Wrap Dress Duo

I have a love/hate relationship with Art Gallery knit fabrics. I really love some of the prints. In the world of quilting cotton companies AGF has done a pretty good job at producing apparel fabrics and designs that are great for adults that don’t have weird repeats and are nice and crisp. So many companies seem to focus heavily on baby or childish prints, so I applaud AGF for their taste. The jersey knit is also easy to work with and feels wonderful to wear, BUT all designs are printed on white fabric. What’s the problem with printing on white fabric? Well the problem comes when you wash your garment and the white fuzz from the wrong side of your dress lands all over your dark clothes.

However, sometimes a fabric design is so pretty I buy it even though I know I probably shouldn’t.

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I first saw this plum floral at Michael Levine’s months and months ago. Maybe last summer? I almost bought yardage back then, but I refrained when I saw it was printed on white. Then as the months passed by I kept thinking about this design. Of course by late fall it had disappeared from the shelves of Michael Levine’s and I had to go seek it out! Thankfully I found yardage available at Harts Fabric (and on sale too)!

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I’ve been in desperate need of new winter clothing. A lot of my old favorites look really old from weekly wear and washing, so it was definitely time to spruce up my clothing options. I used my pretty new fabric to whip up a hybrid dress that would be suitable for the office. This is a combination of the Cashmerette Dartmouth Top with a half circle skirt.

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I’ve come to really love wrap dresses and this mock wrap was really simple and extremely wearable. I find the neckline on the Dartmouth to be reasonably modest for work, no flashing of my bra (yay!). Though I do think it runs large, I’ve made 4 Dartmouth tops prior to this dress and they all had something odd in the sizing. This version is a 12G/H for the bust and a 14 for the waist. When I compared the pattern pieces to my much loved Washington Dress bodice I saw the Dartmouth has more ease.

I think I mostly avoided the dreaded boob flower with the print placement, but I am a little sad the print isn’t more balanced on the front. I had 3 yards which was just barely enough if I wanted long sleeves. I also tried to make sure I didn’t have a big flower right over my um…feminine area, though I did end up with a butt flower. I think it isn’t too noticeable unless you go looking for it.

My biggest issue now is not owning a sweater that matches. Too bad knitting is slower than sewing!

And even though I get a little annoyed with how AGF fabric washes up, it is super easy to sew! When I purchased the plum floral I also tossed in this small scale floral on dark green so I could truly test out both fabric and pattern.

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The green dress is made just the exact same way as the plum dress. I even remembered to sew the wrap to disguise the fact that my breasts are two different sizes. I think the prints are different enough that more people wouldn’t notice that style is the same.

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Oh and both dresses were made with my long neglected serger. When I cleaned the house over the holidays I made a decision to put my serger next to my sewing machine on the kitchen table. It looks ridiculous having so much sewing machine taking up half the space, but it’s been working well. It is so much easier to just move back and forth as needed and the serged seams look so great. One of my friend declared my clothes looked professionally made!

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While the color might not look perfect for long, I am thrilled to have two new dresses to keep my warm on chilly mornings and looking chic in the office.

 

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15 thoughts on “Wrap Dress Duo

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly #121 – Helen's Closet

  2. Great job! I love this combined style on you. It looks very smart but also comfortable to wear. I am going to make an Appleton soon and I am looking forward to it. I have not tried the Dartmouth but I do like the Concord. I am a little surprised that you get white fuzz from the Art Gallery jerseys. I have a dress and a couple of tops made in the same fabrics (between 1-4 years of wear) and they have had no fuzz or pilling whatsoever. The one that is dark blue as the main color had faded some but that’s it. I am concerned about longevity of wear so I do wash them inside out on cold and lay flat to dry. I wonder if the white fuzz you are getting is actually from a garment that is being washed with the AGF fabric/garment? It’s a challenge to find knits that are both nice to wear and also last.

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    • Hi! Thank you for your kind comment. It could be because I dry them in the dryer. I think that’s when most of the fuzz ends up on the dark fabric and would explain why you haven’t had a similar experience. Maybe I should experiment with laying to dry and see if that helps with the color!

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  3. Helen’s Closet sent me over to check out your blog. Nice job on both dresses. And I know what you mean about Art Gallery knits. Though I have had trouble finding any knit prints not done on white fabric. So I buy Art Gallery because the prints are so pretty and sophisticated. I don’t want to look like I borrowed children’s fabric to make my top. I also like that they are cotton. I can be either really hot or really cold in poly knits- and neither is good at work. So I look for cotton and layer a cardigan over them. I would really like more of the fabric manufacturers to realize there is a garment market they are missing. Make these pretty prints and coordinating solids in knits- and we will buy them. I recently splurged an bought a Liberty knit from We are The Fabric Store in LA while they were having a sale. It is not printed on white and was well worth the splurge.

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    • Hi Patricia! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Yes, is it tough to find non-poly knits! Places like The Fabric Store are awesome places to find special fabrics. I picked up some great Liberty there too. I need to go check out their stock again soon!

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