My Favorite Peony
When Colette Patterns released the Peony Dress, I knew right away it was for me. Classic, feminine, simple, vintage-inspired, and timeless; this is my taste and style to perfection! The sample Sarai made immediately reminded me of one of my favorite dresses from one of my favorite films: Audrey Hepburn’s white dress from Charade. It has all the same lines, with the exception of a different dart location. Otherwise, it is the exact dress!
I have made many Peony Dresses over the time since its release, each one slightly different from the previous. First I made a “wearable muslin” version. I only do this when I’m pretty sure that whatever happens, it will at a minimum be wearable. Since this is such a classic shape, I thought I could at least get close in my first attempt.
I made a few changes to the pattern, prior to making a muslin, just knowing my body. I shortened the bodice by an inch and I made an A-line skirt that gathered into the waist (which spins well!). I knew the skirt shape wouldn’t work on me. My first dress was pretty good, and certainly gets worn, but it pointed out a few other fit issues to resolve in the next version.
Like many of you, I had to move my bust darts and blend sizes. I moved the bust darts out and lower. I found them to be too high and too close together for me. I also brought the shoulders in to a size 2, and used the largest dart at the back of the neck. After all this, I feel pretty solid about the fit, but I could never get the slight gaping at the back of the neck to totally go away. It’s fine when worn alone, but if I put a cardigan over it, the dress makes the neckline stick out weirdly under the sweater. Alas, I can live with this dress being a sans-cardigan-dress!
I now have a lot of Peony Dresses and it’s been a joke amongst my friends, “let me guess… is it a Peony Dress?” My favorite one is this orange floral version. It’s not the one I wear the most, that is my solid brown/black short-sleeved version, but this one does come out for special occasions, like my Craftsy class video. This vintage fabric was found at a thrift-by-the-pound shop in San Francisco in the drapery section. It’s rather fragile, so I take care of it, or else I’m sure it’s going to fall apart!
My website: www.christinehaynes.com
My blog: www.christinehaynes.blogspot.com
My Craftsy class: http://www.craftsy.com/class/Sassy-Librarian-Blouse/74