A strawberry dahlia

Has everyone seen the new pattern release by Colette Patterns yet? I admit, when I got the “sneak peek” yesterday, I thought about it for all of 30 seconds before I bought the PDF. Using the thin excuse of “I need to buy buttons for this other dress”, I drove to work to print out the pattern, then promptly cut, taped and traced off the pattern.

I was initially tossing up which version to make, when I spotted these two fabrics lying together in my stash, and inspiration struck: I present, my Strawberry Dahlia.

Ohhh yus, that is bright pink polka dot linen, which I nabbed along with its blue counterpart as soon as I saw it at The Fabric Store. The green linen on the bodice is leftover from another dress I am yet to blog about (I have quite a few things waiting to be photographed and blogged!) The gold bias binding was a gift from Katy&Laney to say thank you for testing their shorts pattern – I actually had to bow out of testing because I was in the middle of moving, but they kindly sent me this lovely bias binding and some fancy teas to say thanks (which my tea-loving husband nabbed).

Anyway, back to the pattern. The Dahlia dress is described as being “designed to flatter curves and make you feel good about what you’ve got” and is a “return to [Colette’s] roots”. It’s main features are the waist yoke, bust and neckline gathers, and raglan sleeves – the sleeveless version is finished with bias binding, which become the straps.

I traced off a size 12, and graded out to a size 18 at the hips. Apparently I did not need to do this, as the hips have ended up way too big. I had the same problem with the Rooibos dress – I graded out according the measurements, and they ended up much bigger. I looked at the finished measurements and apparently this gives me 5″ of ease… maybe I need to remeasure my hips!

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where the gathering is supposed to hit. I assume it’s supposed to be right under the bust but it’s much lower than that on me and I have a very low set bust. If I pull up the whole bodice then the bottom waist yoke seam hits above my true waist (and I have quite a high waist, although I admit I am taller than average), and the neckline becomes very high.

On the model in the photos, it looks like it’s hitting about 1-2″ below her bust. So who knows! I do know that the fit in these photos is not ideal – after taking the photos I took in a couple of tucks (I’m guessing it was a “narrow shoulder” adjustment of sorts) and it looked a lot better, in particular getting rid of some of the “baggy boob” thing that’s going on. Small busted ladies, be aware! You may need to adjust.

I think when I make it again I’m going to shorten the bodice significantly in the front and the back – to me the back looks oddly high, which is accentuated by the two separate fabrics and the raglan sleeved shape. I probably want it to finish about 2″ above where the darts end, if you can see that (so about 6″ below where it finishes now!).

Speaking of different fabrics, did anyone get that this is a STRAWBERRY DRESS?

In terms of construction, it’s all machine sewn with overlocked skirt seams and the waistband facing stitched in the ditch (with a bit of handsewing thrown in – one day I’ll get a clean finish!). The bias binding was largely sewn on using my bias binding foot.Despite stay-stitching all the upper edges, I think I accidentally stretched everything while sewing D:

The hem is blindstitched (yay) and because I was lacking a matching invisible zip, I used a lapped zipper – which means I had to switch out threads halfway so they matched!


So, so, so. What do I think? I love the design, but the fitting will take a bit of time. I’ve already gone back and changed my skirt pieces back to the size 12/14, so that should look better next time – although I’m also thinking this will look great with a pleated skirt. Next “version 2″ I make I will shorten both bodices so they sit a bit lower – they’re currently too high for a summer dress, I think. And I’m considering lowering the necklines on this dress, as the bias binding is a bit scratchy on my underarms. We shall see – you all know how much I dislike fixing finished garments, but this dress is SO CUTE I will have to if I find myself not wearing it.

What do YOU think? Do you like Colette’s new pattern. Did you know this was supposed to be a strawberry?? Any other constructive criticism over the fit would be nice, as usual, though please be nice!

Oh, and HELLO to the two people I saw at Fabric-A-Brac who recognised me from my blog. I didn’t catch your names but gosh did you make my week!

Apologies that my poses are all same-same, Mr. Guy had just told me that my dress had baggy boobs.

45 thoughts on “A strawberry dahlia

  1. I just made a dress with baggy boobs too :( At least you could easily add more tucks into this, Im not really sure how to revisit a darted bodice. Oh well… next time. I think you should definitely lower the front and back neckline – it looks completely fine, but just seems like the straps should be a bit longer. So exciting that it’s time to make summer dresses huh? And almost time to eat strawberries!

    • Yes I’m so pleased for summer dresses! Last summer I just wore my regular stuff, short sleeves dresses, etc. This year I’m focusing on ACTUAL summer.

      And yeah I’m not 100% sure how you get rid of baggy boobs in a darted bodice.
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  2. Not sure about the fix for fit, but it looks pretty cute to me. The first thought I had was ‘watermelon’! Not far off strawberry πŸ˜‰

  3. It is so fun to see a new pattern made up so quickly. I love the idea of the strawberry dress. I am really curious about what the larger busted gals are going to do with this pattern (with sleeves). Love!

  4. Strawberry! I got it! Now I’m hungry!!

    I loved the pattern when it first came out, but like you I have a low boob/long chest thing happening and i was worried about where that band would end up. Looks like the band ends up just fine, as i think your dress looks fantastic! But perhaps you need to grade the boob gathers down a little. Also if you try a drapier fabric, you might not end up with the “baggy boob” (lol!) thing.

    I’m encouraged to buy this pattern now! Perhaps when I’ve finally made a Moneta – I’ve have that pattern for AGES!

    • This linen is pretty drapey so I don’t think a rayon would be tooooooo different. But I definitely need to do something.

