Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


Introducing Phoebe: The Versatile Sheath Dress


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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Back in 2009, when Colette Patterns was founded, vintage inspired frocks were our bread and butter. Over the years our brand has evolved, and adopted a more modern style. Though patterns like Laurel and Mabel are some of our most popular items, we have been itching to revisit our vintage roots. We set out to create something that was rooted in the past, but could be easily modernized. And thus, Phoebe was born.

We’re so excited to introduce Phoebe, a versatile sheath dress. This pattern is already clearly a team favorite, as we are all sewing up our own versions at the moment!

Phoebe is a modern a-line sheath dress that recalls a vintage-inspired fit reminiscent of the 1960s. The princess seams on the bodice make Phoebe incredibly easy to customize to your figure. Phoebe has two versions, both featuring a fully-lined bodice and finished with a centered coil zipper. Angled waist darts create a flattering shape that is echoed by the lightly flared skirt.

The classic fit of this pinafore works especially well with layers, and can be worn in any season. Like some of our most favorite designs, this dress is extremely versatile in its simplicity, so have fun with styling!

Version 1


Phoebe comes with two bodice options, and both are lined. Version 1’s double breasted bodice is perfect for showing off your favorite buttons.

This version is sewn up in lovely boiled wool from Dragonfly Fabrics. Keep reading for a chance to win fabric from their shop!

Version 2


Version 2’s clean, classic bodice makes a dress perfect for layering. This version is sewn up in a beautiful velveteen, from Silk Road Textiles. Silk Road Textiles also supplied the vibrant orange velveteen on version 1 at the top of this post.

Fabric Suggestions

Phoebe works with a wide variety of medium weight wovens.

Outer Shell: Medium weight wovens

  • Twill
  • Wool flannel
  • Gabardine
  • Corduroy
  • Velvet
  • Velveteen
  • Wool crepe
  • Denim
  • Silk dupioni


  • Light weight cottons
  • Acetate
  • Rayon
  • Silk

Features and Skills


Learn These Skills

  • How to sew darts
  • Install buttonholes
  • How to line a bodice
  • Sew a centered zipper
  • Use understitching for a clean finish
  • Try finishing your seams using a Hong Kong finish

Discounts and a Contest

Phoebe is 15% off through December 23rd, which is when we will be taking a short holiday break.

Leave a comment sharing how you will wear Phoebe for a chance to win a prize! One lucky winner will get a copy of Phoebe, and a second lucky winner will receive a £25 gift certificate to Dragonfly Fabrics, who supplied the gorgeous gray boiled wool pictured above. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Friday.

Find Phoebe Locally

The following stores across the world have ordered Phoebe:

United States

Cool Cottons (OR)
Finch Sewing Studio (VA)
The Needle Shop (IL)
Pintuck & Purl (NH)
Bernina of Oklahoma City (OK)
Fancy Tiger (CO)
Modern Domestic (OR)
Handcraft Workshop (PA)
Fabric Temptations CA
Silk Road Textiles (OH)
Crafty Planet (MN)
Bolt (OR)
Pattern Review
Modern Textiles (ND)
Thread (AL)
Brooklyn General Store (NY)
Picking Daisies (CA)
Stitch House (MA)
Altman’s Needle & Fiber Arts (NY)
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply (ME)
Mulberry Silks (NC)
Hawthorne Threads
Grey’s Fabric And Notions (MA)
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics (CA)
The Cloth Pocket (TX)


Effiloche (QC)
Fabrics Etc (BC)
Spool Of Thread (BC)

UK & Europe

Cambridge Sewing (GB)
Dragonfly fabrics (GB)
Trixie Lixie (GB)
Guthrie & Ghani (GB
Fabric Godmother (GB)
Backstitch (GB)
M is For Make (GB) (NL)
Brin de Cousette (FR) (SE)
Metermeter (DK)

Australia and New Zealand

Stitch 56 (AU)
Indie Stitches (AU)
The Drapery (AU)
Sew Indie NZ (NZ)
Pattern Postie (NZ)

Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 288

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I would wear the Phoebe dress with a cardigan, some patterned tights, and nice flats! Perfect for teaching classes at college, or even for going out to do some Christmas shopping!


I’d wear this to work in the summer in a printed linen or cotton sateen. Cardigan optional!

stephanie costello

I would wear this constantly for work. So versatile. with a long sleeve tee underneath so I don’t get too hot. Plus boots or flats. LOVE IT.

