Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wrap Dress

I know I have been a bit absent recently - things have been busy. Aside from the standard things that keep a mom busy, K had his Preschool Opening Ceremony (入園式) today and I had nothing to wear. Ages ago, I came across Megan Nielsen's maternity patterns and really liked the wrap top and also the ruched t-shirt. I bought both of them and was so excited to make them. Soon after buying them, but before they arrived, I found this blog about using the wrap top to make a dress. I figured it was serendipity - this was the dress I would wear for the Opening Ceremony!

I started by cutting out the pattern and drafting the skirt pattern from a maternity dress I already own. I also took the length of the top of the dress I currently own and used that for the length as opposed to what the blog had suggested. I also kept the sleeves the original length as it is spring and I was hoping for a nice, warm day.

I was super excited to get started on the dress, but I really wanted a double needle to do the seams. I couldn't find it anywhere here and my friend that also sews a lot here had never heard of it. I finally had my mom buy a few and send them to me. I started with the skirt bit since it seemed the simplest step. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the needle to work well and it skipped a lot of stitches.

It helped a bit to put tissue paper to stabilize the fabric, but still skipped a good amount. I was really bummed! I thought this needle was going to be the answer to all of my knit issues. I was wrong. To be fair, I do need to give it another go. I was in a frenzy to get this dress done on time and didn't have a lot of time to try other methods or really research about this issue. The seam did sew together, and as this was on the inside, I figured it would be fine. It did give the seam a lot of stretch, which was great!

Once the skirt was done, I got moving to the top. It was simple to put together - shoulder seams, side seams and then add the sleeves.

I tried the top on first, because if that didn't look right, I knew the dress would be a disaster and it would probably be best to just stop while I was ahead. I tried it on and really liked it. I should say here, that I ended up using the blog I linked above for inspiration only. I put the dress together completely differently, but love the end result. I really wanted the top to be a true wrap-around top, but the original dress made it just a faux wrap top.

To finish the neckline I figured best not to chance it with the double needle and just used single fold bias tape.

I put the bias tape only to about the side seams. From there I just folded the top edge over and sewed a long seam all the way down the wrap bits.

I made the waist of the skirt bigger than the waist of the top so I could have a bit of space. Then, of course, I had to make them fit together. I sewed a long stitch across the front and back of the skirt and then pulled the bottom string to ruffle it until it was the same length as the top.

Finally I sewed the top to the bottom, leaving a few inches open on the left side seam at the join of the top and skirt so I could string one of the long strips through.

Finally I put on my dress and headed out to K's Ceremony. It was so cute. The kiddies in their tiny uniforms were just to die for. (K is in between the girls with the pigtails.)

Today we rode the train as a family, but the next time K goes he will ride the school bus by himself. I'm a tad nervous, but he really loved the school today. In fact, he cried when it was time for us to leave. I'm just hoping he doesn't lose it getting on the bus next Thursday. Fingers crossed!!

After the Ceremony, we headed home and had a nice, big dinner with Y and his parents who came in from Yokohama for the festivities. For the actual Ceremony, I also wore a brown and cream striped blazer from way back when I used to work. The browns matched perfectly and I think it looked quite cute.


  1. You look fabulous!! And K is adorable in his uniform...glad to hear he likes school!

    1. Thanks, Allison! I'm stoked K likes his school - so far. Also, I totally agree that he looks so cute in his uniform. There's a little hat they wear too that is so stinkin' adorable. Photos will most certainly be posted on his first day ;)