Chantilly: A Late Summer Sundress

If you guessed the sewing project in last week’s sneak peek was a dress, you’re right!

It’s the Chantilly Dress by Colette Patterns. Isn’t it just the loveliest colour combo for late summer? Equally gorgeous with tights and boots! (I bet I can ride a bike in it, too. Haven’t tried it yet but you know I will!)

Sarai, the lovely and talented designer behind Colette Patterns, and I decided to do a pattern trade – Chantilly for Lonsdale. Isn’t that fun? We may be competitors in the sewing pattern market, but our goal is the same – to inspire women to sew, to share our sewing knowledge, and to create beautiful, well-designed products for the sewing community. And we both appreciate cute dress patterns!

Back to the dress: I love this pattern! I knew I liked the style, but I loved sewing it too. The curved midriff band is so flattering, with such a nice shape. And it makes me look rather busty which is always a bonus!

Here’s the project details, and a few photos of the finished dress!


I cut a size 2, following the instructions for sheer fabric (even though mine isn’t completely sheer.) I liked how the underlining brightened the floral print and made the colours stand out. Yes, I made a muslin first! I did a quick mock-up of the bodice before starting the real project.


I cut the centre back skirt piece slightly larger below the waist – tapering from a 2 to about an 8 at the hipline. It’s hardly a difference, and I would have been fine without it. This skirt is full enough to fit a pear-shaped gal without any adjustments!

I also added 1″ to the bodice length. I added the extra length just to the midriff band but looking back, I could have added 1/2″ to the band and 1/2″ to the gathered section, to distribute the extra length more evenly. Something to think about when you’re adding length to a bodice with horizontal seams!

What I Like:

It makes me look super busty! It’s all gathering and not a lot of actual bustiness, but I am loving the optical illusion. If you had a larger chest, this pattern allows extra room through the bust. And if you need the extra oomph, the gathers certainly add fullness and dimension! (I could have taken some of the gathers out at the bust for a closer fit, but I secretly like the extra volume.)

It’s finished nicely on the inside as well as the outside! This dress is lined in the way where you make an entire dress out of lining, and then sew both dresses together along the neckline.

I like this method because all of your seams are enclosed and hidden inside the lining. I finished my seam allowances even though I knew they would be hidden – both because the instructions said so, and for extra strength.

I lined the dress with cotton batiste – a good option if you have trouble sewing slippery lining fabrics! Cotton batiste is more stable and well-behaved, compared to rayon or polyester lining fabrics. I chose to line with cotton so the dress would be cooler and less sticky in hot weather. I also like how it adds a bit of body to the skirt, making it stand out from the body just slightly.

It’s time to start sewing for Fall and put the lightweight floral dresses on hold for a while, but I’m glad I finished this one up before summer ended!

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45 Responses to Chantilly: A Late Summer Sundress

  1. Roisin September 5, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Tasia, that’s beautiful! When I saw that curved midriff in your sneak preview picture I thought it must be a Chantilly dress. I’ve made two now and I agree with you completely about the lining – it means it takes longer to sew but the inside of the dress is so nice as a result.

  2. Ida September 5, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    A beatuiful dress and the fabric is perfect for it!

  3. Suzie September 5, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Oh my goodness, this dress is gorgeous! I just LOVE your fabric choice. And I have a similar situtation as you in the bust department so I know what you mean about secretly liking the gathers….hmmm…I think I may need to get my hands on a Chantilly pattern!

  4. Katy September 5, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    Oh that fabric is gorgeous, and love the idea of doing a swap of patterns, apart from anything else to see how another expert produces something you’ve done the pattern for (and any tips and improvements!)

  5. Funnygrrl September 5, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    That dress is gorgeous! I appreciate your tips on lengthening the bodice. So beautiful that I hope you get a few wears in before full on cold weather!

  6. Gemma September 5, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    What a pretty dress and the nicest version of Chantilly I’ve seen. I absolutely adore the print – so beautiful. I know what you mean about distributing the 1″ between the gathered area and the band but I think I like it better the way you did it.

    By the way, I can’t wait to see what Sewaholic patterns has got in store for us for the rest of 2011! Hope you release the next one soon!

  7. karen September 5, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    So beautiful, LOVE the fabric!

  8. Mary September 5, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Super pretty dress Tasia! That fabric is made for that pattern! Good job!

  9. Annabelle September 5, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    This is lovely. You always make great choices pairing your fabric with the pattern; something I need to get better at. Beautiful!

  10. Samina September 5, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    That’s a gorgeous dress & a beautiful fabric! The last time I tried to order it, it was backordered. I received an email that it was back in stock, so I’m going to have to get my order in. Also, as a less endowed kinda gal, I’m delighted to see your comments about the bust benefits of that dress! And here, I kept thinking that it only would flatter a bustier figure, since all of the versions I’ve seen on the web were so bust enhancing!

  11. Karin September 5, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    You look great in this dress! Everything about it suits you. The fabric’s colours and print is awesome.

  12. Corinne September 5, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    What a beautiful dress on you. The fabric is perfect. You and Sarai are innovators and trend setters in this emerging new direction of home sewers. Good work. You both inspire, teach and encourage so many. Can’t wait to see your fall projects.

  13. Rebeca September 5, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    This is a very beautiful design and it looks gorgeous on you! I love how neat the lining looks. I hope you can enjoy this little work of art for many years. Congratulations to you and Sarai!

  14. Ginger September 5, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I love this dress! I’ve been admiring the Chantilly from afar for some time and waiting for it to be restocked. This looks great on you! I may have to make one myself…

  15. Crystal September 5, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    I love the Chantilly, and your version is very beautiful.

