You might remember a few months ago when I reviewed the Wardrobe by Me Curvy Akinori dress here at the CSC. Christina from Wardrobe by Me reached out to see if I wanted to review one of her newest curvy patterns. I received the Curvy Diana Wrap Dress pattern for free, but with no expectations but an honest review.
Pattern name: Wardrobe by Me Curvy Diana Wrap Dress
Wardrobe by Me describes the Diana as “a classic wrap dress” that ties around the body, hugging the torso, falling with a slight flare from the hips. The pattern comes with options to add a detachable collar (rounded or pointed), a circular hem ruffle (I’d call it a flounce since it’s not gathered) and four different sleeve lengths (full length, elbow, short or sleeveless). The pattern also includes instructions for making a maxi version of the Diana dress.
Pattern format: The Diana pattern comes in PDF format only, but conveniently has the layered sizes function and is a “no trim” PDF for both A4 and letter size paper, which significantly cuts (ha ha) down on time spent putting the PDF together. I printed mine on A4 paper and was able to overlap the long edges of the paper without trimming, however, I needed to trim a tiny strip off the short edges in order to get the pattern pieces to align, so it wasn’t truly “no trim.” We’ll call it “some trim.” I also wish there had been a print guide to tell me which pages to print for each option.
Size range: The Curvy Diana Wrap Dress pattern comes in sizes 14-24, which goes up to bust 48.5”, waist 41.5”, hip 51.5”. The pattern is drafted for a C/D cup and a height of 5’6”. There is also a non-curvy size range for the Diana wrap dress that comes in sizes 0-16.
What size did you make? 16
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Bust: 41.5″ Waist: 35″ Hip 45.5 Height: 5’7.5″ Body type: pearish
What fabric did you use: Rayon lycra jersey, on the thin side with, in retrospect, perhaps not enough recovery for a wrap dress like this… although it makes the skirt delightfully swishy:
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
Also, after applying and topstitching my neckband, I ended up having to unpick (waaaah) and shorten it significantly by 8” because it was loose and gaping in the front at the bust and at the back necklines. Based on the instructions, the neckband is smaller than the neckline and is supposed to be stretched to match the neckline to prevent gaping, but somehow mine ended up matching the neckline exactly. I am pretty sure it’s not the fault of the pattern, but rather my fabric, which is on the thinner side with perhaps not as much recovery as needed. The fabric continued to stretch out as I took these photos, so I think that’s the culprit in this case.
I made the tie hole on the side seam half the size because it seemed far too large for my thin ties and I didn’t want any skin poking out the side seam. Also, in order to prevent stretching, I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The construction process was pretty straightforward. The only things of note were that there was no cutting layout (although I rarely follow them anyway) and you need to draft your own ties based on measurements given in the instructions. I also noticed that there are no length/shorten lines on the pattern pieces.
There was a nice little trick in the instructions for making the spot where the neckband, bodice and skirt all meet up a clean finish, which I appreciated. It took a few minutes for me to understand what I was doing in the instructions, but when it clicked, I was delighted.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I like the fit! After fixing the neckline, I’m quite happy with it. I love the floaty skirt; it’s very romantic feeling and provides a lot of coverage- no Marilyn moments with this one! I think this style of wrap dress works well for the pear-shaped lady.
You might be wondering, given the popularity of another wrap dress aimed at curvy ladies (the Cashmerette Appleton, reviewed on the CSC here and here), what are the differences? As I mentioned earlier, Diana comes with a few extra options that the Appleton doesn’t have (two collars, a hem flounce and bands for the sleeveless version). However, unlike the Appleton, the Diana wrap dress comes with only one cup size (C/D). The Diana has a much fuller skirt, which is attached to the bodice at the waist seam (the Appleton has no waist seam). The waistline is a little bit lower than the Appleton, I think, more at the natural waist rather than the high waist. The shape of Diana’s front bodice wrap is quite different from the Appleton, with a concave curve that allows the wrap to sit under the bust rather than over it. They’ve got their differences but I am pretty delighted with both and feel like, for me, they each have a place in my wardrobe.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I will definitely make it again, although next time I’d use a fabric with better stretch and recovery to avoid the neckline gaping issue I had. Also, it’s difficult to see in this fabric, but I would make a slight swayback adjustment to the bodice. The center back bodice is hanging lower an inch or so than where my waist ties naturally sit, although the ties cover the waist seam in the front.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
You can see other versions of the Curvy Diana Wrap Dress on the Wardrobe by Me blog or the Diana wrap dress Pinterest board. Wrap Dress Central at Cashmerette has a ton of wrap dress sewing advice that would be relevant to sewing up the Diana, too!
Pattern Rating (1-5, with 5 being the highest rating)
Size Range: 4.5 Certainly a wider ranges of sizes than your average indie pattern company, but not as high as some others.
Instructions: 4.5 The instructions were quite clear, with only one spot that had me scratching my head for a minute.
Construction Process: 4.5 Pretty straightforward construction process.
Final Fit: 4.5 I’m pretty happy with the fit, save the need for a swayback adjustment.
Overall Rating: 4.5 I really like this dress! The fit is good and for me it’s nice to have a full-skirted wrap dress option.