When I got back to Leamington after Christmas, Nic presented me with lots of gifts from his family – some Christmas presents and some belated birthday presents. His lovely mum sent me a few metres of some absolutely GORGEOUS cotton lawn – so soft and drapey, and pretty pretty colours, with pale pinks, blues and greens against a navy background. I can’t tell you anything about it as there’s no info on the selvedge, but it’s a heartbreaker. So pretty!
Anyway, last week I decided to get sewing with it and got to work on making it into a variation of Gertie’s wiggle dress pattern – her variation, in fact, the Pinkie Pie dress. Sigh. This is so pretty, and I thought the shape would work with the dreamy romance of the print of the pattern. I diligently sewed it all up and was distressed to find that it just looked wrong. Like, Laura Ashley 80s monstrosity wrong. Added to this, the fit was all kinds of off on me, and it was just a big old bag of hot mess. I don’t have any photos of this, I’m just going to leave it to your imaginations. I was determined not to turn this pretty fabric into a wadder so, to borrow Vicki Kate’s terminology, I reverse engineered the dress – I cut it up and had enough to recut this as a Colette Patterns Parfait dress.
Now, I am an emotional person, and I would definitely say that how I am feeling when I’m doing something imprints itself on whatever I’m doing. That’s certainly the case with this make. I wasn’t stressed when sewing the dress and I wasn’t even overly upset when I had to take apart its original form, just something felt off about the whole thing. So that has sort of transferred itself to my feelings about the finished dress, which is a shame. Anyway, after all of that qualifying, here’s my finished Parfait dress!
Colette Patterns Parfait dress - worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon skull shoes
The good? Well, I genuinely think that the Parfait is a lovely pattern. I love the fabric, which feels so soft and comfortable against the skin and which was a delight to work with. The pretty flower buttons were a gift from Lucy’s wonderful children, so that makes me happy too! I can see this dress being a really good comfortable day dress in hot weather (should we ever get any actually HOT weather and not the 12 degree ‘summer’ we got last year) as the fabric is really cool and breathable. It does make me happy to have made a dress using gifts from people who are important to me. But the dress itself? Well, I just don’t know. I don’t know if it’s me. I don’t know how comfortable I feel in a dress that shows this much of my décolletage (it doesn’t look much in the photo but the bosoms work their way up and out through the course of the day in any dress they get the chance to – it’s why I have so many high necked garments) I don’t know if the dress just looks like a night-dress! In honesty, I think that Parfait probably works better in a fabric with less drape to it to avoid this look. This dress feels like a bit of a departure for me and I’m not sure if I like it. It doesn't help that I think I look chubby as in that photo - despite the fact that I'm not even that chubby. What's with that?!
Anyway, I am pleased with the dress itself – it’s nicely made and it fits me well. I will wear it – I’m just not sure how good I feel in it, and whether it will get as much wear as my other me-mades. But I thought it was worth showing it to you anyway, because I sewed it and, you know, it’s good to sew outside of your comfort zone occasionally. I am pleased that I managed to salvage this from a project that wasn’t working and that I saved the fabric. And hey, it’s always possible that the next time I wear this and have gained some perspective, I’ll feel much more positive about it overall.
Pretty buttons - thanks, kids!
So, Parfait is not Parfait for me, and I'm passing the pattern on to someone who will love it. My next sewing project is all cut out and waiting for me to sew up this week - with some more fabulous birthday gift fabric. I really am lucky that my friends and family know me so well!