Four months later, I'm back. I've learned my lesson about stating definitively that I'm totally back for real this time you guys - I'm still not well, I can't rely on my health or motivation, and making promises about things I don't end up being able to deliver stresses me right out. But I have actually completed several garments that don't suck, and I have multiple posts written and ready to go, so this is a much more sensible attempt at a return to regular blogging than the previous ones. So with that in mind, here's a dress!
I've been thinking about the Closet Core Patterns Elodie dress since it was released, trying to decide if I wanted to make it or not. My recollection is that they released it at the very end of summer last year, and I didn't buy it then because I wouldn't get any use out of it for the best part of a year. I'd bought some fabric that I thought would be an amazing full-length wrap dress, and I went back and forth for months wondering whether it would work with the Elodie pattern. That fabric continues to sit in my cupboard (it's one I'm very keen to actually wear and I do not want to mess it up by pairing it incorrectly), but I did, finally, get round to a test run of the pattern itself.
Here it is! The fabric is a viscose from Fabric Land; it was part of a small haul my mum gave me as a belated birthday present. (The rest of said haul is cut out but not sewn yet and I hope you'll be seeing it over the next month or two.) I picked this piece specifically to be a test run of the Elodie, because I liked it and would be happy to wear it but wouldn't feel the need to be precious about it, and I knew the pattern would work in this type of light, drapey fabric. I thought a functional version would help me decide whether my intended fabric would be too thick.
First off, I like this fabric so much more as a dress than I did on the roll. It makes a really amazing - and very me - dramatic summer wrap dress that I honestly wasn't expecting to be as taken by as I am. It's not remotely outside of my comfort zone or current style arena, but also I don't really have anything else like this, which is exactly what I need at a point when I'm struggling a fair bit. It's an unexpectedly vintage sort of vibe, which I haven't dabbled with in a while and I'm rather enjoying. Shame it's been raining all summer, eh. This dress has had exactly three outings, one of which barely counts because I wore it downstairs to dinner at the hotel I was staying in while a storm raged on outside.
Construction was fairly simple, and I was pleased that the hole for the wrap was in the middle of the waistband so it didn't get in the way of me French seaming everything. I cut a size 12 in the shoulders and a 16 everywhere else (the skirt is sufficiently flared that I didn't need to bother sizing up in the hips). I didn't put the patch pockets on because frankly I have zero use for a viscose patch pocket, but I otherwise made the pattern up entirely as directed.
My one complaint with this pattern is the neckline finishing. I will freely admit to being biased against facings in general, but I especially hate them on wrap styles. The wrap on this is high enough that things are basically fine when standing, but it does gape noticeably when I sit down unless I'm keeping a very close eye on things. Woven wraps are tricky in general, I think, and the only finishing method I've ever really liked is the Victory Patterns Trina, which is finished with bias binding and all three of my versions stay very firmly put whenever I wear them.
I find that the skirt fronts overlap sufficiently as to be pretty secure unless there's a serious wind blowing (which did happen!) and in taking these photos I had to do a full runway stomp towards the camera to get my lower leg to show. I feel very covered up in this dress. While talking about the skirt it's probably worth mentioned that there was a ton of bias drop and I would strongly recommend hanging it up for a couple of days before hemming it.
I don't think I will be making another using my originally intended fabric - having worn this version around a bit, I do think it would be too thick. What I do plan to try is a shorter version, to see if I like it. This full length version is incredibly fabric-hungry (it has to be cut on a single layer because the skirt pieces are super wide) and so I won't want to make it that often if I need to buy five metres every time. I haven't historically liked a shorter, fuller skirt on me, but I do want to give it a try and see what I think. For a long time now I've been missing a "dinner dress", something relatively non-restrictive that I can wear when Patrick and I go out that's not something I wear day-to-day (so that I can feel like I'm dressing up) but also isn't particularly OTT (so I don't feel self-conscious), and this is exactly the kind of style that might work, so I'm keen for a test run. On any future versions I'm going to swap out the neckline finishing, probably for the Trina's bias binding method.
(For these photos I went for the "literally just standing on the deck" view of our garden, which is basically the only way to get OK light when it's sunny. You'll observe a ton of greenery behind me, and there's actually a secret extra part of the garden behind that, which will be an excellent photo location when I can get to it again. The previous owners had planted a load of insidious bamboo, and Patrick spent a full day chopping it down then promptly had a massive health crash, so there's currently giant piles of dead bamboo blocking the path. I tried to clamber over it to take some pictures once, and I fell over and cut my hands in three places, so I'm not doing that again until the dead bamboo is gone.)
I'm glad to have written and posted again. This blog is incredibly important for me because writing things down is the only way I can remember what I've done and what I'm intending to do and the fact that I haven't been blogging is a huge part of the reason I haven't been sewing, but this year has been hard. Fingers crossed that this autumn will bring some proper medication and a slightly easier-to-navigate world.
Next week's post is already scheduled, so I'll see you then!
Closet Core Patterns Elodie dress
Fabric: Tropical print viscose from Fabric Land
Pattern details: Woven wrap dress in three skirt lengths and two sleeve lengths, with waistband, faced neckline, and optional patch pockets
Size: 12 in the shoulders, 16 everywhere else
Would make again/would recommend: Yes/Yes