Monday, March 11, 2013

Colette Patterns Pastille Dress

Things on the sewing front have slowed down quite a bit for me lately. A couple of weeks ago I was offered my old flute teaching job at a local private school, and even though I didn't want to work five days a week until Elizabeth is at school (another two years away!), the job was too good to pass up. I've been pretty stuffed to say the least, having to take 3 kids to 3 different locations then drive all the way across town to work, then to 3 different pickups in the afternoon, do washing, make dinner, do my workout, band rehearsals and gigs...gah! It doesn't leave me much time or energy for sewing. But I'm definitely going to make sure I complete one project per month.

I bought myself the Colette Sewing Handbook a while ago and immediately wanted to make the Pastille dress, but of course a hundred other projects got in the way. After doing a bit of research it became apparent that it's a bit tricky to fit, so I made a bodice muslin and I'm glad I did! So many bloggers reported that the back has about 1-2 inches of extra length and I found that to be the case. When I tried it on I looked like a hunchback!

I decided to use some really awesome Michael Miller quilter's cotton that I've been holding on to for almost two years. Now, I know that there are some people who believe that quilting cottons should not be used for clothing. I am not one of those people. I love the fun prints and the structure that the heavy cotton gives to dresses. I wouldn't use it for a blouse though- too stiff!

I cut my dress with many pattern alterations. As well as removing a 1.5" pleat from the back, I removed an inch of width from the front (I've finally decided to do this with every pattern because everything I sew is too big across the top of my body). I left out the tucks on the skirt because I couldn't be arsed with them.
I did a small bust adjustment, and cut the skirt in a size 2 and graded the waist up to size 2 while cutting the rest of the bodice as a size 0. (What the hell does that mean, anyway? 'Size 0'. Zero means nothing. You can't be 'size nothing'! And what if you are a size XXS- does that make you a size -2???)

As soon as I read the pattern instructions I decided there was no way I was going to use facings. I hate them and always line my bodices instead. I also decided to line the skirt while I was at it, so that I can wear it with tights in winter. The whole dress is lined with some dark blue slippery stuff that I got from Fabric Frenzy for $2.95/m.

The dress came together really easily but there were a few fitting issues. I discovered that the extra inch I added to the waist needed to come off, which is weird because I went by the measurements on the pattern. I also had to lengthen the back skirt darts to accomodate my booty. I had some problems with the bust darts which I haven't resolved, and the shoulder seams need half an inch taken off them, which I couldn't be bothered doing once I'd sewing the lining on.


This is probably my favourite dress that I've made. I think it really suits my shape, especially the neckline which is super flattering. The colours are SUPER FREAKIN' AWESOME and it looks so cute with a belt.

You can see that the fit of the bodice is not perfect but that's the beauty of a busy print!


  1. That's a lovely fitting dress, well done! I like using quilting cotton for dresses too. It is hard wearing and comfortable, not to mention available in fabulous prints!

    1. I couldn't agree more!
      Thanks for stopping by :)