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Palette Challenge: Electric blue Hazel


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I have a rule about making clothes for myself: Don’t cut and sew on the same day.

You see, I find cutting out the pattern and fabric sort of boring and tiresome, so by the time I’m done I rarely feel like sewing for hours. When I cut, I like to listen to a podcast and zone out. Sometimes I’m in the mood for mindless work like cutting, and sometimes I’m in the mood for engaging work like sewing, but rarely at the same time.

And there’s another bonus to this rule: I get to feel like I sewed this Hazel dress in just about 2 hours! Of course, I cut it all out the day before, but let’s not quibble.

I usually hem and haw about online fabric purchases. Or any purchase for that matter, since I’m the world’s worst shopper. But when I saw this bright blue vintage floral stripe fabric on Etsy, I clicked the buy button without a thought. It was exactly what I wanted. It’s a light cotton sateen, and the blue floral pattern is super bright.

I am so delighted with the result.

Just like with the eyelet dress, I made sure to consider the placement of the design while I did all my cutting. It’s not possible to match every seam because of the grainlines, but I did what I could. It’s so much fun to figure out how it should all come together.

This is a showstopper of a dress, don’t you think? All I need now is an invitation to a garden party.

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 69


This is so beautiful! I want this dress :-)


Very beautiful and care to place the design. I could never do that


Sure you could! In fact, if you just used the cutting layout from the pattern (the one for border prints) you’d get a very similar result. :)


Love it. Love it. Love it. Oh, did I mention I love it?
Just starting my second Hazel muslin 2. This pattern is just FUN to play with!!


That is stunning! I have got to buy that pattern!





Laura S.

Wow, I love the fabric! Beautiful dress!


Wow, wow, wow. This dress is gorgeous. I love how much you can play with fabric placement with this dress. A dress can go from “nice” to “whoa” just with playing with the fabric print.


fabulous! The blues are gorgeous. The seam match ups are amazing. LOVE IT.


This so beautiful!!!! I love those prints and the work you did with them!!!!!


Stunning! I must cut out my pdf asap, I need one of these dresses in my life!


Wow! The placement is impeccable! I especially like how you used just half of the floral pattern on each should strap.


Thanks! At first I was going to make them solid blue floral, but I’m glad I changed my mind. It looks much nicer this way, I think.


Whoa, another gorgeous Hazel dress! This fabric is amazing! Great job, gal!


Oh Sarai, that’s so pretty! It really looks electric when you’re standing in the sunlight. Did you alter your mannequin so it is true to your own size? I am thinking about giving that a try this summer.


I haven’t! The form is very close to my measurements though. For my own clothes, I tend to use the dress form for making larger stylistic changes, but do the little fitting tweaks on my own body. But it’s hard to adjust a dress form for a short torso.


WOW!!!! I love this so much. I love finding great vintage fabric and creating something beautiful and new with it!


Beautiful dress! And thanks for the permission to NOT do it all on the same day!

Sassy T

Wow the dress and that fabric are amazing. I love the placements. Did I say I love that fabric! Yeah am like you when I do sew, I cut one day and do “some” sewing the next few days. Am a lazy sewer, you won’t even see me spending hours sewing in one day lol


I used to plow through projects in marathon sewing sessions, but I guess I’ve become lazy too. It’s just more enjoyable for me to do it at a relaxed pace.

lisa g

i’m the exact same way when it comes to cutting my fabric one day (which takes me forever…) and sewing the next! your print placement is so beautiful, i am completely in love with this version of the dress.

Jackie Payette

Stunning! Seriously beautiful fabric and seamstress love!!

Colby Vlietstra

Wow! That fabric is beautiful :) and I love the lines of that dress. I completely agree with you about cutting and sewing on another day. I feel so blah and tired after all the cutting that I’m not amped up for sewing! I love your website so much and its such an inspiration for a new sewing woman like me!




