19 May MEMADE: Tiny Crayons Colette Peony Dress
Peony has a bateau neck bodice with short or 3/4 sleeves with an A-line skirt with removable cummerbund style belt which can be made in a matching or contrasting fabric, closing with a single button in back.
Colette patterns are made to learn a different technique each pattern. As I haven’t sewn for years, this is a great little “re-entry” pattern. I’m a slow sewist, often get distracted by cat and telly, so it did took me a few days but some might take a day.
I was in love when I saw this tiny crayons fabric during a Liberty sale last summer. It was from the ‘The Artist’ themed collection of Summer 2016. The fabric is a Tana Lawn (lightweight 100% cotton) with a pattern of simple scattered colourful crayons/pencils which evokes a gorgeous nostalgia for childhood pencil cases.
I’ve got to have this fabric but what can I make? I’ve sewn on and off as a teenager but mainly re-fashioning huge band t-shirts (why do they always come in men XL?) but I have never constructed anything with patterns so I was a bit nervous.
The Pattern & Fit
After strolling through their haberdashery section and stumbled across the perfect pattern for this fabric. Colette Patterns – patterns that teach, perfect! I chose Peony as it is a beginner’s pattern.
Peony is an elegant bateau neck sheath dress that is simple to sew, with added interest from a fully removable cummerbund style belt which can be made in a matching or contrasting fabric, closing with a single button in back. There are two versions with the pattern:
- Version 1 – features 3/4 length sleeves, a contrasting belt, and in-seam pockets
- Version 2 – features short sleeves, a matching belt, and no pockets.
As it was summer at the time, I went for Version 2 with contrasting belt.
Many blogs suggest to trace out patterns, so I bought tracing paper to trace out the pattern as the package and the pattern were too pretty to cut into! Boy, I didn’t enjoy tracing at all.
I went through the measurements and size 8 is the closest. I didn’t make a toile, at the time, to be honest at the time I had no idea what a toile was! Luckily, the fit was perfect, I didn’t have to do any alterations to the pattern.
All the seams were done with French seams, I didn’t have an overlocker then even though I have the overcast stitch on my Janome sewing machine, I thought to learn a new technique. I didn’t apply French seams to the sleeves (at the time I didn’t know you can do that) so I used the overcast stitch to finish.
I’ve omitted the in-seam pockets as at the time it was too difficult for me to handle.
I made two cummerbunds for this dress, one with the original crayons fabric since I had fabric left over and an alternate from the cutest Abbey fabric found in Liberty’s remnants section after I chose the pattern. Both made with self-covering buttons.
Lessons & Techniques Learned
- The wonders of a French seam!
- Little known at the time of purchase, instead of invisible zip, I bought the wrong zipper! I have to unpick my stitches and looked for online tutorials for a lapped zip.
- I did bought material for the lining but after the wrong zip incident, I thought it was too ambitious to line it for my first project.
I really enjoyed this pattern as I remembered. I was quite pleased as my first project. I will definitely make this again. Next time when I make the Peony dress again, I would:
- Lined the skirt
- Add in-seam pockets
- Buy invisible zip!