Post image for Colette Pastille Dress

Colette Pastille Dress

December 10, 2012 · 17 comments

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be given the lovely Colette Sewing Handbook as a gift. For those of you familiar with Colette patterns you will know how beautifully presented the little pattern booklets are- well the same is definitely true of their book.

It is filled with fabulous sewing tips and comes with five exclusive Colette patterns. I have just got around to completing my first one- the Colette Pastille dress that is featured on the cover.

Colette Pastille

I made up the dress in a really warm wool fabric in an icy blue/ green colour that I bought online from Stone Fabrics. I also decided to add a lining to the dress and lined it with some of Truro Fabric’s superior lining. I love their lining as it’s really nice to work with, completely anti-static (so doesn’t cling to hosiery at all!) and is breathable so really comfortable to wear.

The pattern came up quite big- I made the size 0 and the top half fitted perfectly but I had to remove a total of 6cm from the hips. To do this I removed 1.5 cm from the front and back side seams from the hips all the way down to the hem and sloping up to zero at the waist.

Pastille Collete

I also slightly reduced the dropped shoulders as I have very square shoulders that just kind of propelled the capped sleeves straight out and made me look like a cross between someone from the 1980s wearing huge shoulder pads and someone going to outer space! I have had to do this previously with a vintage pattern with similar shaped shoulders so it wasn’t really a surprise.

Because I draft a lot of my own patterns I am in the habit of always making up a calico toile before cutting my fashion fabric so these little modifications were no trouble; I just marked them on the calico and then transferred them back to the paper.

I didn’t include the pretty pleats that are featured at the hem of the dress on this version as the wool I was using was quite thick and I thought they may end up too bulky.

After I had completed the dress I made a self-covered belt to wear with it. I LOVE making these! They are so quick to do and I think they add such a vintage feel to outfits. I couldn’t find the buckles anywhere in the UK so I order mine from A Fashionable Stitch- she has a great selection of different shapes and sizes and the shipping from America takes no time at all. Her blog is lovely too- check it out!

Collette Pastille Pattern

Colette pattern book

I am so happy with my Pastille dress. I think it’s a great wardrobe staple and suitable for so many different occasions, day or evening. I will definitely make this dress up again in some other colours; I think it would be super cute with a little co-ordinating cropped jacket.

I would also highly recommend the book- I think it would be a particularly good addition if you are new to sewing as it provides lots of clear instructions for adjusting patterns to fit. It’s also just a really pretty book to own.  I am looking forward to trying some of the other patterns.

Happy sewing!




{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs K December 11, 2012 at 12:20 am

Your dress is so cute! Looks great on you.


Andrea T December 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Your dress turned out quite lovely. I’m really glad I found it over on the Colette Patterns Flickr group. I’m using this book as a guide to learn to sew clothes and recently made this myself using some Tula Pink fabric. Mine is no where near as pretty and finished as yours, tho. I’d love to know the process for making a lining and adding a lining to patterns like this that don’t come with one. Any tips would be great.
Andrea T recently posted…3 Years and CountingMy Profile


amelialowden December 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Hi Andrea,

Thanks so much for your comment and sorry that it has taken me a few days to respond. I popped over to your blog and its lovely, congratulations on your three year wedding anniversary! There are a few different ways that you can go about adding a lining to a dress pattern that doesn’t normally incorporate one and your comment made me think that this would be a good idea for a tutorial on the blog so I’m planning to do one very soon after Christmas. I think the Colette pattern book is a great one to learn to sew from, I hope you are enjoying it.


Amanda December 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm

H, just discovered your website through the colette Flickr group. I got the colette sewing handbook for Christmas and can’t wait to get sewing! I love your take on the Pastille dress, the fit looks perfect and lovely fabric choice. I’m really new to dressmaking and getting a good fit is the thing I think will be hardest to achieve!
Be great to see any of the other patterns you try out from the book.


Ami January 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Hi Amanda!
Thank you so much!
Fit is definitely the thing that took me the longest to master- I found myself over contouring everything to start with so that everything I made was fine as long as I was standing still but super uncomfortable otherwise!
‘The sewing book’ by Alison Smith is another great book for tips on getting a good fit. Hope you are enjoying the Colette one :o)
Ami recently posted…Just my cup of tea – Colette Sencha BlouseMy Profile


Jessica January 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

This is the most beautiful version of the Pastille I have seen so far! It looks great on you!
Jessica recently posted…too much excitementMy Profile


Ami January 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Thank you so much! I checked out your blog (great name!)- your little girl is so sweet, hope her arm heals fast!! xx
Ami recently posted…Just my cup of tea – Colette Sencha BlouseMy Profile


judy February 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

THis is the prettiest Pastille dress, I have seen.. Looks beautiful on you.
I found your blog at Iheartfabric blog.. so pretty..


amelialowden February 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Aw thank you Judy! Do you have a blog? I tried to click on your name as it looks like a link but it didn’t click through to anything?
amelialowden recently posted…Tutorial: French SeamsMy Profile


Shayne Jelavic February 23, 2013 at 3:09 am

So lovely, like all your projects! And the belt you made, covered in wool fabric – who would have thought it could look so professional? Do you know, after all my years of sewing I’ve always been too afraid to make a self-covered belt, thinking that it would look tacky and home made (not to mention, fiddly to make, I imagine). But you’ve inspired me to try! Here’s an idea – maybe you could do a tutorial on how to make a self-covered belt? I’m sure there are many out there already, but your photos are so wonderful and your text so clear and user-friendly, I’m sure it would be very appreciated!


Ami February 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Oooo that is a good idea! I love making these so make them all the time- next time I will remember to take lots of tutorial pics along the way! They are a little fiddly but not so bad as you might think!
Thanks for the suggestion :)
Ami recently posted…Tutorial: French SeamsMy Profile


Taryn February 27, 2013 at 6:00 am

Your dress is stunning! I have square shoulders as well and and thought I’d better stay away from this dress as a semi-beginner, but your version has really changed my mind! I just didn’t like how the sleeves sat on the model at all (in the book photo). They looked like little hat visors to me. I assume it was a simple adjustment? Thanks an I’m completely inspired by your posts!


Linda July 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Your version looks far nicer than the one in the book, I wouldn’t have looked twice at this pattern if I had not read your blog. Thank you!


Katalin August 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hi Ami,
I love the things you have made! The fit and your fabric choice is incredible!
Are you professionally trained? Did you say you studied at the London College of Fashion? Anyway, I aspire to have skills like yours… one day… perhaps. I have a very long way too go. I think I’m trying to run before I can walk, with some success. :-)
Take care!


Erin December 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

Wow Ami, this is such a gorgeous version. You make patterns look amazing!! I have this book but I have never really considered making this dress until now. So pretty as always and your fabric choices are amazing. Such talent!
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Anne May 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I’m considering making this dress, so looked at the reviews on PR. Yours is gorgeous – much better than the rather off-putting photograph in the book! You are so tiny, though. Size 0! I would have to do a size 12 grading to 14 at hips, depending on toile results, and lengthen torso as I am tall and the bulk of my extra height is above my hips. It won’t look nearly as good, mmm ….


Charla June 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

You look so adorable. I just purchased Colette’s book. I hope I will be able to make this dress one day! I love that color. You look like a doll. Just beautiful!!!!


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