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The sewing obsessed are already undoubtedly aware of the independent pattern company Colette, which produces lovely vintage-inspired patterns, like the Chantilly dress pattern above.
Colette patterns come in sizes 0-18, which I think are meant to be much closer to normal RTW sizing than the Big 4 sizing scheme (how many home seamstresses got messed up by making a Big 4 pattern according to their usual RTW size rather than their measurements the first time they tried to sew something?) Colette is also notable for using models who look like pretty ladies you’d see out in the park or at the office rather than 5’10” fashion models. I won’t use the phrase “real women” because as one who lacks curves, I can tell you that it’s no fun going from being teased by other kids about one’s scrawny, undeveloped physique from the age of 12 to being told repeatedly as a grownup by other grownups and the media that “real women have curves.” This is *my* reality. And it barely fills an A-cup.
But on that topic, the Colette patterns are generally shown on beautiful curvy, zaftig, hourglass-shaped women, perfect for modeling the retro styles from the era of classic pinup girl. And most of the Colette garments I’ve seen made up on blogs and websites are on ladies of at least average curviness (and by this I am referring to shape, not size or weight). In fact, the according to the size chart, the Colette size 0 is designed for a 33″ bust (body measurement, not finished garment measurement). I wear a size 0 RTW, and with the Big 4 patterns, I wear (or grade down to) a size 4. However, the size 4 bust measurement for a Vogue or McCall’s is Selfish Seamstress-sized 29.5″ (don’t even get me started on the Big 4 waist measurement BS), a full whopping 3.5″ smaller than Colette, so we’re potentially looking at a very non-trivial SBA with a Colette pattern.
Granted, I know that there are some Colette styles that wouldn’t suit my figure even if I could get them to fit properly simply because the styles themselves look best on curves, but I thinking even a gamine like the Selfish Seamstress would like a coat like Lady Grey?
My question is: have any of you who have been “blessed” with a boyish figure (again, talking about shape, not size) tried out Colette patterns, and if so, how did the fit work out? Are they cut for a different kind of ladyshape than Burda or the Big 4? Ladies of modest endowment and minimal waist definition, pipe up!