I wear a dress at least once a week. It is super fun during the summer but I don’t have a lot of winter dresses. I thought the Wren dress from Colette with long sleeves would be the perfect winter dress.
I also wanted to make it out of wool knit fabric for extra warmth. I ordered the fabric from mood. When I got it the first thing that stood out was the weight. This fabric was SO HEAVY as one continuous piece of fabric. I love the color and the fabric is not too itchy.
I wanted to do the gathered skirt version since I didn’t think the gored skirt version would be super flattering. Because my fabric is so heavy I took out a total of eight inches of fullness from the skirt. I also shortened the skirt by two inches. Since the fabric is bulky I wouldn’t have been able to gather it as much as with a thinner fabric. I also should have removed some of the bulk from the gathers on the front neckband but I didn’t.
When I finished the dress and tried it on there were definite issues. The seam at the waistline was very wobbly and at the back it stuck way out. I ended up cutting the skirt from the bodice and trying again. I wrapped the bodice a little tighter so there was less fabric at the back of the dress. When I reapplied the elastic I was very careful to have consistent tension throughout and as a result the gathers are more consistent. Here are some photos where you can see some of the issues with the dress:
There was a noticeable improvement after I made those changes but there is was still some extra fabric at the back bodice. I ended up taking the dress in at the side seams 1 inch at each side for 4 inches of less fabric all around. This helped to straighten out the waist seam significantly. I probably could take it in an additional inch or two to really pull the waist in closer to my body.
There have been a couple other people mention issues with the gathered skirt version feeling “maternity” which I can definitely see. I think this is partially to do with the height/placement of the gathers. I’ve seen some really great Wrens with the gored skirt and in a thinner fabric so I may try this pattern again at some point in the future.