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Introducing Phoebe: The Versatile Sheath Dress

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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

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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

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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

Lining:

  • Light weight cottons
  • Acetate
  • Rayon
  • Silk

Features and Skills

Print

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.
buy-phoebe

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)

Canada

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

UK & Europe

Cambridge Sewing (GB)
Dragonfly fabrics (GB)
Trixie Lixie (GB)
Sewbox(GB)
Guthrie & Ghani (GB
Fabric Godmother (GB)
Backstitch (GB)
M is For Make (GB)
Naaipatronen.nl (NL)
Brin de Cousette (FR)
fagert.se (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

Shannon

So cute! I would wear it to work mostly.

Tanya

Hi love the pattern. Would make it up in wool crepe . Layer it with a denim button up shirt. With tights and ankle boots.

liz onstad

I’ve been saving some Pendleton wool and this dress seems like it’s the perfect “fall” dress to make. I will wear it with knee socks of course.

Renee memademakes.com

I would make a plaid phoebe and wear her to class with tights, boots, and a cardigan!

Jenny thewardrobearchitect.blogspot.co.uk

I love this dress. I can wear it whilst I’m still breastfeeding thanks to the button opening – it’s very difficult to find suitable fitted dresses that are nursing friendly. I will definitely be making this, I think I’ll do one version in a charcoal corduroy and wear it with a long sleeve Renfrew top and turquoise tights. With my Doc Martens!

Charlotte Gill

I too would wear my navy Phoebe in class with a plain t shirt underneath and my ‘chicken leg’ tights to bring a smile to the boys I work with. ( On my first day 2 years ago one boy spotted my yellow tights and always asks when I’ll wear them again)

Shannon P

What a beautiful dress! I love the mustard version. I would probably dress it up for a night out!

Suzanne

Wow, it seems that everyone loves it. But I didn’t think it looked flattering on any of the models. But different strokes.

Catherine

Yes, I agree. I think it’s because the dress when made up is too high waisted – the line drawings are longer waisted.

Bridget

I have the perfect grey and pink twill in my stash. I’d wear it with a grey draped cardi, grey tights and silver shoes to a wedding I’m going to in February in Scotland. Then I’d make it again in some wine coloured cord and wear it to work with bright coloured tights and Dr Martin boots till summer comes back.

zzipper

I like the idea of making the Phoebe in a colored denim, and layering it with a ruffled sleeve slip that peeks out the bottom.

Holly H

I think this might be the first dress I make. I’d wear it to work, so cute!

Sue

I would make it in the boiled wool and wear it with a fine wool polo neck jumper, boots and woolly tights – it’s winter here and you have to be ready for the cold weather.

mjb instagram.com

I’d wear View B as a jumper over a collared shirt – my favorite look this year to balance out my narrow shoulders.

Debora

I’m sorry to say this but I don’t like it. For me it’s the wrong kind of vintage inspiration, I think.
The kind that, when you kook at childhood pictures, you would tell your mom: Why did you make me wear that?

Shelley Gibb

Love it. A charcoal wool version 1 or 2 would be great layered with a long sleeve top. I love the rust version and the denim one.

Penelope

Phoebe looks perfect for using up some of the lovely wool suiting in my stash. I would wear it with tights, boots and a cardigan – a little bit sexy librarian!

Nane

I would love to wear my dress with a tight long sleeve t-shirt and opaque tights in a fun and contrasting color:-)

Dana

This pattern is fantastic! I would love to make it out of brown wool, paired with a shirt with a peter-pan collar, tights and Mary Jane’s!

Megan Barber

I would make Phoebe in a dark green velvet and pair it with black tights and ballet flats perfect for a Christmas party or date night with the hubby ;)

Kari

I’m curious…. are there darts and princess seams in the larger sizes? Because there are no bust darts in the line drawing, but there are on both the light grey and burgundy dresses on the bustier model. Can you please clarify?

Haley colettehq.com

Hi Kari, that is a great question! Sizes 18-26 have bust darts in addition to princess seams to provide extra shaping.

Carol-Ann

Just about to travel to New Zealand for 3 months, so a linen pinafore would work wonderfully for summer, and I’ll be able to layer it with my Icebreaker merino for spring when I get back to the Northern Hemisphere. Colour? Coral if I can find the perfect shade

Dana

It probably sounds boring, but I would love to splurge on some nice black wool and do a classic LBD with this pattern! Dress it up with jewelry for parties, or down with some cute tights and a cardigan for work.

Toni archmom.com

Phoebe, let me count the ways!!! Such a great piece. I like it best as a layering piece. I don’t have enough of those in my closet. Chances are you won’t be reading all these comments, but in case you are – I’d love to see more pieces like these in Seamwork if possible. The shirt that just came out was sort of blah, ill fitting. I’m still unsure why it has darts at all??!! I have so many credits to use, but am looking for more interesting staple pieces, like say Phoebe.

nothy lane aftagley.blogspot.com

What a beautiful dress- I can see myself making it in pinstripes and wearing it all the time. There are also so many fun options to have a skirt in a solid and the bodice in a floral or another colour.

