Let me start by saying, I’ve never been picked to test a pattern before. I’ve thrown my name and info to a bunch of makers but was never one they chose, so this is a super exciting moment for me! I’m a huge fan of Colette Patterns, (and those who read my blog know I love Seamwork) so when Rue came into my inbox I kind of freaked. She’s darling – and I had the privilege of getting to make her before the public.
The very first thing I love about this pattern are the options you have. You could make a 3 quarter length sleeve with piping in the bodice and a straight skirt- or you can do short sleeve with no piping and a full skirt. There are a ton of possibilities within one pattern which is a major plus. I decided to make Version 1, short sleeve with piping in the bodice and a pleated skirt. Another AMAZING feature is that the pdf version is layered, meaning you can omit all the pattern lines for sizes you don’t need! LOVE!
Since I was pattern testing, I did something I very rarely do- I made a muslin. I made the size 0 and to my total joy, I didn’t need to make any adjustments to the fit! What scares me and makes me really happy at the same time with Rue is the beautiful finishings on the interior. The reason this scares me is because the fit has to be perfect before sewing in the lining. There are times in garment making that the top will look good but I ultimately want to take it in here and there after finishing. With Rue, any alterations made after completing the garment would leave an ugly finish inside. Thankfully I didn’t have to alter, but it is something to consider while making.
The piping made me nervous because I had only done piping one other time, years ago, and wanted a refresher. One of the coolest things about this pattern is the video detailing at all the steps I needed help with! As soon as I got to the piping, there’s a url to the exact instructions I need!
Other instructions were easy to follow, and I had a breeze sewing until it was time to finish the armholes. I could not wrap my head around it. I was able to figure out the entire thing until getting to the top, near the shoulder. I couldn’t get through to the seam, and even with the video, for some reason I just wasn’t getting it. I think the problem was that I needed to start at that top point, then continue down but I was afraid to undo the work I had already done for fear of messing it up even more. I wound up hand stitching the top of the armhole shut, and it worked well, as it was only about two inches that needed to be shut. There was a video for this section as well, but I think I just needed more instruction on it. I’m going to chalk this one up to user error, but I did want to point out where my problem area was.
The only alteration I needed to make was in the length. The original hem line is below the knee and on a short legged person, it doesn’t work. I hemmed the dress to right above my knees, a total of 5″ off and it is perfect. On a side note, after looking at these photos, I clearly need to work on my invisible zipper- sewing fail!
This is a beautiful pattern, the lines are stunning and the design is unique. While I was so thrilled to make this pattern, and love the dress I made, it isn’t something I get to wear often so it’s a pretty special piece. After making it, I imagined this as the perfect winter cocktail dress, and if I ever get invited to an office party at Drew’s company, I’ll be making this out of a beautiful solid.
And just a quick review of the dress stats:
-Fabric is Kaufman London Calling from Fabric.com
-I made version 1, in size 0 with added piping
-Skirt is hemmed up 5″
In other news, I’m currently across the States in Seattle! Drew and I are taking the week off to explore here and then make our way to Portland. AND I finished my project for Refashioners 2016! Can’t wait to share it!