Marsha N

I love that’s style! It looks so comfortable and cute. I would probably layer it over a white dress shirt and tall boots for the winter. I can’t wait to try it out!


OH my gosh I LOVE the Phoebe dress! I’d make it some Elizabeth Olwen corduroy!


I would wear the Phoebe for Parent Teacher conferences in a nice plaid tartan with gold buttons. I work with high school students in applying and attending college, so the preppy look is a subtle way to encourage college culture. . .


Lovely! It is summer here in Australia so I will be wearing version 1 with strappy sandles, fabulous hat and a bottle of water


I’d sew it in denim with mismatched buttons. Then I’m thinking a stripy t-shirt underneath, tights and converse. Looks like a pretty versatile pattern, lovely.


I love the idea of mismatched buttons!


Very nice dress easily wearable at work because it is at the same time comfortable and elegant. I would wear with a cardigan and medium heels

Jenn M

OMG I love this pattern! I want to make one exactly like the one pictured at the top in a burnt orange with a black long sleeve shirt/sweater under it and black tights. Where is that fabric from?!


The orange is from Silk Road Textiles. While they don’t have an online store, you can give them a call and order fabric over the phone. They are so nice!


Hi Jenn,
So glad you love Phoebe…we do too. We would be happy to help you make one just like the burnt orange version on the blog. We have a special place on our website where you can see lots of the fabrics we have available or jut give us a call and we will be happy to help you get going on this great look!


I live in Florida, so I will be able to wear this year-round. In the summer with a light cardigan for chilly air-conditioned spaces, and in the “winter” paired with a long-sleeved shirt and tights. Love the pumpkin colored version!


I would make it a winter dress, out of some cool wool with a glencheck pattern and wear a light grey turtleneck underneath – the fabric has been waiting in my stash for the right pattern and I think that this is it!


What a lovely pattern! I’d wear this with ankle booties or riding boots and a crop sweater.


I would wear this with a cardigan, tights and tall boots for work.


This is the perfect day/night dress. I’d make one in chocolate brown, lecture in it with a crisp white blouse underneath, then remove the blouse and add a cute orange belt for a night on the town.


I would love to take Phoebe apple picking with my kids next fall. :) I would make a version with functioning buttons on the front, perfect for breastfeeding!

Anastasia Legatos

I am in LOVE with your new pattern Phoebe!!! I have been looking for a sheath dress to make with the new wool blend that I recently purchased and this is The ONE— tadah!!! Thank you sooo much!


This would be so cute in corduroy, but personally I wouldn’t go too heavy, because I’m in SoCal and want to get more wear out of it. How cute with a 3/4 sleeve top underneath and ballet flats – very Audrey Hepburn!


It looks lovely. I think a corduroy would be nice to make it up in. Layered with a cardigan as a nice fall/winter dress option.

Sarah McKenna

I think this would make a fab work dress, especially for the winter over tights and a long sleeve tshirt. I’d make my first one in a navy corduroy


I am so excited about this pattern! I am a novice seamstress and I am trying to focus on creating simple wardrobe basics. This is the exact type of garment I would love to have in my wardrobe but could never find RTW in my proportions. I would wear it over a collared, long sleeve shirt with some fun collar clips or a long necklace. For something more comfy I would probably wear it with a long cardigan and a warm scarf.


I’m envisioning a sweet little tartan plaid version–I’ve been waiting for a pattern like this!!


Love this pattern, so classic and cute!! I really want to make version 1 in a thick wool and incorporate some of my vintage Czech glass buttons that I’ve been hoarding!


I adore that button front bodice, but I prefer a less fitted skirt, for myself. I’d actually add sleeves and do a pleated skirt for a more fit-and-flare silhouette. Lovely pattern, guys; it’s a great return to form!


I would make this up in a lightweight wool and wear it to work with cardigans, or my chambray button-up layered underneath. Leggings and boots required for NW winters!


I love this! I’m trying to line most everything I make, so it will be great to have some official instructions on doing so…my ad hoc jobs don’t always work out. :)

I’m inspired by the velveteen in the pics, so I would make Version 2 in a deep, dark peacock blue velveteen, and wear it with semi-sheer black tights and my shiny, new metallic gold flats! Oh, and a long, bold pendant necklace.


Version 2 would be my go to Fall/Winter dress. I think it would look great in a plaid flannel paired with tights and combat boots.


