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 ^^

Patterns & fabrics – Palette Challenge SS 2012

I’ve finished planning my Colette Palette challenge !

After a close inspection of my wardrobe, I realized that I had quite a lot of summer linen pants, capris,… But not many tops to associate them with. That’s why I chose to make 3 tops for the challenge to fill the gap in my summer wardrobe. And two dresses, because in summer dresses are always so great and easy to wear !

So here is what I plan on sewing for the SS 2012 Palette Challenge :

Colette palette challenge

Projects for the Challenge


Reminder of my moodboard:

palette challenge summer spring 2012 colette

Palette challenge spring-summer 2012


Transparent black crepe (too transparent ^ ^).

Two prints purchased in India (at Kilol). They are in cotton, very soft, lightweight, hand-printed in Jaipur. I have some pictures of artisans printing fabric in Jaipur if you’re curious about the technique : you can see it there (on my French blog).

A red microfiber that feels like washed silk to the touch, veryyy soft.

The fabrics will go perfectly with this scarf, and for a good reason, it’s a dupatta that I bought along with the Indian fabrics.


tissus indiens

Indian print, microfiber, Indian print, crepe.



Dupatta inde




Of course you can choose any brand of patterns for the challenge, but chose I personally picked  only Colette patterns … With the stash that I have I thought it was about time that I put them to good use!

Clic to enlarge


Jasmine (I'll probably make it sleeveless)



sencha colette




Hazel dress (2012 collection)



Peony dress



Taffy (Pattern from the book "The Colette sewing handbook")

Honestly I’m pretty sure I won’t have the time to sew everything by June 10, because apart from the dress Peony I have not yet sewed any of the patterns. Which means I’ll have to make muslins for each of them and most likely adjustments. Anyway if it is not finished in time, no biggy, I’ll already have the projects planned for latter this summer.

Moodboard 2012 Palette challenge

Here is my moodboard and my colour palette For the “Spring-Summer 2012 palette Challenge” at Colette Patterns.

Palette challenge spring summer 2012

I picked these green and red colors as a starting point because I already had them in my fabric stash.

I’m in the mood for stripes, palazzo pants or butterfly pants (yes black even in summer) in a 70’s style.

There inevitably will be an Indian influence, because I intend to use fabrics purchased in Delhi. So there will be Indian prints. I’m not a print addict, I generally prefer solid colors so it might be a bit hard to manage this for me but it’s a challenge eh ^^.

This is not the most summery color combination but that’s what I want right now ! But, I promise,  I won’t use wool or fleece.

The collage is an inspiration, and not to be taken literally. I will never wear shoes with heels as high for example (I’m pretty sure I would fall before the second step).

Next week I’ll show you my projects choices : patterns and fabric.

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

To learn more about this Challenge check out Spring-Summer 2012 Palette Challenge 2012.

Coat St-Germain – Ottobre

Or a touch of spring in autumn.

I made this coat for the sewing challenge #8 of the French Ottobre addicts.


This pattern is from the Ottobre magazine issue 04/2010.
I’ts a Trench coat in fine cords. The body is lined with cotton, sleeves with viscose.
The coat has a classic collar with lapels, welt pockets, double-breasted button closure and an inverted pleat on the back.

Pattern Sizing:
I used the size 128 for my daughter who is 127cm high and the sizing is perfect.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They are not illustrated (except for the pocket part) so I guess it would give absolute beginners trouble. But otherwise they’re ok.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the pockets and the inverted pleat on the back.
But I’m really not fond of the lining not being attached to the coat at the bottom.


Main : “spring” green Baby corduroy
Lining : Printed cotton “calico cat” by Alexander Henry for the body and regular lining for the sleeves.
The buttons were chosen after many hesitations by DD. She picked covered buttons. I used the lining fabric to make them.


Manteau St Germain Ottobre Design

Coat St Germain Ottobre Design



Milleraies vert tendre et doublure alexander henry "Calico Cat"

Spring green baby cord and "Calico Cat" lining



Buttons chosen by DD


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None, except adding interfacing under the buttonholes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I won’t sew it again for my daughter (She is growing ! ). I would recommend it.



I love the classic look that the lapels give, love the pockets and inverted pleat, overall I thought that it was a very nicely designed coat !



Front closed

Turn around for the picture of the lining chérie !

Here it's better this way !

Pocket detail





pocket detail



In a tree oO



Calico Cat lining