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Pastille - finished

I left work earlier yesterday and I had time to finish the dress before we went out to dinner. I re-set the zipper (more like sewed closer to zip teeth), finished the seams and pressed everything down. The finishes don't look that great in the pictures - I will need to go and hand sew a bit of the zipper closer to the teeth for example.

I'm "fairly" happy with how the dress turned out. The lining was great (I wore it out yesterday), the skirt didn't do anything funny - my skirts always do something funny. Unfortunately, the waist does feel a bit tight after food. Not a huge issue, although it does prompt the question: perhaps I should lose a couple of centimeters off the waist ? It will be my New Year's resolution, besides dropping an additional 3kg. Speaking of New Year's resolutions, I just realized I managed to lose 8 kgs this year. Actually, I lost 9kgs but I promptly gained one back in the past 2 months. I now stand at 54kg, and my plan is to be around 51 by this time next year. My Christmas holiday resolution is to come back to London with 54kg.

But I digress - back to the dress. The top does look bulky, especially in the back, and it          will need adjustment for the next make. Now that I look at the pictures though, it doesn't really look that weird from the front - it's just the back that's not great.

The shoulders look as if they could benefit from shoulder pads when I look at them, but not in the pictures. However, I do think I'll adjust them too.

I think I did well because all these adjustments I should have made can only be done with a dress form or a friend willing to spend an afternoon helping with this, and I lack both these things in London. I considered enlisting Mr T to help, but being supportive of my hobby doesn't really go quite that far :) I will buy myself a dress form in January though - I'll spend the Christmas break researching what kind.

Despite the bulky top and the tiny(!) waist, I really like how the dress turned out. I expect to be wearing it quite a bit while I'm in Bucharest. I am considering taking my embroidery with me to give it a nice neck line. And I will definitely make it again - I'll go fabric hunting on one of the days between Christmas and New Year's - I know at least one fabric shop in Bucharest.

I've got pictures taken before we went out yesterday and pictures taken this morning. You can tell which are which because it's fairly obvious I haven't had any coffee. Also I completely misjudged the focus (no glasses on) for the ones I took today. Booh.


  1. Finally a review of this dress! Thank you. I was one of the testers for this pattern and I had a HORRIBLE time with the back and fit issues. I was so hoping I wasn't the only one! It seems not. My back looks like yours but mine also have vertical lines because it's too wide there. If your grandmother gives you tips on how to fix it please post about it, okay? Also it seems that your waistline dips down to the back too, what do you think about that? I think I might take mine apart and make the waistline level all around. Good luck with your next version, I'll be checking back to see. I have posted fitting issues with this dress on my blog, just search for Colette. Happy New Year!

  2. Oh, where to start with the pattern. My grandma looked at it millimetrically, as I said in another post.

    The back, there are at least two issues here:
    * The first, that I realized only while my grandma looked at it, is that the shoulders are actually incorrectly placed. This isn't immediately obvious - I think it would be more visible with a drapier fabric - this corduroy is very stiff (and dark) which hides the issue. My shoulders are wider than the pattern and the "cap" hits me somewhere on the shoulder as opposed to the end of the shoulder. This makes it have a peak and look as if it needs shoulder pads, but I'm almost certain this is also part of the reason for the back bulkiness - the whole diagonal line from sleeve cap to center back won't lie flat due to this issue. This pretty much makes this version of the dress unfixable as far as I can tell, but I'll figure out a way to add the extra width into the pattern.
    * Second, there seems to be too much fabric in the back. My grandma said that it would look better if the darts were smaller - she reckons they should be at least 3cm smaller. She also wants me to make them 0.5cm narrower and add that back in the side seam. I don't really see how this will fix things, but she's been doing this for decades so I'm willing to try. According to her, doing this will fix everything. I'm slightly skeptical but I'll do it anyway.

    Then, the waist line: I didn't really consider it was dipping in the back - for me, it looks ok in the back, but I think it raises in the front. The way the seam stands after a while suggests this too. My grandma seems to think this is the case as well, and suggested to leave about 5 cm extra when cutting next time so I can adjust. She reckons I need another 2cm in the front bodice length, but shaped as an oval (?!?!) - the side doesn't need to grow, just the center. I'll try to make some sense of this in front of the mirror next time, it definitely made sense she she was showing it to me.

    The bust: I think there is a fitting problem in the bust - but before messing with the darts/sizing I would fix the sleeve cap - it might be that fixes the bust as well.

    The hips: you commented this on the other post, but yes, I think the hips are a bit low. I also think the hips are too wide. So I would need to do two things to fix the skirt:
    1. Take hips in. I think that for me, there's an extra 3-4cm on each side - my two Rooibos dresses have the same issue.
    2. Move the hips up a bit. I don't think this is a huge issue btw, I thought it was much worse but it really isn't too bad. I would definitely take in before moving up.

    As a side note, Colette patterns in general have very wide hips - this is a weird unintentional thing, not shown in the pictures on their website but visible for pretty much every Beignet, Rooibos &c posted out there on sewing blogs. I researched the Beignet in particular at some point because I wanted to make one and couldn't find one make out there that was as well fitted as the model pictured on the Colette website.
    Sarai does a brilliant job in fitting her models, but this discrepancy somehow creeps up in the patterns and shows up in other finished versions. If you look on the website the models there really model a differently shaped dress altogether. It also makes me wonder how no one else is seeing this - I find both my Rooibos dresses to be really A-shaped, which is slightly unexpected. They look nice, but I'm very aware that they should look differently. Or maybe I'm crazy?

  3. An update on the Colette wide hips issue - the sizing chart indicates that size 2 is perfect for me in hip and bust, but in fact the finished measurement chart indicates I really need a size 0 or lower in the hips. The two charts indicate hips get 4 inches of ease - I think that's too much for me.

  4. Yes, I brought my hips down to the cutting line for size 8 even though the measurements have me at size 10 there. Way too much ease. So now my waist is size 10 and the hips size 8.


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