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Pastille update

I did a 5-hour session of sewing yesterday for the Pastille dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook.  I mostly covered the bodice (although I didn't get to the neck facing) and the skirt. The skirt now has the side seams and a pleat sewn up, and I've also got lining skirt pieces, although these are still 3 pieces.

Things I learnt:


As I had assumed, the bodice is too short for me. In very fact, the bodice pieces put together right now get to my waist, so when factoring in sewing allowance, it would definitely be too short. To make up for this, I added a band to the waist. The band is fairly wide, but it will get trimmed down, probably to the absolute minimum (which is, 1.5cm + seam allowance) tonight.


The corduroy I'm using is very stretchy! I wonder if corduroy is very stretchy in general?!?! In any case, this is great news, as it will allow me to wear the dress with all sorts of winter clothes.

The waist band I added however, is not stretchy at all,  because I cut the band in the other direction on purpose, to give the dress a bit of oomph from what I hope will be visibly different fabric structure. Doing it like that also allowed me to save the remaining corduroy I have for a Meringue skirt. So no matter what, the waist will be fairly static, but I don't think this will affect things a lot.

I also bought 1/2 m of lining from John Lewis yesterday. I have cut it "roughly" based on the skirt pieces (although shorter) and have sewn the pleat lines. I plan to sew the 3 lining pieces together and then attach them to the skirt pieces before sewing it on to the bodice. So basically a mesh between lining and underlining. I have no idea if this will work. It might, or it might not.


I've learnt that I should have listened to the instructions which said "HAND baste" the pleat lines. Not that machine basting doesn't work, but it takes forever to take them down. Also, possibly machine basting using my blue topstiching thread might have been a better idea than machine basting using red thread. You live and you learn. I've been doing a lot of learning lately.


The skirt is, in fact, longer than I thought it would be. I believe that once it's finished it will hit just above the knee. I only have one pleat sewn so far so I am sure how long it will end up. It also appears that if I attach the skirt lower than my waist line it will be too long ("too long" = below the knee). I will have to figure something out with this, but I am not sure what just yet.

I also tried the skirt on yesterday and the hips looked completely off (as in, lower than my actual hips).  I am hoping this is because I was trying to assess it by looking down, rather than because this is what it is. I need to set my camera's tripod up tonight and look at it properly. I also have this feeling the hips are too wide, which I suspect the camera will confirm. At least that is easy to fix.


All in all, I'm fairly happy with this dress so far. Considering I simply cut size 2 and did no alterations to the pattern pieces, things are looking fairly well. I might even remove the waist band and attach the skirt directly, although doing that does mean I will effectively move my waist up by about 3cm.

However, I do not think I will be able to finish it tonight. Even if I do, I most definitely will not have time to finish the seams. Or, who knows, maybe I'll have it in me to go until 1AM again :)


  1. Wow, I have had the same problems with my version of this dress (I was a tester for the book); the hips seem to bell out lower than normal on me too. I have to shave them down a bit using a skirt pattern that fits me. It's great finally reading someone elses take on this dress.


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