Meet the nighttime version of Hazel aka PURPLE HAZE’L. Or as I also fondly call her – Hazel’s Naughty Little Sister…

Hazel's Naughty Little Sister - Purple Haze'l

Colette Hazel’s Naughty Little Sister – Purple Haze’l (or Not Smoke On The Water as ELH declared)

So what do you do when all the pattern companies are releasing lovely summer dresses and winter is descending in the southern hemisphere? You just grunge them up, slap on some boots, a cap and coat – and rock on. Who says you can’t wear pretty sundresses in the middle of winter? Just wear them with attitude!

I decided to tackle Hazel once more and participate in the Colette Sewalong 2.0 organised by Lucky Lucille, Sarah and Erin. I was most jealous about the first Sewalong but the canoe-across-the-oceans speed delivery from Amazon meant I could not join in. So here I am! I’m a bit early for the Hazel sewalong but it’s better early than late! And Macaroon looks to be the next sewalong choice, based on the voting so far, which is not my cup of tea, so I want to start my next project while they tackle that one.

I almost did not make this dress but I am so glad I didn’t give up (even when that seemed to be the sensible option). It’s not perfect but it’s grungy fun. This is not cake clothing, it’s just very naughty self-saucing winter pudding.

I freaked out at first when I got home and realised it was a one-directional stripe pattern.

My step-by-step approach to dealing with this.

  1. I picked which set of stripes I wanted to feature in the centre of the dress. I picked the set of smaller stripes.
  2. I decided to run the stripes across the bodice front rather than down. I did this because I did not like how the stripes would not mirror each other out from the centre of the bodice. I also ran the narrower stripes at the edge of the side bodice pieces so they angled down towards my waist. I was trying to achieve an hourglass effect. Not sure if this worked…
  3. I decided to cut the front skirt piece in half and then cut all skirt pieces on the bias for a chevron effect. I thought Wow that will look great – I should have thought, crikey that will make life tough. It was all going swell until I cut the back pieces so they matched at the backs but not the sides. DOH! I had enough fabric to cut these pieces out again and then cut the straps from the oopsie back pieces.
  4. I thought the bodice and skirt looked messy together so I cut strips from the wide black stripe to create a visual break between the bodice and skirt. I just measured the bodice bottom and the two joined back panels and added seams allowances. I then joined the black strips and then joined them to the bodice, matching the side seams. I then attached the skirt to the black strip.
  5. The skirt is slightly narrower than the pattern. I had some oopsies getting the side stripes to match up and trimmed some off the edges. I think it works better as more gathering would ruin the chevron effect – after all that hard work I wasn’t going to let that happen!
  6. I ran the stripes up and over my shoulders to lengthen my frame.
  7. I moved the straps in at the back and the front. I also changed the angle they are inserted into the bodice – otherwise they sort of slide off my shoulders.
  8. I decided to run the stripes straight across my back. Yes, I could have chevron’ed them as well but you need to stop somewhere. I’m not a complete sucker for punishment.
  9. Sob. No pockets. Did not want to ruin the side seams – or make them even harder to match!
  10. A much shorter zip – for the same reasons as no pockets. I pull the dress over my head rather than step into it. On the upside my zipper insertion is perfect – first time ever – and right the first time I sewed it in. Hooray!!

Now just a friendly warning, several shots follow where I look rather sickeningly pleased with myself. Yes, it’s revolting but I just could not help myself.

Purple Haze'l - pleased with myself - Colette Hazel pattern with a bas cut skirt

Purple Haze’l – pleased with myself – Colette Hazel pattern with a bias cut skirt

Purple Haze'l - side seams - Colette Hazel pattern with a bias cut skirt

Purple Haze’l – check out those side seams people!!

Colette Hazel - back view - bias cut skirt

Colette Hazel – back view – bias cut skirt. The stripes are a tiny bit skew-iff towards the hem – my cure is to tell people to just stop looking at my butt. Just focus on my lovely invisible zipper – I finally figured out how to get these in neatly.

