Sew Colette: Pastille Dress Final

After a cat stealth attack on my pattern, four bodice muslins (with two sets of adjustments each, so eight in total!!!), some self realization, a lot of hair pulling – or more accurately – thread ripping… a few curse words, a ton of frustration and moments where I thought I’d never get it right…. I finally managed to fit my very first sheath dress, and I tell you this: it was all worth it, every little bit.

This dress cost me a month of my time, at an average of about 4-6 hrs a week, and about $35 in supplies (not including the book). It’s the most time, but definitely not the most money, I’ve ever spent on one garment. Despite the fact the fit is not perfect (I had to come to terms with that or it’d never have gotten done) I felt good in it, cause it’s likely one of the best fitting garments I’ve ever worn. I could never buy a dress that fit me this well…. ever.

I had come to terms with the possibility that the dress may not be wearable, due to my inexperience, because final piece aside, I learned a TON from this project. I learned:

  • my body shape (thank you, croquis)
  • that a full bust adjustment is a MUST for me, and that I’ve been buying pattern sizes at least four sizes too big as a result, and that is why nothing I make ever fits LOL
  • how to do an FBA, and other pattern adjustments on paper
  • never to install another facing ever again without understitching

These are the final adjustments I made on my pattern (there were many previous ones but these are the ones that stuck):

  • 1/2″ FBA on the pattern piece so 1″ total (it would be 3/4″ or 1.5″ for the Big 4, but Colette drafts for a C, so it’s less)
  • took 1″ off front at shoulder seam and 3/4″ off back
  • lengthened bust darts on bodice
  • graded between two sizes for the skirt
  • shortened skirt by 2″ (I’m 5’9″ but for some reason, Colette patterns run long on me)

It is by no means perfect. I have some wrinkles in the back and my armhole facings are awaiting a revamp but for a first go at fitting, it works, and it felt pretty good to actually wear something I made, out on a lovely date with my man 🙂

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About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

27 responses to “Sew Colette: Pastille Dress Final

  • Lizz @ A Good Wardrobe

    Definitely worth the time! I hope you do wear it more than once because it looks wonderful on you! Do you imagine you’ll use the pattern again?

    • symondezyn

      I probably will make it again! I love the fit, the length, and especially the knife pleats; it’s a sweet, classy dress 🙂

      If I make it again, though, I’ll probably wait til summer cause I’d like to do a lightweight version, and by then I’ll hopefully know a bit more about fitting so I can perfect it better 🙂

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    It is soooooo cute!!! You did such a good job!!

  • Joanne

    Yay it looks fab on you! And what a lovely way to debut it 😉 Well done indeed! 🙂

  • prttynpnk

    Just great! I can see all the work you did and the care you took, I hope you wear it alot- it deserves some parading.

  • scruffy badger

    Well done you, it looks stunning. What’s interesting is seeing a dark version too. Glad you see it as worth the effort!

  • Annabelle

    Bravo you! When we are not a perfect cookie-cutter shape it takes so much work to have a well fitting garment. You have done a great job embracing your lovely shape and making the pattern work for you. What’s next?

    • symondezyn

      thank you! I think having well fitting clothing is so worth the extra work because it makes you feel so good to wear them! 🙂

      Next up is the Truffle dress, as I’m diligently participating in Sew Colette, but I’d like to fit a basic top in there soon as well 🙂

  • Maddie

    You didn’t do a bad job at all! Bravo sister! Sometimes the easiest designs are the hardest because their simplicity makes all the mistakes that much more visible

  • beautifullysewn

    It’s gorgeous! You did an amazing job!

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    Hello! I wanted to make sure you got this button to post on your blog (if you want to) for being a featured seamstress for the Pastille Parade.

    Sorry this is a week late!

    xo Erin

  • Tia Dia

    Congratulations on a fitted sheath dress! A project like this is worth its weight in gold simply for the learning curve, never mind if it’s something that you’ll never wear much. I learned a TON doing Gertie’s bombshell dress, and in the end decided that I wouldn’t ever wear the one that I did all my learning on. So I gave it away. But it was worth what I learned! And a sheath dress is one thing that I’ve been putting off my entire sewing life! Once I have a duct-tape clone I’ll attempt one.

    • symondezyn

      AHAHA! Yeah I’ve thought of doing a duct tape clone but my luck, I’ll end up needing skin grafts afterwards LOL

      It’s definitely been a very valuable learning experience, especially for only my third project! (as an adult that is LOL). It’s wearable, but I’m still figuring out the fit – there’s a bit of excess fabric at the upper back (I think this is common for this pattern) and some drag lines in the back I couldn’t quite figure out LOL, so I’d like to do this one again 🙂

      I’m signed up for the Bombshell course too!!! I cannot WAIT to do it, but I’m gonna restrain myself cause I really want this one to turn out perfectly, cause it’s so my style! Did you blog yours? I’d love to check it out! 🙂

  • Lavender

    Hey sexy mama! Awesome job!!! I cracked up over the FBA/buying patterns too large, as I’m pretty sure it’s a common mistake. I spent years doing the same thing, but for my hips. Also, I love your hair. Especially as I try to grow mine, and am thinking about bangs/fringe again. You’ve renewed my strength 🙂

    • symondezyn

      Thanks!! LOL I’m soooo glad I’m not the only one cause I really felt like a tool when I realized what I’d done. I actually had to give some of my patterns away cause they were in the wrong size block; that’s how big of a discrepancy I was buying…. DUUURRRRRR lol.

      Thanks! My hair has gone through a myriad of changes over my lifetime; I took the plunge into bang territory a couple years ago, for the first time since childhood; and before it was black i had it platinum blonde! LOL. My drivers license is still a blond pic, and people always ask me which one is my real colour!! LMAO

      • Lavender

        I can’t seem to keep the same hair for long, either… so antsy! But I’ve never gone platinum. Lots of red, black, highlights, kool-aid as a teen, even a purple rat tail in second grade (indulgent mom!). I always toy with the idea, but I’m afraid it will look awful on me.

        • symondezyn

          I wished my mum was that indulgent! I used to do everything to my hair when I was younger; it’s been every shade of every colour lol.

          Now I let my hair tell me when the time is right for change; it sounds dumb but one day my hairstyle just won’t ‘belong’ on me anymore and I always just know what to do somehow lol.

          I always thought it would be fun to have a collection of wigs though! 🙂

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