Colette Handbook – Truffle Dress

The Truffle dress is my most recent project for Sew Colette.  I decided to make mine a
ruffle-less Truffle, with a full lining.  I am IN LOVE with this dress.

I also learned a ton making it because I tried so many new things in the process.

The muslin was quick and painless.  Getting a good fit on this dress was so much easier than with Pastille.  I lowered the darts, and shaved off about 5/8 inch off the shoulder seams (although I should have taken a bit more).  I also lengthened the back darts, because I had a puff of fabric around my shoulders.

My fabric had a lot of drape, but I wanted my dress to have more structure.  So I decided to underline it.  This was a first for me.  To learn how to do it, I followed Gertie’s tutorial and also incorporated some info from a couple of my mom’s old sewing books.

Hand basting underlining

In addition to the underlining, I decided to line this dress.  I used Bemberg rayon again (I just love this stuff).  I tried a new technique for cutting this slippery fabric.  I used my knitting blocking mats and pinned the fabric and pattern to the mats.

Then I traced around the pattern, and cut out the pieces.

It worked pretty good for me, and I will probably do this again in the future.  The only caution — the foam mats will dull your pins.

After I cut out the fabric, I realized just how fray-prone it was.  I was worried that I would put all this time and effort into this dress only to have it would fall apart when I washed it.  So I put sewing on hold, and did the only reasonable thing I could think of.  I bought a serger.  This is reasonable, no?

Yay serged seams!!

After installing the lining, I wanted to understitch the neckline and armholes to keep the lining from rolling outwards.  But because of the way I installed the lining, I couldn’t get all of the seam allowance under my sewing machine.  So it was time for another first…pickstitching. I suck at hand sewing, so I was happy that my stitches turned out fairly even.

I knew I would want to wear a belt with this dress, so I made some thread loops and sewed them into the side seams.  Another first for me.  🙂

Finally, since this dress was full of so many firsts, I decided it was also time to try hemming by hand.  I used hem tape and then catch stitched it to the underlining fabric. My stitches are not so even, oh well.  🙂

I am really happy with this dress.  It’s my favorite thing I’ve sewn yet.  I definitely see some more Truffles in my future.


17 thoughts on “Colette Handbook – Truffle Dress

  1. Oh my, I loved your pic of this dress on Flickr but I’m even more wild about it after reading this post…your finishing details are exquisite! The yellow belt is the perfect accessory. This is truly one special dress!

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  6. Your dress is GORGEOUS! I bought a bolt-end of this fabric at a Joann’s in Alaska (!!) this past May, and I’m beyond excited to see it made up. Can’t wait to cut into it! 🙂

  7. I found your blog when I was looking to see how others have dealt with the tricky issue of understitching the Truffle neckline – I was so pleased to find that not only is it not just me who can’t manoeuvre the fabric through the machine, but you suggest an alternative. This evening will be all about pick stitching! Thanks!

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