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.
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.
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.
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,