Sunday 25 August 2013

WIP: Colette Pastille

I am now further making/sewing my way through the Colette Sewing Book. So far, I have made two Meringue Skirts and one Truffle Dress. So, next on my list was the Colette Pastille. I had bought the fabric ages ago and was ready to start.

Colette Pastille
My original plan was to make the dress without any alterations and to sew a little bow belt to go with it. But somehow, I got that idea stuck in my mind that I could make a contrast waistband instead of a belt. I found a really good tutorial at Purls and Pleats.

As the dress is in the "Fitting" section of the book, I wanted to make sure I get a proper fit by making a muslin first. Before making my first muslin however, I made my usual Colette pattern changes like SBA and sway back adjustment. Then I made my first muslin and you can see the not at all flattering fit here:

Are we playing football? Nope.
There is still too much space on my bust, the waistline is not on my natural waist and, lets say it, I look like an American football player and that even after I have changed on this pic the shoulder already. Also, for some reason, the front bodice rides up over my belly. I transferred my alterations to the pattern.

Too much fabric and the front bodice is riding up.

And then, in a very unconventional (very wrong) way, removed some tissue from the bodice front and back at the seams to get an even line from back to front. I then made up for the shortened seams by adding 1" to get the proper height for my waistline. Then it was time to try out the waistband. Following the tutorial, I made a waistband for the front and back bodice. In theory it is quite easy, you just cut off the desired waistband length and close the darts. Then you add seam allowances to the bodice and waistband, voila!

The 2nd muslin is still too big (here I pinned the excess out) and riding up.

I cut out my 2nd muslin and tried to sew on my waistband. Here I met challenge No 1, but managed to pass with loads of swearing and trying and pushing. It fits :) This time, I even stitched a zipper at the back. I had to, because my boyfriend who usually pins my back was not around and I somehow had to close it. This time, the fit looks much better (ignore the awful darts, it is only a muslin) at least when looking from the back and front. There are still a few fitting issues:  (1) too much fabric between my apexes ;) I pinned that extra fabric out and altered the pattern. (2) my front bodice is still riding up. Theoretically, I would have to slash the muslin above my bust and drop the fabric until I get an even waistline. BUT, I chose to ignore that. I know, I know, silly me. But whenever I slash and drop the bust, it does not fit on my waistline anymore and creates more problems. Next time, I promise, I will do it properly.

Cotton poplin from Goldhawk Road and Canterbury. The flowers will be the waistband.
Next I have to cut the fabric, which is a super nice baby blue polka dot, and the lining. I will make an underlining, which at the moment is the easiest method for me. So, hopefully, in my next post I can show you my finished Pastille Dress!

What are you having on your sewing table at the moment? Are you having any awful fitting issues?


  1. I love your post. Sometimes unconventional fitting methods are the only route to sanely go! I'm having the worst time fitting the bodice of the washi dress. I'm on my 4th..... 4th! muslin. sigh.

    I wish you luck!

    1. I am not patient enough to make more than two muslins :( But I am sure it will be worth it for your perfect washi dress! Good luck with the fitting. I feel with you...

  2. Wow, I admire your fitting skills! I usually don't take enough time for the fitting process and sometimes don't even start making adjustments before the dress is almost finished. I really need to learn and practice how to make all these adjustments! I bet your dress will look lovely in the end!

    1. Thank you. I try my best because otherwise if the fit is not great, I wouldn't wear the garment afterwards. I can recommend the Palmer/Pletsch fitting approach if you are interested in learning to fit.


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