Tuesday, July 6, 2021

CCP Elodie Hack


Hello! Hope you're well.  I'm dusting off the old blog to write a few words about my experience with the Elodie Wrap Dress by Closet Core Patterns. I had to make a number of changes along the way, so you may not recognize the pattern on my dress form as the popular Elodie. 

First, I should quickly say that my pictures are utter crap--even worse than my usual toilet selfies. I almost didn't blog because they're so terrible, but I have SO much to say, and some of it may even be useful. I anticipate wearing this dress over the summer, so maybe I can follow up with better pictures at some point. 

I'm not much of a dress person--more into separates. But I bought the Elodie pattern because I had a wedding (finally!) to attend, and it seemed like a  good wedding/occasion-type dress. I wanted to try the extended sizing that is drafted with a D cup block (sewing D cup, not bra size). 

To begin, a short rant: The extended size is pdf-only, which is super annoying now that I work from home and don't have access to a high-speed printer. It feels a bit like being penalized for wearing a larger size. Yes, I know larger sizes mean printing more paper/larger pieces, but I can't believe the extra cost couldn't be absorbed some other way. I ended up using a printing service called PDF Plotting which is a really great service (fast, easy, copies arrive rolled up in sturdy cardboard packaging), but between the minimum order and shipping it cost an extra $25! At this point, I should add that Cashmerette came out with a woven wrap dress pattern about a week after my printed pattern arrived. The whole thing felt like such a money pit that I didn't want to spend any more on patterns.

So let's talk about pattern hacks. The Elodie dress, particularly the midi-version is a really lovely, feminine, flowy pattern. It's also a total fabric hog. I can usually squeeze a garment out of much less than what the pattern calls for (being short helps) but the skirt has a very wide almost bell shape that makes it tough. I had 3 yards of the lovely rayon fabric pictured below earmarked for a dress but had second thoughts at the last minute. Because of the drape, I could only see this in the long sleeve midi version which requires at least five yards. And with the directional pattern, I knew I couldn't cut in different directions like I can for a solid color. 

So I ended up using 3 yards of navy blue Elizabeth Susann linen from my stash. I made the short sleeve version and changed the skirt ENTIRELY. Since I couldn't fit the large skirt pieces, I changed direction by making a gathered dirndle skirt. I lucked out and found an absolutely stunning Paper Theory Zadie dress hack on the blog Belle Citadel. I think you could apply this hack to just about any pattern. Here's what I did: Cut four rectangles by measuring each bodice panel, subtracting the pleats, and adding 75% to the width. You end up with just the right amount of gathers!

At the end of the day, I could have saved myself some money and stuck with the Zadie hack to start. Except....I think the Elodie bodice fits better. More to follow on that. 

 I know, I know. The above pic is absolute crap. Not even focused, and the angle makes it look a little longer than it really is. I zoned out when cutting the rectangles and ended cutting them 3 inches too short. The length was perfect for me--barely below my knee--so I used my final bit of fabric to piece together a 3.5-inch wide strip of fabric to make a nice deep hem facing that ended up giving the skirt some structure and a little extra swish. I love it. 

I've covered most everything, but here are some final details before I forget:

  • Size 24. I muslined the size 20 bodice, removing 3/4 inch from the bodice length and found it too small, so I went up 2 sizes without shortening the length. I probably could have just gone up one size, but I was comfortable with the extra ease. It ended up hitting me right at the very top of the center front of my bra, so I made sure to wear a pretty bra. :) 
  • There was a very minimal amount of gaping, which I didn't worry about too much. Like I said, wear a pretty bra.  
  • With the angled wrap front, his is not the time to skip staystitching or understitching. It's a fun, easy sew--best to enjoy the process of making a quality garment that you'll enjoy wearing.
  • I like the bust pleats underneath for an extra bit of shaping.  Wasn't sure if I would.
  • I cut regular thin waist ties to conserve fabric. The pattern has ties that widen at the ends to make a pretty bow.
  • The front wraps overlap enough that there's no danger of feeling exposed. 
So that's all I can think of. Overall, I think I like this hacked version better with the gathered skirt balancing the top and bottom of my proportions. And in navy linen, it will weather beautifully and make a nice casual dress for warm days. 

Finally, just want to say how WONDERFUL it was to see my dear friend finally be able to celebrate the way she intended--surrounded by friends and family, with hours of dancing, laughing, and hugging. It was so good to see old friends and share a moment of joy after the past year and a half. Here's to more days spent with loved ones. and much more hugging! Cheers!

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