Thursday, 4 December 2014

A Spotty Dahlia

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My first Colette Dahlia.
I've just finished first Dahlia (I say that because this will be the first of many, I'm sure) and it was the first time that I have ever followed a Sewalong, which I really liked and will definitely do again. This was because I spread out the making of the dress over two weeks which meant that I didn't rush, and that I had time to correct things or make slight adjustments without worrying that it was taking me too long. I also had time to make some other gifty things in between as Christmas is quickly approaching. 

I made two muslins to test the size before I cut into my main fabric. As I have a larger waist in proportion to the rest of my body, I initially graded from a 16 to a 12 both up and down. I found that this was way too loose so I made a size 14 waist on my second attempt. I did a small shoulder adjustment, taking an inch out - Devon's instructions for this were really clear and helpful. As well as this, I narrowed the front and back by about half an inch, so that the neckline didn't gape too much. The fabric is a charcoal and white polka dot fabric from Telio, which I bought at Spool of Thread. I forgot to look at the label to see exactly what it was but it's part stretchy, part not and quite thick. I will have to find out... 

alt="Colette Dahlia"
Shoulder Pleat on the Colette Dahlia.
Once I'd sewn the dress together and gathered the neckline, I still felt that it was too wide for me. So I made these little pleats at the top of the shoulder before I attached the binding round the edge. It gives the neckline a bit of a pointy shape but I quite like it now. 

alt="Colette Dahlia"
Colette Dahlia neckline.
The Sewalong was so clear and I will definitely follow one again. As I said above, it was really nice to take my time. Even when it came to the hem, I thought what the heck, and decided to sew it by hand. The fabric that I chose was quite thick so I didn't want to look quilty at the bottom. And I also thought, well I've spent this much time putting the dress together, why not spend another 30 minutes sewing up the hem?! Here is me celebrating finishing the dress:

alt="Colette Dahlia"
Yay, I finished!
I wore the dress to work the next day and got lots of compliments but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to take any photos of me in it during the short daylight hours that we're having. 

We've been having some amazingly clear but cold days recently so over the weekend when I was doing my muslins we went for a walk around the seawall at Stanley Park to see the sunset which was beautiful. 
Seawall Sunset.
I'll do a post about the Christmas gifts that I have made at another point when the receivers have received them - I wouldn't want to spoil their surprises! But one of the things that I've made is this Advent Calendar that I saw on Pinterest for Andy and his sweet tooth. I got so much satisfaction out of this that I don't need any chocolate, but he is being good and sharing with me anyway!

An Advent Calendar for Andy!


  1. I am sewing my first Dahlia right now! I am narrow across the shoulders, and get wider going down, so I have made two muslins, and think I've got it OK to fit. But I am still concerned that the top of the sleeves looks too big. I am pleased to see you managed to fix that problem - I was wondering about doing a small gather, like on the neckline, to take up any excess fabric. Yours looks great, though. I might try those little pleats that you used.

    Christmas greetings from England. We are forecast some snow today!

    Anyway, I'm trying to build up courage to start cutting my proper material! It's a plaid, as it looks so nice in the plaid versions I've seen online. Oh well, time to get on with some cautious pinning!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Joanne! I hope that you've taken the plunge and got going with your plaid - I'd love to see it when you've finished.

      I miss England and can't wait to visit in the Summer!