Patti

I have a herringbone flannel in my stash and would love to make a jumper with the button-front version.

Claire Allen

My nickname is Phoebe ( after Phoebe from friends) so it is just the pattern for me!
I would wear in the plain version, in a spring green fabric ( corduroy or velveteen) with a cobalt blue roll neck underneath. I would wear it with a long wooden beads necklace . I would have zany tights (like diamonds or stars) and black leather courts.

Haley colettehq.com

So perfect! I have been waiting all day for a smelly cat reference!

MK Carroll mkcarroll.com

Plain bodice, skirt lengthened to just below the knee, worn to the office with a cardigan or cardigan jacket and flats.

jackie

It’s summer here so I would wear version 2 in red linen with gold sandals, oversized tan leather clutch and sunnies!

Pelly

Dresses are my wardrobe staple, so this looks like a useful, versatile pattern. This would fill a few gaps in my wardrobe: a basic LBD in wool crepe, something a bit more colourful in printed velvet or corduroy to wear with a skivvy and tights in winter, and perhaps a poplin/ cotton sateen for summer. I could also see this with a slightly narrowed skirt and a circle-cut ruffle/ peplum on the hem. If I were to make the double-breasted version, I’d use silver filigree buttons and contrast topstitching on a heavy flannel to make it look coat-like.

I applaud your use of plus size (and older, and ethnically diverse) models, but it would have been nice to see this dress in a standard/ “miss” size too.

Pelly

Amended to add: version 2 (plain front, not double-breasted) in a standard/ “miss” size.

Elizabethe

Any chance you will ever add some neckline variations? I simply can’t wear something with a neckline that high, I look Like a dumpy turtle. This fashion decade with the high necks is a nightmare!

Antoaneta

This pattern is beautiful; I can’t wait to make it. I’d use a striped or polka dot fabric and wear it with brightly coloured tights, a cropped cardigan, and comfy flats.

Katie

I would use a fine wale corduroy and wear it with a long sleeve tee to work, easily. It looks lovely!

Siobhan

I would make Phoebe in a lightweight cotton for a cute summer dress.

JessieRoo

I think I’d go 1960’s does Victorian, and make up the double-breasted version in a dark solid with added elbow length sleeves, and rounder, more scooped out and, possibly, ruffled neckline, which I would wear with a jaunty matching capelet and lace up boots. Although, a light summery linen version sounds nice too.

Erin D.

Ooh! So, so good! This pattern is exactly what I’m looking for to give my professor wardrobe a must-needed boost. I would make it in a wool plaid or maybe even a light suede for maximum 60s/70s flair. Also, leather buttons seem important.

Meriel

I’d sew this out of lovely burgundy velvelteen, and wear it with lace up boots and a cheeky mini top hat.

Heather O

I would wear this in a wool crepe or velveteen with wool tights and the seamwork wembley to keep me warm at the office – they keep it freezing!

Leanne

I would wear this with ballet flats, a long necklace and minimal jewelry. I’d probably make it in a deep plum, boiled wool and wear a black long sleeved t-shirt underneath. No buttons.

Onkuri limescented.wordpress.com

What a great, versatile pattern! I would make this in a crisp, pinstriped summer cotton. Oh and a winter version in red thin-waled corduroy to wear over a turtleneck.

Carolyn

This is the pinafore I’ve been dreaming of! I’d love to sew it up in some navy corduroy and wear it over my turtlenecks and button-up shirts in the winter time. With tights and boots, of course.

Leslie Kosloff

I would make one out of a soft well washed denim fabric and would embroider the bodice instead of using buttons. Black tights, burgundy clogs and a long sleeved top would complete the outfit to wear in rainy Seattle!

Melwyk magpiemakery.blogspot.com

What a great, versatile pattern! I’d make it in a nice bright solid & show off some special buttons. Then it could be worn summer & winter, with the addition of tights & a cardi, which is how I extend most of my wardrobe already :)

Susan

Charcoal grey wool with a burgundy infinity scarf, black tights and heals and I am set. Love your new design! Actually, I may need to sew another one in corduroy!

Rowena W

Ooh! I’d wear this year round, with merino sweaters underneath in winter, in plain heavyweight fabrics for work and floral prints for casual! Beautiful.

Olivia Hart

Well I’m cold right now so I’ll see one up in wool or corduroy to keep me warm! I love how it looks with a long sleeve t underneath… Or a shirt for work! So many possibilities.

Clare K. R. Miller clarekrmiller.com

I can definitely see myself wearing this in the summer with a light cardigan for work (it’s freezing in my office!) or throughout the rest of the year with a long-sleeve T-shirt underneath and a cardigan on top if necessary! It’s beautiful! I really love the princess seams.

