Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress!

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Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
Sometimes in life and sewing, you need a do-over. And that's what I needed with this pattern. I would often see it in my pattern cabinet and think how it's such a pretty pattern but how it didn't work for me. It's amazing how we tell ourselves things and they become facts. Because it's not that the pattern didn't work for me... it's the fact that I just didn't sew it well -- at all.
I originally made this dress way back in 2006. It was my very first time ever sewing with a jersey knit. And y'all! I admittedly didn't know what the fuck I was doing! I stretched the hell out of the neckline. And look at that wonky, wavy hemline. But at the time, I was so proud of myself for one, tackling a Vogue Pattern. Back in the day, people would always warn you away from Vogues, because they were supposedly "too hard". And two, working with slinky jersey knit. I was definitely treading in deep water. That experience left me even to this day with a negative experience regarding sewing with knits. I still claim that knits aren't my favorite thing to sew. And I know this is the reason why.
Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
This pattern is Vogue 7898 and it's long out-of-print, but the style is still pretty relevant. Wrap dresses never go out of style and asymmetrical hemlines are still so chic.
Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
My fabric is this Pink Orbs Printed Cotton Jersey from Mood Fabrics. When I posted this dress on my Instagram account, I was asked about what skills have I learned in the last 13 years to redeem myself? Well, here are my some of my sewing with knit tips
Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress - Erica Bunker DIY Style!
  • Use ballpoint pins or Wonder Clips.
  • Use a ballpoint sewing machine needle or a stretch needle. I always use Schmetz 90/14 Stretch Needles.
  • Use the right thread. I normally use all-purpose high-quality polyester thread. I always use Gutermann Sew-All Thread. But if your seams will be taking a lot of stress, I suggest trying a stretch thread.
  • There's a lot of debate on what type of stitch you should use. If your seams will be taking a lot of stress and expanding, then you'll need to use zig-zag or stretch stretch instead of a classic straight stitch. Or you can just stitch your seams using your serger. Serger stitches stretch naturally.
  • Remember that knits don't fray, but the edges tend to roll like crazy. I always use spray starch and press them flat.
  • You can use a straight stitch to hem or twin needles for a more sporty look. Or use a coverstitch machine if you have one.
  • And I always use clear elastic at the shoulders and sometimes at a neckline to stabilize and prevent stretching out.
  • Sometimes your feed dogs will "eat" your fabric. So you may want to leave a thread tail so you can slowly pull the start of the fabric as you begin to sew your seam.
  • Use a walking foot if you have one. If you sew knits often, you need to invest. It's a life saver for sewing with difficult fabrics.
  • And in case you do end up with a wavy hem, use your stem iron.
Vogue 7898 - Wrap Dress - Erica Bunker DIY Style!


The wrap tie is held with a D-ring.
 The casing is sewn first. And then I used two pairs of needle nose pliers and opened up the D-ring and slid it through and closed it back.
I just want novice sewers to take from this that even though when you first start out and you end up with undesirable outcomes, just keep going. The more you sew, the more sewing you see and the more you read about sewing, it'll all fall into place.

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43 comments

  1. Gorgeous dress -- I think this just works better in a print and the print you chose is beautiful. As you state, a little clear elastic at the neckline should take care of any gaping at the neckline, which is very common in stretch fabrics. Great job!

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  2. Thank you so much for this. I often avoid knits. Mostly because of fear. Your little bullet points are gold and now I'm going to go sew up the MimiG wrap top I cut out 6 months ago.

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  3. This is an awesome post Erica. I have been using the wrong needle. Also leaving extra thread is something I never knew, no wonder my machine kept pulling in the start of my fabric when stitching.

    Thank you for the tips.

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  4. Erica I so enjoy your posts. Thank you for the D ring tip. I love the way your "wrap" wraps!

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  5. SO pretty! That fabric is just gorgeous and yes...an asymmetrical wrap is always "in"!

    It really is fun sometimes looking back on early sewing projects. I had to laugh because I totally thought the hem was a lettuce edge before reading! LOL!

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    1. 🤣 That is so funny! Thank you Kisha!

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  6. This dress is so pretty on you! The fabric is perfect and the color great for you.

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  7. Thank you so much for this post. I love wearing knits and over the years had to learn a lot as I go in regards to sewing them. The pressing rolled ends with starch tip is like "pure gold" to me. I am so excited because that was what I dreaded the most and now I can't wait to tackle it. This dress like all of your garments is beautiful. I honestly prefer and enjoy shopping for fabric and making my garments so much more than Garment Shopping, but i would happily garment shop in your closet any day :)

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  8. Like everyone, I really appreciate your post. I mostly wear knits so want to get better at sewing them. I learn something new each time I do, and your encouraging story and helpful tips are golden!!

