Makes,  Sewing tips

Ravello + Elodie = Ravlodie? The best of two wrap dresses

You know how it is. You spot a new pattern, instantly fall in love with it, impulse buy it, then you sew it up, put it on, and the thing that all sewists dread comes to pass – the fruit of your hours-worth of labour is just a bit, well, underwhelming. Or just not quite right for you.

When the Sew Over It Summer Dreaming E-book came out, I was really drawn to it. All the pretty colours and the Indian backdrop made me snap it up immediately after release. I particularly loved the Ravello dress, especially the short version Lisa wears made from the mustard Atelier Brunette double gauze.

Picture of Lisa Comfort from the e-book

It looks absolutely stunning on her (but then again, what doesn’t… can you tell I have a massive girl crush on Lisa?). I don’t usually go for the exact copy, but I really wanted nearly the identical dress this time. Mustard is not my colour, but I went for the dark green/petrol colourway of the same fabric and dreamed up my very own Ravello.

Trial and error

For once I decided to be a good girl and make a wearable toile of the bodice, because from the pattern piece and some tester versions it looked a lot looser than it does on Lisa. So I cut it out in an Art Gallery Fabrics rayon remnant I picked up at my local fabric shop (Látky Mráz) and experienced that feeling described above when I put it on. As much as I love the idea of it, the top is just way too voluminous and the point at which the sleeve part meets the bodice sits too low, nearly at the waist! I think it looks relatively okay in a drapey fabric like this as a top, but I don’t think it would do much for me made from the stiffer double gauze and as a full dress.

However, I did not want to give up on my dream Ravello altogether. The features I particularly loved about it were the cuffs and the straigher shape of the skirt with its rounded wrap. Just a couple of weeks before the e-book came out, I pattern-tested the Elodie wrap dress by Closet Core Patterns and loved it! (You can read all about it in this blog post.) The bodice of the Elodie features grown-on sleeves as well, but they are not nearly as wide, and the fit across the bust is much closer thanks to the pleats. So I thought, why not take the best of both worlds?

Merging the two patterns was quite easy. Here’s what I did:

  • I measured the waist of the Elodie bodice pieces and selected the size of the Ravello skirt that corresponded to that measurement.
  • The corresponding back bodice and back skirt pieces didn’t quite align, so I added an extra pair of darts to the skirt pieces to mirror the bodice pleats – a feature I absolutely love as the fit across the small of my back is now absolutely spot on, I think.
  • I cut the Ravello cuffs out as they were and shortened them once I’ve attached them to the sleeve openings (not the most methodical approach, I know).
  • I used bias binding for both the bodice and skirt edges, like in the Ravello, instead of using the Elodie facings.
  • I used the Ravello waist ties rather than the built in waist ties of the Elodie.

Supplies

I used about 1.8 meters of fabric, which I bought from the lovely Markéta at revoart.cz. I bought quite a bit more, as I went by the amount required for the Ravello, so I have a big piece left over, but fear not, I already have plans for that too! I also used pre-made Atelier Brunette bias binding in the same colourway that I bought from peonygarden.cz. I love that they make corresponding bias binding for their fabrics, it saves so much time not gaving to make it yourself, and I appreciate it even more with their viscoses, because my previous attempts at making my own bias binding from slippery fabrics have been a bit of a nightmare.

Get creative

Anyway, what do you think about the result? I consider my Ravlodie quite a successfull case of frankenpatterning! It’s proof that you shouldn’t give up on a pattern you love when it doesn’t quite work for you. Think of the aspects of it you like the most and find a way to use them in a different garment to create something that’s more you! Trust me, it’s worth the effort.

Till next time,

Magda

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