Sunday, November 23, 2014

Colette Dahlia

Before I go any further I have to say that the wrinkle on my fabric from my seat belt is driving me CRAZY. 

This is the newest pattern from Colette Patterns.  I was working on my jeans when the pattern was released but I have a Colette addiction so I had to suspend work on the jeans to make this dress.
I am normally not a big fan of color blocking because it feels modern and I'm not drawn to modern looks.  I got the idea of making the bodice of the dress in a different fabric and couldn't let it go.  I made it in a non-modern print so the dress doesn't feel too modern to me.  I chose a Liberty print (another addiction) called the Margaret Annie.  I originally ordered the tan wool flannel for my Albion coat but it was too boring for that.  I didn't think I would ever use it but I like it for this dress.

My original plan was to make the bodice and sleeves from the Liberty print but I obviously just stuck with the bodice front and back.  I made all the bias tape out of the Liberty print and even went to the trouble of sewing it to the hem. I like hand sewing.

I underlined the Liberty in plain muslin.  For some reason I thought I didn't need to underline the wool flannel because it wouldn't be itchy.  It's not terrible but it would be better with an underlining.

I actually went to the trouble of measuring the pattern pieces against my own measurements.  Crazy concept, right?! My muslin fit without any adjustments (go figure).  The bust and sleeves are a 2 and I graded out to a 4 for the waist and skirt. 

The neckline fit seems to be a common issue.  There is gathering at the center of the neckline but my issue came at the shoulder.  Do you see how it sticks up? 

I thought it might just be an issue with my muslin fabric when I did my test garment.  I didn't sew the bias binding on my muslin and I also thought that might help it lay down.  It didn't.  On my actual garment I tried to fix it by gathering the shoulder a bit.  That ended up looking cheap.  Then I thought maybe a pleat might work but that looked weird and resulted in pulling along the shoulders and chest. On my third try, I added gathers on the Liberty fabric closer to the shoulders.  Also a no-go.  Gathers along the back didn't work either. I was way too lazy to sew on new sleeves, but I wonder if a solution to the problem might be to slash out a wedge at the center of the raglan sleeve which would make the sleeve more narrow.  Has anyone tried this? There is a sewalong going on right now.  I haven't read the posts but I hope the answer isn't in the sewalong and I just didn't read it!

Back to the jeans!


  1. 'm working on my Dahlia right now. My shoulders did a similar thing to yours on the muslin, so I folded out a bit and that seemed to help. We'll see on my finished dress though.

  2. I had exactly the same issues with the dalia. I'm working on a plaid dahlia now and with the help of the sewalong - a narrow shoulder adjustment - it's looking good for now. I didn't know that I have narrow shoulders ;). I feel the same of using color blocking, but your version looks really beautiful on you. here the link for the adjustments:

  3. I had the same issue with the gaping neck! Mine fit great in the bust but was too big in the neck, so I just pinched out the excess in the sleeve seams. I ended up taking out 5/8" in each sleeve seam, and it fits perfect now. I'm sure there's a more technical way to address the problem, but I figure that if pinching the seams works, then who am I to complain! I love the Liberty fabric you use--so pretty!

  4. The reason your neckline/shoulder is standing up/gapping like that is because raglan sleeves in wovens, especially not-very-drapey wovens, often need either a shoulder dart or to be drafted as a two-piece sleeve in order to lie correctly against the shoulder slope.

    This isn't a fitting problem IMO, it's a drafting problem. Un-darted one-piece raglan sleeves are usually only suitable for knits or a really drapey woven that will follow the shoulder slope of its own accord.

    1. I like the look of the Dahlia but have been reluctant to make it because of the bodice problems, which I've been seeing in a lot of the dresses. When you say two-piece raglan do you mean a front and a back of the sleeve, seamed down the middle. I do have narrow shoulders but a large bust and waist so am wondering if this might be the solution. But, if I were to use a more drapey fabric, say a rayon, are you saying this might not be a problem? Thanks for any enlightenment you might shed!!!!

  5. The neck and shoulder area of the Dahlia is just poorly drafted, since every single person who makes this has the same problem, no matter what their body type. I pinched out a dart and also narrowed the enormous cuffs, and after that it fits decently well. My notes are here, if they are of any help:

  6. Firstly I love the use of the Liberty print and the binding around the hems. It's a shame about the shoulders. Reading the above posts I agree with esseesee about wovens usually having a darted shoulder.

  7. These comments are so helpful as I dive in! I didn't find any specific info in the sewalong ("take some fabric out at the shoulder seams", so thank you all!