Tag Archives: colette Peony Dress

Time for a quick make?

I have been busy, busy with my machine this past week. Not only have I sorted out the annoyingly mis-placed darts in my Peony and made a little gingham Violet but I have also squeezed in another cheeky Sorbetto!



I used the little bit of gingham I had left over from the Violet, some vintage ribbon and contrasting bias binding. It’s perfect with my little green cardi and jeans and took no time at all to make.

Other news, the two most lovely boys men in my life (my 14 year old has definitely grown up in the last three weeks!) have completed 1145 miles on their bikes and raised lots of money for Action Duchenne in the process. I am driving up to York this evening to meet them and I am so excited! You can read about their adventure here if you’d like to.

Finally, after just over three weeks of stillness, I will have everyone back in the nest again by Sunday night and perhaps I’ll be able to sleep again!

Hope you are having a creative, sunny weekend too x



Filed under makes

Gingham Violet and a bit more Peony …

It is Wednesday, or ‘hump day’ as an old work colleague used to call it. Of course she meant that you make it to the middle of the week and once you’re over it, it’s plain sailing to the weekend, hooray! I get my girl home tomorrow. She has been away for 5 days, studying at Cambridge on a scheme to encourage teenagers to apply this coming Autumn. I think she’s enjoying it, it sounds very interesting, there’s not been a great deal of contact but that’s probably a good sign! Then, on Saturday, once my girl has finished work, we’ll drive up to York where we’ll be reunited with the boys and I can not wait! Finally we will all be back together and normality can resume.

I haven’t quite got round to starting my Sew Yourself a Summer project (though there’s still time) in Jimmy’s absence, but I have been busy …

Ignore the slightly wonky button hole (it doesn’t show, honest!) …


I’m quite pleased to have finished the Violet and it looks nice on, although I can’t show you that as I’m all alone (have I mentioned that?!) so there’s no fashion photographer on hand today.

I quite like it! I’ve enjoyed the process of fitting the pieces together and learning once again from some silly little mistakes. I think next time I would make the collar a little smaller, but I don’t mind the boxy shape that some people have mentioned. I love the gingham but I’d also like to make it in a plain fabric, maybe a crepe, nice and floppy and maybe add a smidgen to the length.

In this beautiful weather I’ve been wearing some older makes too, my Summer Skirt from last year and my  Liberty Dress. I made these up as I went along and it’s funny how in a relatively sort time I can look at them now and think ‘well I wouldn’t do it like that anymore’!

I also wore my Peony dress on Monday and did a spot of shopping in Oxford. All day I was a right fidget bottom, those blooming darts. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed before but I was constantly pulling the dress back into place and swearing I would never wear it again! But, this morning I patiently unpicked myFrench seams (sigh) and shifted the darts down a bit and it’s worked! It’s now very comfortable, how satisfying is that?!

This photo was taken before the alteration and I know it doesn’t look like it but I do have eyes!

I do have quite an important secret sewing project to get on with, but I’m also getting ideas for a new Sorbetto … stop me someone!


Filed under makes

My (almost) Perfect Peony …

My Peony dress is finished and what a beauty (if I do say so myself) she is …

Forgive the fact I haven’t modelled this but I am still pale and sickly looking (cough cough) from the bug that won’t go away. You’ll have to take my word for it that it’s a good fit and it feels very ‘me’! I will get a photo of me wearing it when the sun comes out and I get a bit of colour back in my cheeks, I promise.

This pattern is so lovely to work with, my only issues were to do with my lack of experience, like taking it up on the shoulders (doh!), realising only after I’d finished that the waist dips at the back by about an inch (I am not removing that zip again) and getting in a muddle with the facing and then the piping and then the facing again after I’d altered the neckline slightly. Also, I think my darts are a bit close (point to point) so I would watch that next time. But, in the scheme of things nothing too major, at the end of the day only I know (and you) what went wrong and I have a nice dress and a bucket full of new things learnt to show for all my tears!

