INSPIRATION FOR THE DRESSMAKERS BALL- Rach at Rach against the Machine

In the run up to The Dressmakers Ball, we’re bringing you some inspiration and advice on making yourself the ball gown of your dreams!  You can go as complicated or as simple as you like for the ball- dresses in simple shapes offer the chance to really show off a fabulous fabric, while more complicated patterns offer a fun challenge to more confident sewers.  Whatever you chose to make and wear, we cant wait to see you in it!

Today we have Rachel Wain, who blogs at Rach Against The Sewing Machine, has sewn the Colette Rue dress.


This is a lovely dress that has some really interesting design details.  The front seams can be joined as normal, you could insert piping to break up your fabric pattern, or just to make things more interesting if you think your fabric is a bit plain.

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I recommend making a toile just to make sure the design lines of the bodice hit you in the right place.  It is possible to grade between sizes even though there are seams on the front.  I graded from an 8 from my bust through to a 12 for my waist and hips.
Construction is really simple; just make sure you pay attention to getting your pleats even at the front.  The instructions for inserting the full lining are really detailed; it’s the first time I’ve fully lined anything and I found it really easy.

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As with anything, my main tip is to take your time and make sure you’re doing things properly; especially if you’re wearing it for a special occasion! I hand stitched the hem because I thought it deserved that extra bit of time and care.
The only place I deviated from the pattern was to top stitch around the neckline to keep everything tucked in and neat.   Bonus feature about the pattern… in seam pockets!

Suitable fabrics:
You could make Rue in a crepe de chine, which would drape and give it a real “swish” factor:

This spotty fabric will be beautiful as a swishy dress.

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Or go classic with this gorgeous rose printed Liberty cotton!

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