I’ve wanted a wrap dress with a ruffle for a while so when I saw the Fibre Mood Charlotte release, and saw that the short version was free for a week, I snapped it up. A month or two later, I took a look at the hashtag on Instagram and noticed some fit issues. The waist seam seemed to sit too low for my liking on almost every version I saw, the skirt looked too short and I didn’t like the fit of the sleeves, so I knew it would need some major mods to work for me. Then I got into it and realized I would be better off drafting the top half myself. So I did.
Here are the sizing, mods and other fit details (me at the time of making this dress B34/W29/H35):
- Started with the Charlotte size 2 based on the finished garment measurements (my measurements would put me at size 6)
- Drafted my own bodice and sleeves from my bodice block after I looked at and measured the bodice pattern pieces and decided it wasn’t a good fit for me – this effectively raised the waist seam by about 1.5 inches and provided for a more fitted bust and shoulders
- Finished the neckline with self bias binding rather than facing
- Made my own lengthen/shorten line and added 1.5 inches of length to the front and back skirt pieces
- Added in-seam pockets, sewn into the front waist seam
Then I toiled it using an old bed sheet and made some more changes for my final version:
- Changed the shape of the curve of the front skirt pieces to have better coverage
- Re-drew the curved front ruffle pattern pieces to have slightly less curve at the end (to make them easier to hem)
- Reduced the waist tie to a half-inch finished width
- Added a button hole for the tie instead of leaving the side seam open during construction
- Shortened the front ruffle of the left side under skirt so it would end a few inches below the waist seam and reduce bulk under the right skirt
- Re-drew the curve of the back skirt hem, bringing the centre back hem up by 3 inches in total.
- Changed the construction order so that the whole thing could have french seams, even the pockets and ruffle
I chose a deadstock rayon crepe from Blackbird Fabrics for my final version. Yes, even though my last make with a deadstock rayon crepe was such a challenge. I could not resist the rich colour and the sparse floral design. This deadstock is from the clothing brand Reformation and is a much higher quality than my purple/grey polka dot nightmare. I actually enjoyed working with it, believe it or not, and it’s perfect for this dress.
I really enjoyed working on this project over the month of June. It took me longer than any of my recent makes and the time spent was totally worth it. The fit is pretty much perfect and has renewed my interest in using and perfecting my own blocks. I drafted mine in a two-day course with Alexandra from In-House Patterns last year and have been tweaking it each time I use it. The more I use it, the more I trust myself to go off-script with patterns and to create exactly what I want.
Thanks for stopping by!