Tag Archives: Colette Patterns

Me Made May ’14 Week One

Hope everyone’s Me Made May is going well thus far, it was a short week but so far so good. If you follow me on Instagram you will have most likely seen a few MMMay posts, but rather than posting to that everyday and clogging up my non-sewing friends feeds I though I would do a round up on here.

Me Made May Week One

Day 1: Coppelia Cardi and as of yet unblogged Meitte Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons Day 2: Pre-blog Laurel Dress by Colette Patterns Day 3: As of yet unblogged Plantain T-shirt by Deer and Doe and a me made tote bag (available at my Etsy shop)

So far so good and I am keeping with my goal of 4 me-mades a week! Here’s hoping the rest of the month goes this smoothy!





Spring Peony Dress

As mentioned in my previous few posts I have a small back log of posts coming your way shortly, now that it has finally been sunny enough to photograph them! And to begin with I present you my second Peony Dress by Colette Patterns, this time I made the short sleeve version, with a couple other alterations, as well as patch pockets! If you follow me on Instagram you will recognize this from several preview pictures.

Spring Peony Dress

To be completely honest, this dress was a pain in the butt to make. I decided to use a lightweight black and white gingham that has a slight stretch to it (I picked it up a year or so ago at a fabric store that was going out of business) and to add a little visual interest I cut the bodice on a bias as well as added black piping. This is actually the second bodice that I cut since I had run into a few problems installing the invisible zipper, but more on that later.

In addition to the alterations that I used on my Winter Peony Dress I also did my fist FBA (full bust adjustment), up until now I had been terrified of doing one and essentially avoided it at all cost, but I’m so glad I sucked it up and did it (and guess what it was super easy!). The other adjustments that I did was shift the sleeves forward by about 5/8” of an inch to help give me a better range of motion and lowered the side bust darts by 5/8″.

As I mentioned previously this is the second bodice that I cut out for this dress (thank goodness I bought so much of this fabric) the reason for that is that I really hadn’t had any experience with bias cut fabric up to this point and time so I didn’t stabilize it short of stay stitching the neckline. By the time I had gotten to inserting the zipper the fabric had stretched out quite a bit and the problem was that I couldn’t tell until I had finished everything and was about to wear it. Imagine how upset I was when I saw that the zipper was rippling up and down my back and I resembled a stegosaurus! After looking around the interwebs for any type of solution and trying many things I decided it would be easiest to cut a whole new bodice and treat it very delicately. For the second time around I used fusible knit interfacing to stabilize the zipper opening (using Sunni’s instructions) and stitched up the seams and darts using tissue paper to prevent my sewing machine from stretching the fabric, as I was sewing. This final bodice is much better, but is still a little ripply, especially if I stand up really straight. I also wish that I could get a little closer to the zipper teeth, but I think it is mainly the fault of this lightweight fabric. Oh well.

Spring Peony Dress

Spring Peony Dress

To add a bit of visual interest I added black piping to the neck, sleeves, waist, and pockets. On the first bodice I used the piping along with the facing and it definitely felt a bit bulky, but while working on my second bodice I saw Gertie’s post of using piping as self facing (duh!) and now the neck is much less bulky. Along with the piping I cut out bias patch pockets rather than using the inseam ones provided with the pattern, and I must say they are my favorite part of the dress! They help break up the busyness of the gingham along with looking absolutely adorable.

Spring Peony Dress

Overall I am very please with this dress, I still can’t lift my arms super high (I’m really not sure of what kind of adjustment could help remedy this), and the zipper is a little off, but I definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this one. I did a ton of “firsts” (FBA, piping, bias, self drafted pockets) and made a dress that I fell with be great in a variety of seasons.

Next up is my dress for Sew Dolly Clacket!

Xoxo Jeanne

Quick Facts
Pattern: Colette Pattern’s Peony Dress
Fabric: Cotton with stretch Black and Whit Gingham
Adjustments: 1/2” FBA
Shifted sleeves forward 5/8”
Took out 1 1/2″ from back neck
Moved shoulders over by 1/2″
Lowered side bust darts by 5/8″
Used Piping as self facing

Winter Peony Dress

Hello all, it has been a little while, there has not been any specific reason it has taken me so long to write this post (considering I look the photos for it at the same time as my last two posts), I just have been a little busy. More on that later. But for now I wanted to share with you my make of Colette Patterns Peony Dress. I received this pattern as a Christmas gift and it was actually my first make of he year. I have been eyeballing this pattern for some time, seeing all of the lovely versions on the web and was so glad to be able to make my own. Along with all this internet pattern stalking I was well aware with the multiple fitting problems that went along with this pattern and felt it was time that I start flexing my fitting skills. I began by grading the pattern to my multiple sizes (shoulder 6, bust and waist 8, and 10 hips) and made a muslin. Much like others I had a ton of fabric on gapping on the back of my neck I ended up slashing the pattern back and taking 1 1/2″ out (so 3″ total for the final garment), but then the shoulders were too far up so to accommodate I moved them over 1/2″, which all helped immensely! For the most part that was the only major pattern change I had to make, but I did end up lowering the neckline by 1″ and took the hips back in to the size 8.

So here she is! My winter Peony dress.
Colette's Peony Dress

For this version I used some cotton(?) suiting that I have had in my stash for ages, I want to say that I received this from my grandma, but I honestly cannot remember. It has a very subtile mini-houndstooth-ish patterning to it. Since it is the dead of winter here I went with the three-quarter length sleeves. I’m not a fan of how these sleeves fit, they seem to twist a little in the back and I honestly have no idea how to fix it (if any of you have ideas I would love to hear them). But for now I’m content with just making short sleeve versions since the muslin, which was short sleeve didn’t have this issue.

Colette's Peony Dress

Rather than using the invisible zipper that the pattern calls for I used a regular old black zipper and inserted it using the side lapped method (my first attempt!). I also decied to line the skirt since I plan to be wearing this dress with tights since this is Wisconsin. I used yet again another item for my stash, some polyester plaid lining.

Colette's Peony Dress

I cut the lining using the skirt pattern pieces and hand stitched it into the waistline after the zipper was attached. I was struck with inspiration as I was finishing hemming the dress and added some cotton lace to the hem of the lining. This was for sure from my Grandmother, who had tons of lace that she got after her sister in-laws fabric shop closed down in the 1970’s (if I am remembering correctly).

Colette's Peony Dress

While this is not my favorite dress, it is a great winter basic, I even wore it to a recent job interview! I have a few more versions in store for this pattern, one is already completed and just waiting to be photographed. Speaking of photographs I also have a few more items that will be added to my Etsy shop within the next few days, I just need some sun shine! I will let all of you know once they are added.