Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Peony – not just my favourite flower…

But also a dress pattern from Colette!  

Cute, right?

I like the simplicity of the design plus it comes with in seam pockets. It’s the first pattern I’m making which has them included and not just added in by myself! I figured it’ll be an easy pattern to go back to time and time again (assuming that this one goes well).

So I opted to use this fruity themed cotton poplin I picked up years ago from Fabricland in Bristol. Like actually a whole 4 years ago. It’s just been sitting in my fabric stash staring at me for that long… 

Because of the print – that the printed fruit are quite bold and the cream background, well, isn’t – I changed the design to include a full bodice lining instead of the facing for the neckline. I hate being able to see the print on the facing through the outer shell, plus I figured this’ll mean no bra camouflaging issues either.

Apart from that there weren’t any planned alterations. I cut out the short sleeve version and it was pretty quick and easy to sew it all together.

Then came the issues when trying it on!

I found it really tight across the chest – not just across the boob area but the upper chest too. It was weird! I was sure I’d checked the measurements both of their size chart and finished garment size before deciding on using the size! I have a feeling that I’ll need to make a full bust adjustment to this before making another one! (Note to self: take out an inch of the bodice length as well!)

It wasn’t an unbearable problem but I knew it would be enough to stop me wearing it comfortably. I finished it anyway – consider it a working muslin!

Not the worst dress in the world but definitely not what I wanted to achieve! Besides, I don’t think it goes with my current hair colour…

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  1. That’s such a shame about the fit because it’s a lovely dress and I think the shape definitely suits you. I really like the little pleats on the skirt. Hopefully you can sort out the fit issue if you make it again.

    1. I think a full bust adjustment will fix it. It’ll give me a good excuse to write a tutorial/ tip post on doing FBAs at least! I’m definitely going to persevere with it though!

  2. Looks very good… too bad about the fit 🙁 Stick with it though- I’ve made three Peony’s so far and finally did a FBA on the last one. Much like Goldilocks third one was just right! I like to experiment with different skirts and finishes too- FYI if you cut the largest size in the skirt it makes for a perfect full gathered skirt, as opposed to, an A-line 😉

    1. Glad to see it’s not just me with fit issues… Not that I wish them on anyone else! I’ve never had to do an FBA with any other pattern company before. They must’ve designed these for a less well endowed lady… Great tip about the skirt! Thanks!

      1. Being a DD I almost ALWAYS have to do a FBA 🙁 Colette is generally designed for a C cup… I’ve had less issues with some of their other dresses- the Crepe wrap dress for instance didn’t even require a FBA! 😀

  3. That fabric! Fruit ninja! Love it. It’s a lovely pattern too. Can’t wait to see you make it with a FBA some time. Haven’t a clue what FBA involves (adding curves and darts?), if anything I need to make a Flat Bust Adjustment for myself…

    1. Fruit ninja! Hehe. That’s what I’m gonna call this dress now! I’ve done a small bust adjustment before for my sister – super easy to do. I’m assuming the FBA will just be the opposite? Lol. Once I figure it out I’ll do a tutorial for both!

    1. Thanks! I think the tight fit is gonna put me off wearing it though which is a shame. I don’t know if I can be bothered to take it apart to fix it! 🙁

  4. Lovely lovely dress! Nice fabric too, so bright and cheerful. I love fabricland for those kinds of fabrics! I havent tried this, but I have heard taking your bust measurement as your upper bust not your full bust measurement can help – I am not convinced by this but other swear by it, might be worth a try?

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