Oh, what a nice pattern, yet again! I would definitely wear this in Version 1, made in some pink and white herringbone wool I have! With tights and a cardigan, it would see me right through to spring!


In Greek mythology Phoebe is associated with the moon. So I would like to make version two in midnight blue velveteen setting it off with a moon shaped brooch.


Hi Jane,
Be sure to take a look at Silk Road Textiles…We have the same great cotton velveteen featured in the photos in Midnight blue. We even have moon faces or silver star buttons! We’d be happy to help you make your perfect Phoebe dress!

Juliana Calado

I imagine wearing it in the countryside, over boots and caramel corduroy bellbottom pants, a wide brim hat and a lightweight denim Phoebe
I looove this pattern, great one!
All the best,
So grateful

Elizabeth V.

True story, I gasped out loud when I saw how perfect this was! I would definitely make up a few in neutral shades of wool for wintery office layering.


I love the winter-y velvet version with the long sleeved shirt underneath. I’d wear it with ankle boots.


I love this! I would make it in a nice mid-weight wool and wear it with tights for a professional look.


I’d wear with a polo neck and knee high boots. Perfect layering for winter!


Cute pattern – i have some fire engine red linen that I have been waiting for the right pattern . Phoebe could be it. Some cute buttons down the front would just break up the expanse of red (I usually gravitate towards patterns – the all one colour frightens me!!)


This is perfect for work! I can think of two stash fabrics it would work with already! So versatile!


I can already see multiples of this dress hanging in my closet in everything from springy cotton florals to denim to wool suiting to velveteen. I love it! I’d pair it with everything from boots, sandals, flats and tights, loafers and knee socks, or the perfect pumps~this is one versatile garment!

Avia R Moore

Gorgeous! This may join my Hawthorne as my go-to dress all winter. Perfect for day-to-day living around the city. I have JUST enough wool suiting left over from another project to make this…..tomorrow, I think!


I’m a lot busty, so I think I’d forgo the buttons! I love the charcoal grey version and I’d wear it with a three quarter sleeve slim black top and black tights. Yes, channeling my inner Audrey (even though I’m also channeling Dolly Parton, er hem).

I love the sample fabrics, by the way!


I’d wear phoebe exactly like the first model shows it: black longsleave, tights, clogs. Really a perfect combination! Also love the choice of the orange velvety fabric!


I would love to make this in a dark plaid and pair it with colorful cardigans all winter long. This is such a cute pattern!


I’d wear it with a white long sleeved layering tee and make it out of a plaid or perhaps houndstooth wool I’ve got in my stash.

Sally Kendall

What a fab dress love the button detail! I would team this up with my orange turtle neck thin jumper with thick tights and ankle boots. I would live to make this is a navy wool ?


I would wear the Phoebe in wool layered with the Seamworks York top in a pretty heavy silk.


I would love to wear the button-bodice version with a turtleneck underneath and cozy tights. Love the vintage look of this dress!

Amy H

This is the perfect pattern for the Anna Maria Horner Field Study velveteen I’ve been saving. I would wear it with my patent leather t-straps for New Years eve!


Gosh this is such an exciting pattern! I’d like to make two: first I’d start with version 2 and make a nice houndstooth check version, then I’d make version 1 in a nice Harris tweed (can’t yet decide between a heather purple, brighter blue, or mustard yellow) with some of my grandmother’s buttons. Scrumptious!


Hi Maureen,
Be sure to check out the Silk Road Textiles selected fabrics for Phoebe. We have a fantastic micro houndstooth that would work fantastically!
Give us a call and we will help set you on the road to the perfect Phoebe look!


Wow Terry! You have stunning fabrics. Alas, I’m an American expat living in Wales, but I’m putting you guys down on my list to order from when I’m next in the states.


I’d add some short sleeves so I could wear it to work! (I wouldn’t want to layer it at work because of the fryers [heat] and washing dishes [wet cuffs] lol)

It’d look cute with an apron! We are required to wear aprons…but we can wear/make our own! ?

Also, love the darts on the front! They help disguise my tummy!


I had the same idea of a sleeve hack-I can picture both a tailored roll up sleeve as well as a fuller elbow length with cuff band. I think this is such a versatile pattern, there are plenty of ways to personalize it.


Tailored roll-up sleeve!!! Love that idea!!


