Hot! The “Everybody Loves Parfait” Dress | Debi Fry


Picture 13 Fabric: Purple lightweight curduroy (been in my stash for ages–I think I actually bought it in the States and brought it over with me!!): 2.5 yards for £7
Pattern: Colette 'Parfait' pattern
Year: Current
Notions: Two buttons and 1 zipper: £2
Time to complete: 11 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Hmmm…yes, I think so

Total Cost: ~£9


I've been wanting to make a 1940's inspired pinafore for awhile now.  When I heard the theme was Colette patterns, I knew this was my chance!  I chose the 'Parfait' pattern which features a pinafore/sundress style. I also love the name of the pattern.  Whenever David or I hear the word 'parfait' we always think of the movie Shrek and the soliloquy of how everybody loves parfait.  It's true–parfait is fantastic (the pattern that is, I love the dessert too).

This is my first time sewing with a modern pattern EVER!  Boy was I surprised to find all the instructions.  The pattern comes with a nice booklet but what I like even more is that there is a flap in the back to store the pattern pieces (no trying to fit it back into a small envelope).

The instructions were fairly easy to understand.  I did stumble at one point and that was joining the midriff front, lining and interfacing all in one go.  I've never worked with a pattern that gave you directions on how to line and face at the same time.  So it took me a few takes of scratching my head and moving my pattern pieces around to figure it out!


I ended up having to do quite a bit of adjustments…seems I am more of a 'vintage size' than a modern size (i.e. my waist is larger than modern patterns for my bust size but perfect for 1930's silhouettes!)  I didn't do a small bust adjustment for this pattern as I knew I was going to wear it primarily as a pinafore and it seemed ok when I fit it.  But I think if I did it again, I would do a small bust adjustment.  I also added 3.5 inches in length to the dress.

DSC02536 My favorite part?  The pockets!  Aren't these the cutest things ever?  I left the button off because I liked the look better without for the curduroy fabric.  The instructions for making these were fantastic! In fact, I might have to add these pockets to other dresses or skirts.


I also played around with doing pin curls in my hair–I like how it turned out!  It gives me a sort of 'faux' bangs/fringe.  I paired my pinafore with the blouse I made from week 1 (the Coco-inspired blouse).  It also matches several of my other me-made blouses.


I love how everyone is doing a spring palette–it's been so much fun to see all the color and sewing inspiration.  Here's my version:

Debi's spring palette

I love the color of rich red wine (and the taste too!) and of fresh grass and cherry blossom trees in the sunshine.  I'm hoping to step out of my comfort zone a bit in March and explore some new decades–namely the 1960's and 1970's.  Just a quick note that I won't be around next week but instead you'll get to see an outfit post from one of the Sewing Circle members.  That will be a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing everyone's creations.  Happy March everyone (hard to believe it's here already).


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


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  1. That turned out wonderfully. I love to see what I would have thought was basically a summery type dress used as a cooler weather garment and made with a heavier material. And I do love the pockets

  2. Thanks Jen! It’s definitely not warm here at the moment (and it doesn’t get that warm in the summers anyways)…so it’s nice to have something that can layer :-)

  3. The pockets were the first thing I noticed. So charming! I love your dress just for those cute little suckers, but I think the dress shape is very flattering and the color wonderful. Like Jen said, I wouldn’t have thought to layer it and it turned out to be a smashing idea.

  4. Oh I agree with Jen! It’s a GREAT looking winter garment the way you’ve done it, and I would never have chosen the fabric myself!
    Darling photos, darling setting! AND a darling model!

  5. Thanks so much! Aren’t those pockets adorable? I am definitely going to use that pattern on other outfits.

  6. You are such a doll! Thank you! I absolutely ADORED your outfit this week!! Have fun at the music event (or was that last night?)

  7. This is so beautiful and classic, and the pockets are a nice touch. Being from Seattle, I appreciate seeing clothes made up in fabrics suitable for inclement weather!

  8. I love this dress–lightweight corduroy is such a great early Spring fabric. The purple color is so pretty too, and the pockets really add charm. Good work! Now make me one ;)

  9. Debi, you look SENSATIONAL!! That purple is a great colour for you and I love how your Parfait turned out. Funnily enough, I have lightweight purple cord in my stash and I’m inspired to pull it out for this project.
    Love the pincurls! They look great. :) Love your rich spring palette, too.
    Well done, girl!!

  10. I really think you should wear this again and often because purple is your color. You look beautiful in this dress and it is a beautiful dress. I like you hair too. Great choice on all counts.

  11. It looks great! And I agree the colour really suits you! Beautiful photo’s, as always :) I love your hair!
    Ashley x

  12. Oh yes! I’m originally from Portland myself and have somehow never managed to live in a warm climate! That being said, it’s a good thing I love my wool and my warm cup o’tea :-)

  13. Thanks Emily! I do really love the purple color…which is good since I’ve got tons left of this fabric :-)

  14. Thank you Sarah! I was thinking of you when I was making this as I know you’re working on a parfait too and I remembered that you had some purple cord in your stash! what can I say? Great minds think alike ;-)

  15. Thank you for your wonderful comments Sue! Purple used to be my favorite color and I’m glad I am finally bringing it back into my wardrobe!

  16. Thanks Ashley! I’m looking forward to seeing your Sencha as well (it’s a fabulous color!) And a big thank you for the blogger award–that was really sweet! I’m getting around to doing that post soon!

  17. What a pretty color! That’s so neat that this was your first modern pattern. I feel like people usually go the other way and finally make it to a vintage pattern!

  18. Thanks Amanda! I just found your blog and I love it! I really love that photo that is in black and white but the flowers are in color! Fabulous!!

  19. I have been waiting for your creation all week (this isn’t the pattern I thought you would use). I love your choice, the colour looks fantastic on you, and as always – your photos are stunning – thank you!

  20. Ah…thanks so much! Your comments really made my day! Which pattern did you think I would choose..I’m so curious :-) Sencha? (I did consider that one) Oolong? (that was also a serious contender)….it was very hard deciding!

  21. margueritedesigns

    The two makes look really great together! A good example of having useful mix and match things.

  22. The pinafore looks fabulous and I have to agree that purple is your color, you look gorgeous in it!

  23. I love this! I’ve also had some purple corduroy in my stash for a while and now I have a great model for what I can do with it! There’s something about this pattern — it’s universally flattering.

  24. Thanks so much! I am always so happy (or sew happy) when I can mix two separate things I have made together!! :-)

  25. Thanks Adey :-)

  26. Thanks Ali! It seems there are several of us with purple corduroy in our stashes :-)

  27. Debi – this is lovely!! I have only made one parfait dress in the past and I am now digging that pattern out t make again – it looks amazing on you and I love the corduroy!

  28. Thanks Sarah! The corduroy was fun to sew with! You should definitely make another parfait!!

  29. Debi you look amazing in this! Beautiful! …and now finally some inspiration for me to use that giant pile of corduroy that’s been hanging around my stash for ages!!

  30. Thanks Casey :-) I know I’ve had this corduroy in my stash for ages (and I still have A LOT left) :-)

  31. I love that you can take a modern pattern and make something that looks genuinely 1940s! I love the details – yay for buttons! I haven’t started my Colette pattern yet… I have the same problem you mentioned regarding the pattern sizing – my waist is larger than my bust size and I’m not really sure what to do about it! Do you go by your waist size and then do an SBA?