Next up the Colette sew-along that I seem to be doing all by myself (sister??) is the Pastille dress. Here I am wearing the second muslin, which is definitely wearable. I think. Or is that print just too much?* Tell me honestly. It’s a cotton sateen with a slight stretch, bought from “The Loft” at Michael Levine where fabric is sold by the pound. I probably paid about $2.50 for it, and I still have plenty left over.

I opted to omit the hem pleats, because they were sure to get lost in the busy print, and the fabric is not very crisp anyway, so probably wouldn’t hold pleats nicely.

I knew from my internet research that I would need to majorly adjust the back. Rather than doing anything tricky, I followed lsaspacey’s lead (scroll down to the first photos) and took out two inches straight across from the armscye, then drafted a new back armhole facing. This is a pretty inelegant way to do it, and the results were not that pretty. I should have maybe (a) started with a smaller size bodice and done a full bust adjustment or (b) done a radical swayback adjustment.

I also added two inches to the waist, because the first muslin was snug (1″ would have been enough) and removed two inches from the hips, because it was crazy wide there. But now I look at the finished garment, the waist is too high, which is maybe why it was tight. Just lengthening the bodice may have been enough.

:::sigh::: I have soooo much to learn about pattern fitting.

When it was just about done, I gave it the Mena test — as opposed to the Mensa test — (I basted the zip opening shut and succeeded in putting it on — yay, no zip required!). But the back was still really baggy, so I took out an inch of width, starting at the neckline and tapering to the existing waist. It’s better, but still not right. As well as extra fullness in the back, the side seams of the skirt angle to the front from waist to hem, telling me that my back center waist is too low.

Or my front center waist is too high. I don’t know … it’s complicated. I think maybe I need to take a class or something.

Until I find someone to take some photos for me, this is all you get. I don’t know how to adjust the back, and it’s not a job one can do alone without a dress form. Elizabeth, when you visit, maybe you can help me?

I think if I could get this fitting well, I’d make more Pastilles. And I would definitely include pockets next time. This dress cries out for side seam pockets.

*It’s definitely less in-your-face when tempered by a cardigan.

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  1. I was kind of ehh about it until I saw it with the cardigan. The more I look at it, the more I like it though. :) If you are going to play with the waist, I think maybe you could raise it to more of an empire waist? It would probably make the skirt flare out more, I’m kind of into the retro thing though, so if that’s not what you’re going for, then ignore me. ha ha. Anyways, I like it. Ooo. Maybe a belt!

    • Em, thanks for your feedback. A red belt and red shoes are on my shopping list. This fabric was definitely chosen as a muslin, not a finally-wearable product, but I’m thinking I can get away with it with the right accessorizing. I think empire waists suit my body type and this dress could go either way (waist up or down). But if I am going to wear a belt, then the waist should be at my narrowest point (i.e. down :-) I may not have much of an indentation there, but if I am going to accentuate any of my meridians, it may as well be my narrowest :-) As I said in this post, I have a lot to learn about fit, but I am excited to be finally on that path.

  2. The print is fantastic, and from the front the dress looks great! I never now how to fiddle with the back. I figure I’m not looking at it so as long as it’s not too objectionable I don’t worry.

  3. Elizabeth

     /  April 7, 2012

    I will definitely help! Can’t wait!!!

  4. david

     /  April 8, 2012

    I don’t think the print is too much, even without the cardigan. I like it a lot.

  5. I like the print, but not for this shaped/structured dress. I think it would be great as a skirt alone perhaps. If this was my dress, I’d probably add a belt in a like color because the top and bottom pieces coming together in the middle of a print bother me, and it could help give you more of a waist. I clicked through to the Colette site and saw the original inspiration dress and like the small subtle details (the cap sleeve, the pin tuck hem, structured waist), they are a bit lost with this a bold pattern is my feeling.

  1. elizabeth « such wild love
  2. pastille, complete « such wild love

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