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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Well Read Dress

As I'm trying to follow along with the Sew Weekly challenges, for consistency sake I'm going to format my posts with the same information.  Hopefully this will be useful for you, dear readers, as you will now have a bit more information about what goes into making these garments, as well as the cost.  I will generally provide more information and pictures on this blog though so that I'm not swamping the Sew Weekly posts with more information than they care about - but that you might be interested in.  So here goes!

The Facts
Fabric: A little less than 2 1/2 yards of brown wool tweed suiting. ~$12
This was actually what was left after making a capelet. Apparently I buy a lot of yardage when I get fabric. Lining and pockets are a brown and white cotton polka dot fabric scrap from a previous dress. Serious stash-busting here!
Pattern: Colette Peony, purchased on sale ~$14
Year: 2011
Notions: Brown invisible zipper ~$1.50
Time to complete: 5 hours
Wear again? Yes! Especially during the winter.
Total Price: ~$27.50
The theme for this week was to take an accessory and use it as inspiration for your outfit.  This dress was inspired by some tweed ballet flats that I've had for a couple of years.  I constantly wear them - I find the plaid colors add a little fun to my basic work-wear, and I love the little leather buckle.  With this week's challenge, I was completely inspired by these shoes. 
The flats that inspired the dress

I wanted to do a wool tweed that would match the feel, and almost give them a literary vibe.  Yup, that's right, I feel like I should be hanging out in the library or doing some historical research in this dress.  It reminded me of Giles' jackets from Buffy the Vampire slayer.  
I knew Peony would be the perfect use for this fabric.  It's a simple design but the boat neck adds a little sass and I love the long sleeves.  I tied the shoes back into the dress with the brown leather belt, mimicking the brown belt buckles on the top of the shoes. 
I normally don't wear a lot of unlined wool because of the itch factor, so I changed the facings out with some cotton scraps that I had leftover from another dress I made a couple of months ago.  It's a brown cotton with white polka dots.  I wasn't sure what to do with my fabric scraps, but after reading suggestions from the Sew Weekly Community forums, I sorted everything into smaller yardage amounts and fabric scraps, which gave me a good idea of what I can use for mini projects, charity, and trimmings such as bias tapes, facings and pocket linings.  It's so nice to have a grasp on those things!
A peek at the pockets. This cotton also lines the neckline.

A view of the back

Can I tell you how much I am loving installing invisible zippers since I started following the method from Colette's book? It's so easy and it looks so good!  Oh, and this was my first 'on location' shoot?  Well, not counting Gatsby, but generally, I take my pics in the backyard. I told the hubby that I wanted to 'step-it-up' for this week so we ventured over to the local library.  Unfortunately, it's tiny, so it was hard finding an empty aisle, and I was a little nervous about taking pictures in a crowded library, but luckily, I found a couple of empty spots. Whew!

Creative Itch


  1. Very nice indeed. That pattern's on my list for the New Year too - all the versions I've seen have been lovely. And I'm a huge fan of secret polka dot pockets! x

  2. WOW!!! I love it! Very pretty!

  3. I had fun with the on location shooting, good times!

  4. The length of sleeve is perfect on you! Adorable dress :-)

  5. Very cute! I especially love the polka-dot lining - contrast lining is such a cute touch. :-)

  6. Love the dress! Especially your spotted pocket linings. I love fun pockets.

    And I am so envious that your local library, as little as it is, has proper shelves. For some reason all the libraries in my area think that it is super important that the shelves end at chest height.

  7. I'm loving the texture of that fabric. And yes Yes YES to polka dot lining :)

    I also had to giggle a bit at your shyness of having photos taken with strangers around - it creeps me out majorly too! :P

  8. This looks lovely.
    I am the same kinda shape as you, and so far I have been afraid of sewing Colette patterns due to irrational fear of doing a FBA.

    Was it necessary to make major adjustments to fit?
    Do you have any tips for me?

    I am off to hunt through your blog and see what I can discover. Thanks for sharing your dress.

  9. Luckily I have not had any issues with Colette's fit sizes - it's one of the reasons I love them, as I don't have to make any adjustments. I think I read somewhere that her patterns are perfect for C/D. If it's your first time using her patterns, you may want to make a muslin of the bust first just to be sure, but if you are a similar shape, they'll probably work out perfectly!

  10. Oh my, I love your dress! I just discovered your blog, actually, as I was oogling this dress pattern at the Colette patterns website. Was wondering if I liked this dress pattern, and you've single-handedly answered that with a YES! :D Seriously, it looks lovely on you, you did a great job on it, and on how you styled it. Nice, matching the belt to your shoes too!

  11. Cute!! Love the polka dots and the library!!

  12. Christine, I absolutely LOVE your blog, girl!!!

  13. Thank you everyone!


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