Misses' half size, loose-fitting, three armhole wrap dress is cut in one piece, is above knee or tunic length, has round neckline with purchased foldover braid or bias tape, and optional patch pockets or contrast tie belt. This wrap-around dress can lap either to the front or back. It can be worn as a dress, swim suit topper, or after shower cover-up. Fit and flare pants have elasticized waistline but no waistband. Nostalgic, easy, and fun, all rolled into one. Half sizes and women's, Butterick 5729, 1969.
* * * My Mind Wanders * * *
This was a favorite sewing project of mine just about the time I was finishing up high school. They were easy, comfortable, and I made several. Most of my sewing friends, or friends with sewing mothers, had several also. We made dresses from gingham checks or polyester double knit, which was at that time newly available and well accepted with beautiful colors, ease of wash and wear, and ease of sewing. My swimsuit coverup was made from seersucker or gauzy fabric that dried quickly. Of course, the bath wrap was made from terrycloth.
The big drawback to those wrap-arounds was how quickly washing wore out the bias binding. Along the way, I've discovered why. In wanting to pre-shrink the tape and keep the neat, crip folds of commercial bias tape, the manufacturers used lighter-weight cotton and poly/cotton fabric, and ironed the completed bias tape using very hot, harsh methods. That, of course, caused the edges to weaken resulting in inability to survive many washings.
We have since learned how to make our own bias binding in many sizes and in any color - solid or print, because we can choose our own fabric. My choice for making bias tape is medium weight, tightly woven 100% cotton. It's more expensive, usually $12 and up per yard where I live, but it's worth it. Of course, we can buy chain store cottons for half the price, but you only get half the quality. I don't like to spend my time using substandard fabrics and thread. It doesn't pay off in the long run. Using quality fabric is just a joy to work with. Try it, you'll notice the difference, too.
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