The Oolong Dress by Colette Patterns

Would you believe it, I am actually sticking to and fulfilling some of sewing goals so far for this year! And – I have *thus far* not become entranced and bewitched by the lure of the novelty print, which usually sends any carefully thought-out sewing goals through the window.

Case in point; at the end of last year, in my Favourite Sewing Projects of 2015 post, I stated that I would like to sew a Oolong dress by Colette Patterns. Lo! Behold! Here is said Oolong dress! What actually gave me the little push I needed to purchase the pattern, was the fact that one of the stockists I had planned to buy it from had sold out at the time. This induced a kind of pattern buying panic in me, so when I found it was available from Sew Box, I purchased it straight away.

The shipping was super fast, and they even included a little free gift with my pattern too! I should mention here that Colette Patterns are based in the USA, although they do have various stockists in the UK, Sew Box being one of them.

As this was my first purchase from Colette Patterns, I was unsure what to expect. I was delighted when the pattern arrived, firstly by the actual packaging and format. The pattern comes in it’s own little booklet – complete with step-by-step instructions. The instructions are incredibly clear and easy to follow, taking you through the complete process.

The only slight negatives I have to say is that the actual pattern paper is veeeery thin and delicate. Also, the pattern includes all sizes (which of course is great) but – it makes it rather difficult to see & follow which line to cut for your chosen size. Anywho.

Overall, I would say the most time-consuming part of the entire construction process, was cutting out the fabric. This is because the entire pattern is cut on the bias, so you need to prep your fabric accordingly, and figure out your pattern-piece placements to fit onto your chosen fabric.

Otherwise, I didn’t really have any issues or problems. The fit was great straight out the packet – guess who didn’t bother making a toile? Meeee. I normally do make a toile when working with a new pattern, but as the back of the envelope lists the ‘finished garment’ measurements I put all my faith in those. The only thing I had to tweak was the circumference of the right sleeve hem – it was a tad to tight. That was super easy to resolve though, as I had left enough seam allowance to just take it out a bit.

Bambi's! We shot these pictures in the grounds of a country estate, and they had herds of deer roaming the land. I so badly wanted to stroke one!

Bambi’s! We shot these pictures in the grounds of a country estate, and they had herds of deer roaming the land. So beautiful and serene.

I bought the fabric from a closing down sale a few months ago, and it was literally all they had left on the roll. I believe it is a rayon or polyester, the print is slightly puzzling. I’m not sure if the shapes are little sailing boats, or just abstract shapes. But, I fell in love with the colours and I knew I had to have it, regardless of whether I knew what the fabric content was, or what on earth those shapes actually were! Haa ha!

What first attracted me to the Oolong was the way the pattern looked very 1930s. However, I found that the dress looked rather 1940s on me, I don’t know if this was down to my fabric choice, the colours, or something else. So, going with this, I decided to add little bows to the bodice to elaborate on the unexpected 1940s feel.

I really like the Oolong, and I can envisage lots of different versions in various fabrics. I feel it’s the perfect pattern when you want to make something relatively straight-forward, and the outcome is guaranteed to be feminine and versatile. Also – there are no fastenings as the whole dress is cut on the bias, so if you hate putting fastenings in, this may be the very dress for you!

If you fancy making your own Oolong, you can find it via Colette Patterns here. Or, if you are based in the UK, the Sew Box link is here. I am already eyeing-up the Violet blouse, I think that will be next on my Colette Patterns wishlist!

Until next time dears!


5 thoughts on “The Oolong Dress by Colette Patterns

  1. Harlow says:

    Love the fabric and the bows. The addition of the cloche is lovely so I feel like this could also go for a late 30s vibe as well!

  2. The Homemade Pinup says:

    Just AMAZING that you have locations like this nearby to shoot photographs. I’m so jealous, where I live that is NOT the case! Now, with that finished… You look so great! I know what you mean about the 40s look, I do agree that it’s probably the fabric choice (which I love, by the way). It’s gorgeous on you regardless! And depending on the accessories it could go 30s OR 40s, since the cut is decidedly art deco. Great color choice for you.

    ♥ Lauren

  3. Jenny Frances says:

    Hey Lauren!
    I am so so lucky to have Kieren willing to take pictures for my blog! We usually think about the colours of the outfit beforehand, then plan a location & concept. Although sometimes, we will go somewhere just because we want to, and then take blog pictures as a kind of afterthought / non-primary objective. It’s tricky because I don’t want to take up every single weekend with shooting pictures for my blog, so we have to try and balance it with actually getting on with ‘life’ things. If I know the location is somewhere that we will literally just be going there to shoot blog pictures, then we usually plan to do that very early in the morning to get it out of the way and done with (leaving the rest of the day/weekend free).
    The things we do to get a good picture eh? xx

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