Meringue à la Dolce Vita – Colette Patterns

No I’m not talking about an Italian dessert… But a skirt! A skirt! Me who almost never wears one ! Well,… sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone, to open up new horizons!


Meringue Skirt  from “The Colette Sewing Handbook“.

I love this book, it’s one of my must-haves: clear, well-illustrated. It covers many aspects of garment sewing and 5 Colette patterns are included!

Meringue is an A line skirt and what makes it stand out is its scalloped hem.

The difficulty of this pattern, otherwise rather simple, is the scalloped hem that requires precision and patience. To sew these “scallops” I, as the instructions advise, traced the stitchlines on the fabric as guides and I sewed very slowly with a very short stitch length (1mm).

I’m pretty proud of my invisible zipper, which is invisible ! But honestly, following the book instructions it’s really a piece of cake to have a good result!


When I saw the pattern I immediately knew it was made for my “La Strada” fabric (it is also found under the name Dolce Vita) by Alexander Henry. Or rather that my fabric was made for this pattern. This happens to you too, right? It’s so good when it’s obvious!

It’s a quilting printed cotton. I love this fabric, I used some to make a bag for a friend (Japanese-Bag – Grab Bag) and I had since been waiting for just the right pattern to use up the rest of my precious.

La Strada par le designer de tissu Alexander Henry

La Strada – Alexander Henry


I made ​​the skirt in a size 8 with no design or fit adjustment whatsoever.

I haven’t altered the pattern, but I knew immediately that the hand of my fabric wasn’t quite right for this skirt. So I underlined it.

I could have lined it the traditional way, but I felt that underlining the front and back pieces would work better in this case.

I used a synthetic black crepe for that and I am happy with the result.


Not in sewing… In tights ! I snagged the two pairs I put on that day… The only two that I had in my drawers… That’s why you see a beautiful snag on the pictures ^ ^.


Pics of the meringue skirt worn at the bottom !

Jupe Meringue - Colette Patterns

Meringue – Colette Patterns


Scalloped hem detail

Détail feston again

Scalloped hem – detail again

Détail fermeture éclair invisible.

Invisible, invisible zipper \o/

A gauche : aperçu de la doublure - A droite : parementure de l'ourlet festonné.

Left : underlining – Right : hem facing

Meringue skirt - Colette patterns

Meringue skirt – Colette patterns


Oui j'ai fait nawak avec les photos !

Had fun with pics

Meringue - Colette Patterns

Meringue and Jasmine – Colette Patterns


Jupe Meringue et blouse Jasmine - Colette Patterns

Meringue skirt and Jasmine blouse – Colette Patterns

Elle a craqué !

Everything will be fine, stay calm !

I’m glad I waited to use “La Strada” fabric, I love the combination of this fabric with the Meringue pattern !

Black Jasmine – Colette patterns

This is my second Jasmine blouse. The first sleeveless version can be seen here : Sleeveless Jasmine.



The Jasmine blouse from Colette Patterns, is cut on the bias with bust darts and center front and back seams. The pattern offers variations of sleeves and collars.

I sewed version #2, the one with the shorter collar and, this time, with sleeves.

I used size 10 as usual for me with Colette patterns

Blouse Jasmine (je pense la faire sans manches)

Jasmine Blouse


A beautiful Balenciaga fine black silk crepe, purchased from Étoffes des héros.

Crêpe fin noir, Balenciaga

Crêpe fin noir, Balenciaga

Ma-gni-fi-que ! Fluid and light, a joy to wear !

But a horror to cut… Well that was to be expected with silk crepe : sliding in every directions and trying to escape from the table at every opportunity.

I managed by cutting through a single thickness (that’s what’s instructed in the pattern anyway for front et back pieces) and spreading the fabric over my cutting mat. To cut I used my rotary cutter to move the fabric as little as possible.


As with my previous blouse, I raised the bust darts by 1cm (3/8″). As I had already made the changes on the paper pattern the first time, it was ready for this blouse, yay!

