Recently, I finished a very pretty dress named the “Hazel” dress by Colette Patterns. My past few creations have been for children, so, this time, I made something that I would enjoy. In a good way, this dress was challenging because it required learning a few new techniques. As I sew more and more, I discover new lessons each time.
For this particular project, I chose a unique fabric pattern called “Crystalline Reef” from the Luxe in Bloom Collection of Art Gallery Fabrics. If you really want to be creative and let your imagination fly, you can combine the colors and directions of you fabric in so many ways. You can cut the side panels in opposing directions to create a completely new look. I have seen this dress in stripes, and it looked amazing! Since this was my first time, I did not want to get too complicated. However, now that I made this dress and it was NOT difficult at all, I am for sure going to make it again in a totally different combination of colors or prints.
Note: It is very important to transfer all the notches to the fabric as this step will help you to better understand how this pattern reads. Please always make sure that you match all the notches before you stitch the pieces. Also, press down all the edges and serge, zigzag, or overcast after every piece that you stitch together.
Start off by “staystitching” the front and side bodice pieces. This stitching is done to maintain the shape of these fabric pieces. You will repeat this process with the facing pieces also. At this point, you can add your interfacing material to the facing pieces.
After that is complete, you need to add some darts to your front bodice. Do a good job with this step. These are the tiny little touches that add so much to the overall look of the dress.
Now, you can start to put together the front bodice. This piece is the most critical part of the dress, and the alignment will either make or break the outfit. Make sure to notch your curves to prevent the material from bunching up. Finish and press your seams according to the instructions. Continue to work on the back bodice pieces, and you have completed a large portion of the dress already.
Next, you will add the pockets to the dress. These are fairly easy, so I will not go into any detail.
Next, you will “gather” the skirt section of the dress. The gathering allows you to match the top of the skirt with the bottom of the bodice. Once these two sections are together, you can add the straps to the dress. The straps will require adjustment. So, you will need to pin the straps to the dress and try on the dress. Determine the fit you want, then secure the straps to the dress with a “basting” stitch.
Move on to the facing. You will need to stitch all the facing sections together. This is another straight forward step.
After you have constructed the facing, you can add the invisible zipper to the back of the dress. Follow the instructions for installing the zipper. The only advice I have for you at this point is for when you add the facing. When you align the two ends to the bodice by the zipper opening, I would allow 1/4” of space. You will not see this as it will be inside the dress when it is worn, and it helps allow the zipper to fully open and close without being obstructed. Once you have the facing stitched into place, you will carefully clip the corners as shown in the instructions. Flip the facing, so it is now on the inside of the dress and “understitch” the neckline along the facing. You are on the final step.
Try on the dress to get the correct fit. Adjust your hem according to your preferences and stitch it. That’s it!! You are now finished with this wonderful dress!! Congratulations!
I will say this is a great dress and a great pattern. Colette Patterns does an outstanding job with their patterns and instructions. They have lots of detail followed up with nice diagrams. To top it off, the pattern includes helpful explanations of sewing terminology and a glossary in the back.
Do yourself a favor and sew this dress.
Do yourself a favor and sew this dress.