Saturday, 9 March 2013

colette Peony - what a journey!

Oh, Peony. What can I say? We've been through so much together already, and I still don’t know whether to love you or hate you.

Let me start at the beginning…

My third ever make, and I’m still not totally sure why I chose to make Peony. Perhaps because I enjoyed my Colette Violet experience so much, and Peony was marked as a beginner pattern, and most of all because I just really, really like dresses.

I did a far amount of web research first. The resounding message from the lovely online sewing community was to make a toile! And do it properly! It seems this pattern rarely fits anyone without moderate to substantial alterations to be made. So I obediently made a toile (bodice only – maybe a mistake?), and decided that yes, I did need to adjust my waist darts a fair amount. I was so chuffed that I seemed to do it right and the toile was instantly improved!

So I started my make. I used some medium-weight floral cotton from Masons in Abingdon. It doesn’t drape well but I thought that probably wouldn’t matter for this dress. The pattern was a delight to follow, as I suspected it would be. I did my first ever zip! Everything seemed to be going swimmingly.

Then I got to the almost-end. The only thing left to do was to hem the skirt. The pattern said to try it on and decide what length you want. Oh dear - the dress resembled a sack on me! Far too much give at the waist, and the sleeves were so baggy they looked ridiculous!

So I was dismayed to say the least. I’m still not sure what went wrong between toile and make but I shall try and learn for the future to be super-diligent in my toile-making! To cut a long story short I took the dress in at the sides and also took the sleeves in at the sides, and shortened them too. It's salvaged the dress I'm pleased to say, although left me a bit less confident in my fitting skills! I had intended to make the dress short-ish from the beginning, and omit the fabric belt - two decisions I'm still happy with.

And so, all in all, I think it looks pretty good. I’ll definitely wear it a fair amount, although I’m not sure I’ll make it again. One thing I’m not sure about now are the pockets – what do you guys think? They seem to add a lot of unnecessary bulk and I’m thinking therefore I might just remove those bad boys and streamline the skirt a bit. Thoughts?

Bulky pockets. Ignore the stupid expression.

And for fun a bit of a silly photo for you…

What fun!

Jen x


  1. I think it's beautiful! It fits much nicer than mine. I think you should be friends with it.

    1. Thanks hun! I really like yours! It's such a tricky dress to fit though, right?! x

  2. Looks fab! I do love a dress with pockets...

    1. Thanks love! Hehe, me too, pockets are fab. x

  3. Super cute!! I love the fabric and how you accessorized it! The belt is particularly cute ;)

  4. I#d like this one as well too please!


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