.com, dozens of other people had success with it.
For my first attempt, a usable muslin, I used this lovely jersey:
Poly/Spandex Jersey, Denver Fabrics, $3.97/yd
This fabric is really smooth and has nice drape. My husband thinks the print looks like something his grandma would wear. Thanks hun! (I guess he's used to me wanting his brutally honest opinion. This is something I don't want to hear after 2 nights of sewing a garment that is almost finished.) Although I don't know the exact fabric content, I do know it is a 2-way stretch knit.
I cut out a 8 in the shoulders, a 6 at the armholes (The pattern didn't come in a 6, so I shaved off a bit) and tapered out to a 14 at the waist.
I had to do a Small Bust Adjustment to the bodice. Surplice bodices make me nervous because I don't have a lot of experience altering them. I used The Slapdash Sewist's SBA method here. This is what the pattern looks like with the SBA alteration:
The pattern has pleats so I first put it up to my body with the pleats to check for fullness at the bust. I squared up the line from neck to the waist before cutting out. I made up the bodice and was so pleased to find that with the SBA, the bodice fit perfectly over my bust. Gotta love jersey! The rest of the pattern was easy as cake to construct.
A lot of sewers also mentioned taking out some of the fullness out of the skirt. I took their advice and removed about 4" of fullness.
Sewer Beware: The waistline on this pattern is pretty high. I usually shorten the torso but it seemed short enough this time. If you have an average or long torso, you'll need to add at least an inch to the bodice front and back.
I opted to finish the neckline by turning the edge over 1/2" and finishing with my twin needle. Many reviewers complained that the facing was too bulky and kept folding out weird. This change was quick and turned out really well. If anything, the neckline rolls in.
Instead of easing in the sleeve caps I sewed them using my serger and just stretched and eased the sleeves in. It looks great. I cut 2" off the bottom of the sleeves, folded them over 5/8" and used my twin needle to finish them off. I removed 3 3/4" from the bottom edge of the skirt so it would end at the knee. I left the bottom edge unfinished because it lays flatter than a hem finished with my twin needle.
I highly recommend this pattern, especially with the alterations I've recommended. I don't have a lot of experience sewing with knits so I was even more pleased with the outcome. I'm definitely going to make another wrap dress. I'd like to try it in a cotton spandex blend, something that would breathe better for summer. I'd also like to try to convert this pattern into a wrap top.