It’s a wrap! (A retro wrap, even)

One thing I’ve been missing a lot this year is sewing from vintage patterns. I got a couple of vintage makes in before the baby bump got too big for those fitted-waist 1940’s and 1950’s styles, and I did have plans for a couple of vintage maternity patterns, but due to lack of energy and running out of time, I never quite got them made up. (Which I’m still a little sad about – now I’ll never know what it’s like to wear one of those 1950’s maternity skirts with the cut-out in front for the bump! Anyone ever tried wearing one and want to let me know if it’s as uncomfortable as it looks??)

Well, my body is still changing too much to bother making any fitted styles just yet, but I dug out a 1970’s wrap skirt pattern to get my vintage fix with (and make something that feels a bit more ‘me’ to wear than the transition-sized skirts I dug out at the local op shop).

Meet my newest creation – a floral wrap skirt!

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got this pattern a couple of years back – the curved yoke and pockets really appealed to me, and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. Now it’s finally had it’s day, yay! 🙂 The pattern is Simplicity 7311 from 1975. It includes both the wrap skirt and a matching blouse, plus a transfer for the embroidery seen on view 2 (the cream one).

Simplicity 7311

The fabric came from Fabric-a-brac – it’s a vintage lightweight cotton, lovely to work with, and I thought the brown floral matched the era of the pattern quite nicely. 😉 I used some pale peach toned narrow scalloped edge lace for trim around the yoke and pockets, sewing it so that just the scallops peek out (kinda like rounded ric-rac. My original idea was actually to use ric-rac, but, well, I couldn’t find my box of ric-rac. Clearly, I have too much stuff in my sewing space. #firstworldproblems) I think the colour of this lace works better than white ric-rac would have anyway, so it must have been meant to be. Hah!

(Hmm, guess I was standing crooked for this photo. The skirt does sit straight, I promise!)

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern came together nice and easily. (But then, it is just a wrap skirt, so I would have been somewhat horrified if there were any complexities involved!) The yoke, back waist band and ties are all sewn on, then a matching set made and attached as a facing, before being slip-stitched down on the inside. Which means you get a nice, clean finish on the curved front yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Look! Wearing heels! (It’s been a while, haha!)

I was a good little stitcher for once and actually did slip-stitch the facing down. (Confession time – I’m pretty lazy with hand stitching and usually try to come up with a work around. Like top stitching. Yes, I know – horrible habit of mine, and one I’m consciously making the effort to kick!) It took me a good week to get that all stitched down (the little baby doesn’t tend to sleep during the day aside from cat naps most days, so finding moments can be somewhat tricky!), but I’m really happy with the end result so I’m glad I took the time.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Inside waistband facing

I did get a bit lazy with the pockets though. They’re made by sewing two pocket pieces together, right sides together, then turning through a gap and slip stitching the gap closed. Which makes for a wonderfully neat and tidy pocket piece. Except that you then need to attach it to the skirt. The pattern instructions call for the pockets to be slip-stitched on. Yeah. Well. I don’t trust the quality of my hand stitching enough for that. Plus, I’ll be using these pockets a lot, so they need to be attached pretty firmly. Plus, that’s one heck of a lot of slip-stitching. So, yeah. I got lazy and top stitched them on instead, which I’m refusing to feel guilty about. (I also put a line of top stitching along the pocket opening, so they matched all the way around.)

They’re fantastically deep and large pockets and have already been extremely useful! (Bet you can’t even tell I have my cell phone in one of them in these photos, right? 😉 )

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I love these pockets

The back of the skirt is super simple – just a straight waistband that extends into the ties, and straight seams. The instructions call for a simple fold-under-twice-and-stitch-down edge on both the back edges and the hem. There’s a gap in the waist band at one side seam, for one of the ties to pass through, and it’s designed so you wrap them around to the front and tie them over the yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One thing I’d do differently next time is extend the width of the back skirt pieces – the cross over portion isn’t quite big enough for the very windy city I live in, so I’ll be wearing a slip under this for those sure-to-happy wardrobe malfunctions due to errant gusts. (Admittedly, they would normally cross over a bit more – I made this up in my “normal” size, rather than my current size, since I still have a lot of baby bump weight to loose and I want to be able to wear this in the future, rather than just as a transition piece. But even taking that into consideration, they don’t cross over quite enough for my liking/feelings of wardrobe safety.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Aside from the wind risk factor, though, I’m loving this skirt! It’s comfy, has big pockets, and is gonna last in my wardrobe for quite a while. So an all-round win, really. 🙂

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(The Little Man was running back and forth between my lovely photographer and I, hence the ‘hey there!’ arms)

It got it’s first outing on Christmas Day. We were at my partner’s parents house for lunch and the afternoon, and these photos were taken in their gorgeous garden. (Naturally, there was a photo bomber as well.) So any wrinkles (and chocolate finger marks left by the Little Man) can be excused from the car trip there. 😉

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Little Man photo bomb (naturally)

21 responses to “It’s a wrap! (A retro wrap, even)

  1. Happy Christmas Kat. Golly that pattern takes me back. Never made that one but did others which were not dissimilar. You could put a small weight in the Outen corners to hold it down. Like the weights you can/could get for curtains. Just a thought, as if it doesn’t pull to much it might make you feel safer.
    Love to all Jo x

    • Hi Jo, hope you had a lovely Christmas! 🙂

      I love these classic wrap skirt patterns – they seem like they were rather popular in the 1970’s, as there are quite a few variations out there! I think I’ll have to look through my pattern stash and see if I have any others to make up, as I’m really enjoying wearing this one… 😉

  2. Lovely stuff! The back is really nice.

  3. Lovely skirt, I always love a wrap! If you make the pattern again, go for a bit more overlap, it does wonders when chasing little people. The standard pattern adds 1/4 the of the waist measurement for overlap, but I always extend it to be 1/2.

    • Oh gosh, that’s good to know that they only add 1/4 of the waist measurement! I would have expected it to be more than that, but I must admit I’ve never gotten around to measuring to see what other patterns have…! Thanks! 🙂

  4. I like how you chose some nice 70’s feel floral fabric to match the pattern (at least, I think it’s 70’s feel, as I was born in ’75 I don’t really remember). And surely life is too short to slip stitch pockets on, certainly with a newborn. I know any pockets I sewed on would look neater and last longer if I machined them!

  5. Looks like a winner all around. Thanks for the post.

  6. Such a great looking skirt, the fabric is gorgeous! (I’m quite taken by the red jacket as well). Also pockets rule!

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  8. Oh, this is cute! The yoke is a nice detail… it’s really sweet on you!

  9. It looks so good on you, love the trimming on the pockets and the pockets themselves, big pockets are a big plus. I also like your shoes a lot! I’ve never tried a wrap skirt but I’m very tempted as everyone says they’re very comfortable and they can accommodate for pie haha! I enjoy the photo bombing when it happens. Happy new year 🙂

    • Thanks! 🙂

      You should totally try a wrap skirt – they’re great! (Just make sure the pattern is meant to fall at your natural waist – I’ve found ones that are meant to sit lower usually don’t sit nicely around the waistband. But that might just be me….)

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