Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Colette Parfait Dress

Happy New Year!

On this first day of the new year, I thought it was about time to blog some of the projects I've been playing with in the last months. First out, the Colette Parfait Dress.  I have drooled at the Colette website for a long time, but since I live far away from a mail box, it was never an option to buy any of their patterns. Before. Now that they started offering their patterns as pdf downloads, even we remote village dwellers with an internet connection get to partake of their lovely patterns!

Before choosing the Parfait, I browsed all their dress patterns, and googled each one to see how other people looked in their creations of each one. I especially looked for a dress that would look nice on a larger body like mine. The one that I found most matching those criteria, was this one. The other dresses are lovely too, but do seem to fit nicer on smaller size women. (If you can prove me wrong there, please post a link!!! I would love to be wrong this time!)

I cut this in size 18, but later regretted not cutting the bodice in 16. I had to tweak it a lot, and it would have been much less work just to start with the smaller size. I had even made a muslin, but since I didn't include the straps in it, it was really hard to see how the fit would end up, and I regret skipping that step in retrospect. I even had the pieces cut out, but felt too lazy to do all the sewing...

The fabric I chose was an "American cotton" I got on my crazy cheap shopping spree in Mexico last spring. I think it was something like the equivalent of 3 USD per meter, and sewing with it was a delight. It is a woven, but must have something elastic in it, because it has a slight stretch and drapes beautifully. The slight stretchiness is perfect for me, it makes any dress more comfy and easier to fit.  

I didn't make any significant design changes, but I felt that the V in the bodice front showed a little too much cleavage for my taste, so I sewed the facing to the front bodice at a quarter inch seam allowance instead of the standard 5/8", lifting the bottom center 3/8".  That later caused me to have to redo the whole facing application (the curve just wasn't looking very nice), which I had already understitched, and if you've ever ripped any seams sewed in interfaced material, you know what a pain in the neck that was. 

I also substituted the invisible zipper with a lapped regular zipper. I don't have an invisible zipper foot, which is the reason for that choice. I love how the patterns calls for a side zipper instead of the dreaded back ones. I just hate having to ask for help to get dressed! 

As you can see, the dress fits like a glove in the back. That made me a very happy camper. I hate things that bulge and pucker in the curve of my back, but this fit perfectly right off the bat. (After shaving off 2 inches on each side seam).  

I didn't attach the pockets right away, and wore the dress to church this Sunday without them. It looks great without them in this kind of fabric. Since I had already prepared them, though, I decided to go ahead and attach them, but they don't show that much at all, the fabric being so busy and all. But I figure that a mother of 2,5 year old twins can never get enough garments with pockets... 


  1. Nydelig kjole i et vakkert stoff. :)
    Jo, kan nok være lurt med lommer og, ser den. :)

    Beautiful dress made in a beautiful fabric. :)

    Happy new year to you! :)

  2. Kjempefin kjole du har sydd deg!

  3. Hi there! Beautiful job on this dress it looks lovely on you. I agree the fabric looks identical to the one I used on my Simplicity 1880 dress. It was heavenly to sew as well and wears beautifully. No creases despite being cotton. I hope you love yours as much as I do mine. You did a great job on the fit. And thank you for your lovely comment on my dress!

  4. Lovely fabric - and yes, you can never have too many pockets :-)
    Thanks for the review - this is on my sewing short list - it may move up to the top now...

  5. Kjempefin kjole i flotte farger:)

  6. Nydelig kjole, og den sitter som støpt!