Well this is exciting, the first finished item I’m sharing on my new blog!
I knew I had to make the Highlands Wrap Dress as soon as I saw it released by Allie Olsen of Indie Sew. I also knew I wanted to sew it up in something super drapey, so when I snagged the last 2.7m on the bolt of this pink rayon cranes fabric (that yes, seemed to be everywhere, a while ago …), I knew it was meant to be!
After some deliberation I decided to make the size 0, which corresponded to my bust measurement. I always feel a little sketchy about making a size 0 since I’m more commonly a 2, but the finished dimensions looked okay and I whipped up a (super fast) muslin of the bodice to check the fit. It seemed to be alright so I decided to roll with it.
The only alteration I made was to lengthen the bodice by 1″. This is a fairly common alteration for me since I have a long torso, so I made this adjustment to the pattern even before I made my muslin and it seemed to put the waistline in the right spot. One thing to note is that if you do happen to lengthen (or shorten) the bodice, don’t forget to make the corresponding adjustment to the front facing piece! (Ask me how I realised this was easy to forget …!). Having worn the final dress for a while now, I think I could get away with dropping the waistline an additional 1/2″, but overall it’s not something that’s really bothering me.
Once I got started, construction was straightforward. I had some trouble with the facing not quite matching the front bodice/skirt pieces so I ended up easing it all together a bit. I don’t consider this a problem with the pattern however, I think it’s much more likely that I didn’t quite lengthen the facing piece to match properly when I had to hurriedly go back and recut those pieces. Another reason to make sure you take your time when adjusting those pattern pieces at the beginning!
I really like the addition of the mitred hem. This was my first time sewing a mitred hem and it gives a beautifully quick, fuss-free and lovely finish. The length is perfect when wearing flats, but if I wanted to regularly wear it with heels I would probably plan to add a couple of inches to future versions. (I’m 5’7″)
As far as fit goes, I’m still not convinced that the 0 was the way to go, but I think my issues with it are fairly minimal and I’ll try tweaking those next time before trying an entirely different size. The main thing I would adjust next time is the position of the bust darts. For some reason they seemed okay on my muslin but they ended up a little too high on the final dress. Also the armscye feels a little high under my arm so I’ll lower it slightly next time.
I also added a second button at the left side of the waistline, as I found the dress looked like it was pulling too much when it was buttoned in the place indicated on the pattern. I simply added another button further away from the side seam and it’s perfect. The buttons are hidden once you tie up the waist ties anyway!
I know this dusty pink doesn’t do my skin tone a lot of favours. Bolder colours definitely suit me more, but sometimes you just want to sew with a fabric, even though you know it’s not the best colour for you, you know?! I’m sewing and dressing for myself anyway, so who cares!
Even the wrap element doesn’t seem problematic. This dress is well secured with two buttons and the waist tie, so it’s not going anywhere, even with two kids around me all the time!
Overall I LOVE this dress, and I can definitely see there being more of these in my future! I’m also looking forward to packing this one for our trip to Bali next weekend!
Taking advantage of having a nice tropical backdrop for photos before we move out in three weeks!
One last thing before I go … I want to make a quick comment about this fabric, in case you happen to have it in your stash. I prewashed and dried my fabric before cutting, but I still found that the black of the cranes bodies bled when I washed the dress. As it was drying I happened to notice there were black streaks in the pink areas. I threw it back in the washing machine with a colour catcher, and fortunately most of the streaks came out. Phew! That colour catcher was VERY grey though, so beware, the black ink isn’t completely colour fast!