I would pair this with a cardigan and wear it in the spring summer. I am not a garment sewer, but I really like this pattern. You might push me over the edge. (Smiles)


This is such a great pattern – could be made in so many different fabrics to suit different times of the year. I’d make it in denim, corduroy and maybe a wool mix (possibly a Black Watch tartan?) for work and team it with roll-necks or shirts with boots in the cooler months . Light-coloured cottons over t-shirts or on its own with sandals when it’s warmer. Silk or velveteen with chunky jewellery and killer heels for an evening out !!


I would love to make version 1 up in a denim or chambray and wear it with a little stripey t-shirt underneath and cute sandals or clogs for summer. Love the pattern!


I really love the style of this dress especially the button front. I would make it out of this really quirky corduroy fabric that I have, it has owls all over it. I have it in brown and teal so I would make one in each color way.


I would wear this full retro as this pattern would enable me to recreate one of my childhood dress/sweater combo’s: dark green/blue plaid for the dress with a yellow turtleneck sweater underneath.


Yummy! Going to make it out of red vegan leather and wear it with ankle booties and a bolero.


I’d wear this with a cozy cardigan and bright flats!

Mary Davenport Davis

This would be a perfect basic for my wardrobe, which is basically dress + tights + cardigan all the time! I’d probably wear it with snow boots most days (to fit snowy Boston weather) and style with a long necklace or statement earrings.


This would be the perfect work dress for me. I’d make it in linen for summer and in wool for winter, in all colours to match every occasion :-)


Love it!
I would probably keep it simple in a black or navy twill with a chunky cardigan and brogues.


I’ve not worn a pinafore-style dress for a good decade or more, but this is very tempting! I’d go for a light grey herringbone wool, with the plain front, and wear it with a black long-sleeved top, black tights, and flats for an Audrey vibe. It also looks like it would be cute using a border print around the hem – maybe using a Nani Iro print for a summer dress?


I love the idea of using a border print, especially Nani Iro! Sounds like a dream dress!


It’s absolutely wonderful! I want to feel like Kim Gordon anno 1991 in it, in some way or another. Maybe red velvet dress, or plaid wool. Green Dr Martens, lumberjack hat and a denim jacket. Love the necklining! I love the princess seams! and the darts on the skirt! This looks like the best Colette pattern yet!

Lelia Lyon

This was signature style for me years ago! I would make it up it in a black twill so I can wear bright tights and shirts or cardigans with it. I LOVE the new expanded sizing on the woven patterns, pretty, pretty please consider doing it for some of the older ones.

Katie Emma

Phoebe would look great with a cardigan, tights, and ankle boots! Nice work ladies!


I would make this dress in a variety of wool fabrics to expand my winter dress wardrobe! I would love to make this dress with color blocks on the bodice, and I would consider adding short sleeves and or a peter pan collar on version 2.

Angela B

Hi, I would make this in a dark green tartan and wear with a long sleeve t and a cardi, together with some thick tights


This looks so cute and simple. I have some wonderful wool fabric that I think would work for this pattern.


I would wear Version 2 in wool with a cardigan, tights, and ankle boots. Perfect for work!


Love it. I would make it in a bright yellow with black buttons and wear with red shoes. BAM.


I would make Phoebe in a cotton & I would wear it with sandals &a big sunhat ☺

Betty Jordan Wester

this is lovely! Especially the orange version!

Sietske van Vugt

I’d love to sew the second version in black so I can wear it while I have to perform with an a cappella holiday quartet during this holiday season. It would look lovely on a red long sleeved shirt with my nice boots and a thick warm legging :-)


I have some beautiful sand coloured faux suede and had been hunting for a pinafore pattern to make for months, well done Colette, this is the one. I see many of these in my future.


This is a great staple dress! I’d wear it with a cardigan, tights and tall boots.

Kath Webber

Ahhh it’s perfect! I’ve been looking for the perfect 60s pinafore, and I just love the buttoned version! I’d DEFINITELY make this in a mustard or burgundy corduroy, yum!


I’d wear it with tights, a cardigan, and a printed scarf – so versatile and cute!


Perfect for me, a novice, to make with some beautiful 30 year old woollen fabric I’ve just inherited. Would wear it with a long sleeved tee and some thick tights and ankle boots.


Version 2 looks like it will be my new staple. Easy to style, dress up or down, it is a great pattern.