  16. Beverly McCall September 5, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    You are simply amazing. Love the dress and your workmanship is outstanding. Your step-by-step directions helped us to follow your progress. You definitely are an inspiration. Keep on sharing.

  17. Ali September 5, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Tasia — you look stunning! Such gorgeous fabric too.

    By the way, my sister loved the version of the Pendrell I made for her and I just tried out your invisible zipper technique (as showcased with your skirt pattern) — pure brilliance! So clean and professional. Love it, love it. :)

  18. mala_14 September 5, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Absolutely stunning! The fabric has amazing colours and I love how it looks like it was painted in watercolours. Also the shape and fit are really flattering. Great job!

  19. Didyoumakethat September 5, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    That is very, very pretty fabric and perfect for the dress. You did Colette proud!

  20. Rosesred September 5, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    That is a superpretty dress. What a great way to say farewell to summer. (Even though I wish it wasn’t so)

  21. Amy September 5, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    What a gorgeous dress! I thought something like a pattern swap might have happened since Sarai’s fall inspiration board had a dress that looked remarkably similar to your Lonsdale pattern. I love the bright floral fabric you’ve used. You look fabulous in the dress!

  22. Seraphinalina September 5, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Wow! That looks awesome, I love your choice in prints (and shoes!).

  23. Nukka September 5, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    beautiful fabric!
    very good! it’s a fabulous dress!

  24. Kris September 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Oh, that’s gorgeous! I just love the fabric – what vibrant colours!

  25. Bri September 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    This dress is lovely, I love the fabric you used as well. Its always nice to hear about people who though in a competitive market are still amiable, if only more people could be like that!

  26. kaitui-kiwi September 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Wow! Your fabric choice is perfect! I love the Colette patterns, just finishing off my Rooibos (zipper and hem to go) and I’ve already cut out the Lady Grey coat but I haven’t seen this one. Isn’t it amazing how you don’t really ‘see’ a pattern until another seamstress shows you her creation and then you suddenly ‘see’ that pattern in a new light? :) xx

  27. Olive September 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Such a pretty dress…where did you get that gorgeous fabric? I cut out my first Coette pattern this afternoon, Oolong. And I’m coveting your Lonsdale design. It’s just a matter of time. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  28. Emilie September 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Beautiful dress! I absolutely love the floral print and it does give you very nice curves! I think I might have to try this one too, but maybe next summer though.

  29. Helene | 25reasons September 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Beautiful work Tasia! It’s just gorgeous, of course, your fabric choice is stunning, you look beautiful in the dress, and the inside looks as good as the outside! A sign of a really good dressmaker, my dad (the tailor) used to tell me.

  30. Gail September 6, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    You make very pretty dresses. I’ve not seen this pattern before, so you’ve sparked my interest.

  31. Casey September 6, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    Gorgeous!!! I agree that the colors in this beautiful print will translate well into fall–I’m sure it’s going to become a staple dress in your closet!

    I also wanted to say I appreciate your comment about finishing the seams, even though they’d be hidden. This is something I’ve done for awhile, and find it does increase the lifespan of the garment a bit! Even though the seams aren’t rubbing directly against the skin during wear, there is still some friction that can cause unfinished seams to fray. In my personal experience, with fabrics that already have a tendency to unravel, it’s a good option. ;)

  32. Stacy aka Stacybeads September 6, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    The cut of this dress and the colors are so flattering on you! You’re right, this is a great choice for transitioning from summer to fall.

  33. Amanda S. September 6, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    It’s a very pretty dress, Tasia! You’ll definitely be able to pull some of those colors in with tights and wear it into fall. And I love a pattern that creates a bit of bustyness.

  34. Zilredloh September 6, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    This dress is gorgeous! What a lovely dress to cap off the summer with. :)

  35. Sofia September 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I think it’s so cool that you’re promoting another independent pattern company’s pattern. It shows how open you are to good, intelligent, beautiful design, and that you’re all about being extremely fair and unbiased. Good for you for being excited about what’s out there, but not only that – posting a whole post about it. You really do keep your readers’ best interests at heart. I like this dress quite a bit, but I too am looking forward to the new Sewaholic Pattern that hopefully will be coming out soon!

  36. Susan - Knitters Delight September 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    What a fun trade! I think it is so important for independent designers to stand together instead of compete. There is room enough for each of your patterns on our sewing tables! Your dress looks amazing on you, too.

  37. Ryan September 7, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I especially like how the underlining gave a little more body to the dress. I love drapey fabrics, but sometimes they just look sad and droopy. This dress looks like it has life but still soft and swirly.

    Being taller than the average girl, I’ve always struggled with lengthening my bodices. It’s easy to add an inch at or just above the waist, but I’m never really sure how to add length to the bust area or under bust. Any tips?

  38. Tilly September 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Oh wow!!! What a stunning dress. Incredibly gorgeous fabric. Amazing!

  39. petitejosette September 9, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    This dress is lovely! It really is very flattering on you. I looked away from it before because I in fact thought it was more meant for busty girls, but you’ve inspired me to put it on my list.
    thanks for sharing !

  40. Lisa September 9, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Tasia your dress is gorgeous , I am making one for next Spring for sure now.

  41. Jana September 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    This dress is stunning. You look great!

  42. Jeanne Marie September 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Wow. The dress is wonderful, but I am IN LOVE with the inside. I’m really focused right now on making the insides of my projects as lovely as the outsides. This is gorgeous and a great inspiration.

  43. Amanda January 4, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    So lovely! The fabric is divine and it looks wonderful :D

  44. Ms. SpoolTeacher October 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Gorgeous and what a wonderful seamstress you are. Love the shoes to go with. Lovely.


  1. Fall Palette Challenge Week 1: Golden floral Lonsdale | Coletterie - September 9, 2011

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