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Introducing Phoebe: The Versatile Sheath Dress

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Back in 2009, when Colette Patterns was founded, vintage inspired frocks were our bread and butter. Over the years our brand has evolved, and adopted a more modern style. Though patterns like Laurel and Mabel are some of our most popular items, we have been itching to revisit our vintage roots. We set out to create something that was rooted in the past, but could be easily modernized. And thus, Phoebe was born.

We’re so excited to introduce Phoebe, a versatile sheath dress. This pattern is already clearly a team favorite, as we are all sewing up our own versions at the moment!

Phoebe is a modern a-line sheath dress that recalls a vintage-inspired fit reminiscent of the 1960s. The princess seams on the bodice make Phoebe incredibly easy to customize to your figure. Phoebe has two versions, both featuring a fully-lined bodice and finished with a centered coil zipper. Angled waist darts create a flattering shape that is echoed by the lightly flared skirt.

The classic fit of this pinafore works especially well with layers, and can be worn in any season. Like some of our most favorite designs, this dress is extremely versatile in its simplicity, so have fun with styling!

Version 1

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Phoebe comes with two bodice options, and both are lined. Version 1’s double breasted bodice is perfect for showing off your favorite buttons.

This version is sewn up in lovely boiled wool from Dragonfly Fabrics. Keep reading for a chance to win fabric from their shop!

Version 2

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Version 2’s clean, classic bodice makes a dress perfect for layering. This version is sewn up in a beautiful velveteen, from Silk Road Textiles. Silk Road Textiles also supplied the vibrant orange velveteen on version 1 at the top of this post.

Fabric Suggestions

Phoebe works with a wide variety of medium weight wovens.

Outer Shell: Medium weight wovens

  • Twill
  • Wool flannel
  • Gabardine
  • Corduroy
  • Velvet
  • Velveteen
  • Wool crepe
  • Denim
  • Silk dupioni

Lining:

  • Light weight cottons
  • Acetate
  • Rayon
  • Silk

Features and Skills

Print

Learn These Skills

  • How to sew darts
  • Install buttonholes
  • How to line a bodice
  • Sew a centered zipper
  • Use understitching for a clean finish
  • Try finishing your seams using a Hong Kong finish

Discounts and a Contest

Phoebe is 15% off through December 23rd, which is when we will be taking a short holiday break.

Leave a comment sharing how you will wear Phoebe for a chance to win a prize! One lucky winner will get a copy of Phoebe, and a second lucky winner will receive a £25 gift certificate to Dragonfly Fabrics, who supplied the gorgeous gray boiled wool pictured above. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Friday.
buy-phoebe

Find Phoebe Locally

The following stores across the world have ordered Phoebe:

United States

Cool Cottons (OR)
Finch Sewing Studio (VA)
The Needle Shop (IL)
Pintuck & Purl (NH)
Bernina of Oklahoma City (OK)
Fancy Tiger (CO)
Modern Domestic (OR)
Handcraft Workshop (PA)
Fabric Temptations CA
Silk Road Textiles (OH)
Crafty Planet (MN)
Bolt (OR)
Pattern Review
Modern Textiles (ND)
Thread (AL)
Brooklyn General Store (NY)
Picking Daisies (CA)
Stitch House (MA)
Altman’s Needle & Fiber Arts (NY)
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply (ME)
Mulberry Silks (NC)
Hawthorne Threads
Grey’s Fabric And Notions (MA)
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics (CA)
The Cloth Pocket (TX)

Canada

Effiloche (QC)
Fabrics Etc (BC)
Spool Of Thread (BC)

UK & Europe

Cambridge Sewing (GB)
Dragonfly fabrics (GB)
Trixie Lixie (GB)
Sewbox(GB)
Guthrie & Ghani (GB
Fabric Godmother (GB)
Backstitch (GB)
M is For Make (GB)
Naaipatronen.nl (NL)
Brin de Cousette (FR)
fagert.se (SE)
Metermeter (DK)

Australia and New Zealand

Stitch 56 (AU)
Indie Stitches (AU)
The Drapery (AU)
Sew Indie NZ (NZ)
Pattern Postie (NZ)

Haley Glenn

Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments

Denise

December 9, 2015 #

I would like to make a wool or corduroy Phoebe to wear over a turtleneck and tights.

daiyami

December 9, 2015 #

Boots and a big colorful scarf for the office! I get pretty warm, so am often sleeveless in the winter.

