Ceylon a la Zo

2 Mar

Well, we got there. Just. This girl was started before Christmas, interrupted by Elisalex and then a number of sewing, unpicking, sewing, lots of hand sewing, and button making later, just before the stroke of midnight last Saturday, she was done and dusted! Finally.

Colette Ceylon

This lady just didn’t want to come together. I was sewing things on backwards and upside down, which resulted in a lot of unpicking of both stitching and overlocking. On the plus side, I am now an expert at unpicking overlocking. If I haven’t already blocked it from my memory…

Colette Ceylon

I had a special guest photographer for my Ceylon, thanks lady! These photos were taken in St Kilda, and although we snuck off into an alley, unfortunately we still attracted a little audience. What a let down for them when they realised it’s just little old me lol.

Colette Ceylon

If you know the lovely Ceylon at all, you’ll have noticed that my sleeves are different. Not the short puffy sleeves as per pattern, rather some neat little caps. I used the sleeves from Victory Patterns’ Ava. No, I haven’t actually made Ava yet, I just used her for her sleeves ๐Ÿ˜‰

Colette Ceylon

I didn’t make too many other changes really, added length to the hem (nothing new there) and added some darts in the front waist panels for a closer fit.

Colette Ceylon

Actually, there was one change that I made to the whole construction approach. The instructions tell you to apply and top stitch your pieces together, rather than the usual, “good sides together”. For my sanity, and for neatness, I stuck with “good sides together”. As far as I can tell it didn’t make any difference.

Colette Ceylon

The fabric is an absolute delight to wear. It’s a Japanese cotton from Tessuti called Black Hanataba. It’s so light and comfy, and I have some left… so there may be a very similar looking top somewhere in my future.ย 

Colette Ceylon

I felt this dress required covered buttons, so taught myself how to make them – yep, 16 of the buggers! Then I had to sew them all on!! I think it was worth the effort though.

Colette Ceylon

And of course 16 buttons required 16 button holes, 5.75 cms apart. LUCKILY, my machine was being friendly so this did not result in an ugly tantrum.

Colette Ceylon

I blind stitched the hem by hand. I also did the back neckline facing so that it won’t flap around. I actually find hand sewing quite relaxing – anyone else? I think I watched about five episodes of The West Wing while doing all the hand sewing, button making and button hole cutting.

Colette Ceylon

That’s it! Oh yeah, how funny’s this pic?! Unplanned, wind came and lifted my skirt and it was all caught on camera hahaha.

Colette Ceylon

I just remembered. Another user generated problem with this dress! Lets just say the inside hem looks interesting – the front panels have a 5cm allowance, and the back a 2 cm allowance. I’ll leave you to ponder why. Because I really don’t know how it happened lol!

What are you guys sewing right now? Right now! Well maybe after reading this ๐Ÿ˜‰

Z xx


61 Responses to “Ceylon a la Zo”

  1. Blogless Anna March 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM #

    Very stylish dress. Well worth all the effort. Looks like a fun photo shoot.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:27 PM #

      Thanks Anna ๐Ÿ™‚ It was fun!

  2. Almond Rock March 2, 2013 at 9:36 PM #

    Your dress turned out beautiful!!! I recently made 8 covered buttons and that felt a lot so well done on continuing. I think the ava sleeves really work roo. Well done.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

      Thank you! Oh you should have seen my face drop when I thought I’d finished with all the buttons and then realised there were actually six more to go..

  3. IngeMaakt March 2, 2013 at 9:43 PM #

    It’s beautifull! I have the pattern already cut out, and planning to make it. After seeing yours, I want to make is asap! The fabric you used is lovely too, and the little cap sleeves suit the fabric really well. I guess they’re better suited for pairing with a cardigan too?

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

      Good luck with the pattern! These sleeves are great for a cardigan ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Roisin Muldoon March 2, 2013 at 9:57 PM #

    Gosh, Zo, this is wonderful! Well done – the fit is just beautiful and the Marilyn moment photo is adorable ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM #

      It was pretty funny when it happened, especially with the small yet apparent audience!

