Whoohoo! It’s a miracle! I’ve finally finished my Peony Dress by Colette Patterns!

Sewbon.com :: Sewbon Colette Patterns Peony Dress

I signed up to make this dress at a 2 part class that Fabric Bliss, my fav local fabric shop and sewing studio, was teaching. The Peony is labeled at a beginner level, so I thought it would be the perfect dress to make as my first “real” garment. I’ve sewn PJ pants, a couple of skirts, and a handful of baby pants before, but this garment presented a whole host of new challenges for me. A bodice! Darts! Sleeves! Invisible zipper! Pockets!

Per the usual, I spent lots of time Googling and looking at other blogger’s posts about their Peony experience. After reading all these other posts, I was scared! It sounded like folks had a really hard time with the fit of the bodice. Spoiler: I, too, had a really hard time with the fit.

Sewbon.com :: Sewbon Colette Patterns Peony Dress

I went with a lavender colored Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton because I like the drape of the fabric (and the price point). I like flowy dresses and didn’t want anything too stiff. I considered a fun print, but was a bit nervous about trying to get the print to line up.

For homework, we had to cut out our pattern pieces. I cut version A for the bodice and skirt but cut the short sleeves of version B. I have seen some adorable sleeveless Peony’s on the web and was tempted to go that route, but the allure of learning how to sew sleeves won me over.

Sewbon.com :: Sewbon Colette Patterns Peony Dress

The class was broken up into 2 sessions, 3 hours each. In the first session, we assembled our bodices and worked on the fit. I shorted my darts but after trying it on, I decided I needed to move my darts as well. Thank goodness there was a wonderful teacher on hand to help me figure out how to adjust my darts! We also attached our sleeves, but I accidentally sewed one on inside out. Whoops!

For homework, I had to seam rip my darts, move them out about 3/4 of an inch each, and fix my sleeve. I also had to assemble the skirt and pockets. I decided to go for “extra credit” and make some piping too. The pattern suggests adding piping, and since I had never made piping before, I figured I should try.

Sewbon.com :: Sewbon Colette Patterns Peony Dress

In the second class, I was still working out some of my fit issues. I ended up hacking (I’m not sure if there’s a more formal term for what I did) a couple inches out of the back, tapering down to the waist.  We then finished our necklines (I dropped mine a little bit as I felt like it was choking me) and attached the bodice to the skirt with the piping I made. We also inserted our invisible zippers! I’m super excited that I didn’t have really any big problems with mine! Just sewed a bit too close in a couple places and had to seam rip so it would zip/unzip.

As class ended, I had a couple of thing I needed to finish at home. I had a little gap in the back at the end of the invisible zipper that I needed to stitch up, I needed to hem the dress, and I decided I wanted to look at taking the shoulders up a bit. Then weeks and weeks passed and my Peony just stared at me, hanging unfinished in the closet.

Sewbon.com :: Sewbon Colette Patterns Peony Dress

This past week I finally pulled it out and finished it! I started out doing a blind hem on this dress, but it ended up looking pretty terrible. So, I seam ripped it out and just did a regular hem instead. Also, I decided to leave the shoulders as is. Truth be told, my seam ripper and I were a little tired of this dress.

Overall, I’m really happy with how my first “real” garment turned out! It was quite the learning process and I’m excited  to take my new dress making skills and tackle the Laurel next.

Big thanks to my big sister Laura of Laura Murray Photography for taking these pictures of my Peony Dress up at Lake Dillon in Colorado.

  • http://dressesandme.wordpress.com dressesandme

    What a lovey peony! I’m feeling all inspired to make one myself now!

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thank you! Ooooh let me know if you make one! I’d love to see!

  • http://allspiceabounds.wordpress.com Carolyn

    Beautiful dress and beautiful photos! Congrats on conquering all the new challenges of this dress – it looks fantastic! : )

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Aww thanks Carolyn! :)

  • http://eclecticthreads.wordpress.com eclecticthreads

    Lovely dress – the colour is really pretty. Great setting for the pics too :)

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thank you! :)

  • http://www.nitadances.com nitadancesNita

    I am a beginner, too, and I liked reading about your challenges with learning to sew this dress. I have lots of Collette patterns on my wish list and look forward to when I can finally give one a try. Your dress looks great! I am inspired!

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thanks so much, Nita! Your quilts are amazing! I can’t wait to see which Colette Pattern you make! :)

  • http://acolourfulcanvas.wordpress.com acolourfulcanvas

    Oh so pretty! I love the colour you’ve chosen. It’s very flattering to your skin tone and colouring. You look beautiful! It sounds as though your class was very comprehensive. Well done!

    Sue xo

    • http://acolourfulcanvas.wordpress.com acolourfulcanvas

      And congrats on becoming part of the Sewing Rabbit team!!!

      • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

        Thanks! I’m so nervous and excited!

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thank you so much, Sue! :)

  • dandeliondrift

    Beautiful! I am trying to tackle a lot of new sewing techniques also by doing more complicated patterns! Your dress turned out great and the fit is perfect!

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Aww, thank you! Good luck on your patterns! They are such a good way to learn new techniques!

  • http://www.caughtonawhim.com/ Erica

    Congrats on all your firsts on this project. The dress is amazing! I’m just now learning to sew, so I can totally relate to trying new skills. I’m really loving creating my own wardrobe piece by piece.

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thanks so much, Erica! OMG your blog is so cute! I love your sorbetto top and peplum! Your fabric choices are adorable!

  • http://www.cirque-du-bebe.blogspot.com Cirque Du Bebe

    Oh my gosh! So happy to discover your sewing blog. That dress is dreamy, lovely pics too.

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Aww, thank you so much! I really loved seeing your Project Sewn outfits – congrats on making it to the final 3! :)

  • http://craftrambler.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    This turned out soo pretty! I love the color.

    • http://www.sewbon.com Erin

      Thanks so much, Melissa! The shot cotton is so soft too!

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