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Sew Your Own Classic Wrap Dress

from the Metropolitan Museum: Wrap dress, 1975–76 Diane von Furstenberg (American, born Brussels, 1946) Green-and-white dotted cotton/rayon blend jersey
Thank you, DVF! When Diane von Furstenberg designed her wrap dress in the 1970s she created both a flattering wardrobe staple and a classic piece for women to sew.  Women of all ages should consider having at least one wrap dress in their closets. You can buy wrap dresses from designers like DVF, Issa, Roberto Cavalli and Vanessa Bruno, or  you can sew your own unique wrap dress. Guess which option we think you should choose?!
Inspiration: DVF New Julian Two classic wrap dress, $365 USD.
Wrap dress patterns: Basic jersey wrap dresses are easy to sew and can be successfully tackled by advanced beginners. Here are a few wrap dress patterns that are takes on the basic DVF style: New Look 6674 Style Arc Kate Dress BurdaStyle wrap dress #139 02/2011, plus size Kwik Sew 3489 Butterick 5454 Vogue  8784 Choose your fabric: DVF uses silk jersey for her iconic dresses; cotton jersey works just as well. Mood Fabrics has a wide assortment of jersey prints and solids, both in silk or cotton. Click here for prints and here for solids.
Colorful silk jersey print, $25/yd
Soft blue rayon jersey print, $14/yd
  • Depending on the pattern you use, consider binding the front neckline edge rather than using a facing.
  • Stabilize the shoulder seams with clear elastic, twill tape, organza strips, or your own preferred stabilizing method.
  • Use an overlock machine to stitch hems for a professional look. If you don’t own an overlock machine, use a twin needle. Take a scrap piece of your fabric and sew a test hem first. If you get dimpling or puckering, try interfacing the hem area with a lightweight, compatible fusible interfacing.
  • If you’re serging seams for speed and a clean finish, check your fit first before stitching. You want to have a close-to-the-body look for maximum flattery. Make sure your sleeve caps are snug to the shoulder without any unintentional gathering at the top of the armscye.
Now get sewing! If you make a wrap dress with fabric from Mood, we'd love to see a photo. Send jpegs to me at meg [at] moodfabrics dot com. And if you have any ideas for future blog topics, send those my way too. Thanks!

12 thoughts on “Sew Your Own Classic Wrap Dress”

  • Carolyn Crowder

    Love wrap dresses! Working on one next week ...

  • [...] She’s started working at Mood Fabrics and loves it.  She’s writing their blog now and today’s post hit just the right note.  Carolyn and I met up with Meg at Mood today to do a little fabric [...]

  • Peggy

    Great post! Here's an idea for a future post: I am very curious about sewing stretch wovens, particularly what kind of fabric would be best to use as a lining. I have also read that pre-treating stretch wovens at least 24 hours before cutting them is ideal. True or false?

    • Meg

      Hi Peggy! If you're lining a stretch woven then try to use a stretch lining. We sell woven linings in all colors that have lycra in them. I've made several jackets with these linings and have been pleased with their performance.

      To your second question, pretreat stretch wovens as you normally would. For example, I always wash stretch cottons before I cut. There is a school of thought that you should lay out your stretch woven fabric on your cutting table for a day before you cut, to let it breathe and relax so you're cutting it at it's maximum stretch point. Honestly, I've tried that and have not seen a great difference, but it probably can't hurt.

      Hope this helps!

  • Meredith P

    Very inspirational post! Thanks, Meg.

    I remember that green and white dress. We carried them in the store where I worked in HS. I remember seeing DVF on the Mike Douglas Show back in the day. Wow, I'm old.

  • Robin

    Great post! I admire your ability to pick the right fabric for the right pattern. Will we get to see any of your creations?

  • Nancy Karpen

    My dd managed to buy a DVF wrap dress on sale at Neiman's Last Call so I got a chance to take a close look at it. The hems are not topstiched but turned in twice and blind hemmed in place. Hand sewing would be a good alternative, especially if you are using silk jersey.

  • Sheri

    I actually made this in 1976 when they first came out, in actual DVF fabrics. I made at least three of them, I wore them to work. Guess that makes me a classic!

  • Dana

    Was just thinking about this pattern. Okay, I was thinking about it as I was watching a Charlie's Angels rerun and saw Farrah Fawcett running around in what looked like the jumpsuit version of this dress. Do you think it was the real DVF design?

  • Jan H

    Knits can be great to work with. Does anyone know which way the selvage edge goes in the fabric pics? I want to know if the print or stripes will run horizontally or vertically to the selvage.
    Boy, I'd sure appreciate help with this.

  • Rachael

    I want to make one of these SO badly! Adding it to my list. haha

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