Monday, August 4, 2014

Myrtle turtle

Having loved all the Colette patterns I've tried,  I signed up for the advance/sneak peek of the new Colette pattern Myrtle. Unexpectedly, I found it underwhelming... I already have a decent cowl neck dress pattern, the DKNY V1351, which is bias cut and works will in knit without a zipper.

After making a disastrous shirt from the above pattern (not the patterns fault), I decided to order the Myrtle anyways.  Then, the pattern sat around for a few more weeks while I did other things.  A few cute versions popped up in the flickr group and a new crepe jersey came out at, similar to my favorite Colette Moneta, so I ordered it and decided to give the Myrtle a go.

Here she is:
The good stuff: The bodice self-lining front is very impressive, and the overall construction is awesome!  I'm excited about using it for other projects... I love how easily the shoulder straps and bodice sides stitch up (even with a lining present). It felt like magic. :)

The weird stuff: The back piece (as instructed) is without a lining! Why no lining?? It does not work without a lining in a weak stretchy knit like the crepe.  So, I cut a lining and made seams where the instructions say to finish a hem on the back bodice. This worked out perfectly and was so simple to do that I'm confused as to why it's not part of the pattern... seriously, why no lining? The neckline and armseyes are gorgeously done with the lining. They would be messy with the finishing described in the instructions.

Also confusing - Why is the back skirt cut in two pieces and then immediately sewn together? Couldn't it be cut on a fold? (that is what I did). Is there a reason for the seam in the back that I don't know about? The grainline was fine when cut on a fold. Weird.

In the promotional photos, the bodice seemed quite blousy... and I read on other blogs about finding the bodice to be huge and potentially bra revealing so I made sure to cut it according to my upper bust, not my full bust or waist size. I guessed that the cowl and the super stretchy jersey would work well without a FBA. Lucky guess. In the end, I cut the bodice between medium and large, while I graded out to large at the hips. This worked well and there is a still a decent amount of baggyiness at the elastic waist, but not too much. I can't imagine how HUGE the shoulders and bodice would be if I cut for my full bust size. Yikes!

Not too blousy! Just loose enough.

The bad stuff: The width of the shoulder straps! They are stupidly wide... and even on the gorgeous model on the website, it looks like extra flaps of fabric are coming out of the armpits to make half assed cap sleeves.  Not flattering... but then again, I think that about this pattern, but it's very popular. Yuck, people. In any case, I made my dress as instructed, but folded the straps in HALF and stitched them with the outer edge under the inner edge. It looks fine. The cowl hides a million mistakes. I hope I can modify the pattern piece for the next time I use it.

Straps folded in half and sewn down (trying out a belt... am I a belt person? I can't tell...):


  1. The lining makes it look so much neater! Thanks of the description on how you lined it, I'll definitely be lining my next Myrtle!

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    2. Hi Kirstin! It is easy - just sew the edges together and turn it right side out... I pressed it too and then sewed it to the front like it was a single piece. :)