Has everyone seen the new pattern release by Colette Patterns yet? I admit, when I got the “sneak peek” yesterday, I thought about it for all of 30 seconds before I bought the PDF. Using the thin excuse of “I need to buy buttons for this other dress”, I drove to work to print out the pattern, then promptly cut, taped and traced off the pattern.
I was initially tossing up which version to make, when I spotted these two fabrics lying together in my stash, and inspiration struck: I present, my Strawberry Dahlia.
Ohhh yus, that is bright pink polka dot linen, which I nabbed along with its blue counterpart as soon as I saw it at The Fabric Store. The green linen on the bodice is leftover from another dress I am yet to blog about (I have quite a few things waiting to be photographed and blogged!) The gold bias binding was a gift from Katy&Laney to say thank you for testing their shorts pattern – I actually had to bow out of testing because I was in the middle of moving, but they kindly sent me this lovely bias binding and some fancy teas to say thanks (which my tea-loving husband nabbed).
Anyway, back to the pattern. The Dahlia dress is described as being “designed to flatter curves and make you feel good about what you’ve got” and is a “return to [Colette's] roots”. It’s main features are the waist yoke, bust and neckline gathers, and raglan sleeves – the sleeveless version is finished with bias binding, which become the straps.
I traced off a size 12, and graded out to a size 18 at the hips. Apparently I did not need to do this, as the hips have ended up way too big. I had the same problem with the Rooibos dress – I graded out according the measurements, and they ended up much bigger. I looked at the finished measurements and apparently this gives me 5″ of ease… maybe I need to remeasure my hips!
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where the gathering is supposed to hit. I assume it’s supposed to be right under the bust but it’s much lower than that on me and I have a very low set bust. If I pull up the whole bodice then the bottom waist yoke seam hits above my true waist (and I have quite a high waist, although I admit I am taller than average), and the neckline becomes very high.
On the model in the photos, it looks like it’s hitting about 1-2″ below her bust. So who knows! I do know that the fit in these photos is not ideal – after taking the photos I took in a couple of tucks (I’m guessing it was a “narrow shoulder” adjustment of sorts) and it looked a lot better, in particular getting rid of some of the “baggy boob” thing that’s going on. Small busted ladies, be aware! You may need to adjust.
I think when I make it again I’m going to shorten the bodice significantly in the front and the back – to me the back looks oddly high, which is accentuated by the two separate fabrics and the raglan sleeved shape. I probably want it to finish about 2″ above where the darts end, if you can see that (so about 6″ below where it finishes now!).
Speaking of different fabrics, did anyone get that this is a STRAWBERRY DRESS?
In terms of construction, it’s all machine sewn with overlocked skirt seams and the waistband facing stitched in the ditch (with a bit of handsewing thrown in – one day I’ll get a clean finish!). The bias binding was largely sewn on using my bias binding foot.Despite stay-stitching all the upper edges, I think I accidentally stretched everything while sewing D:
The hem is blindstitched (yay) and because I was lacking a matching invisible zip, I used a lapped zipper – which means I had to switch out threads halfway so they matched!
So, so, so. What do I think? I love the design, but the fitting will take a bit of time. I’ve already gone back and changed my skirt pieces back to the size 12/14, so that should look better next time – although I’m also thinking this will look great with a pleated skirt. Next “version 2″ I make I will shorten both bodices so they sit a bit lower – they’re currently too high for a summer dress, I think. And I’m considering lowering the necklines on this dress, as the bias binding is a bit scratchy on my underarms. We shall see – you all know how much I dislike fixing finished garments, but this dress is SO CUTE I will have to if I find myself not wearing it.
What do YOU think? Do you like Colette’s new pattern. Did you know this was supposed to be a strawberry?? Any other constructive criticism over the fit would be nice, as usual, though please be nice!
Oh, and HELLO to the two people I saw at Fabric-A-Brac who recognised me from my blog. I didn’t catch your names but gosh did you make my week!
Apologies that my poses are all same-same, Mr. Guy had just told me that my dress had baggy boobs.