I’ll wear the Phoebe dress… daily! A beautiful floral cotton sateen in summer, and a gorgeous textured wool in winter. Perhaps a corduroy version as well – brings back memories of corduroy pinafores my mum made for me when I was a kid :)


This could be worn in so many ways! I think I’d first have to try it in corduroy/velvet with tights, mary-janes & a retro cardigan or maybe something with a peter pan collar :-)


I would make version 1 out of black cotton/silk with silver skull buttons and wear it with black tights and black platform high heel ankle boots. \m/


I would use the flowered brown corduroy in my stash and wear the shift as a jumper or use the navy blue moleskin for version 2 for the office.


Oooh…lovely pattern. Several people have already mentioned plaid, which I agree would be adorable. I would cut the center front bodice on the bias for visual interest. I’m also picturing View 1 in fine-wale corduroy, worn over a slim turtleneck, with opaque tights and Chelsea boots. My dream outfit, really!


What a versatile pattern! I live in the tropics, so would make mine of cotton sateen, pique or lightweight denim. I noticed there are bust darts in some of the photos, but none are on the line drawing. Are they optional?

Jen B

I noticed those too – I’d be interested to see what the answer is. Personally I’d prefer the dress without those bust darts.


I was wondering the same thing! Is it for the larger sizes because they are drafted for a larger cup size?


You’ll see an answer to the same question on the second page…


Thank you!


A definite must for this winter. I would wear this with the a turtle neck, scarf and high boots.


i would probably wear it with a sheer long-sleeved blouse underneath, tights, and boots, hopefully to a new job in the near future.


I love it!!! I would make it in velvet


I loved this dress the second I saw it! I am especially in love with the burnt orange/mustard colour. I’d love to make it in that colour, but maybe with corduroy. I’m hoping that the buttons might make it suitable for b/feeding since I’m just about to have a baby.

Debera Massahos

I’ve got just enough pretty tobacco hued stretch denim in my stash for version 1, which I’m thinking would pair nicely with a plaid flannel shirt, possibly layer on an Oslo and some tights and and a pair of riding-style boots. The stretch denim will make this super comfy. And some pretty vintage leather buttons! I only have 6, but I think I can make that work.


Ooh, I love this. I can see wearing this one year-round. I’d make one in wool plaid to wear with a button down shirt for winter & one in a lighter chambray to wear over a t shirt for summer.


I’d sew it in denim so I can wear it with any colours, trainers, flats or Dr Martens and I’d try to create a mini version of it for my daughter Phoebe!


I love it! It is so beautifully simple.I love this dress for fall/winter with a long sleeve or quarter sleeve shirt underneath. I would use a heavier, warmer fabric. I can also envision a lighter, brighter floral feminate fabric for spring with a light cardigan over it, as long as it did not hide the dress.


I’d love to make several versions of this dress, but most especially, I’d love to have a version I could wear all year round. Perhaps one in a black silk crepe that’s light and flowy in Summer and can be worn with tights and boots in the Aussie Winter.


I’d make mine from a deep green twill and use buttons from my mum’s button box. I’d wear it with my super comfy black boots and my tweed monsoon jacket.


I think I would wear it over a white button up shirt with a long necklace or even a colorful scarf :-)


I’d totally wear phoebe in version 2 made as a little black dress, with one of those peter pan collar necklaces, purple tights and cute ankle booties ^^


I can’t wait to sew this up in a velvet ( can’t decide what color)and wear it over metallic tights and a 3/4 sleeve shirt maybe with collar? with either hasbeens or booties. Thanks!

Frances Ardern

Hooley dooley you’ve done it again Colette! Beautiful pattern. Since it’s summer over here in Oz, I’d probably sew it up using a silk twill. I’ve never sewn with silk before so it would be a fun challenge. Even if I don’t win, I will definitely buy this pattern, because this dress will be a perfect addition to my new and slowly expanding teaching wardrobe for next year. Wonderful work everyone!


Cute pattern! I would make version 2 in a dressy black fabric for the holidays. It would be pretty in the summer too in a light floral fabric.


I would totally style it with a plaid blanket scarf, black boots and a burgundy cardigan! Winter wonder!


The dress is lovely! I would see it from check flannel,lined and wear it with black turtle neck tshirt and knee high boots.

Claire Ross

Absolutely love this, for summer I would use a bold floral print and wear with matching wedges and I can see it in a plaid wool for winter. Coordinating tights and long boots to match the winter version.
Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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