Sewing-wise I’ve been going a bit mad on separates recently, which is all well and good, but sometimes, especially when the sun comes out, nothing fits the bill quite like a sundress. When it’s hot - and it has been hot in London recently, despite the depressing downpour today - a dress is just so comfortable, no tucking in required.
I don’t actually own a proper, strappy sundress - a couple of shirt dresses and wrap dresses, but nothing that screams ‘wear me on the beach’. I decided to make the Colette Patterns Parfait to take on holiday in a few week’s time. Sadly my sewing time will be drastically reduced over the next few weeks, due to the small matter of having my children at home with me every day! So I just about finished it before the school holidays started. I’m glad I did, as I’ve been able to wear it in the London sun. It’s SSOOO lovely and cool to wear and such a comfortable shape.
I chose a silvery grey Japanese double gauze fabric which I got from Fabric Tales during a splurge at the end of last year. I’m glad I waited to use it for this dress as it’s just perfect. I’ve sewn with double gauze before, and it really does have magical properties: it’s warm and cosy when it’s cold and light and cool when it’s hot. I also love the print of the fabric – a tree print with random animals scattered around. Here's a tip for when your children are bored: get them to find all the animals on mummy’s dress! So far they’ve found a crow, a donkey, a stag, a fox and a rat (!)
I was pretty relieved with the way the fabric looked once it was cut out and sewn together. There wasn’t enough fabric to have a go at matching the pattern (plus I wouldn’t really know where to start). I like the donkey walking across the middle of the skirt, I’m not so keen on the rat on my right boob….
Apart from the Crepe dress which was a bit of a wild card when it came to fitting, I seem to be pretty much a standard size 8 for Colette Patterns. The Parfait was no exception, although I did decide to ride by the seat of my pants and not make a muslin. Fitting the bodice as you go along is actually part of the instructions, and I only needed to take it in a tiny bit at the sides, otherwise it’s a good fit. The pattern itself was the usual high standard you'd expect from Colette Patterns: straight forward instructions with all the stages making sense!
The Parfait has some lovely details: a midriffed bodice, gathered bust and buttoned shoulder straps. I didn’t add the gathered pockets as I thought they’d get a little lost amongst all the wildlife. The only thing I didn’t like about making this dress was the invisible side zip. It’s a personal gripe – I just find side zips in a dress a pain to put in, especially when it’s got to zip over a midriff section which invariably consists of a couple of layers plus interfacing. I much prefer putting zips in centrally, but that’s just me.
Having now worn the dress two days running, I can confirm it’s a winner. The panelled skirt and midriff are very flattering and the cut of the bodice and straps cleverly conceal your bra straps – a big bonus in my book. I really like the shape and design of the dress – it’s comfortable and roomy enough to run around after the kids in, yet fitted enough so you still feel like you’re making an effort. I can’t wait to wear it on holiday now. x