The Advance Wrap Dress

Photo on 4-19-16 at 7.55 PM


This one has been in the “To Make” pile for about a year now.  Advance 7753.  Cute 50’s wrap dress.  Simple, easy, very adorable.   I bought a pretty blue plaid seersucker for it, and it seemed like a quick, easy project.  I was super excited to make myself a dress for the spring!

Lordy, did I have trouble with this dress!

Photo on 4-19-16 at 10.40 AM

It was all my own fault.  The first thing I did wrong was to sew one of the skirt front panels on backwards.  Grab the seam ripper…

Next I realized I had made the side hole (which you pull one of the waist ties through) on the wrong side.  Whoops.  Thankfully I noticed this after I sewed the skirt on, tried the dress on, and realized that it did not fit AT ALL.  The front panels were way too long, even though I had adjusted the pattern for my short waist.  So off the skirt came, I shortened everything, re-pinned the skirt on, basted it to make sure it fit right, and then stitched it again.

Aaaand caught a bunch of the bodice back up in the seam.  Had to rip almost the entire skirt seam out again.  Re-pinned, re-stitched.  This time I did it the right way, with the gathers on the underside.  Why had I not done that before?  I have no clue.  I know how to sew.  I must have just been distracted.

Oh, let’s rewind to before the skirt came off the first time.  I also realized that the shoulders were gaping, and ended up making darts at the shoulders, which actually look great.

I was hasty with this garment, and didn’t make a muslin–I figured the usual alterations to the pattern would apply here, but this was a very different design and I absolutely should have made a muslin first.

Also, the pattern instructed to sew seam binding into the waistline seam, which I skipped, but later realized I needed because it’s a heavy skirt and needs the extra support.  So I went back and sewed in some sturdy ribbon by hand.

While trying this dress on, I noticed that because of the large plaid this dress really needed to be worn with a belt to define my waist, otherwise I looked very wide.  So I changed the waist tie design a little, knowing I would be wearing a belt with this dress and not wanting a big bow in my way.  I eliminated one tie completely, and stitched up the side hole, and sewed a piece of ribbon on one inner side seam and the front edge of the bodice that I did not add a tie to.  That way I could fasten that side on the inside, like a robe.  Then I used a wide, sturdy hook and eye on the one waist tie.  The eye is on the outside of the tie, near where it attaches to the bodice front, and the hook is on the opposite end.  This way I can wrap the tie around and fasten it in the front, with no bulk.

My little photographer took some great pictures of my in my dress today.  She shows much promise.

I think the plaid still makes me look a little wide, but I like it anyway.  Definitely looks much better with a belt.  Here’s a picture without:


And yes, technically the side with the ginormous pocket is supposed to be on the outside.  That was my final mistake, but I couldn’t bear to take anything else apart and I think it looks fine the way it is.


You definitely need to wear a slip, underskirt or petticoat (or some shorts) under this one.  If it’s windy outside, you might reveal a little more than you want to.


I love the top of this dress.  I might try to make a few blouses from it.  The dress is very comfortable and easy to wear, if a little on the full-skirted side for me!  I’m typically a 40’s girl, but I think I can live with this one. 😉



4 thoughts on “The Advance Wrap Dress

  1. I love the plaid! And, yes, the belt gives nice definition.(I think gathered skirts make everyone look bigger no matter the print). I have this same pattern and tried, unsuccessfully, to make it a few years back. Of course, I skipped a muslin, too, and just shortened and shrank it all down like I normally do for my 5′ frame, but the bodice still came out huge and the skirt was voluminous! I love wrap dresses though. So thank you for inspiring me to give it another go!! Btw, your 3 year old has got some talent! lol

    • The bodice on this one is really funky, although cleverly designed! It’s very long. I’m 5’1″ myself, and short-waisted, and really had to chop much more than my usual 1″ from the waist for it to fit. Although I did notice the back fit better than the front. Anywho, you should definitely do give it another try!

  2. Bess, you are so fuuny in your description of making this dress. I just applaud you for doing it with two toddlers around! And Evvie took the pics? I am impressed! Cant wait to see you guys this summer! We love you dealry!
    Aunt Jayne & co.

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