Just Patterns Linda Wrap Dress (turned jacket)!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I went to the wedding of one of my oldest friends this weekend and naturally, I cut it fine finishing my handmade outfit. With just a week to go, I set my heart on wearing the beautiful Linda Wrap Dress by Just Patterns, which I was testing for their Pattern Development Group. I turned it into one of those 'all or nothing' situations, so when the dress didn't quite turn out as I'd planned, I performed the ultimate sewing salvage and transformed it from wrap dress to dress-coat!
Just Patterns Linda Wrap Dress worn as a jacket
I've had my eye on Just Patterns for a while and the Linda Wrap Dress was the main reason I put myself forward to be in the Pattern Development Group. I particularly loved the angled collar and wrap-style/belt fastening and was really keen to make it. It's worth noting that whilst I was sent a copy for free to test, the feedback I provided and this blog post are both pretty honest about some of the difficulties I had!
Linda Wrap Dress line drawings
I used a mid-weight khaki peachskin-type which was only £4p/m from Lucky Fashions in Dewsbury. It has a really nice drape but is still weighty enough for the quite 'tailored' details of the dress. I cut a size 42 based on my bust and waist measurements in the size chart. The dress is intended to be fairly loose fitting and as it has a wrap fastening, I thought I'd have a bit of flexibility with sizing, but in hindsight, I should've probably worked more from the finished garment measurements.

My Linda Wrap COAT
When it came to making, I was initially intimidated by how minimal the instructions are - there are no illustrations, just an order of construction - but this turned out to be good in a way and really pushed me to think for myself and put my skills into practice. Luckily there's a resource page on the Just Patterns website, which signposts useful tutorials for parts of the construction. I relied heavily on some of these tutorials, particularly for instructions like 'construct the sleeve plackets' (which I would've found absolutely terrifying otherwise)! It was actually a really good way to learn new techniques and discover new blogs and tutorials in the process!

Super proud of these sleeve plackets!
I loved adding the little details to my Linda Dress. There is A LOT of topstitching to do and I used some bright buttons from Textile Garden (the same as the ones on my Ready to Sew Jane) to add a pop of colour and draw the eye to the sleeve detailing too - I'm so unbelievably proud of those sleeve plackets! The overall finish is really professional, particularly if you follow the instructions to French seam pretty much any visible seam - I skipped this as an overlocked edge is fine by me.

A flash of the bias bound inside bodice edge
Attaching the skirt and bodice to the belt requires a little bit of concentration to make sure you match the right notches, but everything else was fairly straight forward. By the time it came to adding the belt fastening I'd tried it on and realised that it wouldn't be wearable as a dress (I had planned to add a D ring fastening). Unfortunately the dress turned out pretty huge all over, but particularly in the bodice and I could pinch a good 4-5" out of the waist. It's worth noting that a few of the testers had problems with sizing and this is something that Just Patterns are addressing.

Worn as a dress...
It's a little hard to tell from pictures alone (sorry for the clutter!) but the shoulders are off and the front gapes with any movement. There's a limit to how far over you can tie the belt because of the gathered detail around the waistband and the pocket on the side, so the fit wasn't as flexible as I had first thought. It was just starting to look like a real shame to waste all the hard work I'd put into the make, when my boyfriend commented that he thought it was meant to be a coat all along.

Ready to Sew Jazz Jumpsuit
When worn open it totally worked in an over-sized, COS-like, over-coat fashion. With 2 more days until the wedding, I didn't have many options other than to run with it anyway! So what to wear it with?! I made this Ready to Sew Jazz Jumpsuit in black crepe straight after making my first version and it has yet to appear on the blog. I have nothing but praise for this pattern and it works so perfectly in a slightly heavier, drapey fabric. I probably wouldn't have worn either garment without the other as they're both quite plain, but paired together I totally felt like it was leaning towards the minimal/cool look. I also wore my go-to snakeskin heels from M&S with a Whistles clutch for a bit of colour.

Jazz Jumpsuit
I didn't have to make any changes to the dress-turned-jacket other than omitting the fastening. I kept the belt tie, though I'm wondering whether I should cut it off and stitch the edge up so it's level or add another sort of fastening. I'm still undecided so suggestions are very much welcome!

Back view
Behind the scenes assistance from my friend Alex!
So all in all everything turned out great! And the whole thing (jacket and jumpsuit) cost no more than £25. I have to say that I'm soooo so pleased with the Linda Wrap Dress (jacket), even if my testing did go slightly off piste. I'll absolutely be making up another version in the future, but will be sure to double check the finished garment measurements and down size first. If you're feeling like a fun challenge and maybe learning some new techniques along the way then I'd definitely recommend giving it a go! You can get a copy of the pattern here.

Thank you Chris for taking pictures xx
A lot of the testers made some perfect Linda Wrap Dresses (that they actually wore as dresses) so be sure to check out #lindawrapdress for the real deal!

Wedding gang!
I still can't quite believe I pulled it off (well I think I just about did...). It really does feel like the ultimate sewing save. Has anyone else got a great sewing salvage story?

Stay in touch!

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  1. I don't know about salvages but I've certainly made a lot of "unwearable muslins", lol. I did recently make a wrap skirt that didn't quite wrap (very small) and I did unpick the side seams and make them much narrower -- down to about 1/4 inch but it's still a little tight and since it's a mini wrap, tight doesn't quite work. Maybe in the winter with tights it will be salvaged.

    Nice job problem solving on this one. :)

    1. Thank you! So glad I saved it!

      I've definitely done the same with a wrap skirt too! Can just about wear mine with tights without feeling indecent haha :)

  2. When I saw the first photo, I thought it was meant to be a coat after all! Clearly you've done a. Filling save as it looks smashing. That jumpsuit is now in my sewing queue!

    1. Ahh thanks Sarah! I'm so glad other people think it works too :) The jumpsuit is an amazing pattern - you can also mix and match it with sleeves and a skirt bottom. Looking forward to seeing yours!

  3. What a marvelous "save" this is! Your outfit looks really modern and cool--I'm sure nobody ever suspected that it was a last-minute substitution! The dress creates a lovely shape for a coat/coat-dress, although I am sorry it didn't turn out as you had originally envisioned. I don't know how the belt is intended to fasten, but perhaps you could use snaps or hooks and eyes for keeping it closed across the front? That wouldn't interrupt the minimalism of the front, at least.

    I've been curious about Just Patterns, but haven't decided if I like any of the designs enough to want to try them. Maybe seeing more examples will help me decide! =)


    1. Thank you Abbey! I told everyone about my last minute save but maybe I shouldn't have to see if they would've noticed. I might go with a snap fastening eventually, but enjoying wearing it open at the minute.

      I really like making this and love the Just Patterns Stephanie Skirt too - would definitely recommend giving them a try :)

  4. Wowsers! This is all kinds of gorgeous, and what a save! Your whole outfit is lovely, and what a bargain price too! I like the little belt detail, and vote for leaving it as it is.

    I haven't heard of Just Patterns, but I'm all over wrap dresses at the minute, so am going for a look at the pattern right now.

    1. Ahh thank you Lynne! I didn't even buy a new bag/shoes, so I'm feeling like I sort of owe myself new ones now after 'saving money' making. I think you'd look great in the Linda dress and you'd be a total pro at adding some of the detail on the collar and sleeves after all your coat making!
      Look forward to seeing yours if you decide to make it :) x


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