RETRO WRAP

RETRO WRAP

Vintage Curiosity to Self-Drafted Pattern Puzzle – Wandering around in Pinterest I re-pinned the images below to my #cuttthatfrock album.  I was fascinated with the strange little pattern diagram on the back of the envelope.  The images claim that this simple shape would make that wrap top and that you can wear it wrapped from the front or the back.  Mmmm… big claims for a simple shape and such sophisticated drawings!  Convinced I could scale this up to make sense of it, I imported the image in to illustrator.

I stared at the diagram for some time before tracing the shape and experimenting in paper by scaling up to fit my half-scale workroom dummy.  I was fairly certain that those triple notches indicate the sleeve but the rest was really confusing.  So I sketched out the shape and was able to work out how the pattern related to the body.  The two long rectangles below the main pattern shape are waist ties.
Turns out that my first attempt at this pattern was only partially scaled and as a result it would not fit on the workroom dummy. When draped on the half-scale dummy it looked like a longer coat style? Have a look at that CB seam and try to locate it on the pattern.  This self-drafted style is a bit of a brain teaser, believe me. But making a sample, no matter how small, really helps your understanding.
The diagram below will help a little at making sense of the pattern shape for everyone.
Some further calculations and I decide to scale this first pattern up again by 50%.  I’m now certain of the location of the CB to elbow line along that back sleeve seam that becomes a back yoke.  I can use my own measurement for this part of the body (60cm) to estimate the growth needed in this piece to finally fit.
In my second toile……. the fit is more life-like and not so far from the original illustration on the pattern envelope.  I have added a waistband and tie ends to complete the fitting.  I also tried to wear it back-to-front, as suggested on the pattern envelope, and it almost choked me!  So I won’t be doing that again.
Overall I am fairly happy with the sample and would suggest you individually check the sleeve width to suit your own forearm circumference.  I found this sample loose in the sleeve opening and removed 4cm off each side.  I have some ideas to finesse the fit that I will share in a future post.
With a few calculations and checks I can now give you the measurements to construct this shape and try your own.  The measurements below will suit up to Size 12. From making the first sample I did learn that the sleeve opening should be narrowed to 26cm.  NB – use two-way stretch knit fabric only to get the best out of this wrap style.

My latest sample – February 2020.

Edit August 2021:  Subscribe to my newsletter and stay informed.  I’m on my way to making this into a PDF Sewing Pattern for the website. 🙂
Anita McAdam
enquiries@studiofaro.com
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