Tag Archives: wrap dress

The If One Can Toucan Dress

Ah, the well fitting woven wrap dress, a creature not unlike the Yeti, in that it is often discussed, frequently mythologized, and almost impossible to find, at least, if you have something going on up top.

You see, I love a wrap dress, I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I love it because its fun, it makes you feel like you are going out dancing in the 1970’s, but, thank goodness, you aren’t, not if you don’t want to be doing so. But the downside of the wrap is the neckline, an ever-shifting proposition that highlights slim sternums and reveals generous busts alike. I have made a certain amount of peace with my generous bust, but that doesn’t mean I want everyone to see it all the time, so a woven wrap dress, even more than a knit one, which has that lovely stretching ability, needs to have a neckline that stays in place for me, even as the rest of the skirt gears up for dancing, should dancing occur.

Honestly, on the subject of dancing, and this is just me personally, but I would much rather dance around my living room than in some kind of evening organization. I feel like going out dancing was probably a lot of fun in, like, 1952, and was probably a lot of fun if you like a drug-fueled mess in 1975, but now, going out dancing as a concept makes my head hurt, because I’m thinking about how loud it is. I think I’ve been to approximately 5 clubs in my life, my first at the age of 16 on a trip, and even then I remember thinking wow, this is really truly terrible. It’s just so loud, you can’t talk to anyone, it becomes a swirling mass of bodies, it kind of goes to a Bosch hellscape space for me.

Talk about Saturday night fever, am I right?

I am sure that there are many people who just love love love going out dancing right now, in 2019. I mean, something keeps the clubs in business, right? Here in Mumbai, many bars turn into a club at some point on a weekend evening, at which point What’s-his-face and I usually Irish exit that situation. Obviously for many, these are not Bosch’s hell, but his heaven, where you can dance around inside of blue raspberries and be cool.

Oy. For me, I would rather be dancing by myself, in a woven wrap dress of my choosing. And this is the wrap dress I’ve chosen!

And it’s covered in toucans!

Seriously, the print makes this dress.

The FABRIC makes this dress, actually, it’s light and floaty and excellent, and it feels like a breeze on my skin even on humid Mumbai days, or even hot Goa days! I wore this dress in Goa this weekend, and it was heavenly.

This is, would you believe it, a MUCH altered Seamwork Ruth dress? Well, it is! I removed the collar and finished the neckline in bias tape, and changed out the skirt for a circle skirt. Sliding it over a Seamwork Savannah top lengthened into a slip, it’s basically two Seamwork hacks in one!

I loved the shape of the bodice, the grown-on sleeves, I’m just very into that look right now, I don’t know why! We go through stages, right, of looks we love? Right now, I’m all about the sleeve that just blossoms from the bodice, what can I say?

I also like the blousy back, especially coupled with this floaty fabric.

In order to secure the neckline, I put a snap right at the point I wanted the wrap edges to meet and stay. So far, so good!

See, you get a hint of decolletage, but not, like, the whole sha-bang. The time before the Mumbai bar becomes a club, but not, like, the club time. Get it?

This was a great dress to swish around in while exploring Goa!

I feel like it fit the lovely charm of Colva and its Portuguese roots.

I can see this being a real summer favorite aka always favorite because I live in Mumbai right now and that is a land of endless summer.

I will not be bringing my toucans to any dance clubs any time soon, but I promise, we will be dancing all the same, just in a more on the street, in my apartment, basically anywhere that isn’t a dance club, sort of way. I think that’s what the toucans want, too!

Happy Me Made May, all! Hope it’s going well for you thus far!



Filed under Colette Patterns, seamwork, Sewing

The Book of Ruth Dress

The biblical story of Ruth…has nothing to do with this dress. I don’t know, guys, sometimes it’s hard to make a catchy title!

That said, the story of Ruth and Naomi is very interesting,  because it’s about these two women who are related to each other in a way that is often seen as contentious, that is, they are daughter and mother-in-law, and yet their closeness was a big part of their survival. This is actually sort of close to the theme of my new novel, more on that in the months to come, so I don’t mind naming this dress which I love so much after that story, even if it has nothing to do with it!

That said, when was the last time you met someone named Ruth? It’s a name that I feel has gone out of fashion, although that probably means it will be soon in fashion again and there will be four Ruths in every kindergarten class. Isn’t it funny how names come in waves? When I was growing up I knew, like, 10 Sarahs. I have met many a Priya my age here in Mumbai, so obviously that had its moment. The Bachelor franchise is a great indicator for this, actually, whatever names (and made up names, I’m looking at you, people named Wes and Ames and Kalon and whatever the hell) were popular like 30 to 23 (shudder) years ago make their way onto those hallowed halls of ugly crying and right reasons.

At any rate, Seamwork toils hard monthly to give us new patterns with new names, and in January, that meant we got the Ruth Dress and the Sky Jumpsuit, so one named by Upper West Side Jews and one named by West Village hippies, both in 1965. As you know, I made Sky recently. But did you know I made Ruth, as well?

Well, NOW you do! And my friend DP took the photos, working hard to find a good background, thank you, DP! And they were on his phone in google photos and the powerful and might google made a GIF! It actually made two, but I will save the next one for the end. I don’t know why it does that, but I kind of love it? Maybe? I don’t know!

