My Colette Hazel With Piping

Time to sew something for me!

I loved this stretchy stripe woven fabric and a touch of red was needed to make it pop. 

A detail of the piping, the dart I turned into gathers, and some loose threads!

There’s me being bossy with my child labor , photographers. I wish they had told me my bra straps were showing. Oh well, you get what you pay for! They did a great job. I love that angled photo Shelby took!

A big thank you to my two wonderful photographers!

Notes on sewing this pattern. 

I added the piping for a pop of red which I always love. I had applied the piping to the angled seams on the bodice, but it looked really strange, like a Supergirl costume or something, so I removed it. The piping also gives a nice stiffness to the edge of the bodice.

 According to my measurements I should barely fit into a 6.  I don’t like much added ease so I cut the 6. After basting  together the dress it was huge on me. By the time I took in all the seams it is probably more like a size 2/4 , so this pattern has a lot of added ease. BTW for new sewists, ease is extra space added to the pattern for comfort. I also shortened the straps which were about 4 inches too long for me.

Let’s just say those two little darts in the bodice pointing directly at my bust had me feeling a little self conscious. I decided to make little gathers in that spot instead of the darts.

I didn’t do a muslin as I never do, unless making a custom made pattern. The fact is, every fabric behaves differently and fits differently so a muslin may fit perfectly in one fabric and not fit the same in the final fabric you fit it in.  It’s also a waste of fabric and since I buy most of my fabrics in the garment district or flea markets for 3 dollars or less, it doesn’t really save me any money. But I might make one if I was using a thirty dollar a yard fabric!
Here is what I do instead:
I just make a one inch seam allowance instead of the usual 5/8 inch allowance included in. I mark the sewing line lightly so I know where it is. I have a dress form padded to fit my measurements and I baste together the bodice pieces first, and do my first fitting on my dress form. Then I try it on myself just to tweak the fit. The extra seam allowance I added allows for any adjustments that might be needed. With four kids, a job as a costumer, and several chickens, 3 dogs, and a home to care for, making muslins are a chore Im not interested in. I want to get straight to the fun stuff! After my first fitting, I pin and mark my new seam allowances, pull out the bastings and resew. If I think I may use the pattern again, and I will make this Hazel again, I adjust my pattern pieces.

One mistake I made was failing to add some length to the bodice when cutting it out. I feel this bodice could use about an extra inch of length and when I make this pattern again I will slash the bottom third of the pattern, as recommended by Sarai, and add the length there.I am planning on making it again from a vintage tablecloth so stay tuned!
Another big mistake I made was trimming my pocket seam allowance off because I had sewed them wrong sides together. I was too lazy to pick out the seam so I just cut it off. After spending a lot of time figuring out the pocket technique I realized they were too small to fit my hand in! So out came the seam ripper to remove them for good.

I used two tutorials from the Coletterie that helped me get past my hatred of invisible zippers and applying a facing to an invisible zippers. I have been sewing for more years than I care to say and have always been terrible at installing invisible zippers until I read this Colette Tutorial . Once I installed the zipper, this tutorial helped me figure out how to attach a facing to the zipper.These are such well written tutorials. If you are planning on making the Hazel, you have to check them out!

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  1. says

    I love the Hazel. I ordered it about two weeks ago and am waiting for it to arrive. I think intl post just takes its sweet time with these things. ANyway thanks for the tips on the zipper…Your dress looks great – i love the piping. You used just enough to really make an effect on the dress.

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Thanks so much! I look forward to seeing yours too!

  2. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says

    this dress came out lovely Justine! I have never used a Colette pattern, but have been tempted many times. Seeing as how you have done a few now, would you recommend them? And do you have any other women pattern designers that you think highly of? Thanks so much!

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      hi Jessica!
      I love Colette patterns because the fit is usually perfect for me. ( they are drafted for a larger bust) and I dont have to do an FBA. They are well written and the website is a great resource. I always learnsomething new there. There is a really fun community of other Colette groupies, em fans. It’ssort of like the grown up version of Oliver & S.
      It’s nice to just follow a pattern sometimes after all thecrazy drafting and pattern frankensteining on this play I have been working on. Some other indie designers which I haven’t tried but haveva lot of followers are Tasia from Sewaholic and Megan Nielson.

  3. Adventures in Dressmaking says

    So, so cute! And looks really easy to wear and fun for summer. Contrast piping is an awesome trim detail, it’s cool that the Collette patterns remind us to use it more!

  4. Mary says

    Love the piping Justine, and your use of gathers. It’s good for me to see this made up in various fabrics-I love the “ticking” you used. It has a Depression vibe (that is a good thing fashionwise)!

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Thank you Mary. I love ticking and anythingthat looks old like that!

  5. Crystal says

    Love the dress, and your dart turned into gathers is very nice detail.

  6. Sew Blessed Maw says

    I love it.. Adding the red piping was just beautiful.. And your photographers are beautiful too.

  7. says

    Really sweet version of Hazel. Well done, Justine!! Thanks for your detailed construction notes. They will help me a lot when I make my final version. I may even steal your bust gathers idea. And I’m so jealous of your piping skills.

  8. says

    This is so pretty! I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while now and now that I see it on you, I want to make it for sure! Beautiful!

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Thanks Beth? Hope to see your dress at Sew & Tell Saturday!

  9. Esz says

    Mega cute dress! Thank you for the justification on not making a muslin! I’ve only made about 2 muslins ever…one for the Suzy Patterns dress bodice and one for my coat which is still half done.
    To be honest, I could have probably got away without doing one for the coat too, but I was so petrified of cutting into my precious green mohair, which is the most I’ve ever paid for fabric! The sleeve is still a bit meh, but I’m hoping I can do what you’ve done and use my very generous seam allowances to figure out the fit.

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Hi Esz. I like to underline coats with real muslin. I use that as my muslin then cut my pattern from it and attach the two.

  10. Marie says

    Justine this is such a lovely dress! I adore the piping detail and I think your gathers around the bust instead of darts is an inspired idea! I’m actually about to cut my version of this dress out, but sadly I have to make a muslin. I have weird body proportions and whenever I don’t make a muslin I fail miserably! I wish I was as brave and as successful as you without one and I totally get why you don’t have time for muslins with such a busy schedule!

  11. Justine of SewCountryChick says

    Thanks Marie thoughI think I am more lazy than brave!