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'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.