My first make for 2014: Colette Truffle Dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook, a Christmas gift from my parents. I made the dress out of a cotton stretch fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics which I'd been eyeing off for some time. My sister thoughtfully bought it for me for my birthday.The fabric is called Edelweiss, which makes me love it even more as it's the name of my favorite song from the Sound of Music Soundtrack. It's constantly stuck in my head (go on, have a listen!).
From the line drawings and included photo's, this dress was my clear favorite from the handbook and my first choice for a holiday sewing project. I traced the pattern according to my measurements: size 4 at the bust grading out to an 8 in the waist and hips. In semi-keeping with my 2014 sewing goals I slowed down and basted the bodice together first to act as a 'muslin'. I had a huge neck/back gape but otherwise the bodice fitted well (so I thought). I adjusted the bodice center back seams using the BHL tutorial which removed around 7/8" from each side only at the top grading down to the normal width at the bottom.
I then sewed up the dress in full. On trying on the dress I promptly slapped myself on the wrist for not basting together or muslining the entire dress. In the above photo you can see that the front of the dress is OK but the darts are a little low and the waist line is below my natural waist and the back view is all sorts of wrong... I've got some of back bodice zipper bulge/creases as well as a lower zipper bulge and excess fabric across my backside. I made two adjustments. Firstly I shortened the zipper from a 24" to a 20". This helped the skirt sit a little better across my bum and is still plenty long enough to easily step in and out of the dress. I also took up the dress at the shoulders removing 1" on each side. This improved the length of the bodice and the bust dart placement, but, as you can see, the back bodice and skirt still fit rather poorly. For now, I'm calling it 'good enough'.
|A close up|
|Don't get too close!|
I love this pattern. It's very simply to sew, and the flounce is really fun. Made up in a variety of fabrics the dress could suit many purposes, from work to party. I will definitely use the pattern again if I can just improve the fit. For my next attempt I will again shorten the zipper and make the back gape adjustment. I will shorten the bodice at the lengthen/shorten lines rather than at the shoulders. I may go down a size in the bodice as it isn't as fitted as I would normally wear, but perhaps that is because of the slight stretch in the fabric? But, I'm really not sure what is going on with my backside and how to fix it. Is it to tight or too loose? I looked for my fitting problems in the Colette Sewing Handbook but none quite matched, or at least I couldn't figure out which best described my problematic backside. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Overall, I am happy with my first make of 2014. I took it slow (kind-of) and learnt how to insert an invisible zipper without an invisible zipper foot (don't look too closely). Fitting issues aside, I love this version and I will wear it! I think it will transition well through the seasons (or a typical four-seasons-in-one-Melbourne-day). And, wearing a cardigan covers up my bulgy back and bum - win! I still have a few meters of the fabric left and I would love to make another piece of clothing with it. Perhaps it would be a bit weird to have two items made out of the same fabric in my wardrobe?
|Typical Melbourne Summer Day|