This is version 2 of the pattern but I am not sacrificing pockets for anyone so I kept those! I didn’t make the suggested belt either,   it’s not really me, though I can see that it would look good with a more sophisticated version, I think this one suits it very well (a Jigsaw sale bargain). I also added and decided to keep the ricrac on the sleeves as it’s quite subtle and I love ricrac almost as much as I love violet creams, so that stayed and I think it ties in with the vintage style of the dress.

So, would I make it again? Yes of course, perhaps in a different type of fabric though, something with a bit of a drape?

What did it cost?
Cotton fabric from ebay £14.10 including postage for 3 metres (I only used 2!)
Ricrac from my tin of exciting things
Zip £3.60 (really expensive and before I realised the internet was cheaper!)
Cotton, already in my box but probably £2.

So let’s say just under £20 for a vintage style floral frock and the priceless satisfaction of making it myself, perfect!


Filed under makes

Pruning Peony …

Phew! What a busy week. A short stay in York to see Jimmy’s parents, sister, nephews and niece, a trip to Filey to see sodden donkeys on the windy beach, the Castle Museum for old times sake and then back south for my Mum’s birthday and a bit of cake!

All the while, my unfinished Peony dress has been sitting patiently on my sewing desk waiting for me to come back and unpick that odd looking neckline …

I tried a facing as the pattern instructed but for some silly reason, I got it all wrong and ended up trying to finish it with good old reliable (?!) bias binding instead. I’m not sure what I did to make it stand up like this, what a wally! Anyway, I’ve unpicked it and it’s now ready for attempt number 3, a facing again I think, only this time with a deep breath, Radio 4 and a cup of chamomile tea. I also have a slight excess of fabric across the chest, it’s not much but I think I should try and sort it out. I’m hoping to find a solution at the weekend, quick unpick at the ready!

Leave a comment

Filed under makes

Don’t drink and sew …

Well, the jubilee celebrations are over, the bunting has come down and all is still … Except for me and my machine, we’ve been whizzing away and stitching together my Peony dress at every opportunity.

While Grace Jones and her oiled up body, hula hooped for the entire rendition of Slave to the Rhythm (I’m talking about the jubilee concert here), I was watching transfixed but at the same time thinking of my dress. Is the bodice too long, is my fabric too young and I couldn’t wait to sew my skirt together. So, after the 64 year old had shamed me enough with my limited hip action and slightly dry skin, I energetically ran back to my machine and sewed away. I should mention here that I’d had a couple of glasses of vino and felt like a professional dressmaker. I was creating a dress that Coletterie would love and showcase just because of the sheer quality and craftsmanship.

I promptly sewed the wrong side to the right side of the skirt …

And decided ric rac would look good on the sleeves. I’m the first to love ric rac but for the life of me why? I am not six.

OK, off to Yorkshire for a couple of days and may buy a hula hoop while I’m there! so long for now, the Peony will have to wait.

Leave a comment

Filed under makes

Peony pondering …

I find it quite hard to start a new sewing project once I’ve vacuumed up the cotton threads of the last. I think that the longer I leave it, the more I start to question my ability. There’s also that small question of time … so many interruptions and demands (or am I just making excuses?!).

Any old how, I have spent far too long looking at the many lovely versions of the Colette Peony online (this gorgeous dress from Joanne for a start and Karen also made a beauty with very helpful hints) and have taken the bull by the horns, traced and cut out the pattern and made a toile of the bodice. Here is the first, not looking too good …

Oh dear …

I had to lean my paralytic dress form against the wall to take this as she (it) just keeps falling over. I adjusted the darts and cut the neck just a little lower for fear of strangulation, so it looked like this …

It’s looking better but whether I’ll be able to translate it to the finished dress is another matter! I’m wondering from this pic if there’s a problem with the fabric pulling a bit across that small chest? I may need to look at that again. Oh well, the back is looking good (if I say so myself!) …

I’m quite excited about this dress and it’s great to have had a chance to get stuck in. Once again the Colette instructions are super clear and a pleasure to play with.

On another note, it’s a long holiday for us here in the UK with the Queen’s Jubilee. Jimmy and I went for a walk today through a beautiful field of poppies and my gorgeous roses are coming out in the garden too (I picked a couple for the kitchen). No work or school all week hooray, I may get this dress finished after all.


Filed under makes