Christine chin unlikelynest.blogspot.com

I would make a holiday phoebe in red velvet.

Karen lukknits.blogspot.ca

I would love to make a Phoebe in black and pair it with stockings & black heels, accompanied by a red lip. Then proceed to wear it all year round.

prunella

Such a love and versatile pattern. Can’t wait to make a ton of Phoebes

SRS

I would wear the Pheobe with flats and a killer pendant necklace. I LOVE this dress!

Ginny

I’d make it in that moss green velveteen that was popular in the 60s and wear it alone, maybe with a gold narrow belt, with tights and chunky shoes for a holiday party.

Becky sewadagio.wordpress.com

I’m allergic to wool, so I’d go for a cozy corduroy and layer it with tights or leggings, boots and a cardigan. And definitely the buttoned version, since I’m currently all about potential nursing access.

¡Helen!

Another home run! This is the kind of pattern that is multi-seasonal. I’m thinking of some pretty floral cotton I have right now that I can easily put a shrug or cardigan over. And then accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Kaeli Decelles instagram.com

I would wear this dress made from the nicest green plaid wool flannel. I would throw a plain black t underneath and some black tights and wooly socks and boots. And I would be the cosiest person in Canada.

CZanne galantier.com

V2 is my perfect, personal uniform piece. In winter, I’m happiest in layers — wool dress, cotton top, cardigan, tights, boots. I’ve got a cotton twill half-finished now (yay, digital patterns!) and I’ve got half a dozen stash fabrics already picked out for variations. I admit I may borrow the Hawthorne skirt and pockets for my personal 1.1.

Mc Gonzalez

I’d wear it with a big, proud smile ¡

Mags magscreativemeanderings.blogspot.uk

I want to make version one in some liberty cord and wear it with a silk jersey t shirt gorgeous a bit of luxury!

Marike Smit sewingspree.blogspot.com

I’d make myself a dark blue denim Pheobe with brightly coloured buttons and wear it with bold patterened tights and ankle boots!

Kat from Germany

Love this! I would wear it with a longsleeve underneath and a cardigan on top. Because I’m always freezing.
Plus some warm tights and done.
Could even wear it for work!

Mayumi Adler aventurasconhiloyaguja.blogspot.com.es

I totally love Phoebe, even the name!
I will wear it a lot, the button version will be great with a shirt or a turtle neck jersey and boots for winter, and the other one will be a perfect everyday dress for summer

Lholy-chan anomori.com

Welcome to Poebe! It’s totally the kind of things that I could sew and wear daily. I’d probably make it in corduroy or velveteen in a bright color to wear to work this winter. And maybe in wool. Definitely version 1 with the buttons! I love your orange version by the way. ;) Thanks you for this giveaway.

Veronica Darling veronicadarling.com

Congratulations everyone at Colette! I had an inkling there would be a vintage inspired pattern waiting in the wings, and cannot wait to sew this one. SUPER flattering for my petite curves, especially that version two. EEP summer AND winter dress ideas!

Thanks Sarai – I love the older patterns (especially that flattering Oolong xoxo)

Tonya

I have a fabric stash that includes a red paisley corduroy I bought at a thrift store ages ago. I am so excited, I have finally found the right pattern for it! And I love buttons, so the double-breasted version wins!

Jo jo-sews-etc.blogspot.be

Oh my gosh, I love it! I’d be VERY tempted to make an identical copy of your orange version! With a black/white striped tee underneath, thick black tights and some little boots. Or something nice and tweedy with knee high boots for a kind of country look. Excellent return to vintage-inspired styling!

Amanda Black

I would make this in a navy cordouroy and rock it with a Breton stripe t-shirt underneath. Devine!
Thanks for the opportunity

Lizzie

I’d make up a couple of versions for work (with some particularly cool buttons) – working in Corporate Finance everyone is always super surprised when they find out I make my own clothes as the two don’t really go hand in hand – who said that accountants were boring!

Susan

How beautiful! I want one in velvet to wear for an event I am going to.

Helen Frampton

I would love to make this in a Deep Red corduroy to wear in the winter with thick tights and my navy glitter cardy and then in something a bit lighter for the spring!

Sybille tralatricoti.blogspot.fr

I imagine it in kaki linen, round and convex vintages buttons with boots with laces or navy blue with a white piping and a ‘nice’ button for a look ‘nice pretty girl’.

Ty

I would wear the Phoebe pinafore version made up in a dark gray wool & thin red crisscross lines.

I’d add a short-sleeved mustard turtleneck with skin grey tights and long brown boots in the winter. A puff sleeve chiffon blouse with pointed pumps will work well for the summer .Both looks to work!

