Colette Peony Madness

I haven’t sewn in over a year, well clothes at least. I’ve made some valances and curtains, but that’s besides the point. Even when I did sew clothes, I normally sewed them by the pattern, and if there were any fit issues, it went to the recycle bin. ¬†I always wanted to learn how to fit, but living by myself, and not having a dress form made it difficult. Anyways…flash forward to now. I’m married, which means I have a fitting buddy ūüėČ One of the reasons I started to sew in the first place was so I could have clothes that fit perfectly, but it’s turning out to be harder than I thought.

I’ve had the Colette Peony pattern since Christmas of 2011, and I never got past cutting the pieces out. Well, last weekend I decided it was time to sew her up. Since I want to focus on fit, I decided to make a muslin, something I’d never done before.¬†From my first muslin, I realized that I needed to move the waist darts out (wayyy out) and according to this¬†tutorial, that meant the bust darts needed to be moved up as well. The picture below is what happened after those adjustments. I feel like the bust darts are now too high. I’m going to try lowering them back to their original position, then shortening the waist darts. Hopefully this will keep the necessary proportions. ¬†Plus, I think that I need to add about an inch to the bodice length.

Colette Peony bodice.

Colette Peony bodice.

I think the neckline is too high on me and now I’m starting to wonder if the shoulders need to come forward a little bit. I will talk to my photographer about cutting my head off in future photos. I don’t think his heart was in this photo shoot.

Peony Bodice 2

Peony Bodice 2

The back of this thing is a hot mess. There is huge gaping at the neck, and lots of pooling. I cut everything in a straight size 2, but am wondering if I should try cutting a 0 in the shoulder area and grade to a 2 at the waist. It’s something I’ll ponder. ¬†So, I started to sew a zipper in, but ran out of bobbin.


I think I need to do a swayback adjustment (this will be my first), so I asked my husband to pin the horizontal fabric (On a side note, we’ve been married almost 2 months and it’s still weird to say “my husband”). He complained a lot, but I think he liked seeing the transformation. We’re both engineers and it was kind of fun to collaborate and try to figure this out together. He thinks I need to widen and lengthen the darts along the neckline to take care of some of the gaping, so he went ahead and pinned it. I’m not sure lengthening is the answer. I don’t want it to look like two vertical seams running down either side of my center back. I think more research is needed, but I think we made progress.


Any thoughts or suggestions on any other alterations? Help is welcome.