Sunday, November 27, 2011

Colette's Peony Dress .... when you're in a hurry

Hindsight .. always a good thing! Well, I should have toiled this one first - live and learn!! It's Christmas Party season so to kick start the season of good will and peace, I made this Colette Peony Dress.

I realise that I don't quite make the Colette demographic, but I am smitten with their designs, and I thought this was a sweet little dress.

Fabric: A stretch cotton sateen from The Remnant Warehouse, Sydney - purchased on the recent PR Weekend. Lovely to work with and lovely to wear!
Size: Well, the photo below shows where my measurements landed on their size chart - very interesting as you'll soon see. So I went for the Size 10.

General Notes:
We're all familiar with Multi Sized Patterns - they have their advantages and disadvantages, but I must say, that it can become mighty difficult to follow your size line at times (amongst a total of 10 sizes!) - this of course is not limited to just Colette Patterns - but probably worth mentioning.
I would also like to see Colette add Metric units to their patterns - their lovely new book has both imperial and metric - so that's great! Sewing instructions were very good, beautiful in fact - great diagrams and everything is clearly described - with lots of links for more information, eg. putting in an invisible zip. I added black satin piping to the neckline and the belt. What's better than pre made bias binding? Well, pre made satin piping!

I used my new Piping Foot to attach the piping - very easy - just position the piping under the groove in the foot and move your needle position - too easy!

So, back to the fit ... yes, I should have made a toile, but when one is in hurry ..... ok, so here I'm at the stage of putting in the zip, up to this point, I had been quickly sizing the finished front bodice on me - looked OK .... on the dummy.... uh oh ..... I had heaps and heaps of fabric on the CB to take in ... of course I should have considered this before the sleeves went in .... but I didn't so I just cut off the excess from the CB seam and inserted the invisible zip. This in turn distorted the boat neckline. So now it doesn't sit very well. The interesting bit is that the front bodice looks a tad small in the following photos ... so if I'd have gone up a size - the back would have been huge. Now, go back to that measurement chart - my bust and waist was smaller than the 10 - very interesting. I'm not sure if I'll make this again - probably not - I mean, it's sweet, but I have other fish to fry if you know what I mean.....
About 8cm had to be trimmed off the CB seam.

Anyway, so here I am at Christmas Party No 1.

I just realised that not only did I not toile this, but I didn't even look up PR for any reviews ..... I love it when I learn things!!  Happy Sunday everyone!


  1. It's beautiful! Love the fabric. Bummer about the problems you had though. Could you grade the pattern using the markers for the 6 for the bust and arms, 8 for the waist and 10 for the hips? I'd give that a go, perhaps in a wearable muslin?

  2. I am just curious what you mean about the Colette demographic...could you elaborate a little?

    Your dress looks pretty!

  3. A very cute dress! I've always thought of the Colette demographic as "much younger than me." :)

  4. Argie - well I think their demographic is "youthful", I'm 47 and I try to not put myself into an "age specific" category ... but ...youthful proportions are different to the more mature figure. Having said that, I'm thinking that I may persist with this design - add some length and work on the fit. I love their designs - I love all the support and tutorials they provide, I love the care they take with their patterns - I am just cautious about mutton dressed as lamb - as right or as wrong as that may be - it's just how it is!! Thanks!

  5. Just lovely! You can pick up some great pieces at the Remnant Warehouse can't you?

  6. I think the dress looks great. I think the Colette designs are pretty flexible. Having said that I haven't made any from the stack of pattern I have from them yet so what would I know....Love the piping on the neckline and belt

  7. I wouldn't think of worrying about the demographic - you look great in the dress. I love Colette patterns, lovely style and instructions. I do find I need to add to the length. I am just finishing a longer sleeved version of Peony in grey wool, but needed to grade it up from a ten at the top to a fourteen at the hip. (Oh dear.) Just turned 57 so I have ten years on you, plus the pear shape. 47 is young!

  8. Love your blog. Try using your high bust (chest) measurement to determine pattern size. You will probably need a full bust adjustment to the pattern, but then the neckline and shoulders should fit better. It's then easy to adjust for hip width. Check out


Please leave a comment .... thankyou!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.