Claire

I have a gorgeous red needle cord in the cupboard just waiting for the right pattern and this looks like it !

Hannah

I will wear Phoebe layered over a long sleeve Breton, opaque tights, and shiny patent shoes!

Kathrin

I can see myself wearing a Phoebe made of black wool with chunky black boots and thick colourful tights that match the long-sleeved t-shirt underneath. Love the design!

Dominika

What a beautiful pattern! And so versatile! I would sew it in dark red corduroy. Lately I’m in love with this color! But a linen dress for summer… Dreaming of the possibilities!!!

Anna

I love the orange version with the long sleeved tee underneath, so I might wear it that way. Probably with tights and loafers or knee high boots!

Ruthy

I will make this dress in a navy blue linen fabric that is already in my stash and has been waiting for the right pattern to come to my attention. It is a heavier linen and the tailored look of the Pheobe would suit it beautifully. I would love a tutorial or sewalong that included added pockets!

Julie Davey

Love the 2nd version, but would love a sleeve option. A vintage sheath is one of my favorite looks, but also being “vintage” myself, I prefer some coverage for my arms and the layered look of a shirt underneath is sometimes a bit young looking for me, especially if I used version 1.

Stacey

I absolutely love the Sheath it is so versatile. love the button plackets!

LoriAnne Gamble

Its so cute, make it in navy with white button for a nautical look.

Brenda

I would definitely make the double breasted version with the buttons to wear over a long sleeved tee. Love the raspberry velveteen!

Esther

For winter I think I would go for corduroy and wear it with a long-sleeved shirt and boots.

Sophie

This pattern is very very nice, thank you!
I see a Little Black Dress version and another one in a deep emerald green baby curdoroy both with high heels.

Lucy

Nice button version! See how many others love it- Wow!

Lucy

I’m getting sewing on my stash before I cam buy anything else actually…

Debra

I would wear this. That’s not something I usually feel about a dress pattern.

Catherine

Phoebe would look great in supple, buttery leather. In fact, I thought at first that the black-ish model shown on the pattern page was made of leather.

I would make Phoebe in coated denim (very dark brown or navy) and wear it with a very thin long sleeve cashmere tshirt or a crisp white shirt.

Catherine

The line drawings look much more long-waisted than the RL dress – I prefer the longer look with the waist seam actually on the waist. A much more flattering silhouette I think. I love jumpers for office wear, I’d make this in a grey pinstripe I’ve been saving and pair it with bright blouses.

Amber PB

How will I wear it? ALL YEAR ROUND! I love that different fabric choices will create totally different looks on this classic silhouette.

Nique

Make it in a lightweight fabric, monochrome blue with different button shapes. Thanks for the opportunity

Freyalyn

It’s a lovely dress, but unwearable for me despite being a lovely shape for my shape and very versatile. i have long hair that I usually wear in a braid down my back – any fastenings at the back (buttons, zips) will catch and tug and be extremely uncomfortable. If I’m feeling particularly gung ho, I suppose I could move the zip to the side seam…

Meg threadfoxstudio.com

You could definitely move the zip to the side!

RachelM

The button front version is my favorite! I would love to make it in a solid chambray with bright fun fabric buttons made by a favorite etsy seller! Would wear it everywhere, but would love teaching my children about the effort that goes in to each thing we wear and the fun that can be had doing it ourselves!

JacobaJane jacobajane.wordpress.com

So excited!! I have an amazing digital print floral linen from blackbirdfabrics.com that would be perfect for this!!! Thank you Colette, for always keeping your audience inspired!

Lois Soiffer

Silk velvet for a holiday party!

Christianne

I love vintage look! It’s what attracts me to sewing. I just love the velvet orange fabric featured on the first model. I can imagine making this in a funky green corduroy!

Jen

I plan on wearing my version of Phoebe with tights, boots, a long sleeve tee or light weight sweater, my boiled wool hoodie, and bike helmet. This looks like a dress I can wear while biking and then show up to my destination looking fab!

Kay A

I’d wear the phoebe dress with a polo neck shirt for work. I can also see me making it in wax print to wear in the summer

Carrie

To work! In a deep plum flannel in winter, and then in a Liberty-print for summer with denim jacket (AC too high all summer long). LOVE this pattern!

Lia Zak

Super cute! I would wear it with tights and a long sleeved tee underneath and some cute boots! Or I would make it with a dance velvet and pair it with fancy earrings and flats!

Caroline flynn

I would make a light weight summery version

Lyndsy lyndsymikaela.wordpress.com

Loving this vintage inspired pattern! My favorite thing about it is that it’s perfect for layering during colder winter months.

Deanna

I love Phoebe (my grandmother’s name). This is just the pattern I have been wanting. It reminds me of the jumpers I wore as a child. Cannot wait to make this up and wear it with a turtleneck and tights. Maybe in red velvet or corduroy. I am in heaven!

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