Hey y’all! Heather here with a quick introduction about the newest member of our Core team – meet the wonderful Emmanuelle! We’ve been fans of Emmanuelle for years (I’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve linked to her blog in our Maker Journal) and were so excited when she answered our blog contributor call a while back and told us she was now based in Montreal. Long story short, when we were hiring a marketing coordinator for our new fabric shop, Core Fabrics, Emmanuelle applied. We quickly realized she was perfect for the role, and she’s now joined the team full time! We’re having an absolute blast getting Core Fabrics up and running, and I’m so happy to have someone SO passionate about sewing and style on our team. She’s a true delight, and she did an absolutely awesome job with this Elodie Wrap dress hack. Take it away Emmanuelle!
Salut! My name’s Emmanuelle and I’m very happy to meet you! I’m a Franco-Canadian who’s recently settled in Montréal by way of Vancouver (BC), Madison (Wisconsin), and Rennes (Brittany). When I started sewing seven years ago, my primary motivation was to wear garments that I could not find anywhere. Since then, I’ve realized that sewing allows me to do so much more. It has helped me reconnect to my body and to be kinder to myself and others. It’s had far more resonance on my life than I ever would’ve imagined! When I’m not sewing, I’m usually hanging with my toddler son and my puppy dog. I’m also a huge Bowie fan and I’ve just started learning Egyptian hieroglyphs. So, now to the sewing… I’m excited to share this one with you!
Our long-awaited summer is in full swing here. This is my first in Montreal, and I’ve been looking forward to getting out and exploring more of what this beautiful city has to offer. Naturally, this got me pondering sundresses, ideally one that could suit all summer occasions and activities. I decided to hack one of my favourite dress patterns: The Elodie Wrap Dress. And that’s how this 2-in-1 Elodie with detachable midi-length skirt came to be!
This detachable skirt’s critical ingredient is snap tape, which comes in different sizes and materials. The one I found at my local store was ⅝” wide polyester tape with plastic snaps spaced ⅝” apart. I used almost 2 meters of it, which, if you do the math, means over 120 snaps. That’s a lot of snaps! The benefit is that the skirt is held securely in place with no fabric sagging. The downside, however, is the ~4 minutes needed to attach the skirt (which can feel a lot longer than 4 minutes!). But the satisfaction that comes with unsnapping all 120 snaps in one tug without needing to undress more than makes up for it!
Modify the pattern pieces: front skirt (H) and back skirt (I)
Divide the length of the skirt in three. Draw the reference line where the three tiers connect. The “female” side of the snap tape will be stitched in the sewing allowance.
- First tier front and back (H1 & I1): Draw a 1” seam allowance directly underneath the reference line.
- Second tier front and back (H2 & I2): Draw a 1” seam allowance directly above the reference line. Redraw the front hem to match the gently shaped front hem of the midi-length skirt.
- Third tier front and back (H3 & I3): This is the detachable midi panel of the dress. Draw a 1” seam allowance directly above the reference line.
Assemble the three tiers
Cut all the new skirt pieces. With the right sides together, stitch the first tier skirt backs (I1) along the center back seam. Then, with the right sides together, stitch the first tier skirt front (H1) to the skirt back (I1) along the side seam. Finish the seams and press as per the pattern instructions. Repeat the process for the second tier (I2, H2) and third tier (I3, H3).
Assemble the first and second tiers together
Serge the bottom raw edge of the first tier and press under by ⅜”. Serge the top raw edge of the second tier and press under by ⅜”. Pin the female side of the snap tape along the folded seam of the second tier. Using a zipper foot, stitch carefully along the edges of the snap tape. Leave enough room at the beginning and end for the ⅝” seam that will be sewed later. Make sure the snaps fall clear of the seam lines.
With the right sides together, stitch the first tier to the second tier along the new reference line, making sure to not catch any of the snap tape. Press the seam allowances and the snap tape towards the first tier. To keep the snap tape and seam allowance in place (the midi panel puts some weight on it), hand stitch it to the first tier.
Assemble the third tier
Serge the top raw edge of the third tier. The snap tape goes on the right side of the fabric so press by ⅜” towards the right side and press again by ⅝”. Lay the tape in place, matching the position of the male snap to the position of the female snap on the second tier to make sure they close properly. Stitch the tape in place as before.
We now have two panels: the short skirt and the midi-length skirt connected by the snap tape. For each panel, press the raw edge of the center front seam under by ¼”. Press under again by ⅜” and pin in place. Topstitch it to secure.
Then, follow the pattern instructions to attach the skirt to the bodice and hem the panels. And that’s it!
There are a couple of other things worth noting about this dress (these dresses?!). First, I played with three different linen fabrics to accentuate the wrap design lines. I’ve been eyeing the mixing prints trend this year so this was a great project to try it for myself. And second, because I wanted the option to switch which print was most prominently shown, I added an extra slit on the left side of the dress to be able to slide the belt through both sides. It’s a bit unconventional, but I thought it would be fun to wrap the dress both ways. So it’s sorta like four dresses in one!
I’m really happy with how this Elodie turned out. I feel that this hack adds additional versatility in function and appearance to Elodie’s already beautiful design. I’m looking forward to wearing it while out and about in my new city!
And that’s it! Give snap tape a try, it can really make things much more versatile!