Friday 12 September 2014

Christmas Party Pastille Dress

Crikey, this post has been a long while in the making!

I received the Colette sewing handbook last Christmas from my Grandma. It was an absolutely brilliant pressie as I learnt a lot reading through the pages, but the colour palette in the book, along with some of the rather fitted/ floaty sleeve-ness of the patterns made it a little difficult for me to visualise myself in any of them.

When I was thinking of making a dress for my works' Christmas party I thought it would be a good excuse to give these patterns a try, and the pastille on the front cover caught my eye. I liked the subtle sweetheart neckline (not the bow... too twee for me) and the sleeves which aren't a separate piece, something I hadn't done before. I knew such a fitted straight skirt would not be a good look on me, though I did swap out the skirt for a straight one in for my stars in their eyes dress. However, looking closely at the picture I could see that the skirt was a separate piece from the natural waist, so it would be an easy job attaching a skirt I liked.

I used the digital rose print fabric I picked up at the Birmingham blogger meet-up, and fully lined the bodice.

I decided to make a muslin of the bodice for safety, and found that something strange happened when I calculated the sizes. I had to cut out a size 6-8  shoulder/ bust but a 14 waist? I think I did a calculation wrong as when I tried this on it was all kinds of wrong, I then cut an 8 waist (in fact I trimmed it to a 12, then a 10 and then an 8!)

Even after I had done this the triangle darts did not work on my body (lucky this was a muslin!) I then pinned the darts closer to my body to fit as I wanted, and I ended up with a close fitting bodice, and half moon darts. Has anyone else ever ended up with rounded darts? Is this a thing?

I used the muslin as my lining, and made the following dress. I finally got round to taking pics of it last weekend! That's a whole 8 months ha ha ha.

I put on a bit of weight after Christmas , and the wedding, and holidays... so this dress became a little bit tight. You can still see in the back it could probably do with a teeny bit more ease, but I've lost most of this weight now so I'm not worrying about it.

I took these pics with my shiny new Pentax Q10, which is somewhere between an SLR and a standard digital. Having no knowledge of how to use the SLR (and no real inclination to learn) was infuriating, so Mr. T got my this for my birthday, it feels a lot more manageable. There are still a lot of settings, but I'm not feeling overfaced any more which is good.

I've taken another whole bunch of pics, so expect some more regular viewing for the next few weeks.


  1. Very nice! I prefer it with the fuller skirt, it makes it look more vibrant compared to the photo of the original somehow and it definitely suits you. Love the fabric too! Oh and I think curved darts are a thing...

  2. Wow, I love this! I have the Colette book too, and I never liked the Pastille skirt, so I never made it. BUT IT LOOKS AMAZING WITH THE FULL SKIRT! Now I want to make this too!

  3. Thanks both! Nice to hear that curved darts are a thing, I may have to do some actual research. Thanks for the compliments and the enthusiasm! I think that there are some lovely patterns in the book... they just need a little tweaking



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