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DIY Maxi Wrap Dress: Measuring and cutting your fabric



How to measure and cut your wrap dress pattern so it fits and flatters your curves without gaping or pulling around your bust or hiking up in the back.

  1. Measure your body in the areas indicated on the measurement guide, download for free above. The download will also include the side pocket if you would like to add them to the dress.
  2. Find the closest size according to your measurements on the pattern. The bust and the high bust measurement determine your cup size.
  3. Cut your pattern out, you should have the following:
    1. Front bodice (based on your cup size)
    2. Back bodice
    3. Sleeve
    4. Front skirt
    5. Back skirt

     

    Front Bodice

    1. Layout your front bodice piece. On the shoulder where the armhole and shoulder seam meet mark the seam allowance, which is 5/8”.
    2. Using a measuring tape or ruler, mark your front slope measurement ‘G’.  Measure from the seam allowance point you just indicated to the center front. Mark line at center front
    3.  
      front slope maxi wrap dress

    4. Measure from the point you just marked to the waist line. That is how much you’re going to shorten or lengthen your bodice. Write this number down because we will need it to know how much length to add to the skirt.
    5. Cut along the shorten or lengthen line. Measure and mark the shorten or lengthen point. Use a ruler to draw a parallel line from the cut line using the measurement above, in the video it’s 2”. Your measurement will vary.
    6. Tape the bottom bodice piece back to the bodice matching the center front line and drawn line.
    7. Draw a line from bottom armhole seam to the bottom of the bodice @ the side seam. Cut off any access.
    8. Tape some pattern or craft paper to the center front of bodice to redraw the front neck line.
    9. Measure the pattern from center front to bust point and mark measurement on pattern pattern paper. Blend line from bottom neckline @ waist to bust point on neck line.
    10.  
      blend neckline maxi wrap dress

    11. Extend center front line onto pattern paper. Draw a perpendicular line from shoulder point @ armhole to center front. Blend neckline.
    12.  
      seam allowance neckline maxi wrap dress

    13. Measure ½” in on shoulder line and blend neckline. Add 5/8” seam allowance to new neckline and blend.

     

    Back Bodice

    1. Using the same measurement from point ‘6’ on the front bodice you’re going to shorten or lengthen your back bodice.
    2. Cut along the shorten or lengthen line. Measure and mark the shorten or lengthen point. Use a ruler to draw a parallel line from the cut line.
    3. Tape the bottom bodice piece back to the bodice matching the center back line and drawn line.
    4. Draw a line from bottom armhole seam to the bottom of the bodice @ the side seam. Cut off any access.
    5. Redraw the back dart matching the bottom each dart leg edge to the dart apex.

     

    Front and back skirt

    Because we are adding length to this dress and we want it to fit on 60” wide fabric, we are removing some of the fullness on the pattern because we will regain it once we add length to the skirt.

    In order to do that I removed 4” from the bottom of the pattern. My total dress length is 57” so if your dress length is longer you will remove more fullness for the pattern pieces to fit on 60” wide fabric. Or you can just buy more fabric. I’m using 3 yards for the skirt of this wrap dress.

    Two methods of reducing fullness. Both achieve the same thing.

    Fold

    1. Mark the pattern @ the center of waist line and the center of hemline
    2. Mark 2” on each side of the mark @ hemline
    3. Fold from waistline mark to one of the 2” marks @ hemline.
    4. Keeping your finger at the mark on the waistline, fold over pattern to match second 2” mark making sure there is no fold at waistline.
    5. Tape to hold flat

     

    Slash and pivot

    1. Mark the pattern @ the center of waistline and the center of hemline
    2. Mark 2” on each side of the mark @ hemline
    3. Using a ruler draw a straight line from waistline mark to on of the 2” marks @ hemline. Cut (slash) along that line from bottom hemline to waistline being sure not to cut through waistline
    4. Pivot pattern so that both 2” marks match up and waistline remains intact
    5. Tape to hold flat

     

    Layout and cut pattern

    Bodice

    If your bodice fabric differs from your skirt fabric as in the sketch layout your back bodice on the fold first then your sleeve and front bodice. I used about 1 ½” yards of fabric. Mark / snip all notches and darts.

    Skirt

    Layout your front and back skirt so that it fits on your fabric. I folded the fabric on the cross grain.

    Adding length to the skirt

    1. On the back of the pattern sleeve check the back length measurement for your dress size
    2. For the size I’m using the back length is 40”. My back length measurement that I indicated when I took my measurement on the measuring guide is 57”- ‘Q’. I reduced the bodice by 2” so that makes the pattern dress length 38”. Now subtract your back length from the patterns back length, my added length is 19”.
    3. Formula: your back length – (dress back length-bodice reduction) = amount to add to back skirt @ center back

    4. Now you need the front skirt (I1) length and back skirt length (P1) to determine how much length we are adding to the front skirt.
    5. Formula: added amount to CB skirt – (back skirt length – front skirt length) = amount to add to front skirt @ center front

      So that looks like: 19”- (40 ¾”-37 ¾”) = 16”

    6. For the side seam you take half of the difference of the front and back measurement and subtract that from the CB measurement.
    7. Formula: (back skirt length – ((back skirt length – front skirt length) / 2)) = amount to add to skirt side seam

      So that looks like: (19”- ((19”- 16”) / 2)) = 17 ½”

    8. Measure and mark fabric then blend new hemline.
    9. Cut out pattern being sure to mark or snip all notches.

     

    Pocket and contrast neckline trim (optional)

    Pockets

    If you haven’t already download the pocket pattern and measurement guide below. if you want to add a pocket to your dress. Cut 4 pockets.



    Neckline trim

    As the sketch shows there is bias binding @ the neckline. If you would like to add this to your dress measure your front neck line add 2” to that measurement and cut 2- 2” wide bias strips.

    Now you’re ready to sew your wrap dress! We will go through that on the next post.

    Have any questions? Ask in the comments below!

     

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