Mc Gonzalez

December 9, 2015 #

Id wear it with a big, proud smile !

Linkbeak

December 9, 2015 #

I learned to see as a child in the 60’s and this totally takes me back to one of my first creations, an olive green corduroy jumper lined with red calico. I think I will re-create that look, but maybe lined with something more sophisticated than calico. Looks like a fun pattern to make and wear.

Amber

December 9, 2015 #

I have this rad cotton plaid twill in my stash that I am itching to make version one out of! It is green, orange and white and will look great with a cute cardigan and tights. It will totally be a vintage inspired piece.

Kasey

December 9, 2015 #

I’d wear this layered with a long-sleeve shirt, thick tights, and boots. Matter of fact, wish I were wearing it right now! Love the rust-colored velveteen…

Worsted Skeins

December 9, 2015 #

The beautifully named Phoebe needs to be adorned with a bird brooch–A Phoebe for the Phoebe?

Lynn

December 9, 2015 #

I’d wear Phoebe with tights and my Blundstone boots! I’d love to make a double-breasted version!

Michele

December 9, 2015 #

I love the double breasted version in wool. As a well-endowed gal, I might modify the neck to be lower and square, so in a wool or tweed it’d be like a faux jumper.

Suzy

December 9, 2015 #

Nice pattern! I noticed side bust darts on one of the examples, but they are not in the technical drawing. Are they included in the pattern or is this an adjustment?

Erin

December 9, 2015 #

Nice pick-up Suzy! After reading your comment, I went back over the photos and am now also curious about if the bust dart is drafted or a fit adjustment?
I think it is probably an adjustment. I wear a 32H and (in addition to performing a FBA) I usually need to add/adjust bust darts on sleeveless dresses so that they do not gape at the armhole.
In my experience, when drafting for over an F cup it can be tricky to move the bust dart completely into the mid-clavicular line (as in the Phoebe Bodice) and still preserve the intended grainline of the seam/pattern piece. I learnt this the hard way when a self-drafted (but not toile tested) bodice kept pulling and twisting in all the wrong places!

suzy

December 9, 2015 #

i’ve learned so many sewing lessons the hard way. :-) and yet i still try to avoid making muslins.

Erin f

December 9, 2015 #

Would totally make this my art studio uniform. I love feeling cute while i work and this would surely do the trick ?

Erin

December 9, 2015 #

Thankyou Colette Team! The Phoebe dress is a true trans seasonal (and trans event) wardrobe staple.
Version 2 in black silk shantung is my ultimate Little Black Dress. I’d wear it to the office with red mary-janes and a chunky wooden necklace, or throw on a leather jacket and some ankle boots to head out to a bar, or pair it with some killer stilettos and a string or two of pearls for a Cocktail event – Oh, the possibilities!
Version 1 is the perfect project to use some green/brown/taupe herringbone weave Italian wool tartan I fell in love with at Clegs (Melbourne) last winter – I knew I’d bought it for a reason! I’ll wear this layered with an ivory button up shirt and knee-high boots as my go-to smart casual outfit in the cooler months.

Hansi

December 9, 2015 #

I think the best place to wear Phoebe would be in a tweed bicycle ride: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-19799632
I’d wear it with tights, long wool socks, and a nubby blazer. And bright plum lipstick and silver hairclips.

Hansi

December 9, 2015 #

And would definitely make it in a wool tweed, possibly in a teal or sapphire color.

Barbara

December 9, 2015 #

I would wear my navy corduroy Phoebe with my mustard tights with a chunky necklace and flats…and, of course, a smile.

jennifer

December 9, 2015 #

I would sew up phoebe in a color velvet — maybe a rich forest green – or even a lightweight wool — for some reason I am thinking fuchsia. I would wear it in winter with a black turtleneck and opaque black tights and accessorize it with boots and some earrings. Perfect for work/school but also could work for an evening out.

Katie

December 10, 2015 #

I’d wear version 1 in black needlecord, with a black & white 3/4 sleeve t-shirt under!

Ryann

December 10, 2015 #

I’d love to make a velvet version in a rich color for party wear – plus a wool version to layer for work wear!

Francesca a

December 10, 2015 #

Love! I’d make the unbuttoned version in linen for summer work wear, and right now, I can see it in one of my jewel toned wool crepes from the sadly missed afashionablestitch shop – or even some lovely suiting from my stash – with a fine knit 3/4 sleeve sweater underneath….

Johanna

December 10, 2015 #

I really like this pattern. I think I would like to make it in version one with buttons. I think it would look good either in light grey woolen fabric or in black velvet with silver metallic buttons. Can’t wait to start sewing this project and try out new techniques ?

Lorna

December 10, 2015 #

I’ll wear it as a dress! ;) With some awesome fall boots.

Nisse

December 10, 2015 #

Wow, this is a really nice dress!
I do knit a lot of sweaters, but because the bodice of this dress really ought to be the highlight of any outfit, I’d wear it with a simple, unbuttoned cardigan.

The dress itself I would make in corduroy, for sure, and in Version One. Patterned leggings, leather brogues probably.

Chandra

December 10, 2015 #

I’m going to make this in a soft flannel gray, to wear over a white button down and leggings. So excited!!

Jenny

December 10, 2015 #

This is very retro and reminds me of my 20’s. I would make it in a brown cord with a cream stretch polo neck.

Tatiana

December 10, 2015 #

I would wear the Phoebe with long sleeve tshirt/sweater underneath, tights, boots and a coat in the winter (version 1 or 2) or with a necklace, tights, and heels or flats for a party (version 2).

S

December 10, 2015 #

I’m currently planning a work wardrobe so I think i’d make it in a dark grey.

Also, I love the diversity Collette and Seamworks has in its models. I think it’s really important to see how different patterns work on different bodies and how adjustments can be made to get a good fit.

Sarah

December 10, 2015 #

When I was a little girl my dad bought me a red wool pinafore & I wore it till it was threadbare, so in homage to my dad I would make phoebe in red wool & wear it with black tights & boots for Christmas :)

Haley

December 10, 2015 #

So sweet, I love this idea!

Paola

December 10, 2015 #

I ‘d make it with a green and blue plaid wool I have in my stash, I think I would give it a try sewing the central front/back panel on the bias, just thinking about the possibilities this pattern brings makes me want to sew it now! I would love to wear it with a black turtleneck, thights and Mary Janes or black boots, if it’s too cold outside!

Jill

December 10, 2015 #

I’d wear Phoebe with contrast tights ankle boots and long sleeve, great as winter is kicking in here in the uk.

Lisa

December 10, 2015 #

I really like Version 2 in the velveteen. I would probably wear it with a shirt underneath and some boots. Looks like it could be a great workhorse pattern–really versatile.

Alicia

December 10, 2015 #

I would love this in velvet!!!

Amelia E

December 10, 2015 #

such a lovely pattern! I envisage a version in cosy needlecord layered over a black long sleeved tshirt, thick tights and a pair of doc martens…

Steph

December 10, 2015 #

Love love love this pattern! I am going to back stitch this weekend and hope to find it there! I would love to make a grey version to go with coloured tights.

Amanda

December 10, 2015 #

I love the cozy velveteen versions.

Meg

December 10, 2015 #

Cute! Since it’s warm where I am, it would have to be a lighter-weight fabric with sandals!

Karen Belote

December 10, 2015 #

I was a child in the 60’s and my favorite “dress” to wear for years was a straight jumper with a turtleneck underneath. This dress fits the bill more than any that I have seen since then.I will make this in a wool and wear right, my turtleneck and perhaps my denim jacket to modernize it. I will also wear my suede booties. I can’t wait to make this!

April

December 10, 2015 #

Another fantastic pattern, already bought and printed it! I was just lamenting about the lack of simple sheath dress patterns this weekend after I failed to find one to replace my old LBD :) off to find a mid-weight wool!

Show and Tell Meg

December 10, 2015 #

I love the retro styling! I miss your vintage inspired designs, so I was really excited to see this one :)

PennyDog

December 11, 2015 #

I think it would be gorgeous for work with a shirt underneath and some wooly tights

Charlie M

December 11, 2015 #

What a versatile pattern! I would wear version 1 in a check wool blend over a skinny tee, finished off with knee-high boots and a hand-knitted shawl. Version 2 would make a fabulous little black dress.

