The ‘mixed feelings’ dress that is the Colette Myrtle

(This is a word heavy post, if you want a review, read on. If you just came for pictures scroll to the bottom)

When Sarai released the newest Colette knit pattern, I was jumping with joy. Seriously, I felt like a bouncy castle. I don’t think I ever purchased a pattern this fast and seconds later my printer got to life. I’m not the one to start on a pattern right away, like ‘forget all the rest, nothing is more important’ right away. But with this one I did.

The Myrtle was everything I was looking for and more. I had immediate vision of a wardrobe filled with Myrtles, Myrtle variations and Myrtle hacks. But what goes up must come down…

It started with assembling the 64 pages… I would have liked it if I didn’t had to print the extra bodice pieces for the 2X and 3X sizes. (Edit: Apparently, they are releasing a new version so you don’t have to assemble as many pages) It’s an easy pattern to assemble and everything matched up perfectly, no complaints there!

But then I had to pick my size… According to my measurements I had to make a size L (which made me cringe a little) and it specifically said on the pattern that the waist was supposed to have negative ease, so you had to pick your size based on your body measurements, not the finished measurements. I’ve gotten into a habit of measuring pattern pieces for knit patterns because not everyone likes the same amount of ease. I like my knit garments somewhat fitted, especially around my bewbs (you have to highlight your good features amirite). I wanted my dress to look like the black model (seriously, I want her curves!)

(Note: I’ve edited this part as I mentioned before that it had 10″ of ease, I must have mixed up the measurements I took because it turns out it’s only 4″ after remeasuring. But in my defense, that’s still way too much imho) I’ve come across knit patterns with zero ease, I even came across some Big 4 patterns which have a lot of ease because they use the same block for wovens, but the amount of ease in this pattern is huge! My bust measures 100 cm (39″) and the flat pattern pieces (SA included) measure 115 cm (45″)! For a knit…

I wasn’t even going to muslin that size. Based on my measurements I could have gone with an XS instead, but I went the safe route and made a size S. I did my usual 3cm swayback adjustment.

The instructions are very clear, but I would have sewn it differently (which I did). I self lined the entire bodice. The pattern has you cut one back piece and fold over the neckline and armholes and twin needle them down. Twin needles are tricky enough in the best situations, so I wasn’t even going to try it. I don’t like the look of it either. Instead I cut 2 back pieces so I could self line it and have a nicer finish. Worked like a charm. It took me about have an hour to assemble this dress, so instant gratification it was. And when assembling the whole thing I first sewed the front armholes and then the side seams, this made it a lot easier to avoid catching your back in the seam.

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When I put on the finished dress and posted about it on Instagram, I had mixed feelings about it. It looks nice enough. I like the drape of the collar and the whole things feels very comfortable to wear. As you can see, it’s still not very fitted in the waist so I could have gone down a size easily. But the shoulders and armholes look off. They’re too wide for my taste. So that was something I’d have to change.

I also own the Maria Denmark Day-to-Night Drape Top and I did like the shoulders on that one, so I put one on top of the other and changed the shape of the armhole.

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I also stabilised my back neckline with some fusible seamtape to reduce gaping. The result was much more my taste.

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While still pretty loose, I’ve already worn my three Myrtles (there is a maxi dress but I don’t have pictures yet) multiple times. I really really like them. I don’t like a lot of things about the original pattern, but I think it comes down to the simple fact: How much ease do you want? Which model do you prefer? If you prefer the model with the looser fit, I’d say make the suggested size. If you prefer the tighter fit, go down 2 sizes πŸ™‚

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13 thoughts on “The ‘mixed feelings’ dress that is the Colette Myrtle

  1. It’s hard to know how to feel about a pattern that requires so many changes! On the one hand, we both like the dresses we made… but on the other hand, someone who didn’t make all those changes would get the same effect! I feel a little like they maybe got so excited about the idea that you could sew it in a knit or a woven that they sacrificed the fit of the knit. Maybe if they had released it as a woven that could be sewn as a knit, instead of vice versa?

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    • That would have been a much better idea. I have a pattern in my stash of a dress with a drape neck which was both for a knit and a woven and they had you cut the woven fabric on the bias and insert a zip. I thought that made a lot more sense.

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  2. This looks really nice on you, despite the pattern issues. However, I can’t for the life of me understand how a pattern could work using knits and wovens interchangeably! That just doesn’t make any sense to me, even with my limited patternmaking experience. It’s a very strange idea. But I’m glad you’ve made changes that gave you a workable pattern. It really does look good on you!

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    • I have the same feeling, the way they suggest it doesn’t make any sense. I feel that by wanting the dress to be made out of both types of fabric, they sacrificed the most important thing which is to say the fit of the pattern. But I’ll give it a try anyway, might insert a zip to avoid ending up with something that looks like a potato sack that’s been cinched at the waist or cut the bodice on the bias to give it a minimum amount of stretch and make the drape nicer.

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      • I think you’d have to cut the bodice on the bias for a woven – surely it just wouldn’t sit nicely if it was cut on grain?

        Like Ginger, I can’t imagine how a pattern would fit both wovens and knits without major changes – unless there’s lots of positive ease, which I’m not a fan of for knits

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  3. Hmm, I’m really confused about the measurements issue! I just measured the pattern myself, and the size large measures at 43″ at the bust, nowhere near 49″. I can’t imagine how that would happen unless the pattern printed incorrectly?

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    • Somehow I wrote down the measurements wrong. So I printed it correctly, but measured it wrong. Or my tape measurer shrunk. In all seriousness, I edided the post, I’m sorry for the mistake, thanks for noticing!

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  4. I really like it but I’m also on the fence about the fit. I would think for sure the sizes should be different for a knit vs a woven. Maybe 2 sets of body measurements to choose your size depending on whether you use knit or woven? But your final dresses do look great and very flattering!

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  5. I’m a bit late here but just wanted to thank you for your helpful review! I am about to sew the dress and I fall right between M and L according to my measurements. I was doubting which size to choose but now it’s clear I’ll go with the M. Your dresses look wonderful!

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