July 25, 2012
The Parfait dress from Colette
This pattern kicked my ass. Not because it was complicated, because it wasn't really. And Colette puts out a clear, well-designed pattern booklet. But this pattern has 32 pieces! The margin of error with that many pieces is extensive!
I wanted to make this dress after I saw that Paunnet had made it twice and seemed to love it. It also looked great on her in the photos, and I figured that since we had similar body types it would also look good on me.
Not so much.
My issues began with choosing a pattern size. I measured my bust, waist and hips, and of course, I fell into 3 size categories (the plight of the pear-shaped woman). So I cut out the pattern pieces for the size 2 top and size 12 skirt and did my best to make the pieces match up. I ended up having to take the top in drastically (guess I'm a size zero bust? that's reassuring), and matching up the skirt was "iffy" at best. Sadly, the straps don't fit that well either. They don't lay flat against my back, but rather seem to bow out a bit.
The dress pattern also included pockets on the front, but after I sewed them up I realized that they were tiny! Not at all useful for putting one's hands into, but better suited for collecting small seashells (not a past-time of mine). I would have preferred inseam pockets, but the placement of the side zipper made that impossible. I opted to leave the pockets off, particularly since the fabric pattern is so busy and they wouldn't have been noticeable anyway.
Which leads me to the last issue. The color of this dress completely washes me out. I swear it looks better in person, but I may be kidding myself. While I wear black, charcoal and coral quite often, somehow it all looks muddy here and not very flattering.
The pattern is $18 and I justified the purchase by figuring that I would make a couple of these dresses. Never say never, but I don't think I'll be doing it again soon. I think that the Colette patterns are designed for bustier women, and that'll never be me. I think I'll try a Sewaholic pattern next...