Yasmeen

December 11, 2015 #

Phoebe is such a great dress, I would make her to wear to work. I love Dragonfly fabrics, their customer service is fantastic and swatch service is great too. Can’t wait to make a smart work-wear Phoebe ?

Rebecca

December 11, 2015 #

I have ordered my pattern and am looking forward to making it in a thin navy corduroy fabric and wearing it with a cardigan. I am also considering making it in a worsted wool as well – there are so many options!

Emilie LG

December 11, 2015 #

I’m in love with the double breasted front closureversion <3
As it's winter here, I would love to make a denim version of this beauty and then another one in a yellow wool fabric.
I can't wait to be in spring/summer because I already see it in seersucker or swiss cotton…

Terry Cullan

December 11, 2015 #

Gosh, so many ways! Winter with a cardigan, summer as is or with a light blouse. Great pattern as always.

carmen

December 11, 2015 #

I like that you showed two body types . I all so prefer it without buttons.
I would use a thick velvet just like picture one.
thank you for the opportunity for the lovely fabric.

Heather

December 11, 2015 #

I love this! It is so versatile with the ability to cross the seasonal borders. I started thinking about adding a contrasting piping to many of the seems, especially with the double breasted option with the buttons. Solid dress with a flower piping or a bright colored piping? I’m thinking…yes please!

Heather

December 11, 2015 #

seams, not seems. Sorry!!

Lodi Srygley

December 11, 2015 #

I recently made my first English purchase and the postage was quite reasonable. Shockingly reasonable in fact. Yet another reason to shop globally!

I love the Italian wools. Yum! Prize…pretty please???

June

December 11, 2015 #

I could see wearing this dress on Xmas Day with a cowl neck top, tights and boots.. Just lovely!

Shannon

December 11, 2015 #

So pretty – can’t wait to make this!

Phylis Anderson

December 11, 2015 #

Love the beautiful fabrics you’ve chosen for Pheobe. Too hard to choose between the herringbone and burgundy!

stephanie costello

December 11, 2015 #

Hey Phoebe, I love love the herringbone fabric. yuummmm I think I would make one in the Green.

Hannah

December 11, 2015 #

I love the lines of this, and have a very similar and favourite RTW dress in cotton that I wear endlessly in summer – so I know the style would suit me. I’d love to make this up in the gorgeous teal velveteen on the dragonfly website and would wear with a longsleeved t , tights and boots. Then I’d make a summer version to replace my RTW one, and maybe one in a Liberty print cord……

Justyna

December 11, 2015 #

I’d wear a warm woolen Phoebe with over-the-knee boots and turtleneck! It’s a great patern, I especially love clean, flattering lines of the bodice.

Cat

December 11, 2015 #

Ha! I have no idea . . . I am the worst at styling . . . I guess I will read through all these comments and hopefully find a look that will work for me.

Colette

December 11, 2015 #

Great dress – Fabric makes it however ~ Hope I win

Lynn

December 11, 2015 #

I love the dress and the fabrics are beautiful! Merry Christmas and thanks for the giveaway. :)

jane denny

December 11, 2015 #

I really like the denim with mismatched buttons idea!

Nicky

December 12, 2015 #

It’s cold at the moment so I’ll wear mine with thick tights, boots and a hand knit cardigan!

emily

December 13, 2015 #

I’d wear it with the biggest smile- I’d be grinning at the sense of achievement of managing a set of buttonholes for the first time! The patterns and blog have been great tutorials for someone like me- learning and having a go on their own without support! Thank you for teaching me and getting my confident at sewing my own clothes.

Geraldine Cooper

December 16, 2015 #

I would make phoebe out of a lovely vintage, plaid wool I have in my stash. I saw a jumper similar to this at Anthropologie today. Great winter look! I love dresses with tights and boots in cold winter months. Thanks for another great pattern, hope I win.

Geraldine Cooper

December 16, 2015 #

Tammy

December 19, 2015 #

I’d make it up in a heavier fabric and wear it with a soft cardigan.