Patiently Waiting In The Willow Wrap Dress

Spring is officially here~ now someone needs to tell the weather that! Here on the Northeast Coast the weather has been so fickle. Regardless, I’m sewing for warmer weather! My first official sew of Spring is a brand new pattern for me! I can not believe I waited so long to make the Willow Wrap Dress from Love Notions!!

What better way to celebrate Spring than with an amazing dress for the $5 Feature Friday Pattern! Today, 3/31/23 you can grab the Willow Wrap Dress for just $5. If you don’t have it already, I highly recommend grabbing it today. I never thought this was a style that would be flattering on me~ but boy was I pleasantly surprised!!!

The Details

The Willow Wrap Dress is such a functional and flattering dress for all figure types. It is loaded with options such as:

  • Dress and Peplum top lengths
  • 5 Sleeve options: Short, Elbow, Flutter, 3/4 sleeve and long
  • 2 Neckline depths
  • Plain or Pleated/Gathered bodice options
  • Optional flounce for neckline
  • Maternity Option

This dress IS beginner friendly. It’s a quick sew too! It actually took me longer to print, tape and trace my pattern than it actually took to sew it together! (Yes, I am Team Trace~ mainly because I like having all my alterations on physical pattern pieces. I also sew for my sister, who is smaller, so this way my printed pattern still has all the sizes available.) Seriously, it took longer to prep my pattern and cut it out than sewing the Willow up. I can’t wait to make a second one now~ since all that harder work is done!

The crossover neckline can be made with a higher(for more modesty) or lower neckline. The lower neckline is also nursing friendly for our young moms out there. Note that the lower neckline can be worn 2 different ways~ over the bust or under the bust. The side “ruching” can be done with pleats or gathers or it can simply be plain. There are pattern pieces for both options.

The skirt of the Willow Wrap dress is a full A-line. A peplum skirt top is also available with the pattern. If you like to mash patterns together, you could use the Sybil skirt pattern to change up your dress even more!

Dress up your Willow Wrap dress with the included flounce for the neckline. This can help you create a pretty romantic dress~ it would look so pretty in solid colors or a pretty floral. The combinations are truly endless. You could fill your closet up with Willows and no 2 would have to be exactly the same! I’m already fabric shopping for my next version. I’m planning on another gathered version(I think it’s most flattering for me) with short sleeves. I might even make a sleeveless version for summer!

Sizing and Alterations

The Willow Wrap dress is available in sizes XS-5X. As with all new and updated patterns, an FBA(full bust adjustment) pattern piece is included. Love Notions patterns are drafted for a height of 5’5″. The bodice is designed to hit at the natural waist. The skirt of the Willow is designed to hit at the knees.

Be sure to choose your size by your high bust measurement. If in-between sizes, choose the smaller size. If the difference between your high bust and full bust is more than 4″, use the full bust pattern piece. This is extremely important. Using your full bust measurement could give you a garment that is too big in the shoulders and neckline.

The Willow Wrap dress is designed to be close fitting at the bust and waist. The A-line skirt has plenty of ease to glide nicely over your hips. Here are the intended ease amounts:

Drafted ease:

• Bust- 2-3″ negative ease

• Waist- 0″-3″ negative ease

• Full hips- 10-11″

I made my typical Love Notions size, which is an XL graded out to a 2X. My high bust is 40″ and my full bust is 45″, so I used the full bust pattern piece. I find that I always need to make an XL in the shoulders and necklines as that is where I am smallest. I did grade out to the 2X for the waist and hips. I did not make any other fitting alterations to my Willow.

My Dress Details

My Willow Wrap dress was made with the lower neckline. I chose to gather my bodice piece rather than make the pleats. My fabric has so much design to it, I didn’t think anyone would even notice the pleats. If I ever make a solid color Willow I will definitely make the pleats instead. I took pictures of my Willow with the lower neckline pulled up over my bust and pushed beneath my bust. I like it both ways, I will wear it whichever way is more appropriate for where I am wearing it.

I don’t wear many things that are knee-length ( mainly because of past knee surgeries). I added 4″ to the length of my skirt to make it midi-length. Since I’m only 5 feet tall, 4″ was plenty.

