TL; DR – Don’t be afraid to grade between sizes, fabric matters.
The Elodie Wrap Dress from Closet Core Patterns in a another pattern that comes up again and again and again when you google “best woven wrap dress patterns”. It goes up to a size 30, the instructions are really well-done, and there is a good sew-a-long on YouTube (and by good, I mean, no one talks and it is divided into clear chapters). I had to use the tutorial to figure out how to do the waist band, but that’s not a knock against the written directions, but more my ADHD’s brain inability to visualize what they were telling me to do.
And, I watch and re-watched and re-watched and re-watched the tutorial…and still fucked it up the first time and had to unpick all of the stitches and start again. I also decided to do a bias hem, which I also managed to fuck up by sewing it initially on the wrong side. I can’t believe I am in a place in my sewing where I willingly spend 2hrs making bias tape and then pin, stitch, un-stitch, re-pin, and re-stitch my hem.
And, for the first time, I graded between sizes at the waist.
My measurements (45-41-48) usually fit perfectly within a size for both the bust and hips, but my waist is thick, and so usually, the waist measurement for a size that fits with my bust and hips is in the high-30s, depending on the pattern. If you look at most of my sews thus far, they’ve been looser around the waist or made out of stretch fabric. I have avoided making this dress for so long because I was intimidated by the idea of having to grade out at the waist.
I watched and read tutorials (google it, there are plenty), and this pattern proved pretty simple to do, since there were no darts to adjust, etc. I cut the whole dress as an 18, and graded out to a size 20 at the waist at both the bodice and skirt, and cut the waist bands as a size 20. Thankfully, because the skirt is so full, it was forgiving for grading back down to the hips. I also had a bit of wiggle room in the bodice with the pleats, which I could let out or take in if necessary.
And look at that picture – it fits *like a dream*.
I also love the fabric, which isn’t Marimekko, but in the style of their floral prints. It’s a lovely light cotton, and unfortunately is now sold out. I got it from a algorithmically suggested ad on FB, and I couldn’t resist, despite promising my husband I wouldn’t buy any more fabric, but I had to have this one.
And I do not regret it. I mean, look at that picture of the dress. I’m so happy that I saw the #sewmaxiformothersday challenge which “forced” to finally make this dress.
I am just going to make this dress in different lengths in all of my woven fabrics that I have enough of. That’s the biggest challenge of this dress is that because of the size of the skirt pieces, you can’t cut the pattern with the fabric folded in half. And I don’t have a large enough space to put out the whole piece of 60″ fabric. I ended up taking over the kitchen floor to place and cut the pieces, which was tight, but it worked. It’s not something I necessarily want to do again, but the results are so amazing…
Anyway, Elodie Wrap Dress – it takes a lot of fabric and a lot of space, but ultimately SO WORTH IT.