Conquering the Hazel fit!

Colette Hazel, size 0, waaay too big

Colette Hazel, size 0, waaay too big

Unlike Colette Peony – which I tossed aside in a snit – I am determined to beat Colette Hazel into submission.The day started out well. Mother’s Day – breakfast in bed, cups of tea, presents and a walk on the beach. We are only a couple of week away from winter and I wore my Stamp of Approval dress (with a white belt on loan from Miss 9) and bare feet. The kids and the dog swam. It’s odd weather, it’s been warmer the last couple of days than it was during summer!

This afternoon I trotted off to the sewing room to tackle Hazel. She bit back.

This is my muslin, my very baggy muslin. I suspected that I was going to have major fit issues as my last two outings with Colette have been very ‘confrontational’ in my little sewing room. Poor old Homer in a Muu-muu has been watching on aghast. The muslins have not made it to this blog. In fairness Crepe is not too bad, probably because it’s a wrap, but Peony is horrid.

The fabric for my Hazel muslin is a cheap cotton that was on sale at Spotlight so it was not a big investment (or loss given the result). It is pretty though and I wanted to try this dress with stripes as the bodice lends itself to stripes in a very flattering way otherwise you might as well use any old summer dress pattern…. I think it would look great… if you can get it to fit…

Colette Hazel, size 0. Hello! there is a huge gape at front

Colette Hazel, size 0. Hello! there is a huge gape at front

The zip is not an invisible one like the pattern suggests. I just used one that I rescued prior to throwing out one of my daughters’ old threadbare school uniforms. It’sjust a zip and it doesn’t impact on the fit, clearly.I acknowledge that I am a small person. I’m 5 foot 4 which is pretty average but the rest of me is slight – or perhaps better described as skinny. I’m not boasting or moaning, its just a fact of life that I am naturally built like this, I do zero exercise and don’t diet. Yes you can start throwing rocks now, I’m used to dodging them. Many kind people constantly comment on how ‘skinny’ I am, questioning my eating habits and how I look like my dog… I’ve got a whippet. Yes, I’m blessed to have so many people keep my ego in check. Anyway, moving on to more important issues like fitting clothing my seemingly sparrow’s rib cage.

I know that my frame is small but I am always very surprised at the size of Colette Patterns. This is a size 0. It’s huge.

Fit problems:-

  1. It’s gaping badly across the top of my bust – but it seems to fit nicely across my bust.
  2. It’s huge in the waist and across my back.
  3. The straps are whacko. I took them up but I think my shoulders are too narrow for the placement of the straps. I often buy the smallest size in jackets to get them to fit across my puny shoulders. The strap buckling stops if I move them further out to the edge of my shoulders – where they fall off all the time. Very stylish.
  4. I put a belt on with it as I think that, given how high the waist sits, the light gathering of the skirt just doesn’t work. It just not flattering – on me anyway.

In the past I would have just chucked it to the side and written it off as a total loss. Thanks to all the sewing blogs out there and all the sewing alongs and sewing parties I have watched on the blogging sidelines, I realise that fitting doesn’t have to seem like tackling Mt Everest (or a molehill in my case).

So here’s my Colette Hazel fitting plan…

Colette Hazel, size 0, pinned back
Colette Hazel, size 0, pinned back
  1. Take a wedge out of the bodice centre to counteract the massive gaping at the front across the top.
  2. Take about an inch out of each side of the back.
  3. Move the straps in a bit at the front or set them in straight rather than at an angle.
  4. Consider changing the skirt from gathered to pleats.
  5. The stripes need more contrast

I’ve got a little weird wacky plan bubbling away in the back of my mind for this pattern. It could be a complete failure but I want to get this pattern to work as I think the panels of the bodice could be used as a base to dress up this little dress in quite a unique way.

Before I get ahead of myself I have to conquer the fit first! Evil plans must come second.

I have been most envious of all the Me Made May 12 stitchers wearing their creations. I just didn’t feel like I could participate – even in a small way because I have so little sewn by me at this early stage. So this year I am watching… and waiting… I am proud though that yesterday I wore my beloved Tardis Skirt (Vogue 1247, how I love this skirt! I must take a better picture) and today I wore my Stamp of Approval (Simplicity 2209) dress and tomorrow I plan to wear my Four Foot Dress (Simplicity 2060). I guess it’s my Me Made May 12 blip on a radar!

In the meantime I think I have pinned the muslin into submission – does this look better??

Colette Hazel, size 0, after being pinned into submission
Colette Hazel, size 0, after being pinned into submission – pins in the front as well!

Back to work tomorrow for another five days in the hamster mill and this week I am thinking ‘what to make to wear to the opera’. Open to suggestions, watch out for the post in a few days! I need a new challenge…

10 thoughts on “Conquering the Hazel fit!

  1. I think it looks really great pinned in! and I’m sure all your hard work getting a perfect fit will pay off with a lovely dress.
    And I am glad you are joining in Me-made May too, it is fun, isn’t it?
    Thanks so much for the lovely comment on my dress too 🙂

  2. Ugh I’m working on my hazel now and I’m having the same gigantic problem. I’m not used to Colette patterns so I guess when they suggested that they don’t include much ease in their patterns they were playing a joke on me. Oh well we will get there! Yours looks super cute pinned up, it will be a great dress once you take it in 🙂

      • If only I was a c cup!
        I might try repinning the bodice front at the sides tonight. I like how the front triangle is sitting so i don’t want to mess with that. I might try angling in the seams under the arms to pull the bodice in across the top.
        It’s a bit of a weird jigsaw pattern this one!
        Watch this space!

  3. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to remove the amount pined at CF from the diagonal seam in the bodice? Less risk of creating a dart at the neckline, I believe. That’s what you are doing at the back, right? Looks great in stripes, I must say.

  4. Pingback: The Battle of Hazel: Part 2 « Sew Busy Lizzy

  5. I have a friend who is a size zero in retail sizes, and she frequently goes on eating plans to gain weight. (The weight drops right off after she stops her eating plan.) I went clothes shopping with her once, and I couldn’t believe all the snide comments she got while we were out. I’m a plus size, and I’ve never gotten a rude comment about the way I look. I was completely shocked. You’ve got to have a thick skin when you’re naturally thin!

    • You know that is such a lovely thing to post.
      I know that I am lucky to be small but like your friend I am often amazed at how snide people can be. We are just built the way we are. I’m thankful but I don’t appreciate people trying to tear apart my self confidence because they obviously feel its ‘open season’ on small/thin people.
      I hated it when I was in my late teens – being told to shop in the children’s section is pretty humiliating at that age.
      I love my 30s, I have reached a point where I’m finally comfortable with my build and have a husband that adores me just the way I am.
      It’s sad sometimes that even friends can be so cutting. I’m often envious of girls with curves but I don’t feel the need to belittle them to make myself feel better.
      I often joke thin people are actually two dress sizes smaller as they need rhino skin to deal with the mean comments!
      Your friend is lucky to have lovely friend in you.

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