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Welcome to the Dahlia Sewalong!


Welcome to the Dahlia sewalong!

In this sewalong, we’ll be going step by step through the process of sewing both versions of the Dahlia dress.

Dahlia is a chic and feminine dress for all seasons. Both versions have an inset waist yoke, gathered bodices, flattering skirts and a side zip. Version 1 is great for cooler weather – it features 3/4 length raglan sleeves and a slightly narrower skirt with a back kick pleat. Version 2 is perfect for warmer months or for layering under sweaters – the sleeveless bodice has bias tape straps and the skirt is just a touch more flared.

Dahlia is classic, elegant and shapely, and the range of possibilities is wide depending on your