CEYLON: Shirt dress with inset waist, slightly dropped and curved waistline, and curved neckline yoke. Gathers at the bust provide fullness, while the skirt is gathered at the front and generously flared. Sleeves are short and puffed. Closes with 16 buttons down the center front.
So here we are, after much waiting and ado I have finally made my sewing room and completed my first project. This would be pattern by the fantastic collette! I have never made a pattern by this small but perfectly formed company before but I have to say I am very very impressed. Not only does it come in the cutest little booklet, but the actual pattern instructions were extremely clear and concise, which really helps when your trying to make a lovely item of clothing. One that fits, one that can actually be worn and one that gets comments all the time about how amazing it is. Oh yes, this pattern is the business. I chose to make a muslin, which i very rarely do but after reading two books suggested by stitchywitch that were fast fit and the perfect fit I found out why things i made did not fit me. Mostly because I had no idea what shape or size I was and I was guessing, which only works for other people it seems.
This is the finished dress. I just love it. Yes i do, you. You can tell this by my silly smiling big face. I am smug as a pug called dug. The photo was taken by the lovely Holly who is a fashion/photo person. She will have a website at some point and I will be linking to it. Anyway, lets talk about me and the dress. I used some lovely fabric bought from Favorite Fabrics a while ago that I stashed and intended to use for a different dress, but as you all know things never go as planned and this pattern called to me in my time of need.
I used 2.5 meters of light weight beige spot cotton, 0.5 of the cream cotton used for the baby’s dress I made and 1.5 meters of mustard lining which I purchased from ebay a while back. The pattern does not call for a lining but the cotton was voile like in weight and I did not feel like having my particulars showing whilst standing in front of a light and I wanted that wonderful mustard underskirt to show. Above are my bobbins ready to go. I used contrast mustard top stitching on the wonderful yoke so had to practice my fingers to the bone to get it perfect. There were a few construction techniques that I have not used which this pattern called for such as adding 16 buttons and corresponding holes, the yoke with gathers and top stitching with a turn under hem. Of course as I have mentioned the pattern instructions were very clear and helpful so no need to panic if you are a beginner and reaching for this pattern. Do it. You will not be upset.
So I cut a size 6 which incorporated room for my lovely smaller boobs and hips but was about 4 inches to baggy on the back and 2 inches on the waist. I a 5’2” and have learned I am long waisted with a sway curved back. (basically my bum curves outwards a lot) and most commercial patterns are to long in the body. I adjusted the back length on my master pattern (i never cut into a pattern but painstakingly copy it on pattern paper from McCullough and wallice) and lengthened the cap sleeves to a size 20 as I like my arms a little hidden, and made the top of the sleeve a size 0 as i did not want all that puffyness. I am naturally a exact hourglass shape so widening my shoulders makes me look broad. We want none of that! Other alternations meant taking in the waist about 1.5 inchs on the completes garment so could have cut a size smaller with hindsight but as you can always take in a bigger size that could have left me with issues. I went for the safe option and I think it was the best. As extras I added that lovely lining which was very simple to insert and used contrast thread for all those button holes.
There is my swinging curvey bum and small of my back. These caused me the most issues when altering the pattern but still not enough to cause me to much stress. I wore this dress to the local pub for these pics to be taken and got about a 1000 comments from all who witnessed me prancing about. Mostly to stop prancing…. but who could resist?
This picture is an attempt to show some of that wonderful yoke detailing but all it really does is how off my bloody big head. I feel like helena bonham carter in Tim Burtons shitty version of Alice in wonderland. Dam my cranium. Wish it had more than dust and fabric remnants inside of it.
So the answer to the big question of this pattern is should you buy it and should you sew it. YES YES YES! I am adapting this pattern as we speak so I can make a shirt/top version and will be making more of this brands patterns without question!
Here is my review from sewing.pattern review.com
Pattern Description: Shirt dress with inset waist, slightly dropped and curved waistline, and curved neckline yoke. Gathers at the bust provide fullness, while the skirt is gathered at the front and generously flared. Sleeves are short and puffed. Closes with 16 buttons down the center front.
Pattern Sizing: American sizes 0-20, i made a size 6 on the skirt/bust/yoke, size 4 on the waist and size 0 on the back length/ cap sleeves but a size 20 in length to give my arms a little coverage
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Oh yes, and better. The best thing about this pattern is its versatility. You can make it in so many unique fabric combinations that the pattern picture just does not show you the ways you can have a unique dress. Check out colettes blog to see more!
Were the instructions easy to follow? Amazingly. Clear and concise without images that confuse or fuss. They even have a glossary in the little booklet the pattern comes in. Truly wonderful
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loves its presentation, the way the pattern tissue fits back in to the sleeve when your done, the images in the pattern book…. they way the dress fits, how many choices you can make to ensure a lovely fit….I have not one complaint to make.
Fabric Used:2.5 meters of beige cotton voile for main dress/0.5 of cream cotton for the yoke bought from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/favouritefabrics and 1.5 of mustard poly lining a
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:Loads! Because you can without worry, not because i had to. I added a lining to the skirt as I wanted a visible petticoat and the fabric was quite thin. It was very easy to add because of the pictures being so clear. I used contrast fabric for the yoke as suggested in the pattern booklet and altered the size just to make it fit to my frame. Not much was needed.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I am sewing it right now! Im adapting the top half to make a shirt
Conclusion: I am buying all of colettes patterns as we speak