Colette Peony – aka Stashbusting Flamingoes

I have had this pattern lying around for 3 months now, along with the fabric I bought especially for this.

A gorgeous yellow-pistachio silk jacquard.
I love yellow fabrics, there is just something about the bright vibrance that cheers me up instantly (not that I need a lot of cheering up, I am a pretty cheery person by nature).
But somehow, the foresight of letting my scissors have a go at this fabric left me with a feeling of gloom.
After reading a lot of reviews of this pattern (here, here and here amongst others) and the fitting issues, I felt even worse about starting this project.

When I finally did decide to go for it, I left ALL precaution behind and cut in the original pattern right away…
Yes I do!
While I was cutting away my pattern, I had an epiphany.

I still had this in my stash. A soft yellow, Michael Miller quilt cotton sporting crazy flamingoes.  Doesn’t this just SCREAM summer?
Once I made the decision to change my fabric, I felt a huge weight being lifted of my shoulders and I was feeling enthusiastic about this project again.
I really wanted sleeves and pockets in this dress, I don’t know exactly why, just an irrational desire I guess, so I omitted the belt part because I only had 2 yards of this fabric (don’t know how much that is in metric, just that you can just, just, just fit a size 8 Peony without belt out of it). I can always add a belt later if I really want to, but I don’t think that’s likely as I’m not a belt-person. (Do those even exist?)

 I am really self-conscious when my picture is taken, I guess I have to get used to these photoshoots… This time we went to one of the twelve beaches of Santander to snap some photos, it was the first time in over a month that the sun was out, it was still pretty cold, 17º, and my legs are still awfully white, I haven’t been to the beach yet this year to get a tan…

While perusing through my pattern-instructions (I always do that before starting, I think it’s half the fun) I saw the suggestion of adding piping to the waist- and neckline. Lucky for me I had some white piping sitting in my stash so I could add that. I also added piping to the sleeves. I thought about adding piping to the hem as well, but I didn’t have enough piping left (I’m on a very tight budget so buying piping wasn’t going to happen) so I just did an invisible hem with bias-tape and using the special foot that came with my machine.
I love the effect of the piping, it gives such a retro-girly feeling to the dress.

I thought about inserting an exposed metalic zipper, but I really wanted this dress finished as soon as possible so I could pick up my husband from the airport in it (He went to the Canary Islands for work. How unfair is that?) so I used one from my huge zipper stash (last year I bought a surprise bag of 100 zippers on E-Bay). I found a really long, beige, invisible one, perfect for this dress.
I have one of those plastic feet for invisible zippers, but I don’t like using it, so I use my regular-zipperfoot for inserting invisible zippers. I think they end up looking better (or looking more invisible, in this case) than with the plastic foot.
I forgot to add the piping to the neckline, and thought about leaving it so, but ‘lucky’ for me I sewed the pieces for the facing together the wrong way so I ended up with an odd-looking standing-straight-up neckline. This meant unpicking the staystitches, the seam and the bias tape I used to finish the raw edge of the facing. Lucky me, indeed…
So, I redid the entire facing, WITH the piping this time (silver lining people!), but the neckline still does something weird, especially in the back. This could be due to an excess of fabric that many of you already commented about.

I hope it will be allright when the dress gets some wear or maybe when it has been in the washing machine. We’ll see, I won’t lie awake worrying about it.

And then there are the pockets so many of you love so much.
I am somewhat impartial as to the pockets (in dresses in general). I’ll probably use them, but wouldn’t be heartbroken if there were no pockets in this dress either. I really don’t care about them. At all.
So my dread about the Peony and all it’s fitting issues, proved to be unnecessary after all. This is an out-of-the-envelope-size-8 (I was feeling lazy) and I am really really really satisfied with the fit and outcome.
This goes right to my top-3-favourite-makes of all-times, along with my purple knit dress and my blue polkadot dress, and my husband loves it too, he even noticed the piping…
HOORAY for Colette Peony… and flamingoes…  and using the stuff you have in your stash!

This is me, imitating the crazy flamingo that is on the fabric.

8 thoughts on “Colette Peony – aka Stashbusting Flamingoes

  1. It turns out awesome! I love the flamingo fabric and the piping. You didn´t make any changes in the measures! Lucky girl! I have this pattern, but it isn´t still in my sewing list…

  2. Hey Maider, Thankx. It is a great pattern, it could use a few minor adjustments but for a summer dress it is just fine the way it is! It comes together quite easy (just a lot of work with the darts, there are 8 of them…). You should try is too!

  3. Hi Kat, thanks! Flamingos and the beach are my two favorite things right now, so combining them here was just supergreat!

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