A couple weeks ago I was looking for the perfect sewing pattern for our summer trip to France. I had a few things I was looking for: easy to make, light weight, summery, comfortable and versatile. The key to traveling light, in my opinion, is to bring things that can suit for most occasions. I try to pack as many day-to-evening looks as possible since we are usually running around town all day and then heading out to nice dinners at night and having something that can be worn comfortably around town all day and then dressed up for night time is what I am always aiming for.
With all of that in mind, I decided to make the Bellbird Wrap Dress by Common Stitch. It fit all of my criteria AND had a wrap front dress detail that meant I could still easily nurse my little pup on the go (not to mention the added bonus of being adjustable after eating so much baguette and pain au chocolat).
I made my wrap dress from white cotton which I make most things from the first time around. Because I hand dye all of my own fabric, I like to make my hand made clothes in white first, see how I wear it and then add color if need be. At the moment I am only wearing white and off white clothes for whatever reason so this system works exceptionally well for now.
The pattern calls for linen, which I have a bunch of, but I really wanted to use the cotton I had because it is a little stiff and I wanted my wrap dress to have a bit of shape. I didn’t know how well this would work but in my mind I had an idea of what the final project would look like and luckily, that is exactly what I was able to achieve.
I decided to skip the pockets because I worried they would be easily visible through the white fabric and didn’t want to see them from the outside of my dress. Other than that, I didn’t make any other changes to the pattern. I am normally a size medium but I made a size large because I am in the strange position of having a larger than normal bust (due to still breast feeding) and having to decided to take the chance on making something smaller than my current size, hoping it fits, but risking it won’t fit until I am back to my normal size (whenever and if ever that happens). I am glad I decided on the larger size for this project because the fact that it’s a wrap dress makes it a good option now and for the unknown future time when I may or may not go back to my normal bust size.
And here it is! I am quite happy with it. The sturdy cotton created the silhouette I was looking for and made it easier to dress up at night without looking too fancy for day wearing around town. It was cool and comfortable, easy to adjust and the best part, it matched my new hand printed/dyed scrunchie. A win all around.
The pattern was easy to follow and simple to make. I cut out the pattern and fabric the night before and had the dress done a little after lunch the next day. They only two changes I would make to the pattern to help improve the clarity are the following:
I would list the fabric meterage/yardage for each size in the sizing chart. I wasn’t sure how much fabric to cut from my bolt before pre washing it so I had to lay the pattern pieces out before washing and then again when I cut it. I also really like to have a quick reference when I am fabric shopping so I can ask for exactly how much I need.
The wrap front has a binding strip that goes along the whole front of the garment and I am only half way sure I did this the way the pattern calls for. I thought this part was a little confusing and could have used a link to a close up of what this was supposed to look like. I think in the end I did it correctly (I zoomed in on a lot of IG photos) but more info hear would have been really helpful.
Overall I found this pattern to be easy and fun and I would recommend it to anyone. I am planning on making the wrap top in linen when we get home. Super excited!