Red Merino Colette Myrtle Dress

Another cycling dress for me! But this time it’s suitable for cycling to work and wearing to meetings through the day. It’s a Colette Myrtle Dress – a very popular indie sewing pattern which has been well loved for very good reasons.

I’ve posted before about cycling dresses and what works for cycling in my experience. But to summarise quickly, it’s a higher neckline, knee length (or just below) hemline, with plenty of room to move arms and legs freely while pedalling along. A brighter colour doesn’t go astray for visibility either.

I’ve had this pattern for a while. I made it up quite some time ago into a top, just to test the fit and see if I needed any adjustments.

I did – in the bamboo fabric I made it up with last time, I found that the front cowl was dropping a bit too low for my taste. You can see me holding my shoulders back in the photo above, keeping it in place. Later I decided to support that neckline slightly with a thread inserted into the inside of the cowl. So I’ve needed to do an adjustment to this pattern to reduce the drape slightly.

I had to scratch my head a little to work out how to do that on this particular pattern, given it is a draped front. But in the end it was a simple case of folding the front pattern piece, taking a wedge from the front and then truing the piece up again (pivoting back to a straight line along the fold) to re-establish the straight of grain.

And it worked out well – the drop of the cowl at the front is now at a great height for me. Yes, it cowls, but no, it doesn’t reveal anything it shouldn’t. So that pattern piece is good to go for next time.

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It’s a very comfortable dress, and the fabric is great. Bright, cheerful, smart looking, and also very easy to care for and wear.I bought it from Rathdowne Fabrics when I was in Melbourne a few weeks ago. I feel like ringing them up now to buy more in other colours, but given I bought so much of this colour at the time, I have plenty more merino sewing in front of me. So I’m holding myself back.

Merino has been a favourite of mine for a long time but this is the first time I’ve sewn with a merino knit fabric. It’s very easy to sew and I will most certainly buy merino fabric again. Great stuff.

I was a bit surprised at the length of this dress. I made the long length, but it is only knee length on me and I’m a pretty short person. So if you are tall, you might want to lengthen the pattern. I might lengthen it to make another version at some point, so I can have a longer midi length which I think would work nicely in this style.

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And as you can see from the blue top I made in this pattern previously, it’s pretty easy to add sleeves to it if you want to, to take it from a summer dress into winter.

I did make one mistake sewing it up (I need to be more careful when I read the instructions!!!). I had to undo an incorrectly applied waist seam in which I originally encased the elastic doubled (hard to explain), rather than folding the casing downwards as I was supposed to. And in unpicking this seam on my lovely merino fabric, I made a hole. Bummer. But luckily it’s under my arm so I don’t think people will notice it much.

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And that’s it. Another great cycling dress, great for the travelling that I’ll be doing this year as it will pack well and wash up easily, but still be comfortable and look presentable during the day.

And Le Pooch approves. I call this one a win, for sure.

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