|Pattern Description: This is a simple darted and waisted sheath dress, with side pockets, a boat-neck and back zipper and either short or 3/4 length sleeves. It's a popular pattern and made the "Best of 2012" list. I made the short sleeve version for my daughter but lowered the neck to become a scoop-neck, which I piped with a contrast fabric. Also piped the waist seam. The pattern also includes a cummberbund-type belt, which I omitted. |
Pattern Sizing: 0-18. I made size 6 for my daughter. Colette Patterns are cut bustier, which is helpful for my daughter and myself.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except for the neck variation. From the initial fitting, I could tell that the original boat neck is higher than it appears on the model, so keep this in mind. Most people may find they have to lower the neck at center front somewhat.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Colette instructions are great, especially for beginners and this is no exception.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Easy to construct. Love the pockets. The fit was pretty good out of the envelope--I didn't make a muslin since I've constructed other Colette patterns for my daughter without any problems. I added a bit of ease to the waist after an initial fitting. I did note that the waist is cut a bit high, not quite on the natural waist. I varied the neck but think the drafted boat neck would be too high for most people. A muslin, at least for the bodice part, is probably a good idea.
Fabric Used: A floral cotton pique, a fabric which I've never sewn before, and chose from the list of recommended fabrics. This makes a very comfortable dress, 100% cotton with a bit of give because of the pique weave. (This is a woven, not a knit fabric), I'm thinking about using this fabric for PJs or a summer dress for myself.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: During the fitting, my daughter vetoed the boat neck, which made her feel claustrophobic, in favor of a lowered scoop neck. I drafted a new 2.5 inch wide facing for the front and lowered the neck about 4.5 inches at center front, tapering up to the neck as drafted at the shoulders. This leaves the "boat" part in the back and so the back neck is probably lower than you would normally see in a scoop neck dress. It didn't gape though and the fit is good. The piping, see below, helps stabilize the neck. Because of the loose weave of the fabric, I was able to blind tack down the facing around the neck, without the stitches showing from the front.
I constructed piping out of 2 inch bias strips of cobalt blue polyester charmeuse fabric and used 5/32 inch polyester piping (welting). The polyester piping is from my upholstery stash and is a bit more stiff than more widely available cotton piping but doesn't shrink. (If you do use cotton, be sure to preshrink.) I machine basted the piping to the fabric and the I handed-basted this to the neckline and waistline. For the construction of the fabric covered piping and the final seams, I stitched close to the piping using my "Pearls and Piping" presser foot ( a must-have from Creative Feet, for anyone doing any piping or welting work). At the seam allowances, I clipped out the internal piping welt, leaving the contrast fabric. This removes the bulk associated with the piping at the seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is not really my style but I might use this again as a starting point for another dress for my daughter.
Conclusion: A simple, flattering dress, easy to sew. Very comfortable in cotton pique fabric. Experiment with neck variations.