For the 23rd post in my series, the letter W, I made a Wrap Dress from a vintage 1994 pattern, Butterick 3485. 3485 has been in my stash for quite awhile – I purchased it for 30 cents at a thrift store in Arizona at least 5 years ago. This pattern is rated Very Easy and I totally agree with that assessment. The only closures it has are ties, and with only 4 pattern pieces, what could be easier?
3485 is described as: “Loose-fitting, mid-knee or above ankle dress, has attached tie ends, and self-lined back bodice extending into tie ends (wrong side may show on tie ends). Narrow hem”. I made both the short and long versions of this dress but the long version is an odd length – between the knee and ankle – and I think it would look much better as a maxi. If I were to make the long version again I would definitely lengthen the pattern first.
I made several small pattern adjustments to 3485. I shortened the front shoulder by 1+1/2″, being careful to do so between the bustline and the shoulder seam so the width of the front and back shoulders at the seams would still match. I also lowered the back shoulders in the same way but only by 1/2″. I added another tie closure to the back of the dress at the bustline. The single tie closure at the waist didn’t feel secure enough for a windy day. The narrow security ties are attached to the sides of the dress on the front and are hidden under the back of the dress when it’s wrapped closed.
I would recommend making the lining the dress from the same fabric as the dress if you want the front tie to completely match – the back of the tie (which is made from the lining fabric) shows when you wrap and knot the dress. Luckily I had just enough fabric to self-line the dress, and I’m especially happy that I finally found a suitable vehicle for such a large scale print.
I’ve had this thrift store cotton stashed away for years – it was difficult for me to picture such a huge print as a garment. The scale is way out of my comfort zone, but I couldn’t resist the flower print design. The red background matches my favorite high heels! You can’t tell in the photos above but my shoes have little zippers on the back and I absolutely love that they have such an unusual (but perfect for a seamstress) detail!