Completed: Colette Peony Dress

It’s finished!  It’s finished!  My Peony is finished!  Now if only the sun will come out!

I actually finished this last week, but between gloomy weather and the fact it’s dark when I get home, photos have been a challenge.


Me and my sewing buddy, Millicent. Hmm…she’s suspiciously taller than me!

I started this dress back during Sew Colette, before the group went on hiatus for the holidays.  I had a difficult time fitting the bodice. Honestly, I almost gave up on this dress. But I’m so glad I didn’t. The fit turned out pretty good, I think.

My biggest trouble was with the sleeves. I thought I worked out at the muslin stage, but when I sewed them into my final dress, they just weren’t working for me.  They looked okay, but felt tight and restricting.  So I ripped them out, and went sleeveless instead. This is better for wearing with a cardigan anyways, which is what I always wear at work.

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that I found at a local shop.  Depending on how you look at it, you may see dots or stars.  I really like it, and I think the extra stretch helped the bodice fit.
Peony Details
Peony Details

Here’s the insides:
Peony Details
Peony Details

I lined the skirt with red Bemberg rayon.  I also made some bias strips out of the lining fabric, which I used as a hem tape.  This fabric was fiddly to turn into bias tape, but I think it’s a lot nicer than the stiff store-bought stuff.
Peony Details

I tried a few new techniques on this dress.  First, I used bias tape as a facing for the armholes. After I nixed the sleeves, I didn’t feel like drafting an armhole facing piece. The bias strips worked really well. (I also made this bias tape, using the same contrast fabric from the neck facing.)
Peony Details

Second, I did a Hong Kong finish on the edge of my neck facings.  I used some of the red lining bias strips for this.  I really like this finish, and plan to use it again.
Peony Details

Third, I put in a centered hand-picked zipper.  This worked just as nicely as the lapped versions I’ve been doing recently.  Actually, it might have even been easier!
Peony Details

The sun peeked out for just a minute this afternoon, so I tried to capitalize on it for a quick outdoor shot.


This dress took me a long time to finish, and I’m happy it’s done. Now I can move on to my next project! Here’s a small sample of the fabric I cut out last night:


30 thoughts on “Completed: Colette Peony Dress

    • Ha ha! I’d love to wear it inside out, sometimes I like insides better the outside. But I will control myself and just show off the insides here on the blog. 😉

  1. I had the same problem with the sleeves being so tight. I’ve finished the dress but am thinking I might rip them out. Dress looks great. I love all of your finishing touches. Cheers, Catherine

    • Thanks. I decided to ditch the black fabric belt I was going to make when I realized I had this red belt. I have the black one cut out, but I’ll probably never sew it up!

  2. Lovely dress! I had massive problem with the bodice fitting as well! The darts were completely in the wrong place. That said, I had worn my version more than a dozen times so I hope you’ll wear yours a lot too.

  3. Oh, it turned out adorable, and what a great fit. I love it sleeveless! That is such great fabric, too, and a perfect use for it. The “innards” are fabulous… such nice craftsmanship!

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