Akram's Ideas

Wrap Dress {Summer Sewing: Vintage Anne Adams 4746}

I’ve really been on a role with my summer sewing projects, and I’m having lots of fun. I spend a lot of time online searching for ideas of what to sew next. Most recently I came across the “Life of the Garden Party” dress on Mod Cloth and loved the look of the dress, but didn’t like the $150 price tag. 

$150 Life of the Garden Party Dress by Mod Cloth
$150 Life of the Garden Party Dress by Mod Cloth

After looking at the dress for a while I thought, surely I have some fabric that could work to create a similar dress. I searched through my fabric stash and found I had a heavy weight, I guess you could say duck cloth fabric that had a lovely floral print in bright colors. I loved all the flowers and the colors of the fabric that I knew I had to do something with it.

Garden Fabric
Garden Fabric

 Unfortunately, like with all my fabric finds I didn’t really have that much fabric to go around. Therefore, I knew that I had to find a pattern that would allow for just the right amount. 

I may have mentioned that I now have a large collection of patterns, a mix of both modern and vintage. So I looked through my patterns until  I found one that looked similar to the ModCloth inspired dress. I found a vintage mail order Anne Adams pattern of a 50’s-60’s wrap dress. 

Vintage mail order pattern
Vintage mail order pattern

Now I’ve read online that the vintage mail order patterns were harder to sew than the more popular store-bought patterns, such as Simplicity and McCalls. One reason for this could be the fact that these mail order patterns typically weren’t printed on, instead there were, perforated holes outlining the pattern pieces. I looked over the pattern instructions and there was really only three main pieces to the dress, so I figured it couldn’t be too bad. Besides I loved how it matched my inspiration dress in the front, but had, in my opinion, a much nicer back design, where it wrapped to close. 

Wrap Dress Pattern
Wrap Dress Pattern

From reading the pattern I already knew I would need some contrast fabric for the inside of the wrap, but I had just enough to cut out the dress. However, I accidentally cut one of the dress pieces the wrong way, so I had to cut it again, making the skirt length too short. The original skirt length was longer than my usual dress length, but having cut the fabric wrong the length was now shorter than I felt I could wear. This meant that I needed to add a band around the bottom of the skirt to extend its length.

Since I wanted the band at the bottom of the skirt to match the weight of the fabric, I took a scrap of the flower fabric and went to Joann’s to see if I could find something to match.  I did find a nice crisp white that was about the same weight, and it was 30% off that day too. I bought about a yard, so I could use the rest to for the contrast on the wrap part. 

My goof up with the cutting, actually turned out to be a good thing, since I think the contrasting band at the bottom really makes the dress stand out.

Wrap dress
Wrap dress
Back view of wrap dress
Back view of wrap dress

I really need to take pictures as I go along, but once again I got involved in my sewing and forgot. The final dress is well fitted and looks great! I just love the feel and fit of the dress, and mostly the beautiful pattern. In all I spent about $20 on this dress in way of fabric supplies and compared to ModCloth’s $150 inspiration dress, I think mine is way better. 

Me in my wrap dress
Me in my wrap dress

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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