An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


Ceylon Dress // Pattern Review

Why did I have to make those dresses last week? Why didn't you guys tell me making dresses would be so addicting? Like I need something else to suck up my time, but I just couldn't resist. About a year ago I purchased the Ceylon dress pattern by Colette Patterns. I knew someday I would like to make it, but I didn't have much time. The other day I decided to dig through all my patterns to take inventory and found this among my patterns. All night Friday I was thinking about making the dress trying to resist the urge, but Saturday I gave in. I used fabrics from my stash again, Metamorphosis from Cocoon by Valori Wells and a dark purple Sateen for the accents. IMG_0969-sm IMG_0972-sm

My Thoughts

I was expecting the dress to be hard, but I feel like it was comparable or slightly easier than the Clara dress. The pattern states that it is an intermediate pattern and I would agree with this. The purple accents on the bodice weren't  in the instructions I added them because I wanted to define those areas. To do this, I made single-fold bias binding in the purple fabric and glue basted the binding along the folded edges. Then I top stitched the pieces into place as the pattern instructs. I also added 1/8" purple binding to the sleeve as opposed to hemming them up. I tied in all the purple accents by making covered buttons in the same fabric. I used Dritz covered buttons, these don't need any special tool to assemble so I was able to make the buttons while watching a movie with my family.

Pattern Pros

  • Very organized, clean, well written pattern. As a graphic designer I appreciate the professional look of all the Colette Patterns and am more than willing to pay $18 for the beautifully printed version.
  • Awesome vintage retro inspired design.
  • Challenging, but not frustrating which in my book makes the perfect project. (With the exception of the buttons.)

Pattern Cons

  • I love the look of the buttons, but really 16 buttons?! Putting in all 16 button holes and sewing on the buttons was by far the most time-consuming part. My sewing machine really stinks at button holes so I was a little frustrated by this step.
  • I would prefer that the dress have pockets.
  • The sleeves are cute, but make moving around a bit difficult. I would prefer a small cap sleeve instead.
  • I had one pattern piece (K) turn out too long. I thought maybe I cut the wrong size, but that wasn't the case. I was able to use the piece anyways and trim off the excess. I am not sure if this was my fault or if there is an issue with piece K in size 0.
Overall this is another pattern I would happily suggest to you. My biggest advice is to approach the pattern with no hesitation or fear, then you will have a much easier experience.


Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.