Thursday, February 23, 2012

Colette Patterns Ceylon Dress

Before I talk about this dress, I must tell you all a sad, sad story.

There was originally supposed to be a giant red balloon in all of my pictures. We're talking a three foot diameter balloon. This thing was serious. It barely fit in my car.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you'd get a helium balloon and it was the greatest thing in the world? All you had to do was go have dinner at Applebee's or Friday's on the right day and odds were you'd end up with tied one around your wrist, this magic thing that defied gravity and floated in the air.

I remember being intensely afraid of letting my balloon go. I used to grip that ribbon with white-knuckled, terrified determination, because losing a balloon outside was the worst. One second that magic floating thing was all yours, then one weak distracted moment later it was careening into the sky. In the first few milliseconds you think, I can jump and reach it!, and you try, but of course you can't. And then it's fifteen feet above you, then twenty, and you think, wildly and irrationally, maybe I can throw something at it and knock it down. But instead all you can do it watch its ascent, at the mercy of the jet streams, thinking of its poor little rubbery self climbing higher and higher in the atmosphere all the way to outer space where it explodes into a million pieces. Shudder.

You'd think, then, with this phobia, that when I drove to the place we took pictures of my dress, I would have secured the balloon to something inside my car, or not left my hatchback wide open, or tied the balloon to my neck so that if one of us was a goner, we both were.

After taking a few test shots of the brick wall, I turned around to get the balloon.

It was gone. 

I looked around in a panic and cried out, "Where's the balloon?!?", as if it was still in my car and I just didn't see it. With crushing defeat I finally saw it in the air, probably a hundred feet up, floating lazily out towards the Pacific. And it was terrible. I wanted to cry.

But I didn't. And here are the balloon-less pictures of my Colette Patterns Ceylon dress. You have to admit they'd be better with a giant red balloon. But the dress turned out cute! As with the first Colette pattern I made, the Jasmine Blouse, the directions were very straightforward and easy to follow, with great pictures [I'm a picture person].

It fits me almost perfectly. The sleeves are a little too tight, and they were on the Jasmine blouse too, so I think for the next Colette pattern I make I'm going to cut a size bigger in the sleeves and then just gather them more to make them fit the armhole. I love the yoke detail and the way the bodice is constructed in multiple pieces. I'm already thinking about the next one I'm going to make, which I want to do in color blocks.

I was a little terrified about all the buttons, but my world was turned upside down when I accidentally discovered that my sewing machine can attach buttons. I realize this is probably a basic function, but I've always sewn them on by hand and never even thought to use a machine. Life changing.

So in closing, I'm sorry, giant red balloon, I should have taken better care of you. I hope you're enjoying your excursion into the great blue yonder. Stay away from outer space!

swinging makes everything better, even lost balloons


  1. you have perfectly captured the fleeting agony and ecstasy of balloon ownership!

    and your pics are still glorious. i love that background you chose, and am still jealous over your ceylon...

  2. oh no I would have cried about the balloon haha. The dress is gorgeous...maybe you should teach a class for it! :)

  3. no!!! the big balloon is gone? well, at least we have this photo of you with it to remember the happy times...

  4. that dress is adorable! Great job!
    I so wish there were cute plus-sized patterns, but there just aren't.
    Sigh....almost as sad as no red balloon. Almost.

  5. Really Cute dress!! Even without the balloon!! (happens to my kids all the time.)

  6. Your dress looks gorgeous on you!! So sorry to hear about your balloon; I have the same fear "of" balloons, too :( Isn't it amazing, the magical power of swinging? :) I hope it helped make it better.

  7. Sorry to hear about your balloon :-(

    Your Ceylon dress is so beautiful! I've been hesitating on purchasing this pattern for a few months now but I think you've convinced me!

  8. so nice to meet you at the Colette signing party, such a pretty dress you made & my friend was lucky enough to grab the last Ceylon dress pattern so I can't wait to help her sew it up.

  9. Oh my, that dress is heavenly!


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