Tag Archives: Colette Sewing Handbook

Sew Colette & Spring Palette Challenge: Taffy Complete!

I finally finished the Taffy!


Hard to tell but it’s very sheer blue chiffon with an off white bubble pattern.

I made quite a lot of my own changes.

Obviously my usual FBA – yes even with a looser top; believe me, it’s necessary. It was a bit tricky on this one cause of the unusual dart but I managed to make it work πŸ™‚

The most obvious change is that I opted not to use bias tape, as my fabric was SO lightweight and sheer, I felt it would take away from its delicacy. Also I didn’t want the sleeves to stick out too wide, as I don’t need any extra attention on my chest area lol. So I did a rolled hem on the neck, sleeve edge and hem. I think it looks lovely, and really suits the fabric.



Also I made self ties instead of bias tape ones, again because the fabric is so delicate, I wanted the ties to be more flowy.


This was my first bias garment and it was tough to cut because a) my work surface was too small and b) the fabric was so slippery, even with spray starch. Nevertheless I LOVE the look and feel of bias tops so I would do it again πŸ™‚

I also sewed the first step of the french seam for the sleeve on the wrong side (even after checking it twice lol) It was this mistake that caused the long delay in me finishing it, due to my own shame and disgust lol. In the end, instead of seam ripping on my delicate fabric I just finished the sleeve seam with the serger.

Other than that the blouse sewed up fairly quickly and the fit is great – I’ll post pics of it being worn soon πŸ™‚

Colette Spring Palette Challenge

Hi All!!

I have edited my pinterest mood board for spring to reflect my sewing plans, and revised palette πŸ™‚

Check it out here

It was tough because I have a ton more that I want to make but I wanted to keep it simple, and be practical so that I can ensure that I finish everything. I decided to keep it to four pieces for now, incorporating the items I’m making for Sew Colette.

  • Item 1: Taffy blouse from Colette Sewing Handbook in dark blue print chiffon
  • Item 2: Licorice dress from Colette Sewing HandbookΒ in blue silk crepe ( I loved the book version so much I wanted to do one fairly similar)
  • Item 3: Jamie Christina Mission Maxi dress in cream jersey
  • Item 4: UFO black linen dress pants from last year hehe

I thought what I’ll do is, once the Spring one is complete I’ll make another for summer, and that’s when I’ll be adding my bolds and brights like my tangerines and red-oranges…. ahhhhh my favourite colours!!! πŸ˜€

I have some great plans for summer, like my first pair of shorts, a tangerine silk halter top and the Bombshell dress in a sweet black floral cotton…. whooopeeeee!!!!! πŸ˜€

Stay tuned and don’t miss a thing! LOL

Sew Colette: Truffle Dress Complete

Finally completed the March challenge of Sew Colette: The Truffle Dress!!


I learned a lot on this challenge as well: how to install a facing & attach it to a zipper mostly. I also experimented with using spray starch to stabilize my fabric; a VERY fray-prone, slippery dress weight rayon. I lined the bodice with cotton batiste and I really like the feel of it.


Overall I like the way the dress turned out… except that it’s a bit too tight lol. I can get it on but there’s NO WAY I’m wearing it to go out for dinner lol – I’d be afraid of a major wardrobe malfunction! lol. No worries though; I’m on a health & fitness plan and have been losing weight so I’ll bet I can wear it comfortably, soon πŸ™‚

Gratuitous closeups, including kitty trying to hide under it lol:



Now onto April’s challenge: The Taffy Blouse!! πŸ™‚

Sew Colette: Pastille… muslin fail

So it is confirmed: I have a weird freakish upper body with a plethora of fitting issues… or so one would think if one had seen the nightmare of crumpled fabric on me that was supposed to be my Pastille bodice.

I stared at it, pinched fabric, checked the book, made notes, pinned things, twisted and turned, but there were so many things wrong with it I can’t even be sure what I was looking at…. I know it was too big. That much was clear. Loose wrinkles abounded, in all directions, front and back. After I had pinned and drawn in at least an inch on all seams it had begun to look like a garment, albeit a poorly fitted one, but that was enough to convince me a better starting point would be to redraw the bodice a size smaller and start over. Ugh.

