Fabric used: Polyester/Cotton mix? I do not know the fiber content of the fabric, but I am sure it does not contain only cotton because when I cut it, it was sliding around and I also had problems to lay it out straight. So, the fabric was a challenge for me and I definitely learned a lot trying to handle it. As the pattern calls for a lining, I used some cotton/silk that I had in my stash.
Pattern alterations: This was the first time that I didn't make a muslin and just fitted the tissue using the Palmer/Pletsch approach. I have already worked out most of the problems I have with Colette patterns, so that it is a bit easier to fit them.
- Moved shoulder seams forward about 3/8” (sloping shoulder adjustment)
- Moved the bust dart down 1” and made a small bust adjustment (I have an A cup only and Colette patterns are C cups)
- Graded the side seams from size 0 (bust) up to size 4 (waist)
- Lengthened the pattern 1” as it was not sitting on my natural waist
- Sway back adjustment
Am I happy with the fit? Not entirely, because there are three issues: (1) I am never sure where the armholes have to stop and I think I fitted them too far out. When I wear the dress the armholes slide towards my neck and because of that there is too much fabric on my back, which results in a gaping neckline. (2) When cutting out the fabric, the bodice front which is cut on the fold was apparently not on the grain and now there is a big ugly crease going from my bust to the waist line. I also had the feeling that the fabric was stretching a bit because when attaching the skirt to the bodice I had to ease the skirt in. It almost felt as if I am setting in a sleeve, buh. When looking at the photos now, I have to admit you can hardly see the crease. But I know it is there :( (3) Because of the stretch of the fabric the shell is bigger than the lining and looks a bit bulky. It would have been better to actually make an underlining for this dress because that would have stabilized the shell fabric better and also prevented it stretching. But if I would have chosen the underlining, then I wouldn't be able to follow the sewing instructions and I am not confident enough yet to do so!
What I like about the dress: I like that it fits quite well although I haven’t made a muslin. I love that the neckline looks so nice and tidy – I was worried when sewing it. It actually looks nice when I wear it with a white T-Shirt underneath.
Will I sew it again? Maybe next year when I am more experienced with drapey fabrics and underlinings.
Have I worn it? Yes I wore it on Saturday when we went on a bus tour to Dover, Leeds Castle and Canterbury. Surprisingly, I felt great in it and didn't mind at all the crease under my bust or at the back neckline. And imagine, I managed to tear a whole in my cotton/silk lining! I was trying to pull down the zipper myself and caught the fabric! Now there is an ugly whole of about 1 cm in the lining :( I can't really fix it because it is too close to the zipper and I don't want to add any bulk there.