Inside Out Sewing.

One of the things we were most taken by on our shopping trip last week was a wrap dress by Annah Stretton. There was a lot of distraction of shop assistants while Sophie took sneaky photos on her iPod. Then she got home and found all the pictures she could possibly want on Annah Stretton’s website! We laughed. It seems like a lovely way to showcase all those little bits of leftover fabric you have lying around after sewing something special. I spent ages playing around with these two patterns:

I even got an old sheet down and made a toile. It came as a huge surprise to me when, after a bit of fiddling, it actually fitted. Like perfectly. I can’t remember that ever happening before. I usually go with close enough but this was the proverbial glove. Then came the fun of choosing fabrics. The lounge floor was a mess and nothing was safe from the Radiant Golden Age shears, not even Dad’s smooth striped business shirts. I made the wrap dress slowly, one side at a time, carefully weighing and measuring, draping and discarding. It was one of those projects where nothing went wrong. That hardly ever happens to me either. And at the end of day two I had not one new dress but six! The dress is totally reversible, can wrap right over left AND left over right as well as be worn back to front. It’s simply magic. Here are three of my favourite combinations.

A drapey rayon print and a bit of very light denim over a soft striped business shirt.

The blue side of the dress worn back to front. I made this from the vintage damask I found last week. I used one side of the fabric for the bodice and the other side for the skirt. I think I love this most of all.

And this is one of the pink options. A Japanese floral print, a pretty skirt made for a person skinnier than me that has been waiting for the right re-fashion and a remnant of pale pink linen. Everything for this dress was lying around the house (actually neatly folded in old suitcases!) and the only thing I bought was the satin ribbon for the ties.  Sophie loves this idea too so I miniaturised the Style pattern, made a toile and let her loose in the suitcases. This is her half-finished wrap dress:

I love the red and blue combination she came up with. This wrap is a couple of stripey tee shirts, a floral polyester dress and a dotty remnant she found at the Sallies on Monday. The plan for the lining is just one fabric, a plain light denim. It’s so cute, just perfect for her! I love to look at Annah’s combinations online, especially all the frills and ruffly net she adds and after making my own take on this dress, I can see why it’s worth the asking price. Her dresses would be too fancy for me to wear to school but my one is going to be perfect.

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11 Comments

Filed under Sewing, Sophie, Summer, Thrifting

11 responses to “Inside Out Sewing.

  1. The dresses look great! I admired (and analysed) her dresses at a recent craft fair. You’ve gone the extra step and made them! Beautiful work.

  2. Deb

    OMG, I love this! I have always like the Annah Stretton dresses, but refuse to pay the exorbitant amount for them. And I agree they are a bit flouncy at times, and need the right occasion, but yours is just perfect!

  3. Miss Smith

    Oh, I love those! I especially like the last one with the pink/blue/spots/stripes/floral. What a great project!

  4. Another inspiring project, your dresses look great. I’ve looked at these dresses at a craft fair as well and even took the brochure to study further but never got any further, maybe it’s time to have another look.

  5. I also hardly ever have things fall into place too. Not only that, they often don’t look that good if they do. So you are doubly lucky, or is that 6 times blessed?

  6. egads. blog ate my comment. poos. can’t remember what i just said. i blame the salt-tequila-lemon.
    ohk, you girls are so blimmin’ talented – love love LOVE what you’ve made!!!!!!!!!! totally exquisite – i needed you here to help with mine – talk about hair gone grey.
    i need to make friends with it again – it’s just that i carefully added lace around one of the hems, but because the skirt pieces are cut on the bias (and they’re lace too) the whole thing drops significantly at the back when i wear it. poos.
    loads of love love love x x

  7. canary

    Gorgeous!!!!! The pink one is perfection. They are all fabulous! Never in a million years would’ve thought of doing a wrap dress with different fabrics. Fun, thrifty and sooooo cute.

  8. I love the blue one, nice and fresh. I have a few knit fabric wrap dresses and they always sit well, do you think that if I made a pattern of them, but used non-stretch woven cotton fabric, it would work?
    Then I could play with some vintage fabric combinations too.

  9. canary

    I’m not finding it easy to find a wrap dress pattern! Kicking myself for all the ones I’ve passed up over the years.

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  11. Mrs

    don’t suppose you’d share your pattern? – just been to Anna S and they don’t have much selection in my size (plus I have a wardrobe full of pretty dresses just waiting to be amalgamated and transformed into 1 stunning/wear every day dress!)

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