Simple Sew Blogger: Lena Dress by Angela

Lorna Malkin Pattern Review 1 Comment

This month, Simple Sew Blogger Angela shares her take on the Lena wrap dress pattern in a gorgeous glittery fabric – perfect for the festive season!

Angela's Lena Dress

The Lena wrap dress is a circle skirt dress featuring a faux crossover top and a choice of three sleeve variations. There is a contrast band at the bottom of the skirt, but I decided to trace this onto the bottom of my pattern as I didn’t have any contrast fabric but didn’t want the dress to be too short.


Angela's Lena Dress

I knew I would have to make some alterations to the pattern, as ever crossover top I have ever attempted has always been too roomy in the bust leading to gaping at the neckline. I took a wedge out of the front of the pattern, altering the angle of the shoulders and overall meaning there was less fabric between the neck and the point where the crossover meets


After this, I had to alter the angle of the bust dart a little. To do this I unpicked the dart on my toile and then pinched the fabric from the side seam towards the bust point and pinned. I could then transfer this new dart position onto my paper pattern, ensuring the lines met at the new bust point.


For me, the process of getting the fit right was very trial and error. Even after making a couple of toiles I was getting frustrated with my lack of clear direction in my ad-hoc alterations. I had an enlightening moment though. When I remembered the playfulness of the Sewing Bee contestants when completing the Transformation Challenge. I altered by approach and took pleasure in manipulating the shape – taking bits out here and there until the dress started to resemble my body shape.



There were a few niggles with the pattern. I accept it’s my small bust that lead to the gaping neckline, but there are no notches on the armholes for setting the sleeves. There are also notches marked on the foldline of the waistband!! Thankfully, I was paying attention when cutting out my fabric. I didn’t snip these in or I’d have had notches on the centre front and centre back of my waistband.


I made the bodice a little shorter. In hindsight, I should probably have added a little extra length to the bottom of the waistband. Like many of the bloggers who have tried this pattern, I also decided to stitch up the centre front of the wrap dress to er, keep everything in place.


Confession time! I didn’t line the bodice! If I’d have had a perfect fit, lining the bodice would have given a beautiful finish. It would have also helped to support the weight of the circle skirt. Once I’d finished hacking bits off of the side seams and armholes, the last thing I wanted to do was replicate this on a lining piece! Instead I folded under the neck opening by 1.5cm and stitched around the neckline


Despite the rather haphazard nature I put the dress together, I do quite like the silhouette of the finished thing. I tried really hard to keep all the chaos on the inside! To finish I took about 1.5 inches off of the length and did a tiny narrow hem. Next time I’ll do a bit more research on how to do a small bust alteration on a wrap dress. Therefore, I’ll feel more confident in my alterations, but I am more than happy with this as a starting place.



Location: Endcliffe Park/Ecclesall Road, Sheffield

Currently listening to: Moi Je Joue, Brigitte Bardot

Thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed this review of the Lena Wrap Dress by Angela. Follow her sewing journey on Instagram @twiinkaliink

Want to try the Lena Wrap Dress pattern for yourself? Click HERE to discover this pattern and more at Simple Sew. 

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Comments 1

  1. I love this dress and you always find the best spots to take your photographs. I have the same problem with wrap style bodices I think they are made for women with more up top than me! Great job.

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