Hot! 7in7: Day Three, Eclair

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image from The Facts

Fabric: Thrifted orange floral cotton, $1; Green cotton from Joann's, $2.99; thifted cotton lining $1
PatternColette Patterns, Eclair
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Invisible zipper, $3, boning, $4.50
Time to complete: 9 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes, with a bolero or shrug.

Total Cost: $12.50

I'm not a huge fan of strapless dresses. They're just so super hard to pull off when you need the extra support of bra straps. As someone who reached a 40 "G" during pregnancy and subsequent nursing, my breasts have required a lot of support during these past years. Oh, so is life. 

Therefore, my biggest fear when it came to making up this Eclair was breast support. Strapless bras alone just don't do my chest justice so I decided to take on the optional step of adding boning to the bodice lining. Yes, for a dress I need to make up in a day, I decided to tackle something I've never done before. Oh, I made the piping for the bodice from scratch as well. I'm kind of sick like that.

Things I'd do differently next time

  • I'd probably still add the boning, though I'd consider adding tiny spaghetti straps to give me the support I need. I wanted to make up this Eclair without a strap modification to be true to the pattern. However, without straps, I'll probably just end up wearing this dress with a shrug or bolero. 
  • When inserting the boning, I'd leave out the boning at the seam with the zipper enclosure. I ended up having to take out that boning because I couldn't correctly insert the zipper. It didn't make any difference once the dress was completed.
  • I'd make the underling a little longer so that it peeked out of the bottom. Perhaps it would have a decorative lace or eyelet.
  • Make the bodice one size smaller. I think a really snug fit is necessary to make these guys work. Not so tight that fat oozes out of the top, but tight enough that it doesn't feel like it's going to fall down.

Things I like about the dress

  • I love the fullness of the skirt and the skirt lining. It's not too full and probably the perfect length.
  • Despite how difficult it seems, the bodice lining with boning wasn't that hard to construct. I was surprised that the lining and the shell actually came together quite well.
  • The ties are a really nice touch. I didn't get a good picture of the back, but they look nice and full.
  • With the aforementioned shrug, I can see this dress getting a lot of wear. 

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

Tomorrow: I take on Chantilly!

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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.


Comments are closed.

  1. Beautiful. I’m seriously impressed with each dress so far, they all look fantastic and you look gorgeous in them! I can’t believe you are managing to complete them in just one day! Puts me to shame…

  2. What a great job! Cute sun dress, too! You look so happy in it. It truly shows how much you love it.

  3. Love the color and the green contrast! You look fabulous!

  4. Wow, you look beautiful! I wish I could make a dress in a day! :)
    Ashley x

  5. Beautiful! I am not a big fan of strapless either, because of the same reasons you wrote about, but now you made me think I should try it out for myself too. You look so lovely and that last picture is gorgeous!

  6. I never would have thought that the orange floral fabric would look this great! It’s beautiful, Mena!

  7. I forgot how great really full skirts look in a busy pattern. I’m glad the orange fabric won now (I voted for the yellow). This looks really nice on you, I’m not a fan of strapless dresses I think they only mange to be flattering on .6% of people (in fact I think the other dress you’ve made this week have been more flattering on you). But this dress is still really cute!

  8. Wow! Keep going Mena, this is very inspiring! I also didn’t think the orange fabric would be this cute but with the green accents, it’s gorgeous!

  9. It looks great! I was most eager to see this one made up as there are so few reviews of it out there, and I so love this pattern. I hope to make my first one this summer.

  10. I continue to be delighted by each new dress!
    I, too, am a bit reluctant to go for a strapless dress these days, but adding little straps is a great idea!

  11. Wow, that is truly beautiful! I’m checking back eagerly each day to see your progress…. you are putting me to shame the way you’re whizzing these up so quickly and how lovely they’re looking. I can’t wait to see Oolong!

  12. You are amazing! This dress is so sweet, I love the green accent.

  13. judy roberson

    Great job Mena.. So impressed.. I love that fabric…so pretty..

  14. Joy aka Mrs. Paste

    Every single dress is a winner! These patterns look like they were made just for your body type. The proportions are spot on! What a beautiful surprise the green is on the Eclair. Well done, mate.

  15. Cute! I too have gravity issues with strapless dresses so I’ve shied away from this pattern. Love the contrasting green!

  16. I too, can’t do the strapless, but your dress makes this pattern look SO tempting to make.

  17. Shannon Burchard

    Looking at the construction of the bodice…would you say it is similar to that of the Macaron? Just wondering if some mixing and matching could easily be done.

  18. Rina Costenaro

    Beautiful dress,lovely colors! I love!

  19. Very cute indeed!

  20. i did not know G existed.
    i hope you DO wear it again, cause it’s beautiful on you. even the red flower on the tree is trying to hop off and join your ensemble. and i love that you chose green for the ties!

  21. YAY, that’s my fave fabric so far (we LOVE orange tones in my house!) and you’re right about that skirt, it’s pretty perfect!
    I’m not a strapless dresser either!

  22. The orange and green are just lovely together! this is a fab dress. These dresses really do suit your body shape. You can add me to the list of non strapless dress wearers too and I too make my own piping he he. You’re very inspiring Mena.

  23. I absolutely adore the fabric you picked for this! So, so pretty! :)
    ♥ Casey