The Colette Wren dress is a Sewing Pattern which I hadn’t really noticed much, until Me Made May came along and I saw a few cute versions out there. I think the envelope photo does it absolutely no favours - the dress shown (version one - the sleeveless dress with a 6 gore skirt) is an insipid colour and I think it looks too tight. 

I chose the pattern for version 2 - short sleeved, wrap style bodice with a gathered a-line skirt.

Stripes may not have been the obvious choice for the Wren, but I kind of liked the idea of stripes going in different directions. I cut the fabric according to the pattern layout, but maybe if I were to make a second stripy Wren, I’d cut the bodice front and back on the cross grain to create a contrast of stripe directions.

Before I cut the fabric, I spent a lot of time lining up the stripes and pinning them into place to make sure that the stripes would be straight, but when it came to sewing it all up, there was really no way of matching the neckband stripes to the bodice because of the angle, so I didn’t bother!

A preliminary tissue fit showed me that I’d need to add some length into the bodice in order to get the waistline in the right place. I added in an inch to the front bodice, back bodice and neckband, and I also added an inch of length to the skirt too, and I’m really pleased with the overall length as it falls just below the knee.

The fabric is really excellent. It’s a Ponte Roma and it’s quite substantial but soft. You can see the detail in this close up photo (and you can see my twin needle stitching too). 

The colour is described as black and teal but the overall effect is dark green really. It made me think of Slytherin! I ordered 2.5m but I think you could get away with only using 2m as I have a bit left over - not enough to actually do anything useful with though!

The dress was very easy to make - I made it in one day and wore it out to the pub that night! 

The trickiest bit was sewing the elastic onto the skirt to gather it - boy did I have to stretch that elastic! I used Clear Swimwear Elastic as directed by the pattern, but I actually think regular elastic would be better, as it’s less likely to tear.

I used three different sewing machines to make the dress - my regular machine for doing the shoulder gathers, my other machine for twin needle hemming, and my overlocker for most of the other seams.

Thank you to Minerva for providing the pattern, fabric, elastic and thread. I know this dress is going to get a lot of wear.