Simple staple: The grey Truffle

Truffle Dress

The Colette Patterns sewing handbook has been, without doubt, my single most useful sewing resource to date. It’s not an exhaustive guide to sewing techniques and practices, but it is a brilliant beginner’s book and has plenty of photos to help you along the way (something I found sorely lacking in the first sewing books I bought when starting out).

One of the things which drew me to this book was the range of projects it included, especially the dresses. However, while I had some grand plans for these patterns, I didn’t actually get around to trying them!

Recently, I’ve been reviewing my old pins on Pinterest for sewing inspiration and came across this simple Kate Spade dress. I love the softness of that grey, and the simplicity of the silhouette coupled with the more dramatic neckline. It struck me that the Colette book’s Truffle dress would be a good match for this style if you left off the drape/wrap front part.

I have some lovely grey suiting fabric left over from the vintage pattern skirt I made a few months ago. One side is a darker, smoother finish (this is the side I turned out for the skirt) and the other side feels like brushed cotton and is a much softer shade. So I’ve used that side as the right side for this dress.

Truffle Back

This was a really simple make: I cut my size based on the finished garment measurements and find it a good fit. The upper back is a little bit loose so I’d probably take it in a smidgen there when putting in the zip next time around.

One thing this dress could use though is some pockets. I considered adding them but left them out in the end as I thought they’d show through this soft fabric on the outside and make it all lumpy.

I looked into different beading techniques for building a dramatic neckline akin to that Kate Spade dress, but this fabric is really soft and I don’t think it could actually support that kind of finish without sagging.

I’m considering coming back to this dress and adding some embroidery along the neckline or part of the skirt. Ingrid of We The Sewing posted this handy guide to adding embroidery embellishments on her blog recently and I’ve earmarked it for future use. I really want to start adding more finishing techniques to the simpler items I sew to give them a bit more edge or personality.

Truffle Front

Skills learned: I’ve made lined bodices before, but this is the first time I did the push-the-back-through-the-front technique and it does give a lovely smooth finish (if you’ve clipped your curves and graded your seams properly beforehand!).

Recommend pattern?: If you’re starting sewing and looking for a great guide, then I couldn’t recommend the Colette book enough. And if you have the book, then this pattern is great for learning how to line a bodice and insert an invisible zip in a lined bodice. It’s a simple pattern for a nice staple dress and, though probably not worth buying the whole book for alone, it is a brilliant addition to the book.

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27 thoughts on “Simple staple: The grey Truffle

  1. What a beautiful dress! The fit looks great on you and I think the fabric choice is great. I’ve been debating purchasing the Colette book, just because the techniques are all very basic– however the patterns are all lovely so I think it’d be worth it for those alone!

    • Thank you! 🙂 Yes, I think if you were planning to make a few of the projects then it’s certainly worth the price. I’ve found it a brilliant resource as I learn to sew but would think it’s v basic if you’re already well acquainted with your machine

  2. This is such a lovely dress – the colour is gorgeous and it fits you so well. I have the book but haven’t tried any of the patterns – I may go and revisit it this weekend!

    Louise
    notsewsimple.wordpress.com

  3. What if you just did a simple prick stitch (or, the ‘baby back stitch’) around the collar, but picked up a small glass seed bead for each ‘prick’ — the tiny part of the stitch that shows on the right side? Think the lapel of a men’s suit jacket. It would be quite a bit more subtle than the Kate Spade but would defo be light enough for your fabric to handle.

  4. This is a fantastic dress – so practical and pretty! I’ve got the Colette book, but wasn’t really taken with any of the patterns when I bought it. I might have to go and take another look though, because I love you take on it.

  5. I love this style, it’s beautifully made and looks great on you, but I don’t think my body shape would suit it, but I do already have the book so I may give it a try……

  6. This is beautiful, and I love the idea of embellishing the neckline. I also have that book, and find it super useful. Maybe I should get onto making up some of the patterns!

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