Selfless Plantain Wrap Dress

Hi everyone, this is my second post in Monthly Stitch, my earlier post was also a Hack-it contest post for last year’s IPM. While I keep promising myself to post that last garment here, I keep postponing it. Due to my busy work schedule (it’s my excuse to myself) I couldn’t submit my New-To-Me IPM 2017 make on time because I couldn’t make time to take photos and missed the deadline to submit my entry. But I am ready with my Hack-it submission and I am happy to be back.

I have been using Plantain pattern from Deer and Doe since forever, and I pretty much use it as my bodice block for various knit top and dress hacks. I have made some adjustments on the pattern over the years, but recently Deer and Doe released the updated version of this pattern with almost the same adjustments I have been making. I also seen a few of the other beautiful versions of Plantain patterns for the same contest, please check those too. Its a free pattern, but there are more reasons on why its so popular! If you haven’t tried it before, I cannot recommend this pattern enough.

I have recently started making wrap dresses from Plantain dress, and my mom, who is visiting me in US now, saw one of them in my closet, she fell in love with it.. I think you are familiar with the rest, we went through my stash to find her a nice knit fabric. And shortly after,  I go into what I call my sewing loop:  cutting patterns, cutting fabrics, sewing, ironing, sleeping, going to work, sewing, unpicking, sewing, going to work,  sewing. But this time at the end, I am enjoying seeing my mom happily walking with this first dress I made for her.

This year I grown to be more selfless when it comes to sewing, made garments for 7 other people. Though I find it quite hard to let them go sometimes 🙂 I want to make the exact copy of something I sew as a gift to a friend for myself or I find myself wearing the cozy pajamas I made for my husband.

Here is a lengthy post of alterations needed for anyone who would like to try making their own Plantain Wrap dress. You can skip this section and indulge in the photos, if you are not planning to make the dress.

All these photos are just in front of our house. Because my mom is a little shy, she preferred to interact with the little lemon tree and the flowers in the garden while I was taking the photos.

And a few pictures of me and my mom, wearing the same dress.

Instructions:

Top – Alterations for the front piece:

  1. The original pattern comes for “in the fold” cutting (ie: you only have the left side of the top on paper). For this top, you need to have the other half of the pattern. Easiest way to do this is put the original pattern on a paper! on fold, cut the paper as if you would cut the fabric, and open it. So you get a symmetrical pattern which has a left side and right side.
  2. Cut the new pattern on waist. Add seam allowance. (TIP#1: if the fabric you are using is heavy, you might like to cut it above waist line, as the skirt is later pulling the top and the waist line down with its weight.  For this reason. in my makes i need to re-cut around 5cm above the waist line after the fitting. )
  3. Draw a line from Shoulder (neck side) to waist. Add seam allowance.
  4. Cut 2 front pieces, making sure you have a right and a left side.
  5. Make a facing for the back. Mine was 2cm width + 1cm sewing allowance.

Top – Alterations for the back piece:

  1. Cut the pattern on waist line. See my TIP#1 above if you want to make sure your waist line doesn’t move down with the weight of the skirt.

For both front and back pieces, I took from the sides in a little bit as the original patterns have a slight A-line shape.

My mom will not like this zoomed in picture 🙂 , but this kind of shows how it looks the best:

Sleeves – No changes needed.

Skirt piece:

I drafted my skirt piece using By Hand London – Circle Skirt Calculator with some tweaks to adopt my skirt as a wrap skirt.

  1. Measure your waist. For the next steps, lets say you have a waist of 60cm. Lucky you!
  2. You will need to have 1.5 times of your waist because you will need additional fabric to wrap around on the front. I just added 1 more front waist measurement as I want my skirt to go all the way until to the sides on both sides, so that I don’t have to worry about the wind, running, cycling with a skirt etc…  So the person with 60 cm of waist need to cut the skirt as if she has 60*1.5 = 90cm of waist. (TIP#2: You can cross check this number against your pattern measures (front *2 + back). I skipped this and simply subtracted around 5 cm, there was still excess fabric, which became the turn in facing for skirts sides.)
  3. Enter your waist to BHL’s Circle skirt calculator. Choose half circle skirt. For the length of the dress,  I chose midi length. I didn’t add any seam allowance to any of the measures.
  4. I fold the fabric as shown in the calculator, measured it and cut it.

Construction:

  1. Finish the diagonal edges of the front pieces. (TIP#3: I ironed a knit stay tape on the diagonal edges of the front pieces on the reverse side of the fabric). Overlocked the edges, turned them inside, sew a tiny zigzag stitch on top to finish them and fix the fold in place.
  2. Sew the facing to the neck of the back.
  3. Sew the back and front pieces on shoulders.
  4. Put the sleeves before sewing the sides.
  5. Than sew the sides of top and sides of the sleeves at one go.
  6. Check the skirt to the bodice, while carefully aligning the mid points of the skirt and back bodice. Fold the open sides of the skirt inside and sew with straight or zigzag stitch.
  7. There was some additional excess on the skirt piece while sewing, I made some tiny gathers at the back of the dress, while attaching the bodice to the skirt.
  8. Open two small button holes on the side of the fabric with button hole opening option on my sewing machine. (TIP#4: I used stay tape again while making my button holes.)

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know,  if you try making this dress.

5 thoughts on “Selfless Plantain Wrap Dress

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I never thought to make a wrap dress using a pattern that already fits me. Now I’ll have to try that out! Your mom must be happy with her new dress. It looks fabulous on her!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi all, thanks for letting me know that the photos was not working. The photos were originally shared in Google Drive, and they were working for me 🙂 After seeing your comments, I had to move them to Flickr to share them publicly. Lesson learned 😦

    Like

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