Colette Peony

My first attempt at the Colette Peony ended up in the scrap fabric box. The darts were so wrong for me in so many ways that I was left with a bunch of extra fabric in the middle of my chest. I can’t even describe how awful it looked. I would put it back on and take a picture so you could see, but I really don’t want to relive that experience. It was only my second sewing project and I had never even heard the word “muslin” before. I was super bummed, because it looked so cute on the model and I really wanted one for myself. I was even more disappointed when one of my sewing friends made one and it fit her perfectly. I don’t accept failure easily, so I decided to sign up for an advanced sewing class at my local fabric shop, 5/8th Seams, that focuses on fit and pattern alterations. Glad I didn’t give up, because look at what I ended up with! A beautiful Peony!

Colette Peony

We of course started with a muslin so the instructor could see all the issues I was having with the fit of the bodice. From there we cut the bodice down to a 0 and graded out to a 4 at the waist. I looked like I was being choked so we took a ½ or so off the front center neckline. The darts took a couple of tries to get perfect, but in the end we got it.

Colette Peony 2

As you all know from my Colette Laurel post, I love this neckline!!! I think I’m going to make a blouse this weekend and use this neckline for it. I just can’t get enough of it!

The voile fabric I chose was on the sheer side, so she taught me how to line the dress. The lining finishes the neckline and the sleeves. She also had me put some interfacing along the neckline of the lining.

The voile fabric is by Anna Maria Horner and is called Turn of Events in Indigo. You can find it at Hawthorne Threads, but they only have 1 1/8 yard left and it’s on sale. I purchased mine from 5/8th Seams, but this fabric was popular and has been long gone. This is one of my favorite voiles. I had some left over from this project so I used it to make a simple skirt with a black knit waistband. I’ll have to share this skirt with you too. It’s so comfortable!

Colette Peony 4

This is a great work dress for me. I can throw a cardigan on with it and the sleeves aren’t too bulky underneath. It’s so cold where I work that being able to wear a cardigan with something I’ve made is a major plus. I will often make my dresses sleeveless, because I know I will get more use out of it if I can wear it to work with a cardigan.

Colette Peony 3

Piper thought it was super exciting to explore this hidden little alley.


  1. I absolutely LOVE this dress, which fits you perfectly. I didn’t even finish reading the post before I started shopping for that wonderful fabric and pattern. I am sorry to say that the fabric is not available anywhere in that colorway, so I shall have to use my imagination, and select a different one. You are lucky to have a local fabric store that sells quality fabrics, and offers sewing classes. I am a beginning seamstress, having made only 4 things so far, and live in San Diego. I am sorry to say that we do not have any good fabric stores, and I must do my shopping on line.

    • Thanks! I’m sorry you can’t find the fabric anywhere. You could get the last 1 1/8 yard at Hawthorne Threads and make a skirt with it. I can’t believe San Diego doesn’t have any places to take classes. Maybe you could check out some of the online classes on craftsy. Have you ever checked out the LA fabric district? I have read a few blog posts on the good places to go there. I am going to LA in November and I plan on checking it out!

  2. So many people seem to have had issues with the Peony dress that I’ve not tried to make it yet! Yours looks really great though and I’m so happy to hear it is possible to overcome the fitting nightmare… I think I’m definitely going to wait until I’m in a “I need a challenge” sort of mood! 😉

  3. I should send you details on the patterns I am going to make so YOU can pick the fabric for me. You really have an eye for picking fabric. Love this dress, again, beautiful job on this.

  4. I can’t tell you how many fitting issues I had with Peony as well… so much gaping at the neck, both front and back! In the end I fudged it and did something weird to fix it, so I’m sure your class was a MUCH better idea, cause now you actually know how to do it properly LOL. It is such a great work dress isn’t it? I wear mine a lot in the fall, with tights and boots 🙂

    • I don’t think I could have fixed my fit issues without help even now that I have more sewing experience. Mine was doing some crazy things too! Glad you got yours to work. It’s a great fall and spring dress!

  5. So I was lurking the Colette Flickr page again and was totally amazed by this dress. Then I saw it was yours! Of course it was yours 🙂

    I wish there were sewing classes here in my part of VA….I actually drove to Raleigh to take one! Beautiful dress, you should be proud.

    • You could have probably made a good guess that it was mine based on the floral fabric even before you saw my face, haha!

      I remember reading your post about driving to Raleigh. That’s a bummer you have to drive so far! Have you tried any craftsy classes?

      • I love craftsy classes…that’s where I learned to knit! And make an a-line skirt. Luckily I have family in Raleigh I could crash with and friends I could visit. So it was a sewing trip/mini vacay all rolled up in one. I just got a floral chiffon for the Colette Zinnia skirt…I bet you would like it!

  6. Beautiful! I had the same experience with my first two muslins of the Peony dress almost two years ago, and haven’t gone back to it since! But your dress is inspiring me to do so. This is one of my favorite fabrics too – I made a top out of it a couple years ago, but wish I’d had the foresight to buy enough for a dress!

    • Thanks! It makes me feel a little better to hear other people had fitting issues too and it’s not just me! I have some more of this fabric that I also plan on using for a top. I’m not sure what pattern to use yet!

  7. Beautiful! I think you’ve perfected the fit! I still have some issues with fitting Colette patterns, maybe next spring I’ll tackle those..

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s