Beautiful dress! I love print so much. Wise purchase. I think I am going to have to adopt your rule as well. I never really pinpointed it into exact terms, but I feel the same way about cutting and then sewing. They each require different mindsets, and I’m going to start separating them, also.


I think it would even be sort of a nice idea to cut out a heap of projects in one day. Just throw a few old movies on the laptop (since cutting isn’t noisy like sewing) and go at it. Maybe I’ll give that a try soon.


I’ve worked this way for years. The “cutting mood” doesn’t strike me as often as the “sewing mood”, so, when it does hit, I cut out enough to keep me sewing awhile! Nowadays, with 3 little ones underfoot, this is very helpful because I CAN sew in 10 minute snatches (my machines are always set up), but cutting is something that works best when all kiddos are asleep, like late at night, and I can spread my mess out over the kitchen table or my huge deep freeze/laundry “table” (this works REALLY well–it’s a table sized surface, at just the right height, and I CAN’T keep it cluttered up ’cause I have to be able to get into the freezer at least once a day!)


I have too much sewing in my queue, but what you’re doing with patterned fabric and this dress is so inspiring. I’m going to have to take the plunge while I can still wear it for most of a season.


I am absolutely loving this dress pattern and all its renditions! I think I need to get one for myself. And it’s good hear I’m not the only one that separates cutting and sewing. I cannot do both in one day either. :)


I couldn’t agree more about cutting and sewing on separate days!! Cutting out all the pieces just plain tires me out and drains me of all creative force. It is so much more satisfying to approach the fun part (sewing) at a different time and with renewed energy. Love the way the back bodice lines up the floral pattern too! Very lovely.


I agree about prep work and “fun” work on the same day. I like to get all the marking, staystitching and basting done before I start any actual sewing too. For one thing, I don’t enjoy this part and feel like it gets in the way of real sewing. For another, it lets me use leftover thread from a previous project in any basting stitches, making them easier to see and remove later. This dress is indeed a showstopper and compeltely perfect for a garden party!


That’s a really good tip about using the leftover thread. I’ve always been a little obsessive about conserving the thread left on a bobbin after a project is done!


Love that color!! The dress looks fabulous Sarai! I just branched into the life of floral myself (… I looked a bit like a birthday party but it’s fun!

That Hazel is such a simple pattern but the fabric really makes it (loved the embroidered one too)!

Tracey Wirth

Yes! A show stopper indeed! If you don’t get invited to a garden party you should throw one yourself or wear to the grocery store, but wear it! It deserves to be seen!!! It is delightfully delicious!!! Well done! You never disappoint Sarai!!!!


Perfectly Lovely♥…..and when Summer *does* come to the Northwest, you’ll look ever so calm and cool!


It’s supposed to hit 82 this weekend! Yesssss.


Stunning!! LOVE the color and fabric pattern placement!


Your fabric placement is so lovely!! I love how you pieced the bodice especially, and how could you resist that fabric? It’s fantastic!

Tasha @ Stale Bread into French Toast

Sarai, you have such a lovely way with pattern and fabric!


Wow, this dress turned out amazing. I’m sure everyone has said, but I LOVE the pattern placement. This is one I could happily put in my closet.


I love the back! That is so pretty!!


This is just incredible.


I like to cut out and sew on different days, too. For me it’s mostly because I like to do things in batches and when I cut out I usually do a bunch of garments at once. Then I get all my supplies together so that I don’t have to stop in the middle of sewing to go find something. I start sewing the following day so that I’m fresh and feel organized, even if I’m really not.

I love this dress – the blue is such a beautiful color and the matching is superb. If I were going to buy any new patterns right now, this is the one I’d buy. But I need to finish the projects I have going right now. :)


A definite show-stopper! What a beautiful job, Sarai! Please could you post the shop where you found this fabric? So gorgeous!


Of course! I bought it from this Etsy shop:

Looks like she has some other 60s goodness too.