I am the forever optimist so I will end on a positive note: the size grading on the skirt part seems to be enough, apart from needing to whack a couple inches off the length (I folded up the pleats on the pattern pieces and cut a plain skirt for the muslin). I find it weird that both Colette patterns I’ve sewn have been long on me, as I’m 5’9″…. oh well, thank goodness for muslins!! πŸ™‚

Meringue skirt

Meringue skirt

Sew Colette

I am so darn freaking excited to announce that I have joined (I think) my very first sewalong!!

Hosted by Miss Crayola Creepy Β and Rhinestones and Telephones, this sewalong is for anyone who wishes to join in sewing the projects from the Colette Sewing HandbookΒ which as I have noted, I received just recently and have already read at least half a dozen times, and had already planned to make everything in there at least once!

I am proudly displaying my button on the right hand side of my blog – my very first of its kind, I started a Flickr account for my project photos, and I’m so excited to participate in this sewalong, and to make lots of new friends in the sewing community πŸ™‚

Cheers, and happy sewing! πŸ™‚

Meringue and my Fabric Stash

Well the Meringue came to life yesterday (almost). All was going swimmingly until I got to the hem. It wasn’t til I turned the facing and began attempting to press the scallops that I realized the fabric was a little too drapey to hold them. Still I pressed on (ha, pun) and got about halfway through the catchstitching before I admitted this was not going to work.

Ok so now I have a rough game plan to save this otherwise lovely skirt:
– first, unpick the catchstitching (sad but at least I’m getting really good at it!)
– second, try to trim down seam allowance in the points more to get more definition
– third, sew a second line of stitching along the scalloped edge to reinforce the shape
– fourth, if all else fails, remove the facing, cut and sew a straight hem

If I have to resort to that, I’ll make a second Meringue in stiffer fabric so I can have that pretty hemline on one at least πŸ™‚

On another note, at the wise advice of Joanne from Stitch & Witter, I created a list of my meager stash and a table to organize it, despite the fact I had to guess at a few yardages, and didn’t know the widths on most lol. She was right though – better to start now before it gets out of control!! lol

I’ll be trying to save the Meringue tonight so updates are soon to follow πŸ™‚

Book Review: Colette Sewing Handbook

Over the holidays I was very fortunate and extremely excited to have received my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook which I had pre-ordered back in October, from Amazon.

I had high expectations of this book because I’m an avid follower and fan of Sarai Mitnick and her Colette line of patterns. The book did not disappoint; it’s everything I had hoped for, and more. First let me just say this, that if you think you are too advanced a sewer to need this book, you are WRONG. EVERYONE needs this book!!!

I am not technically a beginner; as aforementioned in an earlier post, my history with sewing is long, but my experience is limited, as I haven’t really done a whole lot of projects, especially lately. So while there are several techniques explained in the book that I am already familiar with, it is incredibly helpful to have them laid out step by step with pictures, for easy reference when needed (YAY!).

Also, and possibly much more importantly, Sarai has a number of very helpful ways of making the boring parts of sewing much easier and more pleasant. I have already tried out a few new ways of marking my patterns, and have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of using large washers for pattern weights instead of that time consuming, insufferable way of pinning pattern pieces to fabric…. UGH! I’ll NEVER go back to doing that again LOL.

I have been completely inspired by this book. I’ve never thought about actually PLANNING my wardrobe before, and I have totally been inspired to do so now, and have already began conjuring preliminary ideas for my spring mood board and wardrobe plan.

I’ve also never made a muslin before, so I decided to make a muslin for the meringue skirt, simultaneously using it to try the new pattern weights, and marking techniques which I promptly fell in love with. I’m totally sold on the muslin idea now – before this, I thought I didn’t have to do one so I never did…. it’s incredible how fast one can make a muslin without worrying about finishings, linings, facings, closures, etc…. and how much one can learn about fitting and potential pitfalls by doing so. It’s well worth the extra time put in and makes you excited and more confident about making the garment from your actual fabric.

I plan on making every garment from this book, some more than once. I am all set to do the meringue in my actual fabric – a gorgeous royal blue silk noile – and I also have fabric purchased for the next garment in the book – the cover dress, Pastille. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep posting with my progress!