Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring For Cotton: Emerald Pastille Hack

Dear Readers,
        I didn't even realize it. My blog is a year old. How did that happen? My first post went live on April 28, 2014 as a result of the much-lauded Me-Made-May that is hosted by Zoe. While this post is not written for the purpose of waxing eloquent over the things I have learned, I did want to mention the happy fact that I have managed to stick with my blog for a year. Unlike the countless journals/diaries that I have begun only to toss them to the side within a few weeks (at the most!), I have remained faithful (albeit sporadically) to this bit of online presence. I can say with all honesty that my experience has been entirely enjoyable!
        Moving on!
   I decided that this year I was going to participate in Rochelle's Spring for Cotton sew-a-long. I had many glamourous plans. They did not work out. Instead of being able to introduce a self-drafted dress with the intent of impressing all and sundry; I am quite willing to allow the credit and "glory" go to the very experienced and hardworking independent pattern company: Colette Patterns.

This dress is a basic circle skirt combined with the bodice of the Colette Pastille dress and the sleeves of the Colette Taffy Blouse. Both patterns are from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

My original plan, as I said before, was to draft a vintage inspired bodice and combine it with either a circle or gathered skirt. Naturally, I procrastinated too long and ended up starting work on it a week or so ago. By about the 23rd or 24th I realized the futility of the attempt. I would have to make at least two muslins and probably a wearable muslin before I would be able to start the final product. To achieve this in a week while working a part-time nanny/housemaid job that requires me to be gone at least six hours in a day and results in thorough weariness by the time evening rolls around was madness. Thus I moved on to Plan B.

This fabric was leftover from the last of the fatal walkaway dresses. (Mentioned here, here, and here.) The circle skirt was already completed and I just slapped the bodice onto it.

I have sewed the Pastille bodice four times. Two of these attempts have been featured on this blog. Only one of the dresses resulted in a wearable garment, but that was never the fault of the bodice. (Pastille 1 and Pastille 2) After wearing my button-up Pastille dress multiple times, I have come to realize how comfortable it is. I knew that, with all of the tweaks I have performed upon it, the bodice would fit me. Due to the limited time, I could tell that it would be a wise choice to stick to a familiar and easy pattern. After completing this dress, I discovered that there are a few more adjustments I need to make, but they are only minor technicalities.

I used a side invisible zipper instead of the back zipper I typically do. It turned out amazing (if I do say so myself. . .) and everything went in smoothly. This zipper success makes me want to put side zippers into all of my dresses!

Shoes: Payless Shoe Source

As you can see in the picture below (and in some above) the hook and eye closure is not working. I put the opening in so that I could get the dress over my head, and I was hoping that I would be able to avoid a button. I guess not. I was having to re-hook it all day.

Details for the Avid Seamstress

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann.
Notions: Zipper and hook and eye from stash.
Pattern(s): Colette Pastille Dress and Taffy Blouse from the Colette Sewing Handbook.
Notes: The one fitting issue I noticed on this dress is the few horizontal wrinkles around the armhole/shoulder area. I am currently looking up some tips for fixing that. I think I might need to raise the armhole, or transfer the excess fabric into the bust dart. 

What have you been sewing lately?
Any tips for juggling a "busy" schedule and sewing or crafting time would be appreciated!

Thank you for reading!


Me-Made-May '15 starts tomorrow. If you haven't signed up already, go here to join in the fun!


  1. Beautiful hack, I love how the sleeves mimic the skirt!

  2. Wow wow wow. I followed the link from the Spring for Cotton flickr page. This piece came out absolutely lovely and drapes great for quilting cotton!

    The sleeves are probably my favorite part of this garment- they're so utterly 40s!

    1. Thank you! It is really sweet of you to say so!