Pattern Roundup: Knit Wrap Dresses
Since its introduction in the 1970s, the knit wrap dress has become a fashion classic that is versatile and flattering to many figures. Although you can make a wrap dress from woven or knit fabric, a stretch knit offers the easiest and most comfortable fit. You’ll find many patterns with different sleeve and skirt silhouettes.
In Threads #210, Aug./Sept. 2020, author Nancy Nix-Rice extols the virtues of wrap dresses, and offers clever upgrades for knit versions. She talks about securing the wrap against unexpected slippage, and creating a firmer neckline edge that hugs the body more closely and provides more coverage.
The designs listed below lend themselves to modifications if you prefer more security or coverage.
Butterick 5030: Intended for soft wovens or jersey knits, this design features a flared skirt, vertical darts at the front and back waist, front shoulder yokes, gathers along the yoke seamlines, and an optional collar. Choose from half-length, three-quarter length (with or without cuffs), or flutter sleeves. This dress may be worn with self-fabric tie belts in various widths or a purchased belt. It includes sizes up to 22 (bust 44 inches).
Butterick 5898: A figure-flattering design with a draped front wrap edge, this pattern comes in sizes XS through 6XL (for bust measurements up to 68 inches). It can be made in wovens or jersey. Because it doesn’t include darts or other shaping elements, you may have better results with stretch fabrics that contour to the body. The overall silhouette is narrow, with optional short sleeves and a shawl collar.
Butterick 6054: This slender wrap dress is shaped with pleats extending from the waist seamline to create a draped effect. Cut-on cap sleeves keep the construction simple. Available in sizes up to 22 (bust 44 inches).
Butterick 6703: You’ll find lots of options in this dress pattern. It is available in pattern sizes 6 thought 24W, for busts up to 46 inches. Choose from a slightly tapered skirt with a pleated, curved overlap, or a flared skirt that finishes just above or below the knee. The bodice includes diagonal pleats at the waistline seam. You can sew straight, three-quarter-length sleeves, with or without a hem flounce, or a bishop-style sleeve with elasticized cuff.
Cashmerette Appleton Dress: A classic wrap style designed for stretch knits, the Appleton Dress is available in sizes 12 through 28, for bust measurements of 40 inches to 56 inches. Three cup sizes, from C/D to G/H, are offered, so this pattern is a favorite of stylish women with curves. The skirt is straight, and the sleeves can be cap, elbow-length, or long. A wide neckline finish prevents gaping.
Christine Jonson Patterns Wrap Dress 526: Christine Jonson’s wrap dress is designed to fall below the knee in a flattering A-line silhouette, but it can be shortened. You can make it sleeveless or long-sleeved, with or without a flounce cuff. Christine’s pattern has a fully lined bodice, which eliminates the need for an edge finish around the neckline and makes the construction speedy. The dress can be sewn almost entirely on the serger if desired, with just a bit of topstitching at the hem edges. This is sized XS to XL, up to bust measurements of 48 inches.
Kwik Sew 3489: A classic version of the wrap dress, this design features a pretty tulip-shaped front hem, an optional collar, and long or cap sleeves. The bodice is shaped with bust darts. The pattern includes sizes XS to XL, up to a bust measurement of 45 inches.
Maria of Denmark, Rachel Wrap Dress: This simple, straight-cut wrap dress has no waistline seam, but does feature a wide neckline band for coverage and secure fit across the bodice. The sleeves are below-elbow length. You’ll find this design quick to sew and a versatile addition to your wardrobe. For sizes 34 to 54 (bust 31 1/2 inches to 47 1/4 inches).
McCall’s 7893: A shorter and youthful version of the wrap dress, this style has the option of a straight hem or one with points at the front. Choose between elbow or full-length sleeves. This is available in pattern sizes up to 24W (bust 46 inches).
Named Patterns Olivia Jersey Wrap Dress: Named Patterns’ wrap dress design has a below-the-knee, tapered skirt, a wide neckband, long sleeves, and in-seam side pockets (a rare feature on knit wrap dresses). Small unstitched pleats at the skirt’s front waist provide ease over the abdomen. The ties on this design are wider than on many, and give the dress a chic look. The waistline also has narrow elastic, for fit and security. For sizes 0 to 18.
Claire Wrap Dress 107, by PatternReview: Available in bust sizes from 32 inches to 58 inches, this downloadable pattern offers two A-line skirt silhouettes (slim and flared), and the option to make a faux-wrap style. The bodice has bust and waist darts, a collar, shoulder yoke, long sleeves, and a wide neckline band.
Style Arc Kate Dress: A classic, Diane von Furstenberg-inspired design, this dress has a slight A-line skirt, no waistline seam, long sleeves, and small pleats at the front overlap waist, where the tie attaches. This serves to add shaping and camouflage the tummy. Sized for busts up to 60 inches.
Style Arc Lea Knit Wrap Dress: Style Arc’s other wrap dress pattern has a slim silhouette, elbow-length sleeves, a collar with collar stand, and no waistline seam. There are no darts or pleats to add shaping, so be sure your fabric has adequate stretch to accommodate your curves. Sized for busts up to 60 inches.
Vogue 8379: Soft pleats at the front waistline create some bust ease in this popular design. The knee-length skirt is A-line, and the sleeves may be short or long with cuffs. A collar is optional. The pattern includes sizes up to 22, for busts of 44 inches.
Vogue 8896: This design has a silhouette similar to Vogue 8379 but includes gathers along the front shoulder seam for additional bust ease. Make this with short sleeves or sleeveless, in an above-the-angle or knee length. The pattern includes sizes up to 24, for busts of 46 inches.
Vogue 9350: For a sleek evening look, try this design, with a fitted bodice and below-the-knee, tapered skirt. The bodice is lined and shaped with vertical darts originating at the waist seamline. The long sleeves are gathered into cuffs. The pattern includes a tunic-length wrap top and wide-legged knit pants. Available in sizes XS through XXL.
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