I really like this dress. I love the design, honestly. Sometimes I like Seamwork, sometimes I’m meh with Seamwork, and sometimes I straight up fall in love. This is one of those times. It combines many things I love and struggle to find the perfect version of. A woven wrap dress that doesn’t look like my breasts are going to explode out of it? A shirt-dress feel without buttons? A notched collar that doesn’t look like garbage? Check, check, and CHECK!

This was another print out that I realized had printed out of scale, so I cut out a twelve, but it is still a little big. I’ve just cut out another while slimming down the bodice and the waist. Who even knows what size that is? I sure don’t! Eh, whatever works.

The print is from Thakur, of course, obviously, always, and it’s sort of polka dots but it has a sort of floral or seed formation look, I don’t know, I like it! I feel like I wear a lot of bright colors these days, after all, pink is the navy blue of India, so it was kind of nice/odd to walk about in black and white. I did feel quite sophisticated, though! Something about this design just feels very put together (the dreaded phrase) to me, which I love, there is a polish but also a little bit of sexiness, what do you think?

I also love a blousy kimono sleeve.

The tie is subtle, which is nice, I don’t know, as I said, when Seamwork works, it really works for me! Which I guess is the point of constantly releasing new patterns, that you are going to appeal to different people every month and that diversifies your fan base.

It was quite windy when we took these photos! That said, it’s a good way to see that the two halves of the front skirt really do overlap completely, which is good, if you like that sort of thing, which I do!

Speaking of a wrap dress and boobs, I did add two snaps to the spot where the two sides of the dress cross to avoid wardrobe malfunctions aka showing the world which bra I’m wearing. Just a little insurance!

I am so into this dress, I can’t wait to make it all over again! What Seamwork patterns do you love? All? Some? None?

Happy dress dance!




Filed under Colette Patterns, seamwork, Sewing

The That’s A Wrap Dress

The body is an amazing thing. My friend Jenny, who is, in time, going to be the best doctor who has ever lived, and I were recently having a conversation about stress and its effect on the body and the way it can manifest in physical ways. Most people don’t want to deal with this connection, but it actually makes me feel better to know that I’m feeling sick through stress and not through some kind of stomach ailment. Of course, it’s no easier to control, but still, it’s nice to know. Of course, if your mind can cause you pain, the implication would be that the reverse is also true, it can repress pain until it’s time to deal with it. Which leads right to my theory that just after a stressful and difficult time I end up getting sick, right in the moment when I’m allowed to relax, boom. The last thing is due and the day after it’s sniffles for days. So given that I just finished my third semester of Graduate School, it makes complete sense that I would get a cold. Right? It’s this kind of logic that comforts me when I’m drowning in a sea of herbal tea and my own mucus.

But before I succumbed to my head cold, which really hasn’t been so bad, as they go, knock on wood, I had a chance to get some photos of a recent creation! Honestly, my garment backlog right now is astounding, I can’t even deal with it. Slowly but surely over this break I will be catching up, though that being said I’m also making more things too, so….it’s a vicious cycle. But given that I’m taking two trips in the next 5 weeks at least the backgrounds to these future photos have the potential to be more interesting than my current batches which have been taken in stolen Tisch classrooms. Not that I should complain, they are super well-lit, and my lovely co-worker Griffin took the following photos, too, because he is a rockstar.

So I’ve wanted a knit wrap dress for a while, and didn’t make one for literally no reason at all. Honestly, there is no good reason I didn’t make this earlier, there is even a free pattern for it, The Hope Dress from BurdaStyle. It was easy and quick and painless and I love it. Why didn’t I do this before? Maybe I was swamped with my writing dreams? That sounds as good an excuse as any….but don’t just take my word for this, see how cute it is yourself!

TAW 1I got the fabric on Ebay, and it’s a sort of soft black. This photo captures it the best. It kind of reminds me of someone, actually, can you guess who?

image-2I sent my mother a photo of him the other day and she was like, I always forget how large he is! And then my roommate Emily saw this amazing video and asked if WE could get a baby elephant and I explained that we already have one. And now I have a dress to match him! Or at least his dark little tail.

TAW 2This dress was a breeze to make. I didn’t even have to print the pattern, we actually used it in the costume shop for a show set in the 1970’s, so it was all printed out for me and then my awesome boss just handed it to me when we were done.

TAW 4This fabric is a little drapey, which I like, and I modified the pattern to make it my size (40ish, or about a 6) from a size 34. I also lengthened the sleeves, but made no other alterations.

TAW 6The edges are bound with a strip of jersey, and that’s the part that takes the most time, really. But that’s okay! It’s worth it! Man, comfortable, stylish, timeless, who doesn’t love a wrap dress? Thank you, Diane Von Furstenberg! You are the best!

TAW 5Wrap dresses do have one drawback, and that’s of course if you have things that can, uh, be easily UNwrapped should the edges of the dress slip. I just secure the neckline with a small safety pin, myself, which makes for a slight curve in the line of the front wrap piece, as you can see, but I’m fine with that, it’s much better then the alternative…


What can you do? Is what it is. And if the only true solution is to avoid wrap dresses altogether, well, that’s not going to happen. I’ve already made this pattern three times. It seems a fitting end to my semester, after all, wrapping things up (SEE WHAT I DID THERE BAHAHAHAH OH GOD I THINK THE COLD MEDICATION IS SINKING IN.)

And with that terrible joke, I bid you adieu, I’m off to nap and cough. Seriously, if you are on the fence about this pattern, make it, it’s easy and fun and I think it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Annnnd that’s a wrap. Wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.


Filed under Burda Style, Sewing