  5. poppykettle March 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM #

    Well this is all kinds of awesome! Ceylong never quite did it for me – and I know now that was because of the sleeves – the Ava sleeves on this are perfection! Definitely worth the wait ๐Ÿ™‚ Great photos too!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM #

      Thanks Poppykettle! I prefer the freedom these sleeves give too ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Chris Lucas March 2, 2013 at 11:34 PM #

    I love this dress on you… it looks fabulous… well done with all the hand sewing and those buttons too! You sure do look like you had a fun photo shoot and what a great place to take the photos as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

      Thanks Chris! The shoot was heaps of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. CherryPix March 3, 2013 at 12:01 AM #

    It all worked out beautifully…including the photoshoot!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

      hehe, it was a slug, but I got there ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Vicki Kate March 3, 2013 at 12:52 AM #

    Holy Moly! I am in Love! I think this is my most favourite version ever, it looks gorgeous on you!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

      Oh wow! You’re too kind!!

  9. Tia Dia March 3, 2013 at 1:22 AM #

    Love it! It’s chic and beautiful. Love you photo shoot, too! The graffiti is pretty cool.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

      Thanks Tia ๐Ÿ™‚ We stumbled on the location, happy with how it turned out!

  10. Julia Bobbin March 3, 2013 at 1:55 AM #

    So glad you didn’t give up on this dress cause its gorgeous! Loving all the detail and the great fit. Awesome!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM #

      Thanks J! Luckily you didn’t have to hear all my grumbling along the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Bec March 3, 2013 at 8:49 PM #


  12. Lynne March 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM #

    Your dress is gorgeous, and the covered buttons were definately worth the effort.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM #

      Thanks Lynne, I’m happy with them too ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. kaitui_kiwi March 4, 2013 at 2:48 PM #

    Wow that has to be my favourite Ceylon so far! I have this pattern and I have put it off because I really really want to do an amazing job in an amazing fabric…gah and you go and lift the bar even higher, thanks! Hehe, just kidding, so much amazing xx

    I love wearing Japanese cottons or linens, Tessuti gets so many amazing fabrics, super jealous! My little Tessuti stash from my visits there is dwindling, I’ll have to pop over for some more soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM #

      Mwah ha ha, it was my evil plan all along ๐Ÿ˜‰ Do it now! This is my favourite cotton ever, it’s just spectacular to wear. You’ll have to let me know when you in at Tessuti, I’ll guide you – can’t leave a visitor all on their lonesome in a fabric store ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • kaitui_kiwi March 8, 2013 at 6:35 AM #

        *I am writing it in my diary: “Trip to Melbs & fabric shopping with Zoe” ๐Ÿ˜€

        I do want to get my butt over there hopefully later this year or early 2014, hang out with my SIL…and of course fabric shop ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. sinbadandsailor March 5, 2013 at 2:13 AM #

    What a knockout dress Zoe! I’m totally with you on hand stitching – it’s such a nice touch to a handmade garment.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM #

      Thanks Hannah!! I agree, we put so much effort in, might as well go all the way with those final touches ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Amanda March 5, 2013 at 8:25 AM #

    Check you and your rad self out, Zo! This looks absolutely epic, lady. And best unplanned photo ever!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:40 PM #

      bahahaha, I’ll check myself out (and cringe lol)

  16. sallie March 6, 2013 at 2:02 AM #

    This is so gorgeous!! I absolutely love the fabric you chose – perfect for the Ceylon! You’re such a babe in this dress!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

      Thanks Sallie! Spoil yourself with some of this fabric – it’s such a winner!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! March 6, 2013 at 2:16 AM #

    Oh I love it! My hat’s off to you on all those covered buttons and their buttonholes, too. The finished dress is just fantastic. There should be more lightweight gorgeous cottons in the world so they can be shown off like this!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

      Thanks Tasha!! I heartily agree, I want my whole wardrobe to be made of this fabric… well maybe the summer part anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Tilly March 6, 2013 at 4:23 AM #

    Beauuuuuutiful! I wanna make another one now!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

      Dooooooooo it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. maddie March 6, 2013 at 4:42 AM #

    You look great! I saw your feature on Collette patterns today and wanted to give you a shout out.

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

      Thanks Maddie! Awesome to hear you like it, love your style ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Helen March 6, 2013 at 5:25 AM #

    This is the best looking Ceylon I’ve seen on the internet!!!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:46 PM #

      Wooooah Helen – thanks!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Inna the Wall (@thewallinna) March 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

    Cudos for the wonderful dress! Lots of work/handwork paid off: the stitches and the buttonholes are super neat! Absolutely adorable! I also love how you styled it: red bag is what a girl need with a killer dress!

    • ZoSews March 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM #

      Thank you! I’ll let you in on a little secret, red handbag was nothing but a happy accident – turned out well though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Kerry March 7, 2013 at 3:53 AM #

    Seriously gorgeous Zoe! I love this but have to say I’m a little intimidated to make it. It’s just lovely though, really classic with a vintage edge.

    • ZoSews March 14, 2013 at 11:59 PM #

      Thanks Kerry! Don’t let her intimidate you – show her who’s boss ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. gingermakes March 7, 2013 at 6:32 AM #

    Damn! This looks great! Nicely done, girlfriend!

    • ZoSews March 14, 2013 at 11:59 PM #

      Why thank you! ;p

  24. Gjeometry March 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM #

    I love your dress! It’s so flattering and the fabric is gorgeous! I think you made the right choice with the covered buttons, as they don’t compete with the great fabric.

    • ZoSews March 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM #

      Thanks Gjeometry! I’m really happy with the buttons, naughty as they were ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Jenny March 8, 2013 at 5:18 AM #

    Love the dress! Beautiful fit – you look fabulous!!

    • ZoSews March 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM #

      Thanks Jenny!! I can’t overstate how gorgeously comfortable this thing is to actually wear!! Wore her today, loved it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Rachel March 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM #

    Absolutely gorgeous! And isn’t the west wing the best hand sewing tv accompaniment? I think it’s because you can ‘watch’ it without actually having to look at the screen the whole time, listening is sufficient for most scenes (especially when you’ve watched it a few times before, like I have)

    • ZoSews March 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM #

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ This is my first time around with West Wing, so I keep finding myself distracted and actually want to watch the screen! Pft, what’s with that?!

  27. merche March 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM #

    Iยดd swear I left a comment here, because I definetily drooled over your new dress and I can remember the last photo that is just fantastic! I need dresses, and some Spring in my life. I love how this one looks on you. And you are a very enterteining writer!
    Wear this dress a lot, you look stunning!

    • ZoSews March 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM #

      Aww thank you! I wear it so much as it’s truly a joy to wear ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully Spring will be with you very soon! Nice to hear my babble entertains at least one person ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Donna March 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM #

    I followed the Colette Blog to find you ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love the sleeve variation you did. I think it freshens up the whole dress. Just beautiful!

    • ZoSews March 15, 2013 at 12:08 AM #

      Thanks so much Donna! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Rosy March 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM #

    Oh, yeah! Sewing by hand is quite relaxing for me too …. You are soooooo funny in the pictures .. absolutely love this beautiful dress, so feminine … your effort is clearly rewarded!

  30. Anne-Marie April 5, 2013 at 2:34 PM #

    Really beautiful, you look great. When I look at the pattern I find it quite dowdy and not at all appealing, but your dress looks fresh and modern and I love what you did with the sleeves. Great work!

  31. Angela April 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM #

    Love the fabric, it looks beautiful.. I have this pattern, you are making me want to try it!

  32. Jennifer Shaw November 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM #

    Your dress is so lovely! Thanks for sharing. The Japanese cotton print is to die for.


  1. Zoe’s Ceylon | Coletterie - March 13, 2013

    […] Zoe’s new Ceylon. She chose a japanese cotton print that looks so much like a vintage rayon to my eyes, I was […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: