The Colfax Dress is a fun, a-line, shift style dress with optional pockets, exposed bias binding at the neck and arms, a yoke, and a wide hem facing. There are two views, one with the whole dress made from the same fabric and one with contrasting yoke, bindings, and hem facing. My dress is a hybrid of the two views.
The testing period for this dress lasted 2 weeks and it took me about a week and a half to decide on what fabric to use. I really wanted to use fabric from my stash and I pulled about so many different options before I remembered I had this fun, green, linen/cotton blend. I only had 1.5 yards of this 57″ wide fabric and the pattern calls for a little over two yards. I did some cutting magic and was able to squeeze out the front and back of the dress, pockets and the neck/arm bindings. I had a scrap of solid green quilting cotton that was a perfect match for the main fabric so I used that for the yoke and hem facing.
This is the tester view of the dress; Kelli made a few minor changes to the final pattern. Before I cut into my fabric I made a muslin to check sizing and length. I am glad I did it because I found that the bust darts and armholes were too low for me. I shortened the bodice (and also the yoke) at the upper bust area by 3/8″ and then moved up the darts by 5/8″. I don’t know if any of the other testers had this issue– it may just be an issue for those of us with smaller busts.
The dress is drafted for a person who is 5’5″ and I am just shy of 5’8″. I only had enough fabric to lengthen the dress by 1/2″ (which turned out to be 1/8″ after shortening the upper bust.) I attached the hem facing with a shallow seam allowance and the length is pretty good but next time I will probably lengthen it by an inch.
My fabric is on the heavier side of medium weight so it doesn’t have a lot of drape. I was really questioning whether to add the pockets since I knew they would add bulk to my hips, but I decided to go for it. (One of the great details of this dress is that the pockets are slightly recessed and then Kelli has you add bar tacks to the top and bottom of the opening for extra reinforcement. I love little extra touches like these on sewing patterns!) I am tempted to cut the pockets out. I love putting my hands in them, but I think in this fabric they aren’t doing my hips any favors. I’ll wait until the weather warms up and I get to wear the dress a bit before I make my decision, though.
So, I love my new dress and I am going to be on the lookout for something more drapey for my next one. I bet this would be a dream in double gauze for the summer. Is it too early to be thinking summer sewing already? It’s probably wishful thinking for me since winter in Chicago doesn’t seem to end officially until June. Haha!
p.s. — The pattern is currently on sale and there is a sewalong/contest that will be happening through the end of April. I’m off to shop for more fabric!!