Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simple Sundress or Beach Wrap

      Coco seemed to think Corey was giving treats and she kept hopping around

I love summer sundresses. They're light so you never get hot and usually made of stretchy material so you never feel uncomfortable. I don't know why anyone bothers with pants or shorts, I for one will be trying to get away with wearing the dress above as many days as I can. If you're ever on Pinterest you've probably seen this gorgeous Victoria Secret Beach Wrap :

It retails for $49.99 but you can find some knock-offs for $29.99 if you sleuth around the internet long enough. Or you can do what I did and make one for $7.99! I had a leftover yard of that rayon/spandex purple fabric from one of the maxi skirts I made. I was originally just planning on this being a bathing suit cover up but it's really sturdy and can function as a sundress as well. You'll only need a yard of 60" fabric more if your fabric isn't that wide or if you make a longer dress version. I have all my steps listed after the link.

Start with your yard or so of fabric. I wrapped it around my body until it fit and then made a mark and trimmed off excess. My final measurement was 54 inches wide by 27 inches long.

Fold your fabric in half width wise and use a tank top to mark your arm holes on the upper left corner. Because the fabric is so stretchy you can make the marking a lot smaller than the armpit area of the tank top. If you plan on hemming the fabric make sure to leave at least a quarter inch for  seam allowances. Rayon/spandex/jersey knit doesn't need to be hemmed because the ends will just roll under and not fray, but hemming always adds a nice finished touch.

After marking your fabric cut the excess corner off, and like I said above next time I wouldn't make my armpit hole area so big. I had some issues with this pulling around to the front and showing a lot of side boob, which is why I ultimately joined the straps in the back.

Using scraps of your fabric cut out six 1" wide strips that are about 20" long. You will braid 3 of the strips together and then repeat with your remaining 3 strips, and these will be your shoulder straps.

After making your shoulder straps, unfold your fabric and pin each strap to the armpit hole area you cut. The end of one strap goes at the top of the C and the other end goes at the bottom of the C.

Before sewing these on, you may want to just pin them and ensure fit. My straps were the right size measurement but even braided the fabric was too stretchy and made the dress sag a little. I took the straps in a lot, so play around until you get a proper fit. Sew the ends of the straps onto the fabric, make sure you have both shoulder straps on the same side of the fabric when sewing.

I used another 1" scrap of fabric that was about 2" long and wrapped it around the connection between the end of the shoulder strap and the beginning of the dress to hide the loose ends from the braid. Repeat with the 3 other shoulder strap/fabric connections.

I mentioned that I was having some exposure issues due to the straps being too stretchy even after I took them in a few inches, and I believe this was mainly due to the armpit hole area being cut too big. I found that if I pinched the straps together in the middle of the back there was just enough tension to fully keep exposure issues away. Using the same scrap wrap around method in the above picture I did the same to the back straps and joined them. If you do this you really need to understand how the dress comes on and off. I took it off after joining and everything was all twisted and I couldn't figure out how to get it on again. I ended up cutting off the back strap joint and practiced putting it on and off regularly and realizing how and where it folded when it wrapped around, then resewed the back strap joint and now I'm semi-confident in my ability to get it on and off. It goes on much simpler normally, but you can still get it on in the wrap style if the back straps are connected.

All in all I'm really pleased with how this came out. I will definitely wear it a lot and not just at the beach over  a bikini. I'm going to keep my eye on this type of fabric the next time I go to JoAnn's because I really want to make a longer floor dress of this wrap around version as well as some standard straight sundresses and maybe a halter variation. The draping of the wrap around will fit any body type while looking chic!


  1. Aimee that looks really awesome!

    1. it's me mom, i don't know how to relpy as me :(

  2. Side boob, lololol

  3. To reply with your name when you click the add comment button next time choose Name/URL, you don't have to fill in the URL box and you can just comment with your name instead of anonymous.

  4. The dress looks awesome. I'm going to attempt to make one. But thanks for the instructions.

    1. Thank you! Good luck, it was really simple!

  5. The dress looks awesome. I'm going to attempt to make one. But thanks for the instructions.