Like for my first Jasmine, I replaced the neckline facings with a bias binding to finish the neckline seam. I’m not a big fan of facings and this technique is a good alternative in this particular case. I used the same tutorial as for my sleeveless Jasmine : Jasmine bias bound neckline on “My Messings” blog.

Future alterations

For the next blouse…

Interface the back collar pieces because the collar is wavy every time and it’s bugging me !

Aesthetically I find the sleeves cuffs too big on version #2, arms “float” inside, so next time I should reduce the length of the cuffs and gather the lower edge of the sleeve to match OR mix the views :  the short collar from version #2 with the sleeves from version #1.


I’m really disappointed with the photos! Black AND silk I already find difficult to take good pics of and… I’m no pro. The blouse is 100 times better in real life, I swear!

I won’t show you full length pics because I reserve them for the post on the Meringue skirt I was wearing with the blouse that day. 😉

jasmine blouse colette

Jasmine blouse – Colette patterns

Détail manche

Sleeve detail

Jasmine blouse - Colette patterns

Sleeve detail – Jasmine blouse – Colette patterns


Jasmine Colette - Détail col

Jasmine Colette – Collar detail

Détail col - Blouse Jasmine

Bias binding instead of facings – Jasmine blouse

Hum photo prise le bras tendu...

Hum… photo taken with my arm stretched out…

Jasmine colette patterns


Just a little peek at the skirt !



Origami coat – Lalimaya

Here is, at last, my origami coat for which you have helped me pick a color block version. Thank you!

So as usual the pictures are at the end of the article after all my babbling ! 😉



It’s in the title, this origami coat is a Lalimaya (small French company) pattern. It is available in a child or adult version.

It’s a lined coat with: stand up collar, inseam pockets and of course the pleats without which it could not be called the Origami Coat. Fan pleats are on the right front and sleeve heads. Regular pleats give texture to the belt band at the back. There is no shoulder pads.

drawing of the “manteau origami” from Lalimaya


woman origami coat – Lalimaya



Child origami coat – Lalimaya


This is stated on Lalimaya’s website, and I agree, I would not recommend this pattern as a first coat. Construction may be a headache for a beginner as the instructions are not illustrated. But if you’ve already done one or two coats and you like this one, go ahead, this is truly a unique design !

Hum, of course there is also the language barrier… This is only available in French. You’ll find a French-English sewing dictionary on my blog to help you. I could also translate the instructions if a few need it.

[box type=”warning”] It is important to be careful when you place the pattern pieces on the fabric before cutting. Indeed, this coat has different pieces for the right-front and the left-front and mistakes happen quickly.

But if you pay attention to the cutting layout everything should go smoothly. But check twice that you didn’t put a piece on the wrong side. AND, following the cutting layout, when you’ll cut on a single layer for front-left and front-right pieces, you’ll have to lay your pattern on the right side of the fabric.

Seam allowance is not included ! As per the pattern instructions, you’ll have to add 1cm everywhere and 4cm for hems. [/box]


There is no size chart on the pattern. So, to pick the size, I started by measuring the lining pattern pieces and compared the measurements to a coat that fits me well. By this little comparison I chose size 40 (French size).

BUT for a coat which requires more work and time than a simple blouse, I did not stop there.
To confirm that this was the right size, I made a quick muslin of the lining (right front + left front + back) in a bed sheet that was lying there (oops!).

I also drew, on the lining back, the belt band to be sure that it sat in the right spot for me (it did).

Everything was fine so I traced the size 40.

Of course when trying the muslin on, to be sure that the ease will be sufficient, try it with the clothes you will probably wear underneath and not just a bra… Although some might… Nop, that doesn’t concern me … : D


  • Outer fabric : a red wool and a gray wool. Well not wool actually it’s synthetic fibres.
  • Lining: a printed cotton by Melissa Crowley for Robert Kaufman: “The woman spring bouquet” ; bought at Hawthorne threads.

