Archives for posts with tag: book

–Colette, in one of her apparently few quotable quotes not involving cats

I got my copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook the other day and it’s LOOOOOOVE. What a gorgeous book. One of my first sewing books was Built By Wendy’s Sew U, and I learned a lot from it, but this book, while somewhat similar in general contents and approach, is about a thousand times better suited to me in both the aesthetic and the sloper measurements. (I haven’t made a garment from either book yet, so I can’t speak to actual fit!)

I’ve been idly checking in on the posts on Colette Patterns’ blog every so often, and decided at some point that I’d add this book to my next Amazon order, but I hadn’t looked through it all until the book actually arrived in the mail. It includes five patterns, all very pretty and very, very girly.

I found the Pastille Dress on the cover somewhat uninspiring–the cover photo is possibly the worst one in the book. The dress is fitted very closely, but somehow between the cut and the color, the model just looks like she’s wearing a fleshy Spanx tube rather than a dress. This version is way cuter–check out the belted, cardi’d picture down at the bottom of the post. I like the knife pleats across the hem of the skirt, but I’m wary of the cut-on sleeves–seems like it could be very difficult to get the fit right.

This blog post covers the Taffy blouse and Meringue skirt. I’d totally make and wear the scallop-hemmed Meringue skirt. The Taffy blouse, on the other hand, is probably the pattern in here I’d be least likely to make–it’s lovely on the model, but those sleeves are really pretty enormous if you look at them, so it would probably be better in theory than practice, unless you have a very narrow torso or are really proud of your shoulders and just want to show them off to everyone.

This post has pictures of the Truffle and Licorice dresses. TO DIE FOR. Truffle is a simple sleeveless A-line with a gorgeous front drape across the skirt, and Licorice has a big draped collar and big, poofy elbow-length sleeves. (Eat your heart out, Anne Shirley!)

I have been surfing around to find finished versions of these, and unfortunately haven’t found a ton, but here are a couple of cute versions:

Truffle in black brocade
Licorice with sassy belt
Licorice, described as “the dress that almost broke me”

The measurements for these patterns are interesting. To compare with some other pattern companies and ready-to-wear: I normally wear a size 6 or 8 in RTW. Going just by bust-waist-hip, I’m close to a Burda size 40 across the board,  just a little smaller in the bust depending on whether I’m inhaling or not. Looking at the measurements for Vogue patterns, my waist is a little bigger and my bust a little smaller than the size 14, but again, pretty close measurements across the board. According to the Colette measurement chart, though, I’m probably a size 4 by bust, size 6 by waist, and size… uh… smaller than a size ZERO by hip measurement. Since none of these patterns are very fitted in the hips, I won’t worry about it too much, but it’s interesting to see such a huge variation from the Burda and the Big Three slopers. I’ve read that Colette patterns are drafted for a C-cup bust, so I’m guessing the size 6 is going to be closer to the right size for my frame–I’ll probably start from there and see if it works out.

The real draw for me was the patterns, but the book has a lot of other good info, including making a personalized croquis, assessing fit (how to read all the random wrinkles your muslin makes across your body when it doesn’t fit!), making bias tape, and how to do a number of standard adjustments like full or small bust adjustments, sway back, or adjusting for small or large waists. It also covers a lot of the basic information about sewing, like grain lines, pattern layouts, fabric types, and finishing seams–I have a lot of other books with this info, so I skimmed over it, but it looks like a solid summary. Since a single Colette dress pattern goes for $18 by itself, this book is a bargain at $18.99 on Amazon even if you only like one of the patterns, and a positive steal if you like more than one pattern or would find the sewing information useful.

Next step: stop talking about/accumulating Colette patterns, start making more of them. I think I’ll start with either the Meringue skirt or the Truffle dress.

I picked up Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop Lace at the library the other day and I’ve been drooling over it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Loop-d-Loop series has the greatest reputation for being well-edited, there haven’t been that many guinea pigs on Ravelry yet for most of the patterns, and I don’t feel like risking casting on for a large project only to find some major error or to discover it’s insane-looking or unflattering in a real-world setting. Just look at these, though:

Bell Sleeve Blouse
bell sleeve blouse (gorgeous, but knit on size 3 needles; I don’t have the patience!)

Rose Trellis Blouse
rose trellis blouse
Knit on a size 2 needle. Even worse!

Thistle Bodice
thistle bodice
This one may be knit on size 2s, but it’s at least tons of open lace and sleeveless, and seems interesting to knit. A gorgeous doily adaptation! And there are a few FOs on Ravelry that look good, but unfortunately, they all have comments about the confusing or incorrect directions, e.g. “I’ve ripped this 3 times and reknit all the way to the Arrowhead chart where, once again, the confusing directions stymied me. This is going into Time Out until the goobledy gook directions get sorted out. As many times as I’ve knit and reknit, I could have had another camisole knit by now.”

Butterfly Lace Tunic Dress

I have the feeling this probably works best if you have the same figure as the model in the book, but there are no FOs on Ravelry, so it’s hard to tell.

The one pattern I’m most likely to make is the Lace Leaf Cravat, which is small and bulky-weight (a quick knit) and has been available for ages as a single pattern, so probably any editing issues have been worked out by now. But I’ve made so many of those little ascot things and I almost never wear them, which perhaps is a message from the universe that I should stop knitting them? I dunno.

Anyway, if you haven’t looked through this book, check it out–it’s awesome knitting eye candy. Beautifully styled and photographed, and the patterns are inventive and gorgeous.