Colette Hazel - front view - bias cut skirt

Colette Hazel – I chopped off my head to get rid of the smug self-satisfied look for you πŸ™‚

Apart from the Simplicity 1880 sewalong I mentioned last post (and I’m thinking of throwing caution to the wind and making a red one with white piping, crazy girl), I also want to make Cambie in a very pretty rose print. It’s inspired by an Australian vineyard. Long story. I will tell you one day soon. That’s what I love about sewing, every project is a story in itself. No wonder we blog!

I am also dying to make Oolong. And I think the peacock fabric some of you admired in the last post would work beautifully. I’m not as curvy as the Colette model but I think it might work on me. I love flowy bias cut dresses. Sew Squirrel are trying to get it in. If you live in Australia this is THE SITEΒ to get your Sewaholic and Colette Patterns. Postage is free at the moment and the patterns are a great price. I am devoted to them already. This is where I got my Cambie and Renfrew patterns from. Thank you Sew Squirrel!


  1. This looks soooo good! You did an amazing job matching up your stripes, I’m thoroughly impressed with your skill and patience. I anticipate many compliments coming your way on this one πŸ˜€

    • Thanks so much CJ. I feel like I’m mastering Hazel. It’s funny you spend some much time on a pattern you think you would get sick of it, but I keep thinking of new things to do with this one!

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m getting quite fond of Hazel, she was a real problem child for a while but we seem to be reaching some sort of truce and I have lots more ideas in my head for this pattern. The design lines make Hazel a whole bunch of fun to play with!

  2. This is amazing! I love this pattern and I love seeing what everyone is doing with it too. Good work with the stripes, my brain would have exploded trying to work that out…. I think the black stripe at the waist really works too, breaks it up just the right amount.

    • I agree, it is a great pattern once you get the fit right. The bodice design lines are fabulous and I have another little Hazel buzzing about in my head already! It will need to wait awhile, I can hear Cambie calling!

    • Thank you. I can’t say I’m not proud because I had plenty of moments when I thought ‘this is too hard!!’ but I’m so happy I kept going and I learnt so much on the way. A journey worth making πŸ™‚

  3. I love this! I am also sick with stripe envy… wonderful fabric and you did exactly the right thing with it. Now I might have to make my Hazel with a bias skirt for that awesome chevron effect – brilliant!

  4. Oh I love the Cambie dress! I still need to order the pattern but I have so many things planned this month I think I will order it next month! I like how you used the Hazel pattern and the fabric to create a nice texture to look at! Turned out great!

    • I know! The Cambie is gorgeous, every other fabric I see I think ‘Wow that would make a gorgeous Cambie’. It’s haunting me!!
      Glad you like the stripes, I’ve been searching my local fabric stores for another black shirting stripe to no avail. Alas 😦

      • Yeah sometimes it is annoying when you really like something but then cannot find it again. But finger crossed your local shops restock some new stuff soon! πŸ™‚ Yeah I like the cambie especially as it is made with the pear shaped girl in mind! πŸ˜‰ But I cannot decide which fabric to buy for it yet. I want it to be my birthday dress end of next month, so need to get searching!

    • Thanks! It’s a fun pattern to play with stripes but I think I’m done now. Time to move on to a new pattern.
      I woke up this morning to your comment and thought ‘wow what a night owl’ then thought ‘no Perth time! LOL.

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    • Yes I went a bit crazy (in fact that bias skirt panels really drove me crazy!!). Your Hazel is lovely! I really like your fabric choice.
      Everyone was sewing such pretty Hazels I decided to buck the trend.
      Purple Haze’l was the result! The fabric was difficult to work with because of the directional nature of the stripe and the bias cut skirt seemed like a good solution. πŸ™‚ although not so much for my mental health…

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  8. This is the best Hazel I’ve seen and my motivation for buying. Now all I have to do is figure out how to duplicate your results.

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