Please do help me with a wrap dress STIL 7261

by Sølvi

in 1970s

Hello everyone!

Black wrap-around dress
I am currently working on a wrap-around dress from the 70s (don´t you just love the colors and the accessorizing of the original design drawing?). I have finished everything, but I find that the neckline is a tad too revealing for me to wear without a top underneath. I would love to wear this as an evening dress without feeling like I constantly have to pull and adjust the top to make it stay put. Do you know what I mean?
Black wrap-around dress
I am hoping that some of you talented ladies can help me with this? I have tried to add a button in the side seam, and a loop on the opposite side, but this adds too much tension on the side seam. I have also tried to place the button on the princess seam, but that doesn’t help at all.

I hope that my pictures and text gives you a proper understanding of my problem, if not please let me know, and I will try to explain it better! :-)

So, my faith is in you wonderful seamstresses, do you have any suggestions on what to do?

This post was written by...

– who has written 6 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

Avid Norwegian seamstress living in Sweden. Love the details of patterns from the past, and my favorite fabrics are made from natural fibers!

Sølvi's posts / Sølvi's website

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathalie October 11, 2010 at 4:37 am

You most likely need to do a FBA on the princess seam. If you google it, you'll find a few tips. Here are the first two I found :

http://tamtaysews.blogspot.com/2006/05/sandra-betzina-princess-seam-fba.html

and

http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/review/readreview.pl?readreview=1&ID=1948

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fancypants October 11, 2010 at 5:05 am

I love this pattern! It looks beautiful too. I agree with Nathalie that is probably needs a FBA. But I also think if you wore a pretty lacy cami underneath that would work too!

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angie.a October 11, 2010 at 6:24 am

I agree with the FBA for the next one. Also, whenever I make a wrap top (because I'm, erm, busty!) I always use a fusible interfacing strip on the neckline. I buy it by the roll, but for the love of Pete I can't find it to give you the name right now. When I'm out of it though, I just cut narrow strips of my knit fusible interfacing and use that. It stabilizes the neckline and prevents some of that "gaposis".

For this one, what about a button at the waist in the side seam, and then use some sort of elastic loop to catch the button? That may not pull as much?

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frk.bustad October 11, 2010 at 6:34 am

FBA for next time is definitely what you want to do. But could you somehow add a cowl on this one? Drape s cowl along the neckline, and fasten it with a brooch or a button? If you make it in the same fabric as the original, it'll look like it's a part of the dress.

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Little Black Car October 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

Agree: FBA. The entire front of the dress may need to be wider (be sure that this pattern is the correct size for you, by the way. Obviously, pattern packet illustrations don't look like real life, but in addition to needing a FBA, this looks like it might be a little too small).

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Roxy October 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Cute dress! I'd buy a very pretty slip to wear under it and pretend I meant to do that. :o )

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Christina October 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm

You need to do a full bust adjustment (FBA). That's why it's pulling. Maybe you do measure about 40 inches or so through the bust area, but the problem lies in the fact that patterns are drafted for ladies who wear B cup bras. That means that there really isn't enough length in the bust area to go over your breasts, as B-cup bras have far less volume, let's say, that C cups or larger. Suffice it to say, most of us don't fall into B cup category. But there is hope!

My suggestion to you is to buy Full Busted? Sew Clothes That Fit (It's a DVD). Its a Marta Alto and Pati Palmer production and it will not steer you wrong, I also recommend that you buy Fit for Real People (book) by Pati Palmer. The DVD goes more in depth about the bust area than the book, but the book is still filled with other helpful fitting advice. You can get these on Amazon for decent prices.

Also, in connection with the FBA: When you buy patterns, buy them by your high bust (chest) measurement. Not full bust. The difference is you measure your full bust by passing the tape measure over the fullest part of your bust line. The high bust measurement is found by passing the tape around your upper back, under your arms, and across your chest. Then, if you measure 36 inches there, you buy a pattern for a full bust 36 and then when you adjust for your full bust, that 36 inches moves up to your high bust (remember: you will have to add length in the bust area so, yes, the pattern's full bust will move up). It may be helpful to have someone help you, but you can measure yourself as long as you don't pull the tape too tight or stand with your chest caving inward (bad posture), which you will be prone to do just because of the angle your elbows and arms will be at when you are measuring yourself.

Marta and Pati explain more about all of this in their book and DVD. Hope I've helped you!

Happy sewing!

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Sølvi October 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

Thank you so much everyone for giving me advice. I´ll definitely do a FBA next time!
@Christina: I´ll absolutely check out that DVD and book, I´ve heard many great things about the book, so I`m looking forward to getting hold on a copy. And I´ve heard about that bust measuring trick before, but you know "it´s a good advice, that I just didn´t take….;-), to quote Alanis Morissette.

I´ll snap to it, and try to do some tweaking on this one, and show you all the results in a new post.

Thanks!

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Carolyn D. October 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I will chime in too-I saw this and said to myself "FBA"!

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