Peony : Back to School !


This elegant bateau neck sheath dress is simple to sew, with added interest from a fully removable cummerbund style belt which can be made in a matching or contrasting fabric, closing with a single button in back. Version 1 has 3/4 length sleeves, a contrasting belt, and in seam pockets. Version 2 has short sleeves, a matching belt, and no pockets.

Pattern Sizing:

0 – 18
I made a size 10 all over.
I was *very* happily surprised that the fit was good in the front without any adjustment (I’m a 36C).


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yep ! Hopefully !

I made version 1 : 3/4 length, pockets, no belt.


I do think that the belt would really pull the all look together, but with my short bust I usually avoid them at the waist because I find that it makes me look even more top heavy (and I have enough of that!). I might try it someday though, you never know.


About the pockets : They are the perfect size, for once I didn’t have to enlarge them.


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes instructions and illustrations are crystal clear !

But even if the pattern is stamped beginner I would not recommend it to absolute beginners (=not for a very first dress to sew) because of the 8 darts (that you might have to adjust), invisible zipper, etc…

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love that it looks like an easy dress to wear. I’m fond of dresses with pockets and the neckline is really nice too.


tissu prince de galles

Prince de Galles

Prince of Wales check in polyester…. I know, I know, but I really wanted a Prince of Wales check Peony and this was the only thing in my stash (I’m on a no buy challenge for fabric !).

I bought it several months ago at 3€ per meter so the dress, fabric wise, only costed me 6€.

I didn’t really bother trying to match the pattern (I’m lazy like that sometimes). I only matched it at center front.

This fabric was not the best choice for this pattern. It’s a bit too drapey and shows everything you have underneath… You know, those things you don’t want to show…

The fabric was not ideal for the darts either… I had to sew the waist darts again (and again) with curvy legs. It’s the only solution I found to avoid puckering at the top of the darts, with this fabric.


Pattern alterations

  • Sway back/flat derrière adjustment (3cm)
  • Shorten the bodice by 1,5 cm
  • Shorten the skirt a little
  • Redrawn the center back of the skirt, it was too curvy for my body
  • Didn’t insert the zipper, the fabric has enough stretch to put the dress on without it. And after all the back adjustments I had made (short waited, swayback, center back skirt), I was a little lazy and didn’t want to have to recalculate the zipper length… I know not that much work ^^

The bust darts were at the right place, but I’ll have to move the vertical waist darts out just a little (1-1,5cm) for a more accurate fit next time.
I did have to sew the waist darts again : they were very pointy (fabric’s fault mostly). Sewing them with curved legs fixed the problem.

Next time I’ll also make a small adjustment for my forward shoulder.

I will also redraw the neckline so that it’s just a little lower in the front and covers the shoulders a little more to hide regular bra straps.



Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I already have other peonies in mind.
Yes I would recommend. Don’t overlook the muslin stage for the top !

This is a solid pattern and I’m really happy with it ! It’s my first Colette and it won’t be the last.

Peony Colette Patterns

Peony - Colette Patterns

Peony Colette Patterns

Peony Colette Patterns - I love pockets !

Peony Colette Patterns prince de galles

Mimine the cat attacks !

Peony Colette Patterns

Not matching !

Peony neckline décolleté bateau Colette Patterns

Peony neckline

facings and shoulder darts (back et wrong side^^))

No zipper in the center back.


Gathers on the front



Jacky O coat – Newlook 6736

I took advantage of the lack of Mistral (a very strong wind in the south of France) and heavy rain and was finally able to take pictures of this very “Jacky O” (in my eyes), classic rétro-chic coat.


The pattern I used for this coat is Newlook 6736. The coat as 3/4 sleeves, princess seams and a very large collar and neckline (so very open at the neck, a scarf is essential for cool evenings). The coat is designed without pockets or lining.

As you can see, my coat and the one the pattern envelop are almost identical … This is due to the fact that I used the same color! It’s not for lack of inspiration, it’s just because I like this color a lot.

Newlook 6736 manteau demi saison

Newlook 6736 – front

Newlook patron 6736

Newlook 6736 pattern


Slightly stretchy gabardine (95% polyester 5% Lycra) “lie de vin” which is not exactly the same as burgundy in French but close enough.

Strangely the fabric is stretchable lengthwise (warp) and not widthwise (weft)… This surprised me. It does not matter for this coat, but I also wanted to use the fabric to sew a stretch pair of pants…  So I’ll have to remember to cut my pieces in the weft direction.

Manteau parmenture finie par un biais

Front and neckline facings are finished with bias binding


Nothing particularly difficult, the steps are the usual ones for a coat. And explanations are clear and well illustrated.

However, this coat being unlined, the longest thing was to properly finish all seams and edges, since they remain visible. And a coat with princess seams has a lot of seams and raw edges to finish!


As mentioned above, it was necessary to finish this unlined coat properly.

For most of the seams I just folded the seam allowance and stitched in place.

For armhole seams, which are less visible and for which I didn’t want to add bulk, I just serged them.

For the edge of the facing  I wanted to add a touch of color and a bit of interest to the inside of the coat. So I used a flowery bias binding along the raw edge of the facing.

The buttons are cover buttons for which I used the main fabric.

facing finished with bias binding on the left, regular seam on the right.


I just shortened the “bodice”. This is a regular alteration for me. I’m apparently “shorter waisted” than average … Anyway I compensate with longer legs than average too, na!

I should have reduced the width of the back: it is too large. This is not even something that I thought to check on the pattern because I never do this adjustment.

So this is not a fitted coat (or very slightly at the bust). It is very flared, which gives a nice movement during the walk but… combined with the back being too large, this might give me a tent like look … So note to self: if I ever sew this coat again, I must removed several inches at the center back.



manteau newlook 6736 profil

This isn’t a spot on the sleeve, just water from the steaming iron…






More wind