Pattern Club Review – Colette Myrtle Dress

Blog / 7 November 2014

How exciting! The g&g gals and I had our first Pattern Club meeting this week and in true geeky club style we were all really excited to share our makes with each other and have a good old blether about how we got on.

We have three lovely patterns to chat you about following our inaugural meeting, but I think its best to take one at a time.

My make was the Colette Myrtle Dress - seen here with my Peacock Eyes Cardy - which I'm wearing all the time these days! 

Lets get the vital statistics out the way first.
The pattern comes with 2 versions – one with an above knee and one with a below knee hemline and one with adjustable button-on shoulder tabs.
It's size range is XS (US 0-2) up to 3XL (US24-26) – I made the XS. The pattern costs £13.50 (you can find it in the shop in this link). 

We have all used the same format of questions to review the pattern and I think it will be most useful to tell you gals about it in this way too.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to know about the pattern you can skip straight to that section. If we have missed anything off that you would like to know about – just leave me a comment and I’ll fill you in.

How would you describe the style of the garment?
The design and cut of the dress means you get a lot of drape and movement so would be lovely dressed up with high heels or dressed down and layered up with a vest, long sleeved top or cardigan and thick winter tights.

What type of figure or body shape is it suitable for?
I think it would suit fuller busted woven more – I’ll talk more about my fitting issues later but if you have a larger cup size that a C, I think it would look good. As it is elasticised at the waist and therefore pulls in there, the waistband area will help to give definition and show off curves.

What type of fabric is suitable?
Lightweight jersey and light weight woven fabrics such as rayon’s, viscose, lightweight lawns, floaty silks.

What fabric did you choose and why?
I choose this merlot coloured lightweight wool jersey for warmth and for its drape and movement. 

I’m really sorry but this fabric was so popular and sold out really quickly. When I tried to get more, the supplier was out as well - boo!

We have 3 other beautiful colours though, which are all the same type of lightweight wool jersey. From left to right a dark gold, mustard, and nutmeg colour. What a lovely Autumnal palatte. Any of our light weight jerseys would also be suitable, see them all in this link

How easy was it to trace the pattern?
The front bodice section is quite large so need a big space to trace, otherwise pretty easy, only 4 pieces or 5 including the pocket bag. The size lines are easy to follow too as every size line has a different characteristic.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Did the difficulty level on the pattern match what you think it should be?
The pattern is labelled as suitable for beginners but if you haven’t worked with jersey before I would say don’t try this pattern first. The Colette Moneta would be better. As with all Colette Patterns, the instructions are easy to follow with lots of diagrams, it’s just fiddly to actually do some of the steps. I found sewing the shoulder seams a bit tricky as the fabric kept curling and slipping out. I should have been patient and maybe hand tacked it first – but hey-ho, patience is still on the to-do list!

Where the illustrations/pictures easy to interpret?
Yes, every step showed clearly

What challenges or difficulties did you find when putting it together?
Combining the front bodice and back bodice at the shoulder seams was pretty tricky. I tried to do the whole thing on the over locker and it was really hard to control, I think it would be easier with a regular machine.
You have to sandwich the back bodice in between the outer and lining front bodice when sewing the shoulder seams together and it’s hard to keep the back bodice in place.
It took a while to work out how the waist band works too so you might have to play around with that a bit – it’s not too bad though.
I found hemming the back neckline and armholes was tricky as I used a 4.5 mm double needle, I think it would be easier with a narrower 2.5mm one.

What tips would you recommend to make construction easier?
Use a regular sewing machine with a narrow zigzag for sewing the shoulder seams.
Don’t clip your notches into the seam allowance as it is narrow than a normal 1.5cm one that I’m more used to. It meant that I ended up with little holes in the seams that I then had to go back over. Urgh!

How did you find the fit? Was it true to size?
I found the fit to be very loose around the bodice and neckline. It is very plunging on me and quite low under the arms too. I have worn it to an evening dinner on its own but I had a few close call moments or bra-idge showing. I think it works better for me layered on top of a vest top or I might try it with a long sleeved top too when it starts getting really cold.

I found the back neckline quite loose and baggy too which has ended up just looking like it drapes there too. If I was doing it again I think I would use some seam tape interfacing along the back neckline to help with this a bit. Maybe the whole thing just got stretched as I did the stitching.

I also wish that I had made the elastic around the waist a bit more taught.

What adjustments did you make?
I left out the pockets, as the fabric was so fine and lightweight, I thought if I had pockets and put stuff in them (like my phone), it would drag and pull on the dress and fabric too much.

Is there anything you would change if making it again?
I would use the seam tape interfacing to reinforce the back neckline and armholes.
I would also use a bigger seam allowance on the side seams and possibly lift the shoulder seams up a bit to try and make it more fitted.

What advice would you give when choosing a size?
Don’t round up to the next size if you are on the edge of a size range. I think it comes up quite big.

Are you happy with the finished garment?
Yes but wish the back neckline was neater.

How long did it take to make?

3 hours approx

How much fabric did you use? Did this match up with what was recommended on the pattern?

For my size and for version 2 that pattern recommends 2.25 yards (just over 2m) I cut 1.7m from the bolt and when I pre-washed it shrank to 1.5m – I think it must be the wool content making it shrink so much. It was a real tight squeeze to fit it all in though – would recommend more than this for sure!

I hope you find this useful when making your own one. If you think I've missed anything, just let me know in the comments section. Or have you made the dress and found similar or dissimilar things?