Manhattan Hazel

So! My first post with actual clothes in it. It’s about time. I haven’t got detailed photos, unfortunately– I always feel so awkward being in photos alone, and generally try to avoid it. Next time, I will try to be more diligent. Maybe.

Here it is, a summery sundress which I’m quite happy with:

Colette Hazel Dress

The Pattern: Hazel Dress by Colette Patterns

The fabric: Quilting cotton–  Manhattan in Dusk, designed by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. I bought mine from Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory.

Hmmm… What is there to say about this dress? I wasn’t sure that such a busy print would work out for me, as much as I loved it. But it’s definitely grown on me, and I now really love this dress. I know that quilting cotton for clothing is a bit of a sewing faux pas, but I think it makes a really lovely summery sundress, as long as the bodice is quite fitted. Sure, it wrinkles like crazy, but It’s also the easiest possible fabric to sew with– perfect for a novice like me– and stands up well to the rough treatment I put my clothes through. I generally have a Survival Of The Fittest laundry policy– no special treatment, a regular wash cycle and minimal color sorting– so the weak and fussy are doomed to perish. Quilting cotton can make it through!

As for the pattern, this is my second Hazel dress. Granted, it’s only the third pattern I’ve sewn. The first, Colette’s Pastille dress, was a fitting nightmare. The second, Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt, is my skirt true love, and has been been made up in three different versions already with plans for a fourth. My first Hazel, also made up in a quilting cotton (pictured below), went really smoothly (once I got the fitting sorted…well enough…), and is now one of my most worn garments. So I knew I needed more!

Colette Patterns Hazel Dress

My first Colette Patterns Hazel dress

Here are some notes on the pattern:


–size 16, with all bodice pieces raised by 3 cm along the top edge so that the top of my bra where it meets the straps wouldn’t show. I’ve read other people making similar adjustments– I think the pattern either assumes a much perkier bust point, or is simply cut too low at that spot!

–In this second version, I also used the size 18 skirt for a more gathered result, and shortened the hem on the pattern by 2 inches.

–I also used bias tape all around the top, instead of facing. I’d recommend this– no worries about facing staying in it’s proper place!

–pockets were sewn with a narrower seam allowance, for more depth.

What I love: The flattering fit of the bodice, the wide bra-strap-hiding straps, the deep pockets.

Remaining issues: The waist is too long (designed for someone taller, no doubt– I’m just over 5’2″!), but I’m not sure how to alter that without messing up the triangle point. But it’s not a huge problem, I doubt I’ll bother trying to do anything about it. Also, it’s a size too big at the waist — thanks to some bustiness, I always fall into a different size on top than the rest of me! I really didn’t want to tackle a FBA on this unconventional bodice construction, and just went with the bigger size. I’m on the fence about whether to take the waist in on my next version. On the one hand, a smaller waist might be more flattering, but on the other the bigger waist leaves plenty of room for big-meal-expansion, and is super comfortable!

Well, that’s more information than anyone needs… so I’ll leave it here, with two more pics of the dress in action.


One thought on “Manhattan Hazel

  1. Pingback: Moon Bunnies Hazel | Stitchy Squirrel

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