With Spring almost here, April is the perfect month to stitch this gorgeously soft daisy Viscose Fabric. It’s not too floraly with a navy background and perfect small all over daisy print. It also has just the right amount of weight and brush to keep you warm on those April showery days. I do love it when I find a fabric like this to work with, you never want the sewing part to finish as it’s just so soft and beautiful to touch.

I’ve been searching for the right pattern to pair the fabric with and I after browsing my ‘to make list ’I went for the Sew Over It 1940s Wrap Dress Pattern. I loved that it’s a woven fabric wrap design opposed to a knit version and has a button finish opposed to a tie. I cut out and stitched my 40s wrap dress in two evenings and I’m so delighted with the finished design. Here are my short cuts to recreate this pattern quicker than the instructions but still have that beautiful wrap dress finish.

Firstly, I really recommend buying an extra half a metre of fabric to make this dress, I had 3 meters of fabric for a size 12 and the pattern recommended 2.9 meters, but I did end up piecing the inner front skirt facing to cut out all the pieces. The pattern doesn’t include seam allowances so when cutting out remind yourself to add 1.5cm! The pattern pieces fit so close together you literally have no scraps, so my tip is to buy that little bit more and I would have saved time on cutting out too. (Ive included 4 metres in my materials list for you).

I stitched a size 12, one size bigger than my dress size due to my broad back. It was my first Sew Over it pattern and I thought I could always reduce the size which I did end up doing on the bust pieces and the waist.

I prewashed and pressed my fabric before washing and used a size 70 ball point needle to avoid snagging and pulls.

I loved the details on this dress, it was girly and floatly. The two small pleats either size of the collar, were so gorgeous and collar is a great cut. The sleeve (shown on my mannequin as off the shoulder) fits wonderfully on my shoulder with a small gather around the top.

I loved the little gathers and pleats! The little pleats on the bodice matched up with little pleats at the skirt pieces below the waist. Adding those vintage details really made the pattern for me. The pattern designer so got that 1940s shape so right and I felt like my Granny in those old photos on a day to the seaside!

As soon as you put on this dress you feel like you are “dressed up”, the design gives you a waist and those gathers and pleats at the top and bottom of the waistband really are worth the time to get spot on to recreate that vintage shape. I have a cami top under my dress purely as it’s a really cold April day! As I mentioned in the intro, I was drawn to this pattern for this woven fabric design and the 1940s twist.

I wanted my dress to be extra secure so I stitched my inner button on the waist band the opposite side to my outer button (outer button is wear by hand is on my waist). I’ve worn this dress out already and I feel really secure with two buttons on my design; one inner and one outer. I went for the biggest buttons I could fit on my waistband as the pattern didn’t state a size, I would recommend the bigger the better especially if you have a larger bust than me. I did consider two outer buttons which is always an option.

My tip for getting the waistband darts to match is to tack, tack and then more tacking! The pattern doesn’t say to tack but I would 100% do this as this is the most fiddly bit of the whole pattern. I tacked the collar so I could press the shape in and tacked the waistband and the bias binding trim on the collar. I also stitched on the sewing machine where the pattern stated hand stitching. This photo below is the skirt pieces below the waistband being stitched onto the waistband on the machine. I tacked and then stitched on the front between on the seam to hide the stitching when pressed and voila a better secure finish.

I did try on this dress on three fittings to get the fitting right, here is a quick photo from my craft room as I check the wrap over. I loved the extra fabric around the waist to make my waist look smaller but I did realign the fit of the wrap so I felt 100% confident in the dress which now I do.

So with a pair of heels and a pearl comb in my hair, I already feel that 1940’s glamour. I really enjoyed stitching up this frock and my tips are to buy a little more fabric for quickier cutting out time, add an inner button for extra security plus tack and machine stitch all the hand stitching.

The pattern doesn’t have an ability level on the sleeve but I would recommend for an advanced beginner and I hope you feel as glam as I do in my make!

Samantha writes a creative blog www.crafternoonteas.com and hosting Crafternoon Tea Parties; vintage craft events and workshops in the Midlands, UK and beyond www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk