a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

colette rue

hi everyone!

i’m so so excited to show you what i’ve made today, so that means quite a long post!

a few months ago, colette put out a post asking for pattern testers.  i filled in the form and forgot all about it.  a week or two ago, meg from colette got in touch asking if i wanted to make up their latest dress pattern!  i immediately said yes and couldn’t wait to see what i’d got myself in for.

meg sent over the pattern and my excitement levels rose even more once i saw the pictures, i mean, look how pretty!  it’s called rue. 


i absolutely love the design features on this, and the piping really emphasises those beautiful lines on the bodice.  i had no fear about constructing the dress until i read that it’s fully lined… eep!  i’ve never made a fully lined dress before.

i decided to stop being a chicken and approach it sensibly, so i read through the instructions and saw that the construction of the bodice (in terms of getting the clean finish inside) is the same as the lined bodice for the moneta.

with screenshots on my phone i took to barry’s early one saturday (i was there when they opened… not too eager at all!)  to pick out my fabric.

i considered a few different fabrics, mainly looking for something along the same lines as the stripes in the sample dress.  i’d found a nice purple seersucker plaid when i stumbled upon this…

isn’t it beautiful?  the label said it was a cotton but i’m not sure, it’s so much floatier and softer than a 100% cotton so maybe it’s a blend… but then again, who am i to think i know better than a label?!  i bought a navy lining and then white cotton for piping. it all came to about £22, which i thought was pretty reasonable, and less than i would pay for a dress like this in the shops.

if you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know i’ve never really been one for a toile until very recently.  i decided to do my first one when i made the emery dress, and now it fits so well that i can’t ignore the fact that doing a toile made my dressmaking exponentially better!  as this is a completely different bodice to anything i’ve done before, and also knowing i was giving feedback to colette on the fit, i thought i had better do it properly.

my bust fell into the size 8 category, while my waist and hips were two sizes up in the 12.  i blended between sizes on the bodice, including on the curves across the front.  i was unsure about doing this, but i figured after a chat with my friend melody, that i needed to, as the waist needed to end up being a 12 so it fitted!

i wasn’t too sure which size i should cut for the arm hole & sleeves; i’m always an awkward in between size as my bust is always in a smaller size bracket, but my arms are wide and in the size bracket which my waist & hips usually fall in to.

when i made the toile, i cut the size 8 sleeve holes and decided to cut the size 12 sleeve.  my thought process around this was that i would try on the bodice without the sleeve inserted, and try and assess how tight it was on me before i spent ages putting the sleeve in.

when i tried the toile on sans-sleeve, the arm sythe was too tight, as i expected it to be.  i reduce my shoulder seam allowance to give me more room (which is basically where the size difference was on the nested pattern) and then put the sleeve in.  this worked wonders, and looked great.

my back is quite narrow so i anticipated having to make a few adjustments.  it wasn’t miles too big and i was really conscious about taking too much out because of having room under the shell for the lining.  i decided to increase the dart width slightly, by about 1/4 inch, tapering up to the original point.

i didn’t make a toile of the skirt, because it’s not fitted.  i thought that as long as the waist fitted nicely then the skirt should be fine.

here’s a picture of me making piping.  i had a picture after it was finished, but i don’t know where that is, haha.

i spent a good two/two and a half hours cutting everything out and tacking the markings.  not something i would usually do, but seeing as it was for a good cause i invested the time.  the good cause being me getting a good dress…

AFTER ALL THAT WAFFLE.  here is the finished dress!

i feel like my face says it all, i am pleased as punch with it!  i mean, look at that smug smirk!!!

proof that it’s fully lined!

as i said i was really apprehensive about fully lining the dress, especially with an invisible zip put in.  the instructions for the dress were really clear, and i managed it with no problem, and the zip goes up and down without getting caught anywhere, yay!

my fabric was really floaty and loosely woven so it was pretty tricky to sew with and get lined up in all the right places, so the bodice took me a little while to get right – especially with the piping.  i feel like it was worth the time i spent on it now my piping sits nicely.

look what else it’s got – pockets!   again, smug face haha.

i left the skirt at the original length as i knew i would wear it with heels.  i never ever wear heels but we’re going to a wedding reception at the end of the month, so i will sacrifice my toes for the evening.

the only thing i had to adjust after my toile was the waist height.  again, i think it was my fabric, but the bodice was pulling down inbetween the piping and sides, so it had weird dips.  i pinned out where it should be, and re-sewed the waistline.  much better!  after analysing my pictures within an inch of their lives, i could probably take the sides of the bodice in a tiny bit, but then i feel like if i did that all my ease would be gone and i wouldn’t be able to eat.  and i like to eat.

i feel like my zip is a tiny tiny bit off at the top, but i had already put it in three times, and as my fabric was so loosely woven i didn’t want to keep unpicking as i was risking a hole every time.

the instructions tell you how to finish the lining around the arm holes on the machine to provide a clean finish.  i’ve used this method with my lined moneta, and it works great.  however, my main fabric had stretched a bit, and the lining wasn’t quite matching up once i’d messed with the shell so much, so i hand sewed it down.  i also hand sewed the hem on the shell fabric too.

there’s some red thread left over from my tacks, but if i didn’t leave them there, you wouldn’t believe i’d done it.  it’s not because i forgot to take them out.  nope.

so there you go, that’s my rue!  i’m really happy with it, and can’t wait to wear it out!

i’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s versions!

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