Sunday, 23 January 2011

Dresses for a very hot day. Colette Parfait and McCall's 5177

As a little break from coat sewing, I have returned to sewing that has some relationship to the weather, and made a few sun-dresses. Today we went to afternoon tea at a friend's house, so I have some photographs in which I am actually wearing shoes and make up.
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First is Colette Parfait. I was a little unsure about making this dress for myself. It looked rather youthful to me, with its buttoning straps and puffy pockets. I left these off, in an attempt to make this a more suitable garment for a 39 year old woman.
The fit on me is astoundingly good straight out of the envelope (well, pattern book, for this line). After my 4 toiles for the Lady Grey coat, from the same patten range, this was an extremely pleasant surprise. The only alteration I made after the toile was to make a square shoulder adjustment of 5mm, front and back, and to shorten the shoulder straps by 1.5cm. On reflection, most of the adjustments I made to the Lady Grey pattern were shoulder, neck, collar and sleeve, few of which are present in this pattern. I made a size 6 bust and waist, with a size 8 skirt at the front, 10 at the back. I was a little confused about which size to make for the bust, after reading rumours on pattern review that the draft is for a C cup. Usually I pick by the high bust size and make a FBA for D cup. This time I chose the size by the finished bust measurement on the pattern booklet. I wish these measurements were on every pattern. There was no finished measurement for the hip. I probably could have used a straight size 8 at the hips/backside, but more room is better than too little! I took in the dress a little at the bodice side seams, and could have taken in a few more mm at the front here.
I lined the bodice fully, and only used the facing at the front.
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The lining made it very easy to sew down the facing, and also to finish the inside nicely over the zip.
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I used cotton batiste for the lining and as "interfacing" in the straps and waistband, and also added fusible interfacing under the zipper. The outer fabric is a cotton print from Spotlight (2008). It is allegedly quilting cotton, but is much more soft and crisp than most Spotlight quilting cotton, more like a poplin.
I am very pleased with this dress, and will make it again, but think the skirt is a little skimpy. I have made the smallest possible hem, and it is a little short on me, and I have short legs. On normal length legs this would be several inches above the knee.
The afternoon tea visit also gave me a chance to get a photograph of my older daughter wearing her McCall's 5177 school holiday sewing project.
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She fully shirred the front panel, lined the bodice and put in her own zip. I am so pleased that she can sew a whole dress herself. She received plenty of compliments on her dress, so hopefully this will increase her enthusiasm for sewing.
The friends we visited this afternoon are members of my husband's cycling group. They have just returned from a trip to Europe, and bought me a present.
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Can you believe a pair of cyclists would look out Patrones for me? I am thrilled. I always thought the glazed looks when I mentioned clothing meant they weren't listening...

17 comments:

Sue said...

The dress looks fantastic on you!

Shannon said...

Your dress is fabulous! I must admit though that I am very jealous that you are wearing a sundress on a day that I'm freezing my patootie off (it's -22 C with windchill around these parts today).

BetsyV said...

I LOVE the parfait dress! I must get that pattern and try it. I need more summer dresses (not just now, you realize, at about -12C but no wind today). I love the Colette booklets too (have Sencha blouse and Negroni men's shirt patterns).

And brava on the daughter's dress too. Nice work!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful sundrsss - since it is below freezing here for the next two months, I am extremely jealous!

shams said...

Very cute and what a perfect fit!

KID, MD said...

Beautiful dresses!! They both are making me wish for spring. And a Patrones! Yum!

Karin van D. said...

You look so cute in that dress, nice! Have fun with the patrones.

Debbie Cook said...

Great dresses and a new Patrones. What more could you want? ;-)

Ruthie said...

Love your dress, and your daughter has done pretty well too. Great that those friends brought you Patrones. :-)

Mary Nanna said...

Both dresses are gorgeous - well done to you and your daughter! I am also sewing a collette pattern at the moment - yes, they are styled very youthfully, but I saw on PR that someone had very successfully "matured" the dress (macaroon) so I'm hopeful! The parfait is parfait for you!

ps - have you ever read such full instructions in your life? They have literally written a book.

Gail said...

You must be so proud of your daughter. She is really taking off with her sewing. I really need to make a summery dress like your, its so hot here right now. 39 degrees predicted for Australia day.

lakaribane said...

I love the dress! Seriously, you are making me want to ditch all the serious work clothes plan and just sew sundresses.

And your daughter is so lucky to have you helping her get started in sewing, I'm jealous! My mother was a sewing dilettante so...

Oh, and I washed the border print cotton for my dress. You can see it here: http://picasaweb.google.com/lakaribane/RestashificationOct2010#5541710337708463794

HeathersSphere said...

You ladies look stunning in your stylish sundresses! Praises to your daughter for her sewing talents. Enjoy your summer!

Carol said...

Both dresses are lovely. It's a bit of a shock to the system now that the weather is finally warming up. I'd gotten rather used to being cool.

Sharon said...

Your dress on you is fantastic and I like the length. Your daughter has done a great job on her dress as well.

Joy said...

Love, love your dress. The fit on you is fantastic. And (as I've mentioned before) I have a weakness for the small florals.

And how nice to see your daughter wearing her dress. She did a great job! How many teens can do that?

Handmade said...

Lovely dresses - perfect!!