Colette Wren Dress

I’ve been sewing! After wearing myself out over the summer I didn’t make a single thing for 8 whole weeks. It was actually quite refreshing so when I was ready to go back to it, I jumped in with a great deal of enthusiasm. My return was actually prompted by 2 patterns; the release of Cashmerette’s Appleton wrap dress and the Colette Wren dress. My past successes with Colette patterns swayed me to start with that, so that’s what I have to show you today!

colette wren dress

My day job’s been pretty intense recently (I’m killing it like a damn boss) so it was about time I mixed up my workwear wardrobe. I think its actually pretty versatile as I wore it on the day that I went straight from work to drinks in town with Roisin, Elaine, Nuala and Elise. We went to Gin71 in Glasgow which I can do nothing but recommend for gin lovers young and old. It was lovely to have a good natter with some fellow sewing ladies and to meet Roisin who’s blog I’ve been following for a while. Seriously, I can’t get over this little section of the internet – everyone is so bloody nice!

I bought this grey ponte fabric from Gold Thimble in Glasgow and the quality really is lovely. It gives a fair bit of structure to the overall dress which was the look I was going for with this version, although I would really like to try the pattern with a more drapey knit too. Speaking of the pattern, lets point out a few things my amateur brain noted when putting it together.

  • I like how easy it is to cut and tape Colette PDF patterns. There’s clear grid lines to trim which makes life A LOT easier.
  • The instructions are very clear without being too hand-holdy which I really like at this stage because I’m pretty comfortable with sewing knits.
  • The skirt was WAY LONG. Like crazy long. I made version 2 with the gored skirt and (stupidly on my part) didn’t even notice the length of the skirt pieces. I swear it came down t my shins! I hacked off 7 inches and then hemmed to get a length I was comfortable with but I wish I had thought to shorten the pattern piece before I cut! The skirt would definitely look better with the intended shaping rather than me having to cut a massive chunk off the bottom. Le sigh.
  • The bodice is a bit of a funny one. I have only ever made 1 other wrap bodice but with this one there is a fair bit of excess fabric at the sides when it’s on. I thought I had maybe secured the wrap pieces in the wrong place but not according to the line drawings. I actually had to unpick this part because the first time I sewed the bodice to the skirt, I ended up with a very wonky waistline. It’s still not perfect by any means but I really don’t know how to fix it! The wrap is also quite gape-y (hence the black tank underneath) but it doesn’t really bother me too much as I hear this is a standard complaint of busty ladies.
  • I like how the instructions have you finish off the neckline seams before the bodice is constructed. I think I might try to do that with more garments as I definitely took a bit of time on this stage whereas usually I end up rushing it at the end to get the thing finished.

So lets have a look at some closer bits… Firstly, I really like the gathers at the shoulder seams but I might extend the basting stitches a bit further than suggested to spread them out a touch more, especially on a bulkier fabric like this.

colette wren dress shoulder gathers

I know I mentioned the bodice is a bit gape-y but I really like how wide the neck bands are.

colette wren dress wrap bodice

Also with my new-found enthusiasm I actually took the time to overlock all my seams.

colette wren dress finished seams

Even with that extra step, this took no more than 4 hours over 2 nights to put together which I’m really pleased with! Even though I’ve noted a couple of problems I had with the pattern I would still make it again (and I already have). It won’t take the place of my beloved Moneta, but it’s definitely a nice alternative when I fancy a bit of a change.


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