Less Is Myrtle

Frocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle DressFrocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle DressFrocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle Dress Frocks and Frou Frou - Myrtle Dress

 Dress: DIY from Colette “Myrtle” pattern

Belt: Dangerfield

Shoes: Comfortview

I’m not a natural sewer; I’m too impatient and haphazard, and I don’t really possess the skills to do things like full-bust alterations. I’m definitely not a measure-twice-cut-once kind of gal (more like a who-the-hell-measures-these-days kind). Despite my success with the Macaron dress pattern years previously I got a little burned with the last Colette dress that I attempted to make: the Peony had to be dramatically (and amateurishly) tweaked to be wearable, and even then I wasn’t that happy with the results.

Colette launched the Myrtle dress pattern in July this year with some gorgeous shots of a curvy young woman in a draped white dress. With its cowl-neck, blouson bodice and elasticised waist it looked like a dress with a forgiving fit for beginning sewers, so I thought I’d buy some cheap jersey from Spotlight and give the pattern a whirl.

Colette’s patterns are great for newbie dressmakers. The patterns come packaged with a booklet with very clear and concise illustrated instructions. The Colette website/blog provides heaps of basic tutorials, and there’s even a step-by-step sew along that culminates in a great gallery of dresses made by the participants.

I picked a cheapie printed cotton jersey from Spotlight in a lovely burnt orange. The dress seems to take an inordinate amount of fabric (that cowl neck bodice is self-faced, so there’s a bit of extra fabric in that) so I ended up spending a little bit more than I’d anticipated, but the result’s a killer.

The elasticised waist is easy and comfortable, and the fact I’m short-waisted wasn’t an issue due to the blousy effect of the bodice. The draped neckline flatters my figure by showing off collar bones without flashing my cleavage up and down the street. And (hurrah!) the dress even has pockets.


It took me a couple of hours from fabric to frock, and that includes time acquainting myself with my new sewing machine, and unpicking and resewing the bodice to he skirt three times (I keeps sewing it on inside out. Don’t ask me how… it was late.)

I was so delighted with the finished result that the first thing I did was go out and buy MORE jersey fabric so I could make a second version, slightly longer than the first.


This second Myrtle was made of a much softer knit fabric, so the drape on the neckline is deeper and more pronounced. The longer hemline gives it an elegance that makes it perfect for a special event, so I played up the glam factor with a sparkly brooch pinned at the waistband and my best bling from Totally Jewel.

Frocks and Frou Frou

Necklace & Earrings from Totally Jewel

All up – fabric, elastic and thread – the dress cost me about $14 which is a steal in anyone’s book, and now that I’m confident with the pattern I’m already planning to make a third Myrtlw with a special (i.e. spendy) fabric that I’ve ordered from Spoonflower.

21 thoughts on “Less Is Myrtle

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! This dress design looks like it was made for you (pun intended!), & it’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m so impressed. And I kind of wish I could borrow that orange one. 🙂

  2. Great job, Lilli! Both versions are gorgeous – I particularly love the organs one which is just perfect for summer. I’ve had my eye on that pattern for a while but am first planning to attempt the Sabrina dress from By Hand London as it is meant to be relatively simple for a beginner (& impatient) sewer like myself.

  3. I was all excited about that pattern being one I actually might be able to make, and then I discovered I’m sized out of it. GAH!

    Your dresses are lovely.

  4. These are both fantastic dresses. I really like how you’ve styled them as well. Brooch at the waist is genius!
    And you said you’re not a natural sewer 🙂

  5. The dresses are both so stunning! And is a relief to hear others are also impatient sewers! I may be tempted to try this off is been Road tested by someone who also manages to sew the skirt inside out 3 times! It sounds like my type of sewing day 🙂

  6. Hey! An instagrammer just alerted me to your blog after we made the same dress in the same fabric!!!!!!! Obviously great minds think alike! I even think we were sewing it the same time! Haha anyway I can’t find you on insta so if you have it add me! Sarahmcw

    The dress looks fantastic on you and I love the belt!

  7. very nice will book mark as my next pattern 🙂 as they are out of the printed patterns I will wait until hopefully they are back in stock I seem to mess up the scale otherwise. So weird i can modify one i already have but i have yet to print one and resize without messing up the scale of it

  8. OMG! This pattern is gorgeous! My favourite top has that neck line and I’m desperately trying to find a ‘Hollywood glam’ dress for my work Christmas party… I may have just been inspired to make one! Thank you!

  9. you’re right the cobalt and the orange print is divine together on you! Well done on creating your very own frocks! The most I can do is add a missing button to a shirt…

  10. I actually bought myself this pattern in September, but have been hesitant to actually give it a try as I’m really a newbie with patterns, and I’m very top heavy and was having second thoughts about that drapey neckline. I’m also an inbetweenie size, so I get nervous making anything from pattern. You’ve really inspired me to give it a go! I think I might make myself a dress for Christmas, since I’ll be abandoning Melbourne for hot Queensland over the holidays.

  11. OH MY that dress is absolutely beautiful on you. What a stunner, having scoured the internet for days (not kidding) for Myrtle inspiration this is an absolute knockout! I have some cheap palm print lycra jersey (for the last celebrations of summer) I might use for first attempt as I have read that fitting can be a bit strange. But once I get that down I absolutely need that drapey watermelon knit version. Swoon!

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