A Tale of Two Colettes

Ok, so when Colette patterns hit the scene, everyone raved about them.  I bought 4 and took my time getting to them.  Macaroon was my first and it fit like a dream right out of the envelope.  Perhaps this raised my expectations.  The second one I tried was Ceylon.  No, you haven’t seen the results.  I have made 2 muslins of the bodice and I’m still not done.  I ran out of steam.  While it fit in the shoulders, it was clearly drafted for someone with NO bum.  Once I get the dropped waist bodice to fit, I think I have to draft my own back skirt piece.  Next up with Crepe.  This is the back wrap dress that all the hip sewists are digging.  Not me.  Again, it fit great in the shoulders and bust, but I had to trim 4in off the length of the back bodice length, which then required reshaping the wrap back.  The biggest problem I had was user error.  I cut it out about a month before I started sewing it.  I clearly didn’t read the instructions.  I was supposed to cut out 2 skirt fronts and 4 skirt backs.  When I got to the skirt, I had only 2 backs and no leftover fabric.  I haven’t decided if there’s anything I can do for it.

Crepe bodice

The third Colette pattern I’ve made is Roobios.  I made a muslin, so it should have been fine, but I think the difference in fabric really affected the fit.  The muslin was a stiff cotton while the dress is lined with a slippery rayon.  The straps are too wide set and feel like they are falling off and the armscye is low enough to display my bra.  Other than that, I think the issues I have with it are design issues, not fit issues.  To my eye, the folded down contrast pointy things at the neckline haven’t been graded up for the larger sizes.  If you look through the Colette Flickr group, the contrast area looks much larger on the smaller dresses.  On my dress, they are so small, they’re almost ridiculous.  If I make this again, I’d either eliminate them or make them larger.  I also think the skirt shape it odd.  It is described as a straight skirt on the pattern envelope, but in reality, it is a slight A-line.  And my final complaint is the pockets.  They are too low.  When I’m standing up, I can’t reach the bottom of the pocket.  It looks ok with a cardi, but since it is a linen cotton blend, it won’t be good for winter wear.

At this point, I don’t even want to try Lady Grey.  I might be giving up on Colette patterns, except for Macaroon.



About andreahg

I'm a stay-at-home wife and mom to two boys, a cat and two rough collies. I love to sew and knit with vintage patterns, primarly from the WWII era.
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5 Responses to A Tale of Two Colettes

  1. judy says:

    I understand your troubles.So sorry.. I made the collette violet.wonderful fit, I did the ginger skirt, wonderful fit..But I tried the crepe and I NEVER could get it wearable. The top was way tooo big, and once I cut it down, I never could get the back to close right. It was just awful. And so many people did it on Sew Weekly.It was beautiful. i was so dissappointed in mine.I keep telling myself to try again…but I havent gotten the courage yet.ha..
    I won the oolong pattern ..but I havent tried it yet..I really need to.. But I think I am scared of it.ha
    Hope you figure out away to get your skirt on your crepe..Maybe you will run into more of the fabric. Will say a prayer for you..

  2. Janel says:

    I definitely like the dress on you, especially with the cardi, weird little flaps or not. It looks good. I love the color.

    I’ve almost bought a couple of Colette patterns several times, but I’m just SO fed up with commercial patterns in general. I hate to try new ones. It’s why I learned pattern drafting. That said, I have an altered Lissette pants pattern that I am desperately hoping will fit right because I think it’s adorable. I just need to get to making a muslin.

  3. 1912 Suffragette says:

    I have to agree with you on the weird drafting for the larger sizes. I made the Sencha blouse and the Sorbetto top. On the Sencha I added a gusset to the armscye because there wasn’t enough room to move my arms, and on the Sorbetto I increased the pleat to 2.5″ instead of 2″ because it looked out of proportion across my front. I think the Rooibos looks good on you, but I’d make it without the flaps or make them bigger for me.

  4. caroline wright says:

    I have a Ceylon that is mostly completed. I’ve had an issue with a couple of Colette patterns that is mostly self-made, though could be fixed in the manufacturing process. I HATE that they don’t have the finished garment measurements on them. HATE. Yes, the smaller ease and better sizing makes that less of an issue than with the Big 4, but I cut all my patterns based on finished measurements because I have to cut most dresses in three different sizes for B/W/H. However, in a couple of cases I have mismeasured and come out with problem garments. I missed a pleat in Sencha and the center front for the buttons in Ceylon. I need to lose some weight anyway, I’m working on it, to fit in most of the clothes I already own, so I may just not finish the dress til I lose that extra half-inch around.

  5. Jen says:

    I’m so glad I’m not alone. I had a terrible, TERRIBLE time with the Crepe. Eight muslins. I ended up using a crazy small size because there are no finished garment measurements, but of course still needed to do a slight FBA, move the (horribly drafted in the first place) darts, take it in here, there and everywhere, shorten the waist, you name it. Nightmare! I still seem to do better with the vintage patterns.

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