Pattern: Rooibos from Colette Patterns
Size: 2 for the bodice, 0 for the skirt
Fabric used: Wool crepe from Gorgeous Fabrics for the dress, black rayon crepe for the facings
Notes: Love how this dress came out! The color is still not right – it’s emerald green, you’ll just have to trust me on that one. This is the first dress I have made, and the second pattern from Colette patterns. I would completely recommend this pattern, it turned out adorable. This is not necessarily a style that I wear easily, but as it turned out the slightly empire waist made it flattering! There were a few minor errors in my copy of the pattern. The pattern itself was fine, but there were several places in the instructions where pieces are misidentified in the text. The diagrams are all correct, and they were easy to spot. I did do a small bust adjustment, as the cups on the bodice were too large for me (I am a B cup.) I lapped the pattern 1/2″, and that made it fit perfectly. I also did an alteration to the back for upright posture. The idea (as I understand it) is that most patterns assume a slightly rounded back, whereas I stand all the time like I’m balancing a book on my head. This effectively removed 1/2″ in the back, making it even with the front.
(Sorry for the wrinkles… I was sitting today!) I think my back is somewhat narrow as well, though my shoulders are not. The shoulders are quite wide on this pattern – I sewed snaps into them to attach my bra straps to, because otherwise they do show, and I think on the second try of this pattern I will narrow them a bit.
If I make this dress again (and I plan to, after all that work on the fit – I can imagine it several ways!) I will do a full lining. The pattern calls for facings that extend partway down the bodice. The facing shows through slightly – you can see the ghost of it in the first photo above. The wool crepe is thick, so I’d imagine under a thin fabric it would show even more. It’s also a little uncomfortable to me to have the facing end where it does. The rayon crepe that I used for the facing ravels like crazy – I had to be very careful with my seam finishes, and even so there are a few places that I’m worried about. The wool also ravels a bit. This dress made me decide I needed a serger, so I am purchasing one off of Craigslist – I got a good deal!
I am still searching for a better way to preshrink wool fabric (without drycleaning… it’s bad enough I’m planning to dryclean this dress!) I was not thrilled with the results of the dryer method – while it did shrink, it also fulled slightly around the edges of the fabric, and there are a few pulled threads. No one but me would notice though!
I think this dress has a bit of a 60s vibe, so I paired it with a vintage broach (my Grandma’s) which matches it exactly! My grandma had a ton of Sarah Coventry jewelry, and I’ve inherited the lot. I love pins and broaches, the bigger the better!
We had what is (for us) an epic snow last night – six inches! I tried for photos anyway…
This is closer to the color of the dress.
I learned several new skills with this pattern. I learned to apply piping and an invisible zipper (both not hard, but I did get the special feet for my machine.) I am so thrilled with my dress, and can’t wait to make more!