      MAKE THE MONETA!!! I love my versions (mainly the last two I made), so comfortable but still really classy
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  5. I snagged this the moment I got the preview just like you did and printed it off, but didn’t immediately start sewing it. You are so quick! :) I love the pattern. The bagginess can be fixed by taking out some of the volume above the waistband. Maybe for the next one, you can do a small bust adjustment or just shorten the bodice. I think outside of that, the shape looks really good on you! I loooooove the fabric choices. Makes me want to make a fruit inspired dress. πŸ˜€

    • Yeah a small bust is something I should probably know how to do, but have never even looked up before. I think this one will be okay if I shorten the bodice, therefore pulling the fabric up, but any other Colette pattern I use I promise I’ll try a formal SBA.
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

    • I never would have thought to, if they hadn’t been folded one on top of the other! And I only had the smallest amount of green leftover, I’m surprised I had enough (and as it is, the front yoke piece is on the bias and the back one is seamed!)

      I look forward to seeing yours!
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  6. I’m so glad you posted this and all the discussion of the fit issues, as I’m getting pretty motivated to start working on mine! I think I will have some of the same issues as you. I have a small bust for my waist size, so I’m not sure how I’m going to remedy that situation in this pattern. I think I might do my usual hollow chest adjustment and take out a big wedge at center front. Thanks for sharing, I think this dress is pretty adorable!

  7. two fabrics! So clever!!! I can’t wait to see whatever mods you make…will you please take more pictures and share? I think I waited about an hour before I purchased it…

    Funny how high that back is, right?

  8. Um what? You had time to make this already? Ok big applause here that is amazing!

    Yes I love this dress, I ordered the print version and am looking for plaid fabric (it’s fall here in Canada). Wholly flattering dress – this looks amazing on you. I know you will make more because well it looks amazing. I love the fabric combo, so freaking cute.

    I thought at first glimpse of the pattern yesterday that the sleeveless option had some potential for bagginess in the boob area. This may be beneficial for those who have to make small FBAs (like moi) in that this step might be omit-able, but then causes issues for everyone else.

    Do you think that the finished measurements are accurate?
    Katherine recently posted…Flora for a wedding and my polyester debateMy Profile

    • I’m not sure about the finished measurements – I can certainly measure it if you like, at this stage all I know is that it’s tooo big in the hips. The waist was about right though.

      And yes, I bet a lot of people are happy that Colette drafts for a bigger bust – I’m just not used to thinking about it! I will have to attempt something before making the sleeveless version again
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  9. The strawberry dress is cute. I love the gold bias binding! I agree with you…the boobs or maybe the top above them needs to be adjusted a little to take away the saggy look. Nice pattern!

  10. Strawberry dress! Cuuuute!!! πŸ˜€

    Although yes, I agree with your assessment – it’s not fitting right around your bust at all. :-( Just too much fabric going on there. Would it be possible to unpick the bodice from the waistband and remove some of the length, so it’s a closer fit?
    Kat H recently posted…And the winner is…..My Profile

  11. I’ve looked at the original again and I think the bagginess is due to the lack of sleeves. The bodice seems to need the sleeves to lift it up into place and put some tension on the bodice. Without the sleeves it is collapsing inwards. Small cap sleeves, like the cambie, instead of straps might work otherwise it needs to be completely redraped.

    • Yeah I agree – I think without the sleeves the tension on the neckline might not be right – as in, there’s nothing pulling it outwards as well as up. I don’t have any experience with draping but I hope I can get it to work!
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  12. Sorry – I meant that I loomed at colettes photos, there’s a marked difference in the fit of the sleeve and sleeveless options.

  13. Total Strawberry! Yes, the front needs to be adjusted- you can totally do that, no worries. Thank you so much for a shot of the back! To quote Sarai : you’re a “total babe” in that back shot, it really shows your shape! Very flattering without being in your face, so to speak. I’ve ordered the pattern and I hope I get a little of that shape- which is code for I wish I had hips! Enjoy your dress Strawberry Babe!

    • Haha, hips should be easy to fake in this sort of dress!!

      And thanks, I try to include shots of the back even if they’re not very flattering, just so y’all know what it looks like (and so I know if I look good from the back or not)
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  14. Gawd, but you’re fast πŸ˜‰ I always say that! Lovely polka dots! Knowing that colette drafts for bigger busts probably explains the “booby puff”! It seems like a pattern you could get some mileage out of- bet we’ll be seeing lots of lovely versions. πŸ˜€ Nice one :)

  15. I love the color combination! I have a soft spot for green and pink. It reminds me of a watermelon.

    I love the long sleeve version, but I wasn’t so sure of the strapless. I’m on the fence about this pattern. I love the skirt, the bodice I think it needs tweaking. it seems like the waist band/yoke should be shortened because there’s excess fabric around the waist, both in the front and the back. May be a SBA is needed as there seems to be excess fabric there. I *think* the bust gathers should be moved to the side a bit because it’s too close to the center where it didn’t fall under your bust.

    • Yeah I think I do need some sort of small bust adjustment, but it should be easier than for a darted bodice. Good point about the darts being too close to the center, I hadn’t noticed that! So it looks like I’ll have to rework quite a lot of the pattern.

      I do think the waist is the right height, it’s just falling down a bit because the lower seam wants to sit at my true waist, and the upper seam isn’t being help up under the bust properly, if that makes sense?
      Sophie-Lee recently posted…A strawberry dahliaMy Profile

  16. Pingback: Green Linen Sundress and giveaway winner | Two Random Words

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