The iron really steamed to construct this coat, because in many places we are left with 4 layers of fabric to sew together and I didn’t pick the lightest fabric there is. I had to grade the seams and press like crazy to tame the 4 layers that are in the seam where the pleats meet the armhole and the right-front lining.

caban gris caban rouge

Origami coat fabric

After “preselecting” 4 color-block versions that I liked, it was you who decided that I’d make this version here. The vote took place a few weeks ago : Origami Coat : help needed ! Thank you again for your votes, without you I would still be deciding ! Version #2 won with a comfortable lead.


tough choice !


– 121 voters and 151 votes (you weren’t that many to choose two versions)
– Version #2 wins with 65 votes out of 151!
– Followed in order by versions #4, #1 and #3.



(or not)

Nothing much,  I only interfaced a collar piece (the inner one that attaches to the lining).

Oh and also (this is not really a change, but well …) instead of drawing a seam allowance of 1cm I drew a 1.5 cm seam allowance, simply because I am more used to sewing with this measure. If you do the same, do think to add a seam allowance ot of 4.5 cm instead of 4 cm for the hems.

I thought for a moment to make front facing pieces from the lining pattern. But after testing buttonholes I didn’t : 3 layers of outer fabric + lining was fine but with 4 layers of outer fabric the buttonhole was a mess. So basically no change in design from the original pattern.


J’adore ! I love it ! Well, not much more to add, this is truly a unique design.

The sewing of the pleats really deserves care because it is the focal point of this coat.  I took pictures during construction and I will make a little tutorial for this. I hope it will help those who want to sew the Origami coat.


Thanks to my mother in law, Maryse, for taking pictures of me wearing my new coat!


Manteau origami lalimaya

Origami coat in the wind

Origami manteau profil

Side, left sleeve

manteau origami détail col

collar + button detail

Origami coat in the wind, again !

Label, bought at Lalimaya’s also !

Me in my coat !

Manteau origami lalimaya profil

Side !

manteau origami dos


manteau origami dos lalimaya

Origami coat back

manteau origami face

Origami coat front

manteau origami doublure


I took me 4 afternoons to sew this coat (cutting not included).

Origami coat : help needed !

I’m going to sew the Origami coat by Lalimaya and I need your opinion!

I have several versions in my head and I can not choose one. So I put up a small poll (see below to vote) to ask you which version(s) you prefer, and help me decide!

But first a quick word so you know what’s it’s all about !

The pattern

Manteau Origami de Lalimaya = Origami coat by Lalimaya

There are women and children patterns for this coat. I intended to also make one for Petite Chérie (DD) this winter but given the stock of coats she already has, it wouldn’t be wise… So she’ll have one next year … or the one after that.


Woman origami coat – Lalimaya



Origami coat



Here are the fabrics that I picked :
  • For the outer fabric : a red wool and a gray wool.
  • For the lining: printed cotton by Melissa Crowley: “The woman spring bouquet” (odd name in French !). It is ordered but not yet received, I can not wait!

The sleeve lining will be in white satin for a good “slip” when you put on the coat. I may add a flannel interlining to make the coat warmer… I’ll see… Anyway it won’t have any impact on the look of the coat.

Fabrics chosen for the Origami coat – Lalimaya

The versions

Lalimaya designed her pattern in such a way that a multitude of fabric combinations are possible. That’s great to make a really personal coat.

My style is fairly classic, that’s why I used only plain fabric on the outside. After playing with my drawing software, here are the possible versions I picked… And between which I can’t make a choice !

Clic to enlarge

Difficult choice !

Vote !

The vote happens on my French blog, so all numbers will be adding up in one place. I created a special page there for English readers, right here : Poll for Origami Coat.

Both “French” and “English” votes are recorded there.

Thank you !

I’m hoping to do a quick muslin of the lining (to check if my size choice is the right one) and trace the pattern in the upcoming week. Alas, I’m not at home this weekend (Paris here I come !) so I won’t be able to advance quickly !

[box type=”info”] Poll is closed and the “winner” is version #2 !

Thanks a lot to everyone who voted, you did help me pick a design… Pretty sure I’d still be at it without you ! Thank you ![/box]

Airelle “dragibus” blouse – Deer&Doe

Here is my Airelle “Dragibus” blouse from the French pattern company Deer & Doe ! Splashes of color in anticipation of spring! As usual, all pictures are at the end of the article.


The pattern

Deer & Doe’s Airelle is a blouse with front and back waist darts, shoulder yoke in which the front is gathered, ¾ sleeves with cuffs and a collar.

Blouse Airelle – Deer & Doe

The strength of this blouse pattern is that it can easily be adapted to a casual, classic or dressy style.

The pattern is printed on thick paper: I like that ! I hate pattern papers that tear too easily.
The instruction booklet is well presented and illustrations are clear.

I think it’s only offered in French at the time. If you need help with the translation you can use my French-English sewing lexicon or just leave a comment !

Drawings of possible variations from the blouse are shown at the end of the booklet. This is a very good idea. However, for beginners, it would be nice to go a bit further and indicate the main changes from the reference pattern. But if you have already sewn a couple of garments, you’ll easily spot what you have to do to sew the other views.



The pattern is available in French sizes 34 to 46 (that’s 4-16 US sizing).
As Colette patterns, Deer & Doe patterns are designed for C cups… and that suits me fine!

Incidentally, one thing I’d love to find on French patterns envelopes is the measurements of the finished garment per size. This is what allows me to pick my size correctly with U.S. patterns… I know that I can measure everything flat …. But well… Lazy inside !

I used the size 42.
For reference my French bra size is 95C (= 36C US) with a bust measurment that “fluctuates” from 98 to 100cm (I’m at the limit between C and D cups). Based on this measurment I should have used a size 44.
But on the blog article dedicated to the Airelle Blouse #Les patrons# La blouse Airelle Eléonore (Deer & Doe’s designer) specifies that the blouse is “very slightly fitted but not too close to the body”.
So I decided to go ahead with the size 42, without doing a muslin, I cut my fabric… And … Suspense … Everything is almost perfect !

Good surprises with this size : I didn’t have to do a sway back adjustment or shorten the bodice (which I do veeeeeery often). It’s perfect at the bust.
Note to self relative to the size : Beyond size 42 shoulders will be too wide (about 0.5 cm already in excess at the shoulder seam). So for other more fitted patterns from D&D start from a size 40-42 and do a FBA. + Neckline problem to fix (see below).



The main fabric is a fine printed poplin called “dragibus”. The coordinating fabric, used for bias binding at the neckline and flat piping, is a half cotton- half linen in purplish gray.
Both were purchased from Etoffes des héros.

popeline dragibus

popelin dragibus

metis gris violacé

half cotton- half linen in purplish gray


Design changes

Only two small things:

Flat piping
In the ad pictures of the pattern, what immediately attracted my eye is the piping at the shoulder yoke seams. I loved this detail! So although the instructions were note given in the booklet, I decided to add flat piping at the front and back yoke seams.
I also made a tutorial on sewing flat piping for those who want to add this detail (for this pattern or any other one), with specific instructions for the Airelle blouse.

[box type=”download”] Flat piping tutorial for the Airelle blouse [/box]

No collar
I didn’t sew the collar. I finished the neckline with bias binding. Having previously removed the seam allowance at the neckline (front + shoulder yoke pieces). I sewed the bias binding by hand… Overall the result is ok, but I’ve messed up in a few places where the thread shows. And the thread doesn’t really match the fabric…

I have a problem with the neckline : it doesn’t lay flat at the sides (see pictures below). Is it because the fabric for my bias binding is heavier than my main fabric? Is the size wrong? Is this due to a shoulder problem?  I shall investigate !


This is an easy blouse pattern… Well, I must say that, in my opinion, the collar is the most difficult part and I didn’t sew that !

I especially like the shoulder yoke it will easily allow to change the look of this blouse, with color blocking or changing the direction of a plaid, for example.

Otherwise, Petite Chérie (8 years old DD) fell in love with the dragibus fabric and asked for a dragibus blouse for herself… I’ll go rummage through my Ottobre patterns for her …. But not before sewing my Origami coat from Lalimaya !



There are 14 of them ! First the details pics and then the pics of me wearing the blouse. Petite Chérie (8 years old) took the pictures of me wearing my dragibus blouse, she’s making progress, isn’t she ?

Detail of flat piping and front neckline – You can see where I messed up the hand sewing at the neckline ^  ^

airelle deer and doe

Detail of flat piping and front neckline… Again

Détail col Airelle - Deer&Doe

Neckline detail, hand-sewn bias – Deer & Doe – At the center you can see the wrong side of the back-shoulder yoke seam.

Airelle Deer&Doe - detail manche

Airelle Deer&Doe – Sleeve detail

Back piping detail (bottom) and bias binding at the neckline (top) – It’s on the right side, but the flash washed out the colors.



Back !


Airelle Deer & Doe

Airelle blouse – Front

Blouse airelle deer and doe


I look so very friendly in this picture oO – You can see my neckline problem there.

Back with my * beep * in the foreground… It is so elegant … This is mainly to get an overview of piping at the upper back … Not really showing there actually.

Profile… Not a weird posture !

Another very natural pose !

Long red fur vest

This red long fur vest was sewn from a free Burda pattern.

Ok, so the alibi was that the vest was suppose to be part of a costume : the Haradrim Witch  … But, once the vest finished, I decided that it wasn’t appropriate. Anyway, as I just wanted a red fur vest and was looking for a “cover up” reason, the fact that it didn’t suit the costume was no biggie.

Now that it’s finished, I’ll definitely wear it in my every day life. Probably with a dress and boots or a slim and boots.


This is a free pattern from Burda.

Free burda pattern – Long vest

It’s downloadable HERE after registering for free. I tried to find it on the BurdaStyle web site, but it doesn’t appear to be offered there. So you’ll have to go through the EU website. Instructions are in French and German, with illustrations.

The pattern is available in French sizes 34 to 44. I sewed size 42 (chosen according to my bust measurement) … It was too large … See “Adjustments”.

The long vest closes with 3 Fur Hooks & Eyes. The short version (supplied in the same pattern) uses toggle closures.

Agrafes fourreur

Fur Hooks & Eyes used for this vest

The pattern consists of a half back, a half front with collar attached and a piece of half collar.

To cut this pattern in fur (which is to say through a single layer) I advise you to print each piece twice :

Cut the front left and front right as a mirror image.

Assemble the two half backs and cut through the single layer of fur as one complete back piece.

Assemble the two half-collars and do the same as for the back.

For more details on how to sew fur, see this article: sewing fake fur.



Fur: it is the same fur used for Petite Chérie’s shepherd vest.

A faux fur with long hair is suggested by Burda to make this vest, but I fell for this shorter hair “rippled” red fur. It is 100% synthetic, super soft and was purchased from the l’Etoffe des héros.


Fausse-fourrure rouge à relief vaguelettes

Lining: It is an Indian printed cotton with a red and black paisley pattern, purchased in a “Nalli Silk Saree ” shop, in Delhi.


I shortened the bust, as in 90% of the time when I sew for myself. I had to shorten it by a good 4 cm (= 1.5 inches).

Of course, it shortened the total length of the vest by 4 cm. I decided not to add the 4 cm at the hem because I am really lazy the vest length was just fine that way.

– After sewing everything (only the hem remained to be done) it was clear that the vest was too big! So I took the side seams in, using 3 cm seam allowances instead of 1.5 cm … That way I removed 6 cm (over 2 inches) of ease. It is much better and I can still wear a sweater underneath.


patron burda gratuit

Burda vest – front, closed

patron gratuit burda

Burda vest –  Front, open

patron gilet gratuit burda

Burda vest – 3/4 open

patron couture gilet gratuit

Burda vest – side, closed


Sleeveless Jasmine – Colette

The pattern

Jasmine blouse by Colette Patterns.

This blouse in cut on the bias and has no closures. The top is shaped with bust darts and seams at the center front and center back.

I made version 2, the one with a shorter contrast collar, in a size 10, as usual for me with Colette patterns.

Blouse Jasmine



  • For the collar : it’s the same red microfiber as in my red Sencha.
  • For main fabric : I’ts a lightweight and soft Indian cotton, bought in Delhi, in a Kilol shop. The stripes on the fabric were hand block printed. There are some imperfections but nothing too dramatic. (I have some pics of hand block printing on my French blog : Tissus Indiens.)
tissus indiens

It's the 2 in the middle

Oh course the purpose of using stripes for this blouse, cut on the bias with center seams, is to create a chevron effect.

“Hand block printed” is nice but don’t expect the stripes to be really straight. This, plus the fact that some stripes are in groups of 4 and other of 5, made cutting the pattern to get the stripes to match at centers, a challenge.  

To achieve it, I laid down the pieces on the fabric differently from what is suggested in the instructions. Here are pictures of how I did it, for those interested (clic to enlarge) :


Aligner des rayures couture
Fold the fabric width-wise matching stripes.



Jasmine colette rayures

Cut out the pieces through both layers. Respect the straight grain.




Almost nothing ! The bias cut is great for that ! Especially at the back where the center seam allows for the top to skim nicely over the curves of the back.

  • Bust darts moved up by 1cm and that’s all for the adjustment.

Design wise, it’s pretty obvious, I think :

  • No sleeves ! I wanted to finish the armholes with bias binding so I cut out the seam allowance there. I thought I might have to raise the armhole but it looked ok : no bra showing !


My misadventures

The very small tube that needed turning out to create the loop to keep the collar in place. It was just impossible for me to do it following the pattern instructions. I either didn’t understand something or I’m just not good at it. So I did it by hand… I had forgotten how it’s easiest sometimes to simply sew by hand !

The bias on the armholes : I checked twice that their stripes were in the same directions for both armholes… And I messed up ! …And I didn’t do anything about it.

Jasmine loop

The small loop


I didn’t finish the seams inside the blouse. No, I did not forget, It’s just that fabric cut on the bias doesn’t unravel.

I didn’t use facings to finish the neckline, I used bias instead following the instructions of this great tutorial : Jasmine bias bound neckline. And I found that it’s a cleaner finish than a regular facing, and easier to wear too.

I wanted to finish the armholes with a red bias binding, the one I used to replace the facings, but this red was too different from the one on the collar and the one on the stripes. It’s ok inside the neckline because it doesn’t show too much but it bothered me at the armholes.  So I made my own bias binding using the main fabric.


I’m really happy with the matching of the stripes at the centers ! It was a bit frighting at the beginning but, as it’s often the case with sewing, it’s not that difficult when you take your time.

The pattern is fast and easy to sew. The only thing that you really need to be careful about, to get a good result,  is the collar and matching the notches.

I find that the no sleeves version of the Jasmine is great for a fast and stylish tank top.

I will make regular versions, with sleeves, for this autumn and next spring because these are really cute !


These colours are hard “to get” in pictures (for me anyway), the truest shades are the ones on the loop picture above.

Jasmine colette patterns

Hum I've got to find another way to pose...

Sleeveless jasmine colette

Jasmine - Front


Sleeveless jasmine back

Jasmine - Back



Bias detail on armhole


Collar and bust dart on the right.

The bias binding used in place of the facings.

Chevron effect at the center front.


Red Sencha – Colette

Here is my red Sencha blouse from Colette Patterns. This is my first sewing project for the “Palette Challenge SS12″.

To read more about the premises of the challenge: Moodboard 2012 Palette challenge and Patterns & fabrics – Palette Challenge SS 2012.

Pics at the bottom of the post.



Patron Sencha - Colette patterns

Patron Sencha - Colette patterns

Sencha is a 40’s style blouse with 4 tucks in the front and two in back. The back closes with buttons or snaps (well not on my version …) and leaves a small opening at the bottom. The design varies at the neckline.

The blouse is loose above the waist and adjusted through the tucks below the waist. This allows to easily tuck the top into pants / skirt.

The pattern is rated as “beginner” but I do not recommend it as a very first project because there are a lot of hand sewing (hems of the sleeves, the placket,…) and the instructions don’t indicate when you need to finish some seams. It’s not a big deal but it might unsettle a new seamstress who might forget to finish the seams altogether.

The instructions are, as usual with Colette Patterns, very clear and well illustrated. There are no major difficulties in sewing a Sencha.

I made version 3 with the keyhole neckline.



tissus indiens

Microfiber 2nd from the left

A lightweight and drappey fabric is probably best to get a nice flowy effect for the top of the blouse.

I chose a red microfiber fabric that feels like washed silk and is very soft. It is not lightweight but has good fluidity.  (2nd from left in the picture)

It is so comfy that I’m thinking of buying some more in another color to make a pair of pyjamas!

 The red is really hard to get right in picture… I tried to do my best for the pics below. It’s frustrating when it does not show as beautifully in pics as in reality.


I started by making a muslin, in an old sheet, as usual. I was happily surprised to see that the front did fit fine. The size (10) selected according to my full bust measurements was perfect. From what I’ve read Colette patterns are drafted using a C cup as a base. I’m a C cup so it seemed pretty accurate to me, no need for a FBA, hurray !

Even the waist was at the right spot without adjustment! And being short wasted, it’s an adjustment that I do consistently.

Blouse sencha colette


#1- The problem was in the back !

So the pattern is supposed to have a little extra length at the back as you can see in the picture on the left from Colette. But on me the muslin had a huge bubble at the lower back and the back was also much longer than the front.  And since I never wear my tops tucked in, which would have covered up the problem, I made a swayback/flat derrière adjustment.

This is a very common adjustment for me but for this project I had to take out 5cm at the center back (instead of the usual 2-3 cm). But finally le top length is even in the front and in back.

To make the swayback adjustment I had to cut the back pattern at the center back : the center back runs down the middle of the buttons.

As a result I didn’t reattach the button placket (I’m lazy like that sometimes) and sewed the center back closed.  I’m able to pull it over my head mainly because of the neckline in view 3 and an other alteration I made (see#3).

For positioning my back pattern on the fabric I used the original grainline and placed the top of the blouse (above waist) on grain which means that the tucks were now off grain.. It didn’t seem to cause any big problem.

#2- I did create a slit at the lower center back. I liked this detail on the original back pattern.

#3- The neckline was really too high for me, I felt like I was being chocked.

So I simply took a larger seam allowance when sewing the facing to the neckline (not around the keyhole) : 1” instead of 5/8 inch. As a result it enlarged the opening of the neckline And my discomfort was gone.


I liked the result of the blind hand-sewn hem on the sleeves so much that I did the same for the lower hem of the blouse.

My misadventures

I cut my finger while using the circular cuter to cut the fabric… Fortunately, the fabric is red. This is the first time it happened to me and I will make sure that this is the last !

I sweated like crazy trying to turn the ties… And I gave up… and winged it with a visible stitch line. I really need to invest in a tool thingie to turn such small ties.


I blurred my face on the lasts pictures… Because I really need to stop making stupid faces in pics (well in fact this was all my DD’s fault ^^ she was telling jokes ! ). And let’s face it (or not ah ah) I don’t feel comfortable putting my face out there on the web yet.

Sencha colette patterns

Very red Sencha (less in real life)



Sencha colette patterns

Sencha worn by Georgette

décolleté trou de serrure et les liens "à l'arrache"

Keyhole and its "winged" ties

Invisible hand-sewn hem on sleeve.


front: 4 tucks, I love the effect.


sencha colette plis

Tucks again, yes I do love them :)


Slit at the back.

I'm very serious, aren't I ?

Red sencha colette patterns

More relaxed here ^^

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