Sunday, 10 February 2013

a vibrant Colette Violet

I have so much to say about this one, I don't know where to start! Firstly, it's only my second ever sewn-garment-from-a-pattern that I've made in my adult life. The first, Vogue 8763, almost made me quit dressmaking before I'd hardly even started. I like the finished dress, but oh my gosh it was a struggle to follow Vogue's pattern instructions. 

In complete contrast, the Colette Violet WAS. A. DREAM. And from what others have said I gather it's the same for all of their patterns. Maybe I should just stick to Colette only for everything?! After all, I am doing their Peony dress next.

Enough of the chat, what about the make?

But anyhoo, back to my Violet. After Googling other people's versions incessantly, I knew I wanted to make a more fitted version - Joanne inspired me, with her fitted Violets. So after measuring all of my bits I settled on cutting an 8 (US sizing I believe, so a UK 12 I think) from the pattern and whipped up a muslin from an old sheet. After trying this on I decided it was definitely not fitted enough so I hacked off about 4cm from the front and back pieces at the sides. I also therefore repositioned the darts (scary stuff for a beginner like me) and am so thrilled that it worked a treat!

I used a gorgeously vibrant red floral lightweight cotton, purchased from Masons in Abingdon. I think I bought three metres and have more than one metre left, so I therefore used under two metres for this. 

Back view!

Another slight alteration to the pattern that I decided to make was to have the sleeves from version 1, but extend them by 8cm. I hate my arms and wanted a top that's good for autumn or spring - the type of not cold but not warm temperatures that we get in the UK ALL THE TIME. Plus it's perfect for my office which is pretty warm all throughout the year. And I love the finished results of the sleeves - yay!

Any challenges?

I feel like I tackled so many new things in this make, especially compared to my Vogue 8763, but because of the expert guidance from the pattern it all went so smoothly and calmly! New things I haven't done before included: interfacing, setting sleeves, buttonholes, a collar, and gathering - phew! I feel like it did take me quite a long time - about 8 hours in total, over three weeks - but I put that down to my beginner-ness and the fact that there's never enough time in the day to sew!


One minor catastrophe did occur though, the morning after I thought I'd finished it. I put it on to wear to work, bent over to put my shoes on, and 'RRRIIIIIPPPPPPPPP'. Disaster! The back seam connecting the back piece and yoke had split. I was crushed! But catastrophe averted that evening - I unpicked the back seam and where it connected to the sleeves at the back, reduced their seam allowance and resewed, reinforcing it a few times. And it's a lot better! That'll teach me to measure my back next time. Does anyone actually do that though?!

Side view! Is that enough views yet?

How will I wear it?

I'll definitely wear it tucked in, like in the pics, pretty much all of the time. I'm not a big fan of shirts not tucked in to stuff anyway, and I like high-waisted jeans and skirts so this top will be perfect for those! The only tricky thing is that I have a lot of patterned skirts so it probably won't go with most of those. Lucky I'm planning on making a denim Beignet or Ginger soon then!

And I think it should go well with a cardi or jumper too, due to the oh so cute peter pan collar. When I make another Violet I'll definitely experiment with piping or lace on the collar - that will look so cute!

Jen x


  1. It's brilliant! Top marks, Jen. Looks like you've been sewing for years. Colette are wonderful but promise me you'll try some Sewaholic too. :-) xx

    1. Thanks love! Yes I will deffo try a Sewaholic - I love the look of the Hollyburn or Cambie xxx


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