Hot! 7in7: Day Six, Rooibos

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The Facts
Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann's, $8.00; Alexander Henry fabric for contrast, $5
Pattern: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Year: ContemporaryNotions: None
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again: Perhaps

Total Cost: $13

I have such an awesome readership that is just so supportive and complimentary! As far as daily affirmations go, I'm pretty lucky. It's almost sort of ridiculous the circumstances that this dress was created around. After I wrote my post about xoJane, I decided I didn't want to miss the launch party in New York tomorrow night. So, I booked myself on a red-eye for tonight (I'm actually at the airport right now). I had basically 12 hours to finish this dress and Oolong before I left. And then my sewing machine broke. I think I worked it to death! Luckily I finished Rooibos before any of that happened. Whether I finished Oolong is a mystery that will be answered tomorrow.

As far as this Rooibos goes, everything came together once I figured it out.

Things I would do differently next time

  • Use heavier weight fabric for the shell. I used a fairly lightweight cotton for quilting that just doesn't have enough heft. The fabric weight is the factor that would prevent me from wearing it again. A better fabric and a pretty perfect dress
  • I would not take an hour to figure out how to stitch the armholes. If you have ever made Rooibos, you'd know what I mean. The rolling thing was just so confusing. But once I figured it out! OMG! Once I figured it out, I couldn't believe that there was any other way to stitch a lining. I was truly blown away.
  • I use piping or some other interesting embellishment (buttons down the front). I was just too crunched for time.

Things I like about Rooibos

  • Those same sleeves/lining instructions. Once I figured it out, I was just so happy
  • It's really easy
  • I was able to skip the zipper and get it over my head!

Also! Want to buy your own Rooibos? Colette Patterns is offering Sew Weekly readers 20% off the patterns until May 18th. Just use the code: SEVEN20 (It's case sensitive). 

Tomorrow: The challenge ends with Oolong!

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. Love it! Love it! Enjoy NYC! Bring back fabric :)

  2. Have fun in New York! I hope you have better weather there than we have here. It has been raining for days now. I miss the sun!

  3. What a cute dress! Enjoy New York! :)
    Ashley x

  4. Wow! You are going to be one tired Mena by the time Thursday rolls around!!! Have a fabulous time in NYC!!

  5. I have tried Rooibos, but I used corduroy, which is a bit too heavy, the colour is also completly meh! so I won’t bother to finish it, but seeing yours makes me want to have another go, even though I found that the shoulders/upper body piece was far too long for me (I’m short that way) and needs readjusting.

  6. You are amazing! 2 dresses in 12 hrs, wow! I love the pockets, neckline and bodice on this dress. Maybe with fabric that felt right this would be an adorable dress.
    Have fun in NY! And hopefully you get some rest.

  7. I love that you just decide to book a last minute flight to NYC, jealous? Me? YES I AM!!! Enjoy NYC and have fun in your dress…wonder what stories it could tell after the trip….x

  8. judy roberson

    Enjoy New York… and So proud your sewing machine waited until you were through to break..You have done an amazing job.. Have fun.

  9. Nice!…perfect color for summer …thank goodness your machine waited for you to finish! Have fun in NYC & safe travels… soooo jealous!

  10. Your shoes to match the dress are adorable!
    Good luck with your sewing machine. Even if you aren’t able to get the Oolong done in time, I still think you finished your own challenge successfully. :)

  11. Love the dress with these shoes – I think this is such a fantastic ensemble! Well done, Mena – you are rocking this challenge!

  12. This is by far my favorite of the 7in7! However, bright pink is one of my favorite colors and I have Rooibos in my stash. Love the shoes!

  13. Excellent shoes! I’ve made three Rooiboses now, and I plan to make more – it’s a surprisingly versatile pattern and it works well with a heavier fabric with less drape – the last one I made was out of a vintage curtain and it’s great. And I totally know what you mean about the lining instructions, the first two I made I was totally baffled and had to get my non-sewing boyfriend to help me to figure out the instructions but the last time was a doddle and, like you I was all ‘why would you do it ANY other way?’
    Hope your wee sewing machine can be fixed – and this is my first time commenting but I wanted to say I am utterly enthralled by your blog, I think you are SO COOL x

  14. I love all the Colette dresses you’ve made – and am so wowed by the other posts I’ve looked at in the last hour – your site was mentioned by Amy Karol on a Crafternews article in the same breathe as BurdaStyle so I checked it out – BS is good, but yours is a total buzz – you are amazing. I cannot believe you managed to cruise through 7 dresses in 7 days. Brilliant. and you’ve inspired me – I thought I was pretty good at visualising patterns in other fabrics and looks, but your creations have shown me that there are a couple of Colette patterns I never previously considered that I actually really like – like this one!
    you totally rock :)

  15. This is a dress that really makes me appreciate the importance of a good pair of shoes to match. That is a compliment, in a weird, male, don’t know a lot about fashion kinda way.