Tropical Colette Chantilly


Hi, everyone! Here we go again, another summer zooming by and I haven’t gotten through all the projects I wanted to tackle this season. Still haven’t made the shift to fall sewing though, so you’ll probably be seeing a few more summer outfits before I finally face reality. 🙂

In any case, here’s my latest creation: a tropical Chantilly dress by Colette Patterns. These photos were actually taken a few weeks ago, the day after I left my job. Then I left town for a bit before starting my next super awesome gig this month. Things have been busy, but happiness abounds.

I realized this isn’t a hard blog post to write because I already reviewed the Chantilly in this post from 2014. So…no more delays – write that post, Amanda!


No changes were made in making my tropical version so there isn’t much else to say I suppose. One thing to mention is that I didn’t end up taking out a wedge of fabric from the upper bodice piece, as I said I might do in a future make. Not sure what changed, but the fabric seemed to fall into place easily enough this time and I didn’t need to fiddle with the gathering like I had to for the first one.

For my tropical dress, I used this cotton voile with palm trees, coconuts, and thatched-roof huts all over it! Anyone else want to go to there? I bought it from Denver Fabrics about four years ago and felt it was too happy a print to be sitting in my stash any longer. I bought 3 yards of 60″ wide fabric. Yikes, what was I thinking? Would’ve been fine with just 2.


I was having the hardest time figuring out which way the fabric should face since the palm trees seem to be pointing up and down equally. I decided to take a section of the fabric and place gold pattern weights on the palm trees facing up and red pattern weights on those facing down. Turns out the gold won out ever so slightly. Relive the dramatic conclusion here.

I lined the dress with a light beige cotton sateen from Mood that I had sitting in my stash. It gives the dress a bit more brightness, which is nice.


Got a little windy here, as noted in the way my skirt is hanging!

I added the pockets in this time, and I also installed the invisible zipper following the pattern’s instructions. I did the more traditional technique to install the one in the first version, which led me to throwing the dress on the floor twice in the process. Not the happiest of experiences, but I wear that dress often, so I decided to risk another make. 🙂

I will say this dress feels like it takes too long to make, at least for me. I’m a pretty slow sewer, and I was on a roll this summer with my sewing until this dress. Really slowed me down. And I like this dress, but I just don’t know if I love it. If I could do it again I’d have worked on other projects instead.


No city was thrown off its axis during the taking of this photo.

In fact, I started a couple of True Bias Southport dresses mid-Chantilly just to change things up. You’ll see those soon, I hope! I wore one of them yesterday.

Don’t go anywhere, summer! After these messages, I’ll be “write” back. 😉


18 thoughts on “Tropical Colette Chantilly

  1. What a fantastic summery dress! I’m really loving your blog, all your fabric choices are so pretty and I really loved your simplicity 5554. Can’t wait to see the Southport dress.

  2. I love it! The palm tree print is perfect for that dress! I’m glad I’m not the only one churning out some last minute summer makes. I want to get started on my fall plans, but summer dresses are so much more fun to sew.

    • I have a hard time letting go of the summer every year! Who knows, I may be stubborn and keep on making summer dresses for the next month or so. Still warm here in September. 🙂

    • Thank you! It’s nice to turn happy fabric into a happy dress. Reminds me that I need to keep sewing from my stash – it’s so rewarding (and economical)!

  3. It’s lovely Amanda, so pretty and summery and the lining really does bring out the colour of the fabric. I’m totally with you on projects that take too long, especially if you don’t love them, it feels like a waste of sewing time! Your Chantilly is so elegant though, I’m sure you’ll get lots of wear out of it. x

    • Thanks, Jane! It definitely can feel like a waste, especially when you feel like it’s messed with your sewing mojo. But, I guess we have to face those every now and then. At least, as you said, I will get good wear out of it!

  4. Beautiful dress, Amanda! Perfect for the dog days of summer, I think! And congrats on the new gig–work happiness is SOO important! It was lovely to meet you at MPB Day and I look forward to sewing with you at Camp Workroom Social.

    • So nice to meet you too, Claire! Thanks for commenting. I agree, work happiness is key so I feel very fortunate. 🙂 I look forward to our sewing adventures in the Catskils – it’ll be here before we know it!

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