Are you a curvy lady looking for a wrap dress that covers you properly, but is still flattering? The Appleton dress is just what the sewing Dr. ordered! I had been looking into different wrap dresses right before this pattern was released so it was like fate telling me the time had come.
For years, every time time I saw a DVF wrap dress at Nordstrom Rack I would try it on and can’t even bring myself to leave the dressing room because I’m so exposed. Another issue with the DVF wrap dresses for me are the facings, they always curl up and stick out! I’m guessing this has something to do with my larger bust. Regardless, it makes for an unwearable garment.
Now that I’ve been sewing for a while, I decided it was time to make my own. I must have researched at least 5 wrap dress patterns during my search: Indie designers, big 4 and even vintage Diane Von Furstenberg. From what I was seeing in the blogosphere none of them were right for me, unless I felt like making some serious alterations. I’m already working on a time consuming project (my vintage coat) and honestly didn’t feel like making muslin after muslin. I had just about given up on the idea of making myself a wrap dress when the Appleton Dress was released!
I ordered the kit on the Thursday that the pattern was released and it arrived the next day! I prepped the pattern and fabric on Friday night and then I spent an enjoyable Saturday morning sewing this up. You can find other Appleton Dress kits in the Cashmerette online shop, but unfortunately the bird kit is no longer available. The bird fabric in the kit is a rayon jersey and a quick Google image search helped me find it available here if you’re interested!
For my Appleton dress I used the size 14 with the C/D cup. My bust and hip measurements were spot on but my waist was closer to the size 18. I figured with the negative ease I would be fine (and if not I could tie it looser right?) and I am! I can actually tie this beauty up pretty tight.
My only fit problem with my Appleton dress is the sleeves are a tiny bit too tight. To the outside world it looks fine but it’s just a tiny bit too tight that upon further examination the fabric is a little more stretched than I’d like. This will be easy enough to fix. I have already followed this tutorial and added half an inch to my short sleeved pattern piece. I think my next Appleton will be 3/4 sleeved in green wool jersey(from my stash), but a polka dot short sleeved version is in my future (once I find some fabric).
I’m nearly 5′ 9″ and the length is even good even when I’m sitting. I’ve noticed that the edges kind of fall in between my thighs when I sit and look almost like I’m wearing a romper. I like that even when I’m seated the dress is keeping me well covered.
The neck band is the only slightly tricky piece to the construction of this dress, but it does a really great job at keeping your chest covered. Don’t get me wrong, this dress does still show off some serious cleavage. I found myself pulling at the bodice as the day went on to cover the slip I had on underneath so the next time I wore it, no slip! How scandalous. As I’m looking at these pictures, it almost looks like the bust is too tight. I can see that the fabric is pulling, especially on my right boob (it’s bigger than the left which is actually fairly common, learn more). I’m curious if I go up a cup size if I will be slightly more covered and have less pulling. The fit feels good, but I might try that with version two to compare.
I knew I’d have the right amount of fabric, but I deviated from the cutting layout because I wanted to make Julia another pair of playtime leggings out of this fabric. I don’t even remember what I did differently, but I felt like this was worth mentioning. I have some little itty pieces left after cutting out my dress and the leggings. Moral of the story? Follow the cutting layout to make sure you have enough fabric, or if you plan on using the fabric for something else, lay the pattern pieces out at the same time to ensure everything fits.