Guest post - Tabatha at Thread Carefully


Tabatha is on it! She has been sewing along with all of us Sew Colette ladies and finished her Licorice dress ahead of schedule. Sarah showed me her photos in the Flickr group and we just knew that we had to ask her if she would be willing to write up a guest post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful dress with us, Tabatha!

Hi all! I am very excited to share with you my finished Colette Licorice dress! I was way ahead of schedule for this make, which is most unlike me, so I’ve had all the more time to wear and enjoy my new dress. I love it. Like so many Colette patterns, it is beautifully designed, and of course easy to put together due to Sarai’s wonderfully clear instructions.

My fabric was a love-at-first sight purchase from Remnant House in Harrogate, Yorkshire. That place is packed to the rafters with bolts of fabric, and this one was tucked away out of sight, but a good rummage unearthed this John Kaldor poly crepe fabric and my heart skipped a beat – it was perfect!  I really wanted something with a lot of drape, and this fit the bill, not to mention the gorgeous print and colours! There were no labels, so I took it the counter and was told it was £4.99 per metre. KER-CHING!!!

I actually managed to sew this dress in one day (7.5hrs), including making the muslin, but that was only possible because a) the muslin fit without alterations and b) the muslin then became the lining for the dress and c) my daughter was at nursery for the day! I made the muslin using an old bed sheet which was in good condition except the elastic had gone from around the corners – now I know I could have put my sewing skills to practical use and put new elastic in, but deciding between a fitted sheet and a pretty dress wasn’t really that difficult! I machine-basted the muslin together very quickly (not the sleeves, just the front and back) and tried it on. It looked ok for me. It was a fairly loose fit, but I wanted this dress to be comfortable, and when I looked at the models in the book I could see that their versions weren’t tight-fitting either, plus I knew by the time I’d got the lining and shell fabric together that would pull it a little tighter. So, I basically stitched over the basting stitches and used that as my lining.

The rest of the dress came together very easily. I overlocked my raw edges, and inserted a hook and eye at the top of the zip at the back. The zip I used was white because that is the only one I had at the time, but I might replace it at some point with a navy zip because it does show a teeny bit. For the sleeve cuff, I used up some left-over ready-made bias binding, which didn’t really match as it is grey,
but because it is only used to form the elastic casing and it is turned to the inside, no one knows except me (and all you lot)! I happened to have the perfect amount, and it meant I didn’t have to buy or make any, so that suited me just fine. When I tried on the finished dress, I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Because in its previous life the bed sheet had been washed many times, as a dress lining it
just felt SO soft! It was like sliding between the sheets for a nice sleep, so comforting!

This pattern is definitely one I will be reusing in the future. It’s just such an easy dress to wear:  flattering, pretty and feminine. I think it would be great in prints or solids, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s versions!

Thanks so much to Sarah and Erin for inviting me to be a guest blogger, and for organising such a brilliant sew-along. I know I have certainly gotten my money’s worth out of the Colette Sewing Handbook thanks to you both!

Schedule for sewing the Licorice dress designed by Colette Patterns.
May 7th: Muslin
May 14th: Fit and Fabric
May 21st: Guest post by Tabatha
May 25th: Guest post by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille
May 24th: The Final Countdown
May 30th: Licorice Parade
May 31st: Sew-Along Wrap Party


  1. Oh it's so pretty, and I love it with those shoes. The full sleeves (are they called bell sleeves?) are so graceful :)

  2. I love the fabric! And it's such good motivation material to see someone else's finished version while I'm pulling mine together.