Christmas Frock

One of my goals for Christmas was to tackle an item on my ever growing sewing list. After busting out a muslin test dress two weeks ago, I knew it would be Colette’s new Phoebe. Between opening presents, making a mound of Cinnamon Bun-Bites, visiting with family and taking a nap, the Phoebe was completed.

christmas morning

Thanks to the quick muslin dress of weeks past, I was able to alter the pattern to a perfect fit. Started with a size four; modified for a size 6 waist and skirt (I sit at my job 90% of the time and need ample ease) a size 2-4 bodice, trimmed down 1” at each armcycle (fancy word for arm hole). I found them too gappy for my personal taste and bust size.

made pheobe

Photo courtesy of Colette Patterns. Example Phoebes.

The dress is a nod to a 60s mod jumper. I loved the button version, but knowing myself, decided to keep it simple on the first make. The dress also features a surprise Hong Kong finish on the interior exposed seams, which were completed with moderate success. Not sure if it’s a misprint on the pattern, but double fold ½” bias tape does not yield 1” bias tape and I had to cut down all the bias tape. The first two sections I cut too narrow, so I had to sew on top, not as professional looking, but still pretty tidy.

hong kong

Photo courtesy of Colette. Click for link to the tutorial. Why is it called Hong Kong finish? I can’t remember, if I ever knew. But I have always envied this finish on my nicer clothes and now I know how to create it.


front face

I know: the fringe, the face…. I was having a morning. But it is much better with a belt.

There was a bit of a mishap at the zipper, as sewing fatigue and grandpa’s cough medicine were settling in, but regardless, I think it was a fantastic first Phoebe. I also found out how hard it is to unpick stitches from flannel (why was it set so tight on the zipper?? Boo!!), so likely I will never take out the extra line of stitching there, but hardly anyone will notice.

back zip

That’s the best shot I’m showing of the back zip. I tried it with this striped shirt, which Vance said was too distracting, but turned out it really needed a belt. Still a bit too shapeless without it.

It’s a pretty versatile dress – jumper with sleeves, skirt when paired with a sweater, sleeveless dress with tights and booties….a worthwhile sew!


Necklace by Noonday. Earrings by the one and only Steinen. (I dubbed them “Sriracha” in lieu of their given name, which is similar, but I can’t remember at the moment. Plus, I really like using the word sriracha.)

6 thoughts on “Christmas Frock

  1. Love the last photo best. Nice work! I also love the necklace and earrings. And your hair made me smile.

  2. I remember that day in Sunday school when the lesson was on Dorcus and her sewing. You were in fourth grade I believe. You did well with the clothing shown on Facebook. Keep at it and as you gain experience you will be able to creat beautiful fitted garments. Not everyone is able to fit clothing.

    • Thanks Lorene! I agree, there is sewing and then there is next level where you learn how to fit garments. I’m excited to keep trying!

  3. Totally impressed, as always. I wish you were closer – we could barter!! I’d love a jumper like that!! And of course the Strachys (sriracha) earrings look great on you.

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