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Forum > Patterns and Notions > Me and Colette - A complicated relationship ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Me and Colette - A complicated relationship
Colette Patterns, why do you break my heart :(
IreneDAdler
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IreneDAdler
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Date: 5/20/13 4:06 PM

When I first found out about Colette Patterns, I fell deeply in love. The designs were so elegant and unique, such a breath of fresh air from mass-market patterns! The styling in the photographs was impeccable, the garments obviously made with meticulous care and fit the models like gloves. The only thing that kept me from ordering all of the patterns was their cost. $18 isn't too much to pay for such well-designed patterns, but still pricy enough that I consider it a bit of an investment.

So I got the Colette Sewing Book with a bookstore giftcard I happened to have, and just recently started tackling the Truffle dress. It's been a bit of an ordeal; I've gone through about 6 drafts of the bodice, which needed big adjustments to both the front and the back. To be honest, it would have been much much easier to alter the neckline on a Vogue pattern I had used before, but I didn't think I'd be able to draft a neckline that's as perfectly shaped as the one on the Truffle.

So now I go to the Colette Patterns website and look longingly at the beautiful dresses there, feeling like a stray puppy pawing at a glass door. Maybe when I'm a more experienced sewer I'll be able to make the necessary fitting alterations and get the final product to look as nice as the pictures :(

From reading the reviews here, it seems a lot of people have to go through quite some effort to get their Colette designs to fit. What's your experience with this company? Are you perhaps one of the lucky ones who fits into Colette designs effortlessly?

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Terri A
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Date: 5/20/13 4:24 PM

I think a lot of people have success with Colette Patterns. For myself, they all have to be lengthened which is annoying but we are all tall people here :)
The bust darts need lowering for many as well.

If I were you I would try the free Sorbetto top pattern which has a gazillion reviews and everyone loves. Try that one and get it to work and then maybe that will get you into a more comfortable head space to do her patterns.

Hope you get the dress you love eventually
-- Edited on 5/20/13 4:26 PM --

MrsCharisma
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Date: 5/20/13 4:28 PM

I haven't tried any Collette patterns and it seems as though people LOVE them yet people complain about fitting issues same as other patterns! "Indie bias"?maybe.

I think her designs are nice and people make pretty FO's but they aren't much my style.

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Nakisha
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My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

DonnaH
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Date: 5/20/13 4:48 PM

I'm sort of in the same spot as you - I love many of the styles, but don't want to pay that much for the patterns. I also bought the handbook and have tried a few of teh patterns

I muslined a Meringue skirt, but had issues with putting in an invisible zipper. It looked awful. Can't figure out why - never had trouble with regular zippers. I also muslined a Truffle bodice, and it came out so wrong that I just moved on to something else. And finally I tried making a Taffy from some fabric in my stash (needed a blouse to go with my velvet skirt for last year's Christmas party). I love big sleeves, but feel like a clown in that blouse. (Mostly because the material isn't drapey enough.)

You may want to follow Terri's suggestion - and try the free Sorbetto. Read the reviews first. I did that so my very first one had the adjusted darts (1" shorter - but I'm very short waisted so I left the length and the dart placement, and they seem correct. I've made 4, but have struggled with the sleeves.

stitchywitch
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stitchywitch
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Date: 5/20/13 6:53 PM

Colette patterns do not fit me on top. I can make their pants and skirts, but my Rooibos dress required tons of alteration. I think it's because she drafts for a larger bust size - as an a/b cup I have to do too many alterations when Vogue patterns fit me right away. I know, I know... many people have the same problems with the big 4. I'm not complaining, it's just that I've realized what works best for me!

The patterns are cute, but not worth the headache for me. If you are smaller than a C cup that may be your problem. You can do a small bust adjustment, which might help, but really it's easy enough to get the same styles by altering other patterns slightly.

IreneDAdler
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IreneDAdler
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Date: 5/20/13 7:53 PM

Thanks for the suggestions about Sorbetto! I've had that pattern on my harddrive for a while and haven't made it yet, but I think that's a great idea :)

Stitchy, I'm an A-cup, so yeah, definitely quite a ways off from the C-cup physique. It's funny you mention the Rooibos since that's my top-desired dress from their catalogue so far (Peony a close second). I just looked up your reviews and your versions look perfect! Seeing how yours turned out and reading your reviews definitely gave me more hope; you're my hero! Maybe after I've settled my score with Truffle I'll get the Rooibos.

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aliesje
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aliesje
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Date: 5/21/13 0:01 AM

I've made the Peony. After a lot of alterations, I really like it. But if you don't already own the pattern, altering the bodice is far too much bother for a simple style.
(the major issue with the peony bodice is that the bust darts are far too close together; altering can be a bit tricky since there are side and waist darts. the less major but still kind of a big deal issue is that the back neckline gapes like nobody's business.)

Sibilance7
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Date: 5/21/13 3:14 AM

I have the Crepe pattern because I think that dress is so unique and beautiful, but I'm very hesitant to sew it up after my experience with the Sorbetto top. It was such a poor fit for me that after several muslin attempts, I scrapped it entirely and just drafted my own shell pattern based on a shell I had that fit well. The darts were just plain weird, the neckline and armholes were gaping, and it didn't widen enough at the hip.

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westmoon
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Date: 5/21/13 4:13 AM

I really don't go for the vintage look so many of Colette's patterns don't interest me. I do have the book though as it was given to me as a gift and there are one or two of the less vintage style envelope patterns that I really like. I decided to try out the Sorbetto before I bought any patterns or tried anything from the book.

Three muslins later: nope, not happening. It took so long to get anything remotely resembling a decent fit and involved so many adjustments, I was OVER the top by the time I had a pattern that worked and never made a finished item!

My conclusion was that Colette drafts for a body shape so totally unlike my actual body that getting her patterns to fit me is always going to be a struggle. For me personally, I feel like I am not sufficiently invested in the patterns to bother to spend a huge amount of money, time and effort on multiple muslins trying to compensate for the difference between her drafting choices and my body shape. I have a million other patterns I want to make, so I am kind of OK with the idea that Colette patterns, no matter how much I like some of them, are not for me.

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KathleenS
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Date: 5/21/13 7:24 AM

So far I've only tried the Beignet skirt. I did have to customise the fit, but it's really easy to do with that style because of all the seams, and I love the result. I am thinking of trying the Truffle dress next. It sounds like you should just copy the shape of the Truffle neckline onto your Vogue pattern.

It might be that the figure that the patterns are designed for just doesn't match yours. In that case, I recommend avoiding the patterns. If there is a style that you are desperate to have and you really can't find or adapt it elsewhere then you would have to go into it knowing a lot of adjustments would be needed. Unfortunately no pattern can fit everyone, and if your shape is drastically different from the pattern's model shape then major adjustments are bound to be needed.

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