Skip to main content

Pastille dress

I was going to get started on the coat, but then I decided I might have a bit more luck with the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

I'm making it out of a light-weight corduroy I picked up at Mood in NY. I didn't alter the pattern and cut a size 2 - this seemed to be ok for the Rooibos dress. It seems Sarai is making patterns just for me :) I've tested with the tissue and it seems that the bodice will hit exactly at my waist. I have a feeling I might want the bodice a bit longer in the long run but I don't think this will matter for this version, given the material -  but I might want to alter it if I make it in a lighter colour (my corduroy is very dark navy) . I prefer my skirts/dresses to hit midway-ish between my waist and my hips rather than at my waist.

I will, however, need to make sure the fit is just right - I might want to sew the darts less wide than they're shown, given that I plan on wearing the dress with a blouse underneath (as it is still winter here).

Image from
At this point, I've cut almost everything: I am only missing the two sleeve facings. I used tracing paper to do it, and it is SO much easier than what I was doing before (I was using a lot of pins). I don't think I'll get to work on it tonight, as I'm going to a pub for the initial meetup for a new DnD group - we'll roll characters and decide on rules today, and Jan 8th will be the first real play day.

After tonight, I've got 3 evenings left before I fly to Bucharest. I'm hoping to be able to wear the dress to work on Thursday so really only 2 evenings left: Tuesday and Wednesday. The pattern doesn't seem very difficult to sew up, although I will need to fit it properly, which might take all of Tuesday evening.

I'm also not sure that I'll be able to sew the tucks properly, because the fabric is thicker than the recommendations in the pattern. I'll see how I fare and report back. I might only sew two tucks as well, depending on how long the dress turns out to be - based on the pictures in the book, I think I'd like it a bit longer so I might just use one of the tucks to achieve that. I'm also tempted to add a lining to the skirt. I need to go buy an invisible zipper anyway so I'll check what John Lewis has for this. 1/2 metre should be enough I figure so maybe I can get something fancy like real silk!


Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

A new shirt

I made a white shirt. I cut this out sometime in late September, and I used McCalls 6035 again. I managed to finish it around Christmas. I wanted a nice white shirt, with a bit of a twist, so I added grey embelishments to it.

I am very pleased with how the embelishments turned out. I did a few things:
- embroidered the collar with French knots
- added grey/white twill tape to the sleeve seams
- used mother-of-pearl-with-grey-tint buttons

The effects are subtle, but they are there and I like them.

I embroidered the collar using two shades of grey, in a "burst" pattern. I tried to be relatively consistent about density of the French knots, but I think a bit of difference isn't very bad.

The collar was the first thing I finished, and it stayed there for a long time, until I found the time to get back to sewing.

I used a lot more interfacing on the collar than I normally do, and I think it shows. The buttons and tape on sleeves were added later and they're not very speci…

Pregnancy Pattern Round Up

Whilst I have been sewing these past 9 months, I haven't been posting much because in the past I was not massively keen on reading about people's pregnancy patterns. However, at some point I realized that I'm wrong and having some review out there would be useful, so decided to do a round up post about what I've learnt works and doesn't work in terms of this kind of sewing. This is a very long post :)

I had a fairly easy pregnancy, so I was perfectly positioned to have good results with sewing, which is great since maternity clothing is either decently priced and of bad quality, or expensive. Dime for dime, you get more out of non-maternity ready to wear.

Some lessons I learnt along the way:
Some non-pregnancy patterns will work for pregnancy. Sort of. As bump size increases, in the best case scenario you will get the mother of all pooling at the back, as if a gazillion-inch swayback is required (but isn't!). If that doesn't bother you, you're fine; otherw…