Friday, March 16, 2012

Colette Violet

Last Friday, Made Sewing Studio here in Seattle hosted Sarai from Colette Patterns.

They announced there would be a discount for patterns purchased at the event, as well as an extra special 10% for those who showed up in a garment made from her line.

I originally bought the Violet because I saw Lauren's version and fell in love. Seriously, how adorable is that??

I took this opportunity as a challenge to put together the violet in a week. Put it together I did, however, I had one small (haha, see what I did there?) issue. The smallest size was measured at a bust 33", which is a full 3 inches larger than my bust measurement. Whatever is a girl to do?!

I traced off the pattern and using the "slash and spread"(overlap) technique, I made this sucker fit me.

I relied heavily on this article in threads magazine. Seriously. If you ever need to grade patterns, print that out. I did, and laminated it. That's how serious I am, it was a real help. I don't have any books on fit and grading, but I'm starting to think it might be a good idea to keep my eyes peeled for such things, especially given the sizing for the big 4 patterns.

So here's the top:

Let's talk about armscyes for a minute. I think mine are too low. The reason for that is when I lift my arm, SERIOUSLY limited range of motion, and it picks the blouse up which is really annoying.

On the photo on the left, you can see where the garment sits. On the photo on the right, I've drawn in the approximate line of my arm and arm pit. The red indicates the gap between the two. Other than that issue, I really love this pattern. If anybody has any ideas or tips, please comment. I can use the direction!

Oh, I also wondered how other people finish their arm-seams. I finished the sides with french seams and zig-zagged everything else, but I'm really clueless about arm finishes. This really is the first garment I've put together that has traditional sleeves. After the minoru I'm tempted to put raglan sleeves on everything!!

I used these wonderful tortoiseshell with metal accent buttons. The fabric of the shirt is a bit of an industrial blue/grey and I was worried that it would start to look like a uniform.

And a close up of my "blah blah blah" tag. It's just printed ribbon.

Once I've ironed out the sleeve fitting, I plan on making another one as part of my spring/summer wardrobe.

On another note, I took all of the plastic casing off of my machine this evening and checked everything out. I think it's really important to see how things work so you are a bit more educated on how they can be fixed. While I had it all taken apart I also oiled my machine. Oddly enough, my user manual recommends at least once a year, while some various sources on the internet recommend an oiling after every 8 hours of sewing. How often do you oil?


  1. Oiling frequency might depend on the machine? Mine is basically a tank and I should technically be using thicker oil than the standard, so I should probably oil more than the average, but after every 8 hours still seems like a lot. I oiled it when I first got it and while I've definitely sewn more than 8 hours, it's running fine.

    A lot of it probably comes down to knowing your machine, as well as how hard you're working it.

  2. I love your violet! You took ALL the casing off your machine?! I'd love to cos I wanna see how it works, but I'm scared I'll bust something and I can't afford to replace it, and I'd be lost without it...

    1. I did! If you'd like, I could do it again and take photos. I have a Janome, but I am starting to think all non-computerized machines work basically the same way.

  3. so adorable!! i love the collars... i'd love to include this outfit in my work wardrobe, you look super cute and smart! Where did u get the labels from? My BF wanted to design some for me, but he didn't know where to print them

    1. You can use the photo if you want, just link back here! The skirt is from H&M a few years ago and the belt is from J. Crew. I wish I'd taken a photo of the whole outfit that i wore out. I wore grey/blue striped crew socks and some really cute heeled saddle shoes.
      The "label" is just a piece of grossgrain ribbon! I bought the ribbon at Joanns, they had a variety with different things printed on them. A lot of them were "baby" centric, this just said "blah blah blah".

  4. So cute! And I always have this problem with low armscyes too... So frustrating! As for finishing the arm seams, you can french seam there too (see http://grainlinestudio.com/2012/03/15/sewing-tutorial-french-all-your-seams/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sewing-tutorial-french-all-your-seams). I've also used hug snug with good results, though I would definitely be sure to trim the seam allowance if you go that route.

    1. Thanks Mika! So you think I should try to raise the armscyes on the next version? Thanks for the tute-link. I am definitely going to give that a shot on the next go 'round.


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