Colette Peony #1!                                                                                                              

The Peony is my favourite Colette dress. I love the boat neck, the a-line skirt, and that it doesn’t use too much fabric! (I’m looking at you, Colette Crepe!) It’s the perfect teaching dress: pretty and professional, but effortless! Nothing is going to show, slide around, or cause a fuss.

In theory, this is a wearable muslin – A practice attempt with a pattern that’s good enough to see the light of day! I did two practice muslins of the bodice using old bedsheets before this, and had to make a heap of changes… shortened the bodice A LOT, took 5cm out of the centre back, and moved the front darts farther out from the centre.        

By some strange quirk of my body (aka. my belly, I think!) the whole bodice tilts backwards on me. It makes the side bust darts tilt up too high, and made the neckline far, far too high! I ended up cutting the front neckline about 15cm lower, but you’d never know it to look at the pictures! At some point I should perhaps try going back to the original pattern and figuring out how to fit it better. In the meantime, I’m happy enough!

I was nervous about cutting into my fabric stash from Japan, so for this wearable muslin I used some polyester that I bough at the second hand shop instead. It’s actually great – doesn’t crease much, hangs well, kinda shiny and interesting but fairly basic! And when I happened to drop yogurt on myself during lunch, it came right off with water and didn’t leave a mark! Hurray!  

The dress isn’t perfect – bra straps tend to show at the corner of the neck, and the facings at the back of the neckline can sit a little funny under a sweater. On the plus side, it’s got POCKETS! And they disappear perfectly into the side seam! I even dispensed with a zipper and just squirm into it instead.

After I finished the whole dress, it just didn’t seem quite finished… so I topstitched on a faux-belt from a beautiful Alexander Henry print. It gives the dress some definition, I think, and helps me figure out what colours to accessorize with! The print has pink, blue, cream, purple, teal and red, so I have lots of choices!    

I’m working on round two right now… but here’s my problem! Having done it once, it’s kinda boring the second time around! I keep trying to dream up exciting and new modifications, when really I should just finish the darn thing and experiment with something new. Someone told me once that as an artist, the first time making something is exciting and the second time through is just boring. Do you find that too? 


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