Tag Archives: colette

Seamwork Aurora Top

The June issue of Seamwork Mag is all about knits. I love knits! There are two cute patterns in this issue – Mesa a simple shift and Aurora – a swingy tank. With the hot weather I need more sleeveless tops, so I went scrounging for some fabric in my stash.

I had a bit of black and white polka dot jersey left from my Coco top. It was just enough to cut out the front and back pieces. I didn’t have enough to cut the yoke, but I think that would have looked weird anyway. I didn’t have any white knit but I did have a promotional IcelandAir t-shirt! Cheap t-shirts are cut so off grain thatI had to do some fussing but I managed to get my pieces cut out of the white shirt. Recycling for the win!


I cut the 1X size and made no modifications to the pattern. I was a little concerned that the straps were going to be too narrow based on the model photo, but this is well drafted to be proportional to the overall size. I’m glad I didn’t have to redraft that to make it cover my bra straps!

This is a very quick and easy top that is cleverly constructed. The yoke is doubled to be self lined and the armholes and neckline of the main piece are hemmed before attaching to the yoke. I did end up using my sewing machine, serger and coverstitch machine, but thankfully they were almost all threaded with the right color thread to begin with!

The pattern instructs you to top stitch the yoke after attaching the main pieces. I’ve held off on this for now. I’m not sure what color thread I want to use or if I want to do it at all. I might end up doing it on my coverstitch machine so it matches up with my armhole and neckline hemming.


The one issue I had with this pattern is the bar tacking. After attaching the yoke to the body you are supposed to bar tack the seam allowance down. I understand that this strengthens your seams, which is needed because of the serging and keeps them from poking out, but it also stretched out my fabric and distorted my armscyes. This is more obvious on the back of the shirt. I think on future versions I will do this by hand.

I’m not sure this is the most flattering top I’ve ever made, but it sure is comfortable. I like that the yoke is wide enough to cover my bra straps and that the fit and flare silhouette skims over my problem area.  I could see making another one in a solid color.

I made those shorts too, but that’s for a future update.

Double Vision: Southport & Adelaide

The latest issue of Seamwork Mag from Colette came out yesterday and I immediately went to check out the patterns. In this issue you get a dress pattern and an odd cropped top/jacket. The Adelaide dress is pretty cute and I was about to buy it when I realized how much it looks like the True Bias Southport dress I bought recently.

Seamwork AdelaideTrue Bias Southport
Seamwork Adelaide (left) & True Bias Southport (right)


I realize they are not exactly the same, but when you look at the technical drawings you can see the the bodices are nearly identical. They differ on the skirts and how the waist is pulled in. On Adelaide it’s a combination of back darts and a tie belt. Southport uses a drawstring.  Lastly, the snaps on Adelaide run the whole front,  while Southport just has buttons on the bodice. But it would be easy enough to hack one into the other!

Since I already bought Southport, I’m going to make that up. I have the perfect fabric to make the maxi version! However my next one might be an Adelaide hack since I already bought the snaps!

Patterns that Fit & Flatter

I thought it was great when Colette Patterns announced they were adding sizes up to 3X in their new knitwear line, but now that I’ve seen the patterns I’m not so sure.  There’s a difference between patterns that fit larger sizes and patterns that flatter large sizes and you can see the difference in the 2 patterns Colette released.

mabelThe Moneta dress has a simple fitted bodice and a full skirt. From the models used by Colette to the ladies in the Curvy Sewing Collective – it’s looked good on everyone. This is a flattering pattern and one I plan to make.

The Mabel skirt is a pattern that fits but doesn’t flatter anyone with a tummy…including me!  This pattern is designed with negative ease – that means it’s actually smaller than your measurements and stretches over your body.

What does that mean? All of your bumps get accentuated.  On dress like Moneta – its accentuating your breasts which is a nice thing for many women. But I don’t know many women who really want to highlight their belly pooch.

Colette used a standard size model and a plus size model for their shoots of this pattern – which is fantastic because you can see how it works on a curvier figure.  Unfortunately despite the plus model being totally gorgeous, that pink skirt looks terrible on her.  When a garment looks bad on the model, what hope does a normal person have?

So while I have already purchased fabric to make Moneta, I’ll be skipping Mabel.  I hope in future patterns, Colette takes into consideration we want our clothes to fit and flatter us. There’s nothing worse than spending all the time and money to sew a garment to realize it just looks bad on you.

Wardrobe Architect – Week 1

Colette Patterns launched a new interactive series called Wardrobe Architect. Its a weekly series designed to help you build your personal style and sew or buy clothes for a wardrobe that works for you. The was a timely series for me as I’ve realized I have several styles depending on the purpose but I’d like to unify my style so I can minimize my clothing.

Here are my answers to the first week’s worksheet.

How has your personal history informed the way you dress? When did your tastes crystallize? Have they changed over the years, and why? 

I think my tastes are just truly defining themselves now.  I think I’ve always been stylish but from one day to the next it was a totally different look.  I think my travels will be most defining in determining my style.

How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected? 

I tend to dress to make myself happy and not be too concerned about what other people think. So sometimes I buy horizontal stripes when someone hates it on me.  Additionally I’m coming to believe in slow fashion and I’m trying to avoid buying cheap, trendy clothing in favor of better made classics.

How has your cultural background shaped the way you look? How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older? 

I wouldn’t say my cultural background has much to do it but I think I am definitely influenced by my mother’s mode of dressing.  She will always tell you she has a classic style which is why she won’t get rid of clothes she’s had for 20 years.


How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in?

Since moving to Portland I’ve become more enamored with vintage clothing and style.  My friends here also tend to wear more dresses and skirts which has certainly inspired me to wear less jeans.

How do your day to day activities influence your choices? 

Living in a city means I do tons of walking. I also do a fair amount of outdoors stuff like hiking and exploring.

Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in? 

Portland certainly has its own dress code.   I stared wearing my glasses a lot more since I moved here and I rarely ever touch my crazy high heel collection. The rain also factors in as during half of the year it can downpour at any time so you at least need to be wearing proper shoes (usually boots) and have a rain jacket with you.

In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body? 

I am full busted and apple shaped so the clothing that makes me feel good those that draw attention away from my tummy but are still fitted.  I am uncomfortable in very loose or tent-like garments.

The Wardrobe Architect