This is a lovely dress that I made quite a while ago! So long ago in fact that I remember wearing it on New Years Eve of 2014! And yet, I haven’t got around to sharing it until now… All this while, it’s been one of my favourite go-to dresses! The cut is flattering and feminine – it hits all the right places. I always seem to get a lovely complement when I’m out and about in this frock. People also often assume it to be a vintage piece, which I think gives in an extra charm ;)
I really took my time making this little number. I was so patient in fact that I made a full lining for the dress (which I rarely do, as I’m often so eager to get it on and wear it already!) I felt as though I essentially made two whole dresses, since I used the same pattern pieces of the dress to create the lining in a pale blue silky-soft rayon.
The gorgeous fabric that I chose for the outside of the dress is Alchemy Sketchbook in Voile by Amy Butler. The first time I saw it I instantly knew that I wanted to use it for this Colette’s Chantilly pattern!
I love Colette’s older patterns, such as this one, as they seem so sophisticated and elegant. These early patterns are also complex enough that I’m always learning learning new things and moving forward with my sewing skills. Although I felt challenged when starting this pattern, it was not overwhelming. I think the key to motivation (at least for me) is to have a looming project that puts a little fear in you, yet with the knowledge that you can very realistically accomplish it. I love scouring through pattern websites, looking at the photos and drawings, studying the garment structure to figuring out how garment is put together and whether or not I could create it and if it would even complement my body type. Every new project brings a new lesson in the many ways to do something. For example, french seams! The Wikston Tank was the first time I experienced french seams and I was amazed that there was this totally different way to deal with seams. Those experiences can open your mind and keep you interested.
Little lessons, such as these, are an important part of the process of developing skills. As Colette Patterns has developed and grown as a company, sometimes I feel they have taken a direction towards servicing the novice sewer. I understand that they are running business and there a lot more aspiring sewers & beginners out there to market their products to. However, I hope that in the future they will also invest in the gorgeous pieces of their early days – the ones to be admired and which to aspire to create.
At the time, Chantilly was exactly that for me – a challenge and a pleasure.
This pattern has many lovely details. The pockets are a nice touch – I think many would agree that dresses with pockets are always something to adore! The construction and fabric gathering of the bust area fits together so elegantly. When I was cutting out the bust pattern pieces, I was thinking “How the heck is this going to work?.” I couldn’t figure out what was up or down, but after much pinning and seam ripping I saw how well it fitted to the unique neckline. I don’t think own any other garment with this sort of neckline and I really think it would suit almost anyone. Lastly, who doesn’t love to twirl a full skirt!