Wrap dress (vintage Simplicity 7705)

Wrap dress
Wrap dress

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!

1976 Simplicity 7705 (DVF Wrap Dress Knockoff)
1976 Simplicity 7705 (DVF Wrap Dress Knockoff)

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!).

Wrap dress Wrap dress Wrap dress Wrap dress

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!

Wrap dress Wrap dress

Wrap dress Wrap dress

Pattern is 1976 Simplicity 7705 (DVF Wrap Dress Knockoff), size 10 (bust 32″).

  • Patricia

    My mother made this very dress (Simplicity 7705) for me in 1977 and was my favorite dress to this day. Unfortunately, we no longer have the dress or the pattern. I would love to find this and have it made once again. Anyone willing to even lend it for a fee (so I can make a copy) would thrill me!

    • Patricia

      Need size 10!

  • Zum

    I used to have this very pattern, which I inherited from my mum – she made it for my nana, who looked very elegant in this then-modern style!

  • http://mybeaubaby.blogspot.com Suzanne

    This is such a beautiful (and timeless) dress. I’m adding it to my list of must-makes!

  • http://sewconvert.wordpress.com Adey

    So beautiful! I’ve been wanting that pattern for ages but never got to win it on ebay. I guess my bidding strategy sucks haha:P

    • verypurpleperson

      I think it was just a lucky day for me that the pattern was available at the right time without anybody noticing it! :P

  • http://spicebunny.com Melissa

    I saw a dress like that on my morning/lunch walk with my daughter. Only thing was that she probably bought it for a really expensive price instead of making one her own. And that the belt/strap was a different color from the rest of the dress.

    You look lovely in it and I have to make one for myself soon. I found way too many wrapdress patterns in the magazines that is screaming for me to at least try to make one.

  • BECKY

    That dress looks fabulous on you :)

  • lisa

    wow!

    perfect fabric choice!

    dvf would be jealous!

  • http://www.suechtique.com Sue

    Hi!
    I was about to start make a wrap dress. I was searching original DVF wrap dress pattern at easy and thought it’s too expensive too. your dress looks very vintage and perfect fabric you chose. I love finishing of sleeves. Bravo!!!!

  • http://www.sophiesewingadventures.blogspot.com Sophie

    It’s very pretty and the fabric is fantastic. Its so, so, so difficult to get nice Japanese fabric here, almost impossible, so if I think of all those fabulous fabrics, I wish I stayed in Japan :)

  • http://www.ooobop.com janene

    The fabric is just perfect for this dress. And it suits you so well. You look so glamorous :-)

  • http://anothersewingscientist.blogspot.com Vicki

    I think it turned out very well. I also have a ’70s knock-off DVF wrap dress pattern. I was wary of trying it because I was afraid it would gap open in the front. Hmmmm….I may use it now!

    Can I ask you a favour? I have a length of cotton that I bought at a thrift store with a tag that I am guessing is written in Indonesian. Would you mind telling me what it says (if it is Indonesian, that is!): “produksi asli putra-putra Irian Jaya”. I’m assuming that it isn’t from the PNG side of Irian Jaya, but I may be wrong. Anyway, thank you!
    Vicki

    • verypurpleperson

      Hi Vicki,
      it is written in Indonesian!
      It says: original production of Irian Jaya youth/people, so I guess it might have some kind of traditional pattern or produced in traditional way. I’ve never been to Irian Jaya, it is quite far from where I lived in Indonesia, so I’m not familiar with their fabric. It is really interesting that you have it!

      • http://anothersewingscientist.blogspot.com Vicki

        Thank you so much! I work on a campus with a community that speaks about 50 languages collectively, but I couldn’t find an Indonesian speaker. Glad to be a reader of your blog even more now ;) I live in Montreal and the thrift store fabrics are amazing around here. We have such an international population and they are always giving away their saris, sarongs, etc. Usually they are slightly damaged or stained, but if you are a sewist, you can cut around those parts and make something cool. I am working with this fabric today and I will link to you when it’s finished. Thanks again, Vicki

  • http://theexperiencednovice.blogspot.com Neene

    I have the same pattern, but have not gotten around to making it. Now I am inspired to make my own. Great job and great choice of fabric.

  • http://nadyaharmainhadiwibowo.blogspot.com Nadya Harmain

    soooooooo gorgeous in you x))) u have skinny legs love it

  • http://jeyco-mode.blogspot.com/ Jeyco

    I love the dress and you look sweet in it!!

  • http://www.woollytwoshoes.blogspot.com Joyce

    Cantik! You look so elegant in this!

  • http://toferet.wordpress.com molly

    So pretty and I love the print on your fabric! My mom used to tell me that wrap dresses never stayed closed very good (she is more busty than me!) so I never made any until a couple years ago and now I love them.

    • verypurpleperson

      I guess it would be a problem for busty ladies! I don’t have that problem with this dress, but of course I’m far from busty :D

  • http://theseekspeak.blogspot.com seeks

    I love it! Great fabric choice, even if you had intended it for just the muslin. It suits the style well. You look so bold and beautiful! Great job!

    • verypurpleperson

      There were not many choices in that fabric store, so I was lucky to find this one! I agree that the fabric suits this style. I think it has some retro vibe. Glad that you like it too :)

  • http://rakketak.blogspot.com Rakketak

    Gorgeous! I love the fabric you used, looks really soft and comfortable.

    I’m currently making a similar dress myself, however, with a way cheaper pattern: Butterick 5030 (http://butterick.mccall.com/b5030-products-7645.php?page_id=155) You can find several similar models in the Butterick catalogue, and with some small alterations (I think your vintage dress is shorter than the one in the Butterick pattern) it will look nearly the same.

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you!
      Yes there are lots of similar pattern, I also found Vogue 8379, that is quite popular in Patternreview.com. I think a lot of people is curious about the original DVF pattern, hence the price. The thing about vintage pattern is that they are only in one size! Glad that modern patterns now come in multisize :)

  • http://notechnostuffallowed.blogspot.com Lisa

    It looks lovely on you.

  • http://bloomingnihon.blogspot.com Jacqui

    You look stunning in everything you wear / make but I do like this style a lot! Very chic in a retro way.

    • verypurpleperson

      Aww thank you Jacqui!

  • http://my-little-nook.blogspot.com Laura

    You look gorgeous in it!! And yes, you are graceful. The colour suits you and the cut of the dress is perfect. Well done!

  • http://happyinred.blogspot.com Esther

    It´s SO cute!! Love your shoes too ;-)
    Esther.