adult's clothing · sewing

winterised Colette Myrtle

I have a confession.  I am not a huge fan of Colette’s women’s patterns.  Not because I don’t think that the styles are gorgeous and the instructions are excellent – because they are both of those things – but because they generally just aren’t MY style.  But it seems that I have to make a massive exception for the patterns designed for knits.  I have made a number of Mabel skirts now, really like my Moneta dress, and now I have to add the Myrtle dress to the list of Colette patterns that I really, really like!

Colette Myrtle dress

As with both the Mabel and Moneta, I wasn’t all that excited by the Myrtle when I first spotted the pattern, but it grew on me. A sleeper pattern, maybe! And there wasn’t much to be lost by giving it a try with some boldly printed knit from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. So I gave it a go. I decided to cut size Large, based on my measurements and on prior experience with Colette patterns. I didn’t make any alterations. This style is designed with positive ease, mainly being brought closer to the body by the elastic around the waistline.

Colette Myrtle dress

Hang on a minute, I did make one alteration – when I cut the back bodice piece I moved it in about 3/4″ at the upper edge, effectively removing an inch and a half from the centre of the back neckline. This was a good move – it sits nicely against my body around the back. I left out the inseam pockets too – I don’t tend to use them in knit dresses, as I find that they just weigh things down. This left just four pattern pieces – front skirt, back skirt (which is meant to be cut as two pieces with a centre back seam, but I forgot to do that and cut it on the fold instead), back bodice and self-lined front bodice.

Colette Myrtle dress

The bodice is very nicely constructed. The back bodice neckline and armholes are turned to the inside and finished with the twin needle, then the shoulder seams and side seams are sewn with the back sandwiched between the front and front self-lining. Then you stitch the front armholes together, turn it all the right way out and voila! The front neckline drapes beautifully with no chance ever to flip out, the armholes are smoothly finished, and you have an extra layer smoothing over any lumps and bumps at the front. And all the bodice seams are completely enclosed inside between the front and front lining. Fantastic! The casing around the waistline for the elastic is also nicely done, with the elastic being fully enclosed. I could have made the elastic a little tighter, and might go back and adjust it. But I might not.

Colette Myrtle dress

This is the longer version of the dress, and the waistline is lower on me than on the model and the pattern illustration. This is possibly a combination of me being short-waisted and the elastic being a little on the loose side, so be aware of that if you want to make this dress. I quite like it in this location, but may petite the bodice a little the next time that I make it. Now, as you know it is winter here, and this is actually a sleeveless summer dress. But with the addition of stockings, boots and a long-sleeved tee underneath, it winterises very well! I actually wore it with another layer over the top. I’m rather impressed at how well this bold, extremely large-scale print fits in with the rest of my wardrobe (and yes, I have more….)

Colette Myrtle dress

Next time that I make this  I might give the size Medium a try.  However, that would require reprinting and retaping the pattern.  Actually, my biggest gripe with the Colette pdf patterns that I have made has been that the pattern pieces could be SO much better arranged for printing.  The page margins are huge, so they take massive numbers of pages, and the larger sizes are grouped alongside the smaller ones on what ends up to be a massive pattern sheet.  It’s hard to work out which pages you do need to print for your size and which you don’t.  I think that I had to discard about half the pages I’d printed!  Pdf patterns don’t just have to be a tiled version of one huge pattern sheet – there are a number of pattern designers who have realised this and arrange pattern pieces so that they fit efficiently on to a smaller number of pages, where you only need to print the pages of the pattern pieces that you need for the size and variation that you want to make.  In my opinion, Colette patterns needs to improve in this area (but they’re not the only ones)!  Okay, rant over.



14 thoughts on “winterised Colette Myrtle

  1. Wow, I really like your version. I’ve been umming and ahhing about this pattern but I might have to get it!
    Did you make the drapey blue cardigan? Can I grab the pattern number if you did, I’ve been looking for one just like it!

  2. Best looking Myrtle I have seen so far! You find the BEST fabric on that Darn Cheap bargain table!! I had a similar experience with Angela Wolf’s pdf jeans pattern (every single tiny piece ran across page breaks) and wrote to her directly – she responded really quickly and is going to rework the pdf shortly. On the flip side I had a great experience with the Cappucino dress which was organised in such a way that you only had to put pieces together pattern piece by pattern piece – fabulous for smaller work spaces!

  3. Totally agree about the PDF patterns & paper wastage. I find I’m avoiding the PDF option for complicated patterns, just too annoying & inaccurate. However it is worth noting that Style Arc did a sensational job with the recent freebie pants pattern. I’m hoping their freebie tshirt is similar.

    Love your dress.

  4. Oh look at you! Gorgeous! I love those colours on you. Nice with the jacket too. I have to concur on Colette patterns in general. I love them on others. No one can dispute that they are super cute, but they just aren’t my style. I bought the book on sewing with knits a while back and to get free postage it was worth my while buying a pattern. Still haven’t used it, probably won’t so I should actually give it away- moneta anyone? I do like the knit styles more than the others, but mostly I already have these self drafted pattern blocks already in my stash that are easy enough to modify to any style I want, so I just can’t see the point in muddling around with a new fit.

  5. I am fascinated by your posts. I am not a fan of this fabric on you – it was hard to take in the style of the pattern and it seems to overwhelm you. Wearing the drapey blue cardigan over it transforms the look for me to one that I like much better. Not being a seamtress, I love how you have matched the fabric’s design between the bodice and skirt, very nice. I love your work! And, appreciate your ability and interest in sharing it on your blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s