I always love the idea of wearing a wrap dress. It is so easy, no zipper and buttons, yet the whole look is so feminine. I looked around at ebay and got myself surprised at the price of the original vintage Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress patterns, especially Vogue 1548 and 1549. Apparently they are very popular, hence the prices go up to the sky. I always thought that USD30 for a vintage 1970s pattern is way too much, but apparently some people are willing to pay more than USD 100 for an original DVF wrap dress pattern!
There is another vintage pattern in the style of DVF wrap dress, 1976 Simplicity 7705. This one is also very popular with quite unpredictable price. Luckily I found just one under USD20 (with international shipping!) in size 10.
It’s for bust 32.5 inches so I should have used size 8. But as this is a wrap dress, I was hoping that an additional inch won’t make too big a difference. I snatched the pattern quickly and felt very happy over my victory. Ebay bidding is kinda dangerous, it is so addictive!
Anyway, the pattern came several days ago, it is already cut but in a very well-preserved condition. From the pattern envelope: “Misses’ Jiffy® Wrap Dress in two lengths: The long or short dress with bodice softly gathered to skirt has collar, long set-in sleeves with button trimmed cuffs and self-tie belt.”
The signature on the envelope showed that it once belonged to a woman named Sharon. I always love these little details about vintage items, I love to imagine who owned it before and what the person might look like. Apparently Sharon had a long bodice, she had cut the bodice pieces and lengthened them about 4 cm using additional paper. I imagined that she was a tall, slim, and graceful woman. There were her small writings in pencil on the pattern, noting the alteration that she needed.
On the other hand, I’m neither tall or graceful, so I had to cut off Sharon’s additional paper (sorry, Sharon!) and shortened the bodice about 3 cm. I also shortened the sleeves about 3 cm. Sharon had made view A, the short dress, for she had cut the lower piece of the skirt. She wrote a note on the pattern as a reminder to lengthen the hem for her height. I also made view A, and shortened the hem aggressively (20 cm!).
The Simplicity 7705 instructions are very well-written with clear illustrations. The facings are not interfaced, only the front bodice and skirt edges are. The pattern calls for hooks and eye closure with the tie belt as a separate piece. Instead of hooks and eye, I attached the tie belt on the front bodice and left a hole on the side seams for it to go through.
The fabric was found in a small fabric store who sells lots of out of print fabric in low prices, so I’m not sure what the content is. It feels like wool jersey and drapes beautifully. The fabric was cheap, as all the fabrics in that store, and I bought it to make a muslin as I wasn’t sure if I would look okay in a wrap dress. It turned out to be quite a dream to sew, and felt so soft against my skin. I wore the dress for a walk around the neighbourhood, without a jacket, and felt quite warm in it. So it’s definitely a fall/winter fabric.
I think I will make an SBA (small bust adjustment) next time I make this dress again, but other than that the fit is fine. After trying on the dress, I was convinced that every woman should own at least one DVF style wrap dress! I will make this dress again and again. And thank you Sharon for keeping the pattern so well-preserved!
Pattern is 1976 Simplicity 7705 (DVF Wrap Dress Knockoff), size 10 (bust 32″).