I used a lightweight ITY knit from Zelouf fabrics. Zelouf is one of my most favorite fabric sources for ITY knit. The fluid drape of the ITY added with the cool to the touch hand makes it a favorite of mine to make Spring and Summer dresses in. My most favorite LDT dresses are also made from ITY from Zelouf. You can see some of my LDT dresses HERE. See resource section at the end of this blog for links to Zelouf and more information about ITY knit.

Fabrics and Notions

The Willow Wrap dress is designed for medium weight knits with 25-50% stretch. Fabrics such as jersey, double brushed poly, interlock, Ponte and cotton/lycra will all work. In addition Liverpool and bullet fabrics would work nicely as well.

I know many people love rayon spandex, however I can’t guarantee it would work best for this pattern. Rayon Spandex doesn’t have the same recovery as the other fabrics, which can make it “grow”. Bamboo/cotton/Lycra would be a better choice~ but I know it’s not as readily available.

Cotton/lycra is readily available in so many solids and prints, however it doesn’t drape as nicely as some of the other options. It’s really a personal choice. It is a great fabric for beginners to sew with. If this is your choice, looks for ones that are lighter in weight.

Sew Mary Mac’s Tips for the Willow Wrap Dress

  • Printing: I noticed the flutter sleeve pieces were not on the print chart. You will need pages 51-52, 57-60.
  • Printing: If you are making the Pleated bodice version, you still need the plain bodice pattern piece. Make sure you print the pages for that as well. Page numbers will are different for regular and full bust.
  • Tracing/Printing: Whenever I have to cut the same pattern piece more than once~ I always print or trace 2 of those pieces. For the Willow Wrap dress, I traced 2 skirt pattern pieces. This made it much easier when I was laying out my pattern pieces. This can be extremely helpful especially if you are playing “Tetris” with your pattern pieces.
  • Cutting: Double check your cutting chart. Remember~ you need both a PLAIN and Pleated bodice if you are making the pleated version.
  • Cutting: Make sure your bodice pieces are mirror images of each other! You don’t want to end up with 2 left sides!
  • As I stated above, the hardest part of making a Willow Wrap dress is the preparation. If you do that correctly, the sewing will be a breeze.
  • Construction: Page 7, step 3~ do NOT skip the understitching.
  • The hem allowance on the sleeves is 1″. If you are making the flutter sleeve, you may find it easier to decrease that width so that you can stitching along the curve without ripples. You could trim off 1/2″ or, you could let your sleeve be 1/2″ longer.
  • Hemming: Use a stabilizer to get a nice even hem without ripples. You can visit this blog post to see how I use Soft Stretch HeatnBond on all my knit hems. This works great when using a double needle, zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch. I recently brought home a new Pfaff 720, and I haven’t ventured into using my twin needles with it yet. If you are just using a zigzag stitch~ this product will be your best friend!!

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate all of you that visit!  If you enjoyed this blog post, consider subscribing to my blog to stay up to date with all my posts!  

Mary Anne 

Remember to follow me over on Instagram to see all my latest makes!  @sewmarymac

You can also follow my Facebook Page~ Sew Mary Mac. On this page you will find information on my makes from all pattern companies. If I know of any good sales(pattern or fabric) I will also feature this information. I have had many of my loyal followers send me friend requests on Facebook. I do post in the Love Notions group under Mary Anne MacLean, however this Facebook account is private. There is no sewing content on that Facebook Account.

You can grab the Willow Wrap Dress pattern HERE.

To receive an additional 10% off the pattern price, use this coupon code SEWMARY10. This coupon code can be used at anytime on any pattern….even a $5 Feature Friday pattern. My code does change quarterly, so please always check the newest blog post for an update if you find a code isn’t working. On April 1, 2023 my code will change to MACSEWS10.


Zelouf~ A great source for ITY knits

What are ITY knits?

ITY stands for Interlock Twist Yarn. During production the yarn is twisted which helps this fabric breathe. Therefore the fabric is cool, floaty and the absolute best in hot and humid weather. It also has a slight sheen to it which gives it a bit dressier look. I take my ITY knits whenever I travel- just roll them up and pack them. Then simply unroll them and wear them!

Visit this blog post for all the information on Soft Stretch HeatnBond and how I use it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: