Hot! The “Floraide” Frock | Adey Lim


Fabric: 3 yards of cotton blend ( I think) fabric from Spotlight US$20
IMG_0354 Pattern: Colette Oolong
Year: c. 2009
Notions: Lace US$0.50
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Definitely!

Total Cost: $20.50


My Spring Palette is very much influenced by the vibrancy I see in the things I love- fruits, nature and even vintage cars. Here's a collage of images that inspired me (photos mostly from etsy). My Spring colors: Aqua, Cantaloupe, Dragon fruit, Kiwi and also Pearl Barley which I used as a background. Yum!2489C3EE-81AA-34A6-9B88-1C56F6570A05wallpaper

 I love the mix of these colors too and the floral print is definitely something I'm going for this Spring. What about you?

The fabric I chose for this project is one which I have been saving for the right project, one which I couldn't bear to use. But, it's a great floral representation of what I want out of a Spring Palette. The fabulous thing is when I found out that we would be working on Colette Patterns this week, I knew the fabric has found its pattern in the Oolong.


With the burst of spring blooms on the fabric, I couldn't help but recall the beautiful flowers at an event I was priviledged enough to have visited as a university student back in Spring 1992. The 'Floriade'- an international exhibition of flowers and gardening, held every 10 years in the Netherlands. This dress surely brings back memories of the colorful and overwhelming array of flowers!  Hence, the name.

I heart Colette Patterns! I've sewed two macaron dresses (here and here), a Lady Grey and can't wait to work on the Ceylon and Roobois patterns I have in my stash. And seriously, for dresses like these, one version is never enough!


The Oolong is a flattering V-neck dress with vertical ruched bodice and is entirely cut on the bias. Although it was considered an intermediate level project, I feel that with Colette Patterns' clear and detailed instruction booklet, it is quite the perfect dress for a beginner. The dress being cut on the bias meant that the cut fabrics felt stretchy, I almost felt as if I was working on an easy knit fabric! And best of all, there are no zippers or buttons required. It's a slip on dress!  This makes the dress quite a gratifying sew! When was the last time I made a woven dress that didn't require an invisible zipper or button holes and looked this flattering? I honestly don't think I ever have! And I really do love a well conceived pattern  where I can match all the seams and darts of the bodice and skirt without much difficulty.


I've learnt through previous projects using Colette Patterns that if I were to use the standard size 6, I would hardly need to make any fitting adjustments and likewise, it is true for the Oolong. Sewing this dress did require a little patience though. But it's the good kind that requires you to rest and wait. As the fabric was cut on the bias, I had to let it rest overnight after cutting and again when the dress is almost finished so that the skirt hem can stretch overnight before finishing it. To finish the look and add some variety, I added a simple lace at the sleeves. The lace design repeats itself for 5 rows. I overlapped three of the rows over the sleeves and two rows below it. 

Some readers asked me previously how I finished my V-necks so I've posted some photos of the process for Behind the Seams this week. Have a blessed week!

 Want to win your own copy of Oolong? Just answer this question in the forum to enter!


Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


Comments are closed.

  1. Wow! this looks great. When I had a look at the colette site I have to admit that the oolong wasn’t one I was interested in. But I didn’t realise it was cut on the bias and was slip on! You’re version looks great.. just goes to show, first impressions aren’t always right when it comes to patterns! Love the detail you’ve added to the sleeves too!

  2. Adey this is beautiful, I really do love the way you sew. I have ordered this pattern, can’t wait to get it!!

  3. I’ve been to a local Floriade in Canberra and know what you mean about the colourful and overwhelming display of colour. I very much like the lace that you have added to personalise your dress. Beautiful!

  4. I love it! The fabric and lace details are so great. This diffidently makes me want to buy this pattern and try it for myself.

  5. Thanks casey sew! I totally understand and have to admit it was the same case for me too but after reading in detail that it was a bias dress, I decided to give it a go as I've never sewed one before and thought it would be a good learning experience. I am also very fond of V-neck dresses as they have a more flattering neckline. It has been a fun experience sewing this:)

  6. Thanks so much Debbie! I can't wait to see your version! Do post it on TSW forum when it's done k?

  7. Thanks Jen! I always enjoy adding little details when time allows it:)  I didn't know they have the event in Australia too, thanks for sharing that!

  8. Thank you so much Rebecca! Leave a comment at TSW forum ( and you could win this pattern! Good luck:)

  9. Wow, I LOVE the colours and it’s seriously amazing that you don’t have any zippers etc… I’ll have to try that one soon!
    As usual Adey, you look so gorgeous!

  10. Beautiful dress and now I think I better order the pattern. Your photographs really show the dress well. Thank you!

  11. I’m glad to see another Oolong out there (there are so few)! I’m doing this pattern for this week’s challenge because I love the silhouette, the bias cut, the v-neck, and I thought it could use a little love :) It’s definitely one I could see making multiples of. Great job!

  12. Adey, this is stunning! The dress is so flattering on you, and I love the fabric. Fabulous work! You may have inspired me to work on the Oolong next :)

  13. This is so pretty! I love the fabric, too, like everyone else. :)

  14. The dress is beautiful, the colors are great, and I love the lace. Also thank you so much for your extreme clarity in telling how you worked the pattern and fabric.

  15. Another incredibly beautiful creation, Adey! Congratulations!

  16. Thank you Sue, I am glad you found the post useful:)

  17. Oh, thanks so much for saying that! There isn't that many finished Oolong dresses around so I am pretty glad I attempted this and it worked well:)

  18. Thanks Amanda, you are so right. I only managed to find like 4 other finished Oolong dresses and was shocked so few people have attempted to sew this flattering dress. Can't wait to see your finished version(s)!

  19. Thank you so much Jean! I'm very glad more people are open to this pattern:) You can post on the forum for a chance to win this pattern too! Good luck!

  20. Thank you so much Veronica!  I was seriously amazed that a slip on can be so flattering, I'm thinking of sewing one in knit without cutting on the bias. I can't wait to see your dress!!! 

  21. Adey – I’m constantly inspired by your sewing and your attention to the details! So beautiful – way to go!

  22. margueritedesigns

    It’s very pretty – I do love that fabric!

  23. Oh, you're sweet! Thanks babe:)