Plantain Wrap Dress Hack

Hey Guys,

So I think it's official, the Deer and Doe Plantain for me went from "Cool, I made a long sleeve T that's very wearable" to "I think this might be a TNT" to "I've made this more than any other pattern I have and I don't plan to stop", to "Minimal modifications" to "I USED IT TO MAKE A WRAP DRESS!"  Whaaat?  DVF who? Joking.  Always props to the orig. Anyways, the picture quality isn't the best (not that it ever is) because I took all the pictures of me wearing it when I got home from work on Thursday.  I love my sewing space, but it doesn't quite have the best lighting:

I'm not sure it really comes across well in these pictures, but the fabric is really bright, like day glow 90's neon, roller-skating-glow-sticks bright.  Most of my coworkers don't know that I sew or didn't believe me when I told them and are also used to seeing me in shades of black grey and white (for which I don't apologize, it makes for easier matching).  So I had a lot of conversations that went:

coworker: Wow bright dress
me: thanks I made it:
coworker: Wow really?
me: yea
coworker: Uhh, good taste in fabric

To be honest I wasn't entirely sure the fabric was me either, but with many of my fabric buying purchases the kind of fabric and the price per yard mostly drove my decision.  It's stretch cotton and it was $4 a yard and it was the wide kind. Since I still feel somewhat novice (and because I'm cheap, let's be real) I like to go for the more economical fabric purchases.  But that's all here nor there, because I made a wrap dress and it came out almost perfect! At that point I couldn't hinder it's right to be shown to the world based on it's brightness and quite honestly a wrap dress is a good work option clothing wise.

I had a couple problems with hemming the dress of all things.  I sewed all seams on my regular sewing machine with a walking foot and stretch stitch, lightning bolt if you will, and then finished the seams on my beloved serger.  Because the skirt flares and the fabric stretches I was just haven't the darndest time hemming and getting all the extra width to go somewhere, especially because my machine foot kept trying to push it out of the way as it zipped along.  All the drafting involved in turning the plantain into this wrap dress was done in a day, all the sewing was done in an afternoon evening, and then, I kid you not, the hem took me a couple different tries on different days to finally get.  But I did!  And the secret you ask?  Black twill tape!  It finally occurred to me that I could overlay something to simultaneously stabilize the fabric and also keep the excess in check. And spoiler alert, it worked!

OK, so  I don't know if any of you would be interested in attempting something similar and if you are I can try to give you a quick summary and if you want I'd be happy to provide some pictures to help you in drafting.  Ok here's the quick and dirty:

1.  Take front bodice and extend side seam line down straight from bust
2. Measure from shoulder to true waist on yourself (smallest point) and note on front bodice pattern piece
3. Measure circumference of your waist, subtract 2" (this is for negative ease) and then divide in 2 and  mark on the line created from step 2.
4. Draw diagonal line from inside shoulder to new side seam point, opposite from the one you straightened in step 1.
5. Take your shoulder to waist measurement from your back as you did in step 2 for your front and, measure down from back bodice shoulder and mark,  then from center fold line measure half of the number you have from step 3 and draw a diagonal line from the bottom of the armyce to the new point you just measured and marked.

*So just to clarify the back bodice I made my changes on a half pattern piece and ended with a half pattern piece, but my front bodice I made my adjustments on a half pattern piece and ended up with a full pattern piece.*

6. front skirt pieces: measure the waist of your front bodice piece and measure how long you would like your skirt to be, for me I think I did 18" but you should really measure for yourself.  Draw a rectangle the width of your front bodice waist measurement and the length you desire.  Now measure the front hem of a skirt you like.  We're going to take this measurement and slash and spread to get the bottom of our pattern piece this width, if you don't know how to slash and spread I would be happy to do a post on that.  Just let me know.  Regardless remember to cut two of these pieces when prepping to sew.
7. Repeat with back skirt piece. I took the bottom measurement from a dress I have that already fits well and then just made sure that the point at which my skirt would hit my booty was for sure wide enough.
8. Cut a long rectangular band to be folded in half and attached to the bodice and used to wrap around the waist, securely holding your dress closed and thereby ensuring your good name ;).  I believe mine was two lengths of the width of my fabric and 3 1/8" wide.
9.  Now add SA's to everything that did not already have SA's for from the original pattern.  Meaning,  If you changed a line you need to add SAs.  What should not have changed are the sleeves, the armyces, the neck and the very top of the bodice pieces.  Everything else needs SAs and a hem allowance.
10.  Happy drafting.  If anything didn't make sense (which I'm sure was a lot) or people would be interested in a proper tutorial with photos I would be happy to oblige.  Also I realize (and hopefully you do to) that everyone is built differently so what I did might not work for everyone.  Please don't get mad at me if it doesn't. I'm no pro, I just do this for fun.

And because I follow Crafting a Rainbow by the talented Gillian and the better pictures project I tried to take a spiny picture. This is what came of it: