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.

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Mimine the cat attacks !

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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



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2 thoughts on “Peony : Back to School !

  1. Awww, it actually looks like you are holding hands with your cat. Hope he didn’t scratch.

    Great fit on that dress and I love it in that fabric too.

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