Straightforward summer style!

A review of Common Stitch Bellbird Wrap Dress and Top

Reviewed by Mel Forrest on 19th June, 2020

This would be a great project for a beginner sewist – no darts, no zips and no button holes! If you can sew a simple seam, hem and handle bias tape, you can totally make this.

I used some lovely summer weight block printed cotton for my dress,  which I bought from Merchant and Mills last year. I think it’s the perfect fabric for the pattern and any lightweight cottons or linens would work well.

The quality of instructions was good and the diagrams were useful. I liked how everything was printed on one big sheet (pattern pieces and instructions). I traced my pattern pieces, which meant I had to cut the instruction section off to avoid having an A0 sheet spread out on my table while I sewed!

I made the size 8 and omitted the pocket, because of how lightweight my fabric is. I made a couple of alterations to my pattern pieces as I have a small bust and I wanted to avoid excess fabric or gaping on the bodice. I took an inch off the front and back shoulder seam at the neckline, grading to nothing at the sleeve. I also pinched out about an inch from the front panels at the wrap edge, grading to nothing at the underarm seam. I copied these adjustments from Melinda – you can see a much better explanation and images on her blog at I also used a narrower bias tape and finished this inside the garment, because I prefer how this looks.

I haven’t worn the dress much since I made it, due to lockdown – I think I will give it a good few test runs before I’m certain that my adjustments were sufficient. When I’m totally happy with the fit I definitely think I will make more Bellbird wrap dresses – it’s such an easy sew and is an incredibly wearable summer dress.