For my post this week I’ve partnered up with the lovely team over at Elephant in My Handbag for their ‘Monthly Make’ feature! As we’re getting well into September now it’s definitely time to start thinking about a bit of autumnal sewing – and what’s better than a cosy new dress? I chose to use the Colette Myrtle pattern as it can be made with snug jersey and takes only moments to whip up. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look! Here’s what you’ll need to have a go at this yourself:
- 1 x Colette Myrtle sewing pattern
- 2m of navy floral jersey fabric
- 1 x matching navy thread
- 1-2m of 1/4 inch elastic
- 1 x ballpoint sewing machine needle
This is the first time I’ve ever used a Colette sewing pattern – despite having owned their Sewing Handbook for a fair while now. I’m always eyeing up their patterns and thinking how lovely they look yet I’ve only just managed to get stuck into one! For a Colette newbie the Myrtle dress is a truly great place to start – the instructions are very clear and easy to read, with helpful diagrams of each step. I had no problem following it at all. It also looks super nice in it’s little booklet/envelope!
Before you use your pattern I definitely recommend prepping it properly. That means carefully taking your measurements and selecting your size, cutting out the pattern pieces neatly, giving them a good iron to ensure they hold flat and then using lots of pins to hold them in place on your fabric. I actually pre-washed my jersey fabric before using it too which is something I very rarely do! I must practise that more often…
Once all your fabric is cut out you’re then ready to start composing! The bodice on this dress is really quite genius – it has a lovely, draped cowl neckline at the front and a high neckline at the back with the option of adding shoulder tabs. I like the way that it’s super drapey and super comfortable, but I also love how the bodice is self-lined. Seriously, you just cut one massive piece which is folded over in half then, ta-dah!
Next up is the floaty skirt, elasticised waist and pockets. POCKETS! I have literally never sewn pockets before and I have no idea why – this pattern makes them sew up like a dream. The skirt itself is made up of two back pieces, a front piece and four pocket pieces. To make the pockets you simply attach one piece to each side of the front/back skirt. These get laid on top of each other, right sides together, and you just stitch all the way up the side seam, around the pocket edge and up towards to waist line. All in one fell swoop. And suddenly you have actual working pockets! I was very impressed with it. The elastic waist band isn’t even that hard either – I was a little concerned about it to start with but it turned out really well. As long as you follow the instructions word for word you’ll find it a doddle too.
So here we are, my finished Colette Myrtle dress with cosy thick jersey from Elephant in My Handbag! What do you think? Before I leave you with my final, finished photos I thought I’d give you the heads up about adjustments – despite taking my measurements and cutting the size that matched, I found this dress to be very much inclined towards slightly ‘bustier’ girls… the cowl neck is quite wide for my petite top half and, unless I wear a cami top underneath, I do worry that it’s going to be slipping and sliding off my shoulders! I think if I was to make this dress again I’d take out a good couple of inches from the width of both the back and front bodice. I also had to chop off about 5 inches from the length… but that’s a problem I have with all clothes!
If you fancy an alternative pattern without the drapey neckline, why not try the Tilly and the Buttons Francoise dress? I made one previously out of twill cotton but I reckon a thick, double knit jersey would work just as well. Especially for the sleeveless version. Have a go!
PS – one more thing! Want 10% off at Elephant in My Handbag? As a ‘thank you for reading’ and a ‘well done for getting to the end of this post’, use the code ‘Sensation’ at the checkout on the website. The code’s valid for first orders only but it means you can buy this jersey for just £8.55 a metre!