My latest dress is a cute wrap dress, the Crepe Dress from Colette Patterns. This post was originally posted at Sew Sweetness as part of her Dress Up Party series – check it out for a ton of fun adult garment pattern reviews and some garment pattern giveaways!
You know how it seems like most patterns like dresses have names just for the sake of having a name? They need to have a name so you can talk about different patterns conveniently? Most of the time, pattern names (especially for garments) seem to have little to nothing to do with the actual pattern itself. The crepe dress, however, actually resembles a crepe in that it is a wrap dress!
The sleeves are a little unusually shaped on this dress, but they’re not especially difficult. Certainly not harder than normal set-in sleeves! It’s something cute and unusual about this pattern, and I have a lot more arm mobility than I usually do with normal sleeves. Gertie has a great Crepe dress sew along with videos that show all the strangest parts about the facing. If you’re not sure what the pattern pieces look like, you can see what I mean about them being unusual in this part of Gertie’s sew along. I made a bodice with the facings for a muslin, but I’m not generally a fan of facings and decided I’d take advantage of the lack of a zipper in this dress to leave out the facings and include a fun surprise…
I made it reversible! This actually wasn’t too difficult. I made two bodices (leaving the hole for the tie on different sides of each). I sewed one arm hole together, turned it wrong sides together (so as if one were a lining), and pulled the seam allowance through the other arm hole similar to the method in this tutorial, except that you can sew it all in one go. After opening it back up wrong sides together, I folded the neckline around to the bottom like a burrito and sewed the entire front and back neckline. I attached a skirt to each bodice, turned it all wrong sides together, and then sewed around the three edges of the skirts leaving a hole on one side to turn through. I left the hole in the side of the skirt that gets wrapped underneath – so the side that doesn’t have the hole to pull the armhole through. I haven’t actually finished it yet, because I might take the skirt up a couple inches, but no one can see it anyways! Voila – reversible wrap dress!
Here’s both sides of the dress. Remember how I’m an engineer? So nerdy fabrics like these are pretty much my favorite, and I was excited to get to work 4 of them into this one dress! The all black side has all kinds of math, physics, and chemistry equations and diagrams. The black and white side is the same atom fabric in two different colorways, and the tie belt is a bunch of elements from the periodic table.
Overall, the dress was an easy one to make. The sleeves were intimidating, but not difficult. Setting in normal sleeves is usually my least favorite part of dress making, and I would take these sleeves over normal ones any day. They were harder to cut than to sew! The lack of a zipper to install was refreshing, even though I tend to actually enjoy that step. Plus as a wrap dress, if I eat too much food I can just loosen the waist tie! And if I spill something, I can just turn the dress inside out I think the shape is flattering, especially the V in the back. I was a little worried about coverage since the back is technically open. Both back panels cover the whole width of the skirt, though, and I’ve worn it around for a full day in wind without any concerns. Will definitely be making more of these, probably mostly double-sided!
As far as pattern specifics, I originally cut a size 6, but after making a muslin I changed to a size 4 with a FBA (spread 1/2″). I made no other adjustments, which is actually a bit unusual for me at this point. The fit is really forgiving because of the wrap nature of the dress, though. I cut version 1 (but made it reversible), but there is also a version 2 which has a really cute sweetheart neckline. I also omitted the pockets from the side with the white skirt because I was worried about them showing through the fabric.
Pattern: Crepe Dress by Colette Patterns
Modifications: FBA adjustment with 1/2″ spread, made reversible!
Fabric: Equations and Periodic Table from Science Fair by Robert Kaufman, and an atom print by Sue Marsh for RJR fabrics.