Dahlia in Polka Dots

This is my 3rd make of the Colette Patterns Dahlia dress, love this pattern, :). I used version 1 again, my my other make is posted here. This time I chose not to line it and used a pretty navy blue with white polka dot polyester silky fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I also added pockets! Used the in seam pocket piece and instructions from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.

I used the size 10 pattern pieces with a  3″ FBA, more details on my original post with link above. Other than adding the pockets, nothing new to add. You can read about using Gertie’s pocket pattern and instructions more when I added them to my Wren dress here. I made my own bias tape again which was a little trickier with this fabric but I still managed to make it work, :). I wanted to use my bias tape maker but it was not designed to work with this particular type of fabric. So I just sewed it on using a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded it over the seam. A little trickier but not too time consuming.

The other major change I made was to add pockets! Every dress possible should have pockets, :). I kind of forgot about the side invisible zipper though… It turned out fine though, even if is a bit more difficult to get over my chest, I manage just fine. I had to cut off about 3 inches of the invisible zipper. But, the pockets work and are functional!

And of course, the photos, :).



A Dahlia for Fall

Yay! I LOVE this new dress!!! I’ve had a fall Dahlia in mind for a while now and for my birthday I ordered this lovely purple wool suiting fabric from Mood Fabrics. I accidentally pre-washed it since I was in a pre-washing fabrics mood. Oops! At least it was on delicate and in cold water so no harm. I then purchased Bemberg lining in blackberry from Jo-Ann’s. Bemberg is an amazing lining if you don’t want to spend the extra on silk. It has a nice feel and breathes nicely. The color went perfect with my Dahlia, :).

I did my usual FBA (full bust adjustment) using Colette’s tutorial through her sew-a-long. An AMAZING resource. Give a pictorial step by step process and added advice over the whole dress making process for both versions. I also added 3″ of length to the skirt pieces to make it longer for the colder weather. The only other changes I made were to take in the sleeve seams a bit to keep the shoulders from sliding down and to get the pouf out of the back. Next time I should just take this out of the pattern as I had to do that for version 2 too. I pinched out an extra 1/4″ for each front neck/sleeve seam and 1/2″ for each of the back. Perfect! Then after putting together the wool exterior I basically made a complete second dress out of the lining.

Instead of purchasing binding I decided to make my own using the wool suiting. Wool is not press friendly! I made 3/8″ double fold binding, so I started out cutting 1.5″ wide strips using this tutorial by Sew 4 Home. I just could not sort out the continuous bias tape method but this one worked great for me. To press it was a process.

  1. First I cut out and sewed the strips together
  2. Then I pinned the bias tape so it was double folding in along one big strip since I don’t have a bias tape maker
  3. Then I pressed it on high heat, then put my wood pieces over the pressed part and pushed down until the heat was gone. I did this a few times removing pins as I went until there were no pins left along the strip and I had a good crease

And look at that lovely binding!

Hand stitching it to the lining took a bit of work but it was worth every second as it looks so much better than just haphazardly slip stitching it. Colette describes how to do 5 different hand stitches here.

The stuffing of the lining and attaching it to the zipper was a little tricky but Devon explains the whole process really well in the install zipper portion of the sew a long. You can see how lovely this turned out below.


And my self-made bias taped neck line!

My invisible zipper is almost perfect. I just could not get the bottom yoke pieces to line up. I gave up after 3 tries and called it good enough.

The kickpleat

I got my other yoke bands to line up perfectly!

Had to show off the lovely lining.

And my perfect hand stitching, ;).

Made with Mood tag! Working on creating my own tags. It’s a tricky process! Ordered some special color fast printer friendly fabric sheets to give it a go later this week.  

Another of my gorgeous lining that no one will ever see.

And of course some of me wearing the dress. Have I mentioned how much I love this dress?!?! The purple is gorgeous, the fabric feels wonderful, and the fit is perfect, :).

I tried to get a good view of the back.

And a fun explorer type pose. Shows there is lots of movement to the skirt!

And another fun pose, 🙂

Hooray for Birthdays!

