Colette Patterns Pastille dress

Published Categorized as Make, Style
Colette Patterns Pastille dress in pink

FINALLY finished this dress! If you’re new around here or not paying attention, I actually started this dress back in February and was having a really hard time fitting the muslin. I did manage to finish the muslin not long after and cut out all the pieces in the final fabric, a bring pink linen, then managed to take another couple of months to actually finish it. If you can’t tell I’m trying to imitate the photograph of this dress on the front of the Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook.

If you’re looking at the above photo and thinking that it isn’t really very well fitted then well, you’re right. I had a lot of problems fitting the bodice piece initially because I chose the size to fit my waist, which is apparently a bit on the large side in proportion to my hips and bust. A few mockups later I realised that starting from a smaller size and grading larger for my waist was much easier than starting with the correct size waist and then attempting to do small bust/hip adjustments and take in everything else. Once I figured that out making a better muslin was easy, and I was pretty happy with the way that it fitted. Then in the couple of months I took to sew the final dress I managed to lose a few centimetres (from the bust, why is it always the place you want to lose the least?) and maybe lost something in the translation from muslin to pattern to final cut, because it’s now rather loose around the waist and shoulder blades, and even my waist. I also managed to not pay enough attention to the ‘caps’ at the shoulders or armholes, which I think are a bit on the large side in comparison to the reference photo.

Colette Patterns Pastille dress in pink

So yeah, not perfect. I wore this dress in to work today and it’s definitely lovely and comfortable to wear, and this bright pink is one of my favourite colours to wear. It’s also the most involved and most neat garments I’ve ever sewn, and I think I’ll be a lot more confident going into my next sewing project.

So a few random thoughts on Colette Pattern’s Pastille dress:

  • The pattern is actually pretty easy to follow and isn’t difficult at all to put together, if you’re not a noob like me!
  • I did have to look up how to do a centered zipper in another book though, as I found the instructions a bit brief and unclear.
  • I think extra resources are also necessary for fitting, as well as a bit of trial and error. There’s some info in the chapter preceding this pattern that explains things with nice diagrams, but if you’re new enough to this kind of thing to need step-by-step instructions then you’ll need to do some research online or in more comprehensive books.
  • I’m developing a healthy dislike for facings. Luckily this linen hides my extra tacks holding it down pretty well, but I think for the next project I’ll attempt a proper lining.
  • I didn’t have any issues with the skirt and think the pleats are a pretty touch, so I might remake it just as a skirt sometime – there’s some instructions on how to do this here.
  • I’ve decided to retrace the patterns instead of cutting the original tissue pattern from now on – I seem to be great at cutting things wrong or choosing the wrong size, and sometimes this means a bit of guesstimation when trying to fix it! I’d also like to be able to remake things if my weight and size changes in the future.
  • I still feel like a dork taking photos of myself, but I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out! I’ll write a bit about my setup for these photos and the post-processing (which is where the magic lies, if I’m honest) later.
  • Apparently I have chronic bitchface and don’t appear to be smiling when I think that I am, so must learn to smile more obviously!

Next up in the book is the Truffle dress! I’m slightly dubious about how well it will fit into my personal style, but I suspect that it’s all about choosing the right fabric for the job. Hopefully this one won’t take anywhere near as long!


  1. Gorgeous dress! I didn’t even notice it was ill-fitting (maybe a bit looser compared to the original, but it still looks great!) The colour is just stunning as well. It makes me want to learn how to sew, I’d love to make my own clothes.

    Good luck with your next endeavour! xx

  2. Thanks Jennifer! I’m hoping to eventually get to a point where I can make a good portion of my clothes, it’s a really useful skill!

  3. I could immediately tell the pose…and I love it. The color you chose is great. I agree it’s hard to fit yourself and if you lost weight in the making certainly it didn’t help with that ;o) (congrats though!). You could try and take the bodice in at the sides from the armscye down to the waist tapering to zero….or making a new one.

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