I can’t wait for my pattern to come !


Sitting at the computer in Brisbane Australia. A COLD morning for her. I even have thermals on under my gym pants! Refreshing to see a summer dress! It is gorgeous! Great use of vintage fabric. I found a lovely vintage cotton piece of fabric for the Sencha top. Thanks for your site; it inspires & motivates me. Always looking forward to hearing from you!


Believe me, I feel your pain. We are chilly here in the pacific northwest for most of the year, so my thermals get lots of use! Being able to wear a dress like this is such an enormous treat.

Being born in southern california, there’s still a small part of me that believes every day should be 75 and sunny.


I agree about splitting up sewing tasks – I have a 3-part rule: I think buying fabric and trim; pattern tracing and fabric cutting; and sewing all require completely different energy/lighting levels/amount of brain engagement so I always split my sewing over at least three days. Shopping for fabric requires most active brain (for me) and pattern tracing the least. I love the mindlessness of tracing patterns when I’m feeling too tired or sick to sew, but want to feel I am really getting on with a project.


This is beautiful! I have the same type of rule for myself about not cutting and sewing on the same day. I find my projects turn out much better when I’ve spaced out the two events. It’s tough, though, when I’m really in the mood to sew but don’t have anything cut-out, waiting for me to work on. Then I usually just start some quick project that can actually be done in one sitting.


I love it – I wish it was summer here so I could have an excuse to make it!

Signe Marie

Wow, your dress is beatutiful! I have some african wax print in a stripy pattern of a similar width to this. I have tried to figure out how it would work for the Hazel dress, so this is really helpful!


I live by the same rule! Usually i work in three sittings though, as I have a very short attention span.
I also have a rule that if I get tired or frustrated – walk away!


When I am allowed to buy patterns again (you know, after I demonstrate to myself that all the previous patterns and fabric I have bought are not just for show) this one is on top of my list! Love this version of it!


Love this version, it’s so fresh and pretty!


This is GORGEOUS! You may have convinced me of what to do with my orange-and-white striped seersucker :)
(It is wide stripes with a floral design inside)
Thanks for sharing!


Your dress looks great!

Maddie Flanigan

it looks incredibly awesome! If I were you, I too would have bought the fabric in a heartbeat. It’s gorgeous!


Sweet Georgia Brown, it’s AMAZING! High fives!


I love this dress! Great fabric choice, it looks beautiful on you. I have to agree about not liking the cutting part of sewing. I dread it:( I know it is partly because I don’t have a great big, ergonomic cutting table, but probably even after I get one, I will still not like that task.


OMGosh … love the dress, the fabric — perfect combo … also … your zipper is impeccable … absolutely perfectly perfect!

Sewing Princess

Lovely fabric, great placement and gorgeous fit. Well done! I don’t like cutting either…mainly because I never seem to have enough space for laying out the fabric.


Love the “Garden Party” Hazel sundress!
Could you tell me if this dress is on or slightly above the waistline?


It has a slightly high waist, meant to hit just above the natural waistline (kind of like a dirndl).


Love what you’ve done here. I’m sort of new to sewing, so naturally I find myself puzzled: Are portions of the pattern designed to be cut on the bias and the crosswise grain, or did you make the executive decision to abandon ‘the rules’ and follow your eye for design? If so, it worked out for you! I’m curious to know more about what you’ve done, because the grain line always seems to keep me from designing ‘outside the lines’ (pun intended).


Victoria, the pattern is designed this way. When I created this pattern, I wanted something that would work this way with stripes or borders. The side bodice pieces are cut on the bias and the top is cut crosswise.

I’d say that changing from a lengthwise grain to a crosswide grain is sometimes doable, depending on the type of pattern and what you’re doing. Changing a piece from straight to bias is different, though. Bias pieces will stretch and are less stable, so this needs to be accounted for in the pattern design.


I just love this blue & white dress!
Where can I find this pattern?

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