Hey everyone, yesterday was my birthday and my boyfriend was so sweet. He got me a gift certificate to Mood Fabrics and another for Jo-Ann’s as well as a Starbucks. I love Starbucks. Their iced salted caramel mocha is my new crack.

So along with these goodies I also got some cash from the mother (thanks Mom!) and a couple awesome emails from Mood. One for 10% off and another today for FREE SHIPPING!!! So I had to order right away, especially with one of the fabrics I was eyeing being a close out.

So I did a lot of thinking and decided to go with this gorgeous plum wool suiting fabric to make a Fall Dahlia dress. Love Colette patterns. There was a beautiful purple plaid as well but I really like the simplicity of this solid.


And since I wanted that free shipping I went ahead and got some Theory Stretch Navy Denim to finally delve into making my own jeans. This has been a project on my list for awhile, so the next step will be to purchase the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Files.
From Jo-Ann’s I’ll pick up the notions: denim zipper, Gutterman thread, denim needles, interfacings, etc.

I’ve also had it in my mind to make a pair of leather gloves.


I’ve had Vogue 8311 in my stash for awhile and I plan to locate some white lambskin to make them.

I also have a gazillion other things I want to make in my queue, ;).

And, I’m almost to 50 word press followers! Only 6 to go and then I’ll finally have the motivation to write up my free jogging phone arm band tutorial and a free give-a-way. So stay tuned!

Colette Dahlia Version 2 in Silk

I’ll apologize in advance for two posts two days in a row but I was just so excited to finish this dress, ;).

This is the Dahlia by Colette, a gorgeous pattern. My initial plan was to try to make a copy cat of their green silk dress but then I saw this beautiful blue silk from the local shop Textile Fabrics that is more of a lining but I think it makes a great summer dress. They are having their pre-moving close-out sale with everything 60% off!

Tah-dah! Overall the pattern was really easy to follow. It took some time as I decided to finish all the seams using a French seam and then at one point I accidentally attached the front skirt panels wrong. So I had to re-cut those pieces, thankfully I had enough leftover fabric, and redid the front pieces. I’d already cut, trimmed, and French seamed them. So taking them apart wasn’t really an option. I did make a small full bust adjustment of 1″. I made up a trial version using the regular pattern but was a little too tight so I’m glad I made the adjustment. Colette has a wonderful sew-a-long with lots of great tutorials for both versions of this dress. Her bust adjustment tutorial was so easy to follow. I just did the waist gathers only version since it was only 1″. I also underlined the top pieces and the yoke pieces for added fabric strength and also for modesty. It is a very thin fabric. I didn’t have enough to underline to skirt panels but it’s easy enough to wear a half slip under it.

And my invisible zipper work. I ordered an invisible zipper foot and am so glad I did! It made the process 10 times smoother, as did properly ironing the coils open. Threads’ guide to seam finishes for silk was very helpful in selecting the best seams for my garment. As mentioned earlier I used French seams for the dress, but not really an option with zippers, ;). For the zipper seam I turned them in under the zipper tape and sewed them to the zipper tape to keep those pesky fringes under control. I also overcast the edges of the seams before doing this. Looks pretty, doesn’t it?

And voila, a beautiful invisible zipper. Only had to take the zipper out once due to massively not matching up the seams of the yoke, but all fixed.
This one took some time, but only because I wanted to make it look really nice and finished. For the hem I turned it down to the inside 1/4″ and stitched it down, then turned it under another 1/2″ and put in a blind hem using my blind hem stitch on my machine.

This is the back. Another small change I made was to mark off 3″ for the front bias strap and 1″ for the back. Looks great!

And so versatile! I can dress it up for work or a night out by adding a lace shrug (made this one using So Sew Easy’s pattern).


Or a little more casual with my knitted Vianne cardigan, ;).

Or wear it alone on a hot summer day like yesterday! Whew it was hot yesterday, heat index of 114!

And as always, need to explore and check things out, plus a pretty side view, ;).

Overall I really love this pattern. It is simple with beautiful lines and very versatile. I definitely plan to make a wool version of version 1 for the Fall, :). My only regret is that this silk wrinkles so easy, but it also dries super quick!