One Stitch Forward’s Lena Wrap Dress

admin FC Fabrics, Pattern Review 1 Comment

Hello everyone,

Fancy meeting you here, while I’m chilling with my new make!

Well, since you are all here I might as well tell you about my Serendipity Dress, ever so kindly sponsored by the Simple Sew Blogging Network.

A few weeks ago at a sewing party hosted by the Sew Over It crowd (great fun by the way!) I was discussing scuba, and how little inspired I was by it. A fabric made for underwater swimming is surely not particularly nice to wear on a day to day basis, I thought*.

Oddly enough, the soul of the party was a notorious wrap dress (of which you can see an exquisite version here), to which though I was not particularly inclined. I, like many of you I’m sure, adore wrap or surplices dresses. The neckline is universally flattering I find and if sewn to measure it can fit pretty much any body shape. Still, with so many things to sew and so little time I hadn’t quite scratched that itch yet.

Serendipity moment #1

Then, like an angel from the heavens where all Sewing Machines go to rest when us mortals retire them, Gabby descended with an email about Simple Sew, and patterns… and well, I’m sure you know where this is heading!

What you see above is my take on the Simple Sew Wrap Dress, a sweet and simple high waisted dress, with a generously flared skirt and crop-waist surpliced bodice.

I found this pattern very clever, as it’s easily customisable to make it as fancy or as simple as one desires. I personally wasn’t feeling particularly clever at that point, I was longing for a quick, satisfying project I could wear almost the next day.

I started looking around for fabric and visited the FC Fabric studio website. They have a glorious array of jerseys specifically – all very much on trend with the florals that are so hot this season. When I stumbled into this technicolor beauty I simply could not resist! I had to force my hand a bit as – you have probably guessed it- this is a scuba fabric; but I decided to challenge my prejudices.

You can find this fabric here!

This fabric is incredibly soft, sews and presses like a dream and it is also very, very comfy to wear.

Serendipity moment #2

As for construction, as I said I have stripped this make of all unnecessary complications. Thanks to the choice of fabric (both for properties and design), there were very little I had to keep.

First I have ignored the recommended lining and drafted a facing, that was not an issue with such a thick fabric. Secondly, I cut the skirt in one length, rather than adding a tall band as shown in the pattern, the pattern is busy enough and without a contrasting fabric it would have just been a pointless seam in my skirt.

The whole thing (cutting of pattern, fabric and sewing up included) took an evening – and I am most definitely not a fast sewer. The size of choice is a 10, but as it’s often the case working with jersey, you have to eyeball it based on your stretch. This scuba is dense, byt fairly stretchy, so I ended up taking it in 2 cm each side and I could still take it in more. I prefer not to as I sit a lot for work and my tummy likes some wiggle room.

Admittedly I did not interface neither waistband nor facing (there, I said it!), which might/might not have cause a relaxed neckline. It felt a bit too revealing for my taste and I did not feel like taking the whole thing apart, so I resorted to a nifty trick.


Serendipity moment #3

My fabric arrived in a lovely parcel, wrapped in a long, narrow red ribbon courtesy of FC Fabric Studio which I threaded in chunky yarn needle and channeled in the space between my edgestitching and the neckline seam.

The shoulder seam gave me a bit of trouble, but with a few choice words and a determined needle it went all the way through. Then it was simply a matter of trying the dress on and easing the excess around the neckline tensing or relaxing the ribbon inside. The little puckering you see in the previous picture is due to me being silly – I haven’t yet sewn it in place where it ends, so it still gapes, I had just tightened it before taking the pics and obviously tightened it too much on one side.

The back is as flattering at the front and it’s the perfect display for a pretty fabric.

Last but not least, the worst kept secret about scuba fabric: it does NOT need hemming!  

I am officially counting this as Serendipity Moment #4.

*this is actually a wrong assumption. The scuba fabric we use in dressmaking is of a completely different composition as the homonymous diving material (which is neoprene). Whether or not that is a good thing, I haven’t got a clue.

Giorgia blogs at

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