Friday, 20 September 2013

Oh Peony.

Oh Peony, where do I begin? You're supposed to be a beginner pattern but you're causing me a headache. Your darts are in the wrong place, I'm not sure about the sleeves either and what is going on with your neckline?

As you can tell I've started my struggle with the Colette Peony dress pattern. Luckily I did do a bit of research before embarking on this adventure and nearly everyone said do a mock-or three (I've done two so far). In the process I did find some fab sewing blogs and saw some brilliant finishes so I'm still hopeful that I will end up with a dress that I can wear, but we'll see.

The first mock-up

  So the first mock-up revealed that the neckline was far too high, it was choking me so that had to be lowered (its already lowered in the pics).Also the bodice is too wide, the shoulders are way off as the picture tells. Good job I've been reading Gertie's book for better sewing for adjusting patterns. The bust darts didn't cause me as much trouble as they have for some people, but I did move the bottom front darts a centimetre towards the sides as they were too close together. 

The second mock-up

The second mock-up looks  better, but I suspect the neckline needs more attention. It's doesn't look quite so crinkled when I'm not lifting my arms, but still ... I aslo think I will have to move the back darts back towards the centre as they are a bit pointy at the moment. I added the skirt to the bodice and it looks as if the waist needs to go half an inch higher and sway back adjustment is in the cards as well. And I'm still undecided on the sleeves. I always, always wear cardigans so leaving it sleeveless might be a sensible option (and easier!)

Re-hashed pattern pieces

I'm still not sure if I should go ahead and cut my real fabric or just continue with the mock-ups til kingdom come. I've read some people have done 5 mock-ups for their Peonys, I'm not sure I have the patience for that.  I'm thinking I could do the sway back adjustment maybe without a new mock-up, right?  Any advice dear readers? Over&out for now.


  1. Hi Essie
    I don't know if you know this, but dress patterns are still styled to a "C" cup. Too many of us are D cups and bigger, so when we take our measurements, we go by bust, waist and hip and choose our pattern accordingly.
    What this means is you end up with baggy necklines. I found this out the hard way. I hadn't made a dress for about 20 years when I decided I would and I was not happy with the result, but I thought about it and realised that the measurement of my underarm was a size smaller than around the boobs. When I cut the pattern out, taking this measurement into account, it made a beautiful difference. It is amazing how a little does seem to go a long way.

    1. Thanks for the advice Robyn. I will have to keep that in mind when I'm cutting my next pattern, it makes a lot of sense.