The Colette Sewing Handbook: The Truffle and Licorice Dresses
And now… the final two patterns from The Colette Sewing Handbook.
Let’s start with the Truffle dress. First of all, let me just say that I am a huge fan of peplums. Perhaps it stems from my fascination with 1940s clothing as a teenager back in the 90s, when 40s rayon dresses seemed to be cheap and plentiful. Perhaps it’s that they are so dramatic, while at the same time capable of hiding certain areas of your figure. Or perhaps it’s just that they are so darn pretty.
This dress comes as part of the chapter on fabric which, I will confess to you now, is my favorite chapter in the whole book. I wanted to design something that could look wildly different depending on fabric choice, and I think this dress fits the bill.
In a lightweight silk dupioni, it’s a super fancy little cocktail dress. In a cotton lawn, it’s a beautiful casual summer dress. In a silk crepe, it’s lovely and work appropriate with a cardigan. You can choose a stiff fabric for a dramatic peplum, or a drapey fabric for a more subtle ruffle effect. Basically, this dress gives you an opportunity to really consider the qualities of your fabric as a design element.
My goal is to find the perfect rose printed silk for this one. Can’t you just see it in a classic retro floral?
And then there is the Licorice dress. Licorice is something of a capstone project for the book. It gives you a chance to use a variety of construction techniques you’ve learned throughout, and also to try out sewing a dress with a lining.
Licorice is just lovely. The full sleeves gathered with elastic at the cuffs are so pretty and flattering. I don’t know why, but their proportions just seem to make your waist look smaller somehow. The lack of waist seam makes this particularly forgiving for those of us without tiny waists (ahem). The collar is tucked at the shoulders, so that it pinches into a sort of draped effect, almost like a cowl.
So far, I have two Licorice dresses in my closet, both in beautiful silk crepes. By the way, if you guys are interested in seeing those, let me know and I’ll try to take some photos.
So that’s it for the five patterns included in The Colette Sewing Handbook! I hope you all have enjoyed the little previews.
Next up, I’m going to share a little video we took behind the scenes at the photoshoot for the book. I think it will show you how much fun we have at these things.
Some related posts you may be interested in:
- The Pastille dress: A preview of the beautiful and simple sheath dress included in the book.
- Taffy blouse and Meringue skirt: And a preview of the pretty blouse and skirt from the book.
- Announcing the Colette Sewing Handbook: In case you missed the initial announcement.
- How the Colette Sewing Handbook was hatched: The story of the book!
- Five ways to spread the word: I came up with a few ideas, if you’d like to help me out in telling other sewists about the book.