Compare and Contrast: the Summer Wrap Dress

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As I told you in my previous article, I did make a second navy version of the M7081 dress, pretty much immediately after the first coral one. So here it is, in a little compare and contrast exercise with its twin sister!

I reviewed this pattern in full details here, so I’m not going to do it again – in summary I absolutely love everything about it: the wrapped bodice, the belt, the full-circle skirt! I also love the fact that it is so versatile, as a 3/4 sleeve version is offered, so a winter version will probably appear in my wardrobe at some stage.

The main difference between the two dresses is, quite obviously, the fabric – I chose spots for both dresses, quite a funny coincidence which I did not even notice until putting the pictures ! Both fabrics come from my beloved Fabrics Galore. But the coral fabric is a lightweight cotton, which despite its weight has the inherent rigidity of cotton; while the navy fabric is a viscose (I think, although could also be polyester) fabric, quite heavy and with a wonderful drape. I was convinced that a drape fabric would lead to a much better result with this dress but the result is not so clear-cut – each fabric has is pros and cons.

If you have eagle yes, you will have noticed two minor changes between the coral and the navy dress. First, I added a few cm at the belt, to have more ease – but I think it was a mistake as the dress does not sit so well on the hips. Second, I had to substantially shorten the skirt of the navy dress, after a bit of a hemming disaster… Oh well…

Appart for that, the pictures speak for themselves. I find the bodice nicer in the cotton fabric, as the pleats are very neat, while the navy version has somewhat of a saggy boobs effect. But maybe the piping helps – I did not add piping to the navy version for fear of pattern overload!

I also find that the back sits better in the coral version, but that’s probably more related to the tighter belt than to the fabric. To be honest, I actually quite like both version from the back…

But the most striking difference is in the circle skirt. In cotton, it does look much fuller, due to the rigidity of the fabric and also to the fact that I had to line the skirt. In viscose, the skirt drapes marvellously, especially when in movement. I actually love both equally.

The only think I disliked was hemming the viscose. I initially used the same method than for the cotton, using bias tape sewn on one side with the machine and on the other side by hand (don’t ask how many hours it took!). But then the bias created too much weight, or I hadn’t let my fabric rest enough, or both, and my hem ended up completely uneven. So I had to remove the bias tape, cut back my skirt to an even level, and then I did a machine hem because at this stage I had lost all patience!

This little accident appart, I am very pleased with both dresses. They are light and pretty, so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use from them… when the sun comes back!


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