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  9. Great article Erica. I also was afraid of knits and Vogue when i first started back sewing but I stepped out there and learned all the tips you gave the hard way but I kept on going away. I actually like looking back on some of those awful makes and comparing them to ones I make today and I'll be doing the same thing with today's makes with my makes 10 years from now. Thanks a lot for this.

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    1. Coats are my favorites to look back on. It was before I learned all about interfacing. I've had some sad and sorry lapels along the way! Thanks Angie!

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  10. More than the dress, I love the inspiration in this post. Life does give us do-overs and the next time we're better prepared.

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    1. And it also shows how we've grown and evolved! Thanks so much!

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  11. What a difference. And a print for you too! Maybe you've already done this, but I'd love to see a roundup of your prints. I feel like you sew more of them now than before? Or maybe my memory is failing me.

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    1. I do prints quite often. Not anything as bold and brazen and in your face as an Ankara... but I always do prints! Thanks Renee!

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  12. I've always had the impression that all of your creations come out perfect. It's so refreshing to see that even someone as skilled as you are is on the same path as the rest of us. Thank you!

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    1. I'm not saying you're silly... but the thought of that is silly. Especially when ALL of the post, since 2005 are right here for the world to see! I would think that before anyone formed that opinion, because I for sure don't purport to be "perfect" (insert eyeroll), they'd just come and take a look around. I'd like to think that it would serve as inspiration to those starting out that sewing gets better over time.

      Thanks Gretchen!

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  13. I advise new sewers to remember that when they started to walk, they fell down. They didn't quit; they kept trying until they could skip, jump and run. After sewing for 54 years, I am still learning things, (even stuff I already knew and had forgotten!)
    It's a journey like everything else.

    Beautiful inspiration, Erica.

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    Replies
    1. I like to learn something from every project. That's how we get better. Thanks Beth!

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  14. The dress is gorgeous! You look great in it. And thank you for the tips for sewing with knits. I have some patterns and fabrics, but have been afraid to get started. When I do, I will keep your tips in mind!

    When I looked at your pictures, I couldn't help but notice that your feet looked a little smushed in those shoes. I feel like I'm not sure I should say this, but I have horrible sensitive blistery feet so looking at your feet made me feel uncomfortable. Maybe they are more comfortable than they look, in which case woohoo! But if they feel as uncomfy as the pictures give the impression of - I think you need to go shoe shopping :)

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    1. What have I done my WHOLE, almost 50 years of life without you taking me by the hand and making suggestions for me? Girl, I sure do appreciate you.

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  15. Excellent Post! Thank you. Loving the whole look from head to toe!!!!

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  16. WOMAN when I say you redeemed yourself! LOL YOU. REDEEMED. YOURSELF! lmao! Wonderfully made! and the fabric!

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  17. I do like this fabric better than the first. I also think the longer length is a better proportion. It's a great dress and you look fabulous in it. You are absolutely right, you just keep going forward and learning and the more you sew, the better your clothing gets.

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    1. It's a pretty big difference between being 35 and 48 years old. So, that determines the hemline! LOL I'm not sure what fabric that was. It may have been some cheap polyester interlock, just from the look. Thanks Nancy!

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  18. Everything about the second dress is so much better. Not just the sewing, the length is better, the fabric is better and a great color on you. I hate flutter sleeves, and I am so happy that you left them off. We all have bad outcomes, but you published it for all the world to see and it's a great inspiration to new sewers. We don't just start out sewing on the level you sew. It's a beautiful dress.

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    1. 2019 me isn't a fan of those sleeves either. That's what I wanted. I think people get the impression that I started out sewing well. I didn't! And that's the main reason I never archived the old stuff. Thanks Nancy!

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  19. Thank you for this post! I keep avoiding the process of starting to sew because of being afraid that the garment will be a disaster. And failing to realize that you do not start off a master sewer. That you have to learn and make mistakes, sometimes big time. And if you, as a sewer that I admire, think of as a mentor, can say she that she f**ked up something, to go back and do it all over again, I can at least get off my arse and start.

    The dress is KILLER!!!

    Kimberly Wilkes

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  20. Erica B, I love how you keep it real! The dress is a knockout, you look wonderful. The longer length is beautiful, but you can rock the shorter length too! Cheers to one of the best dressed bloggers in the sewing community! You never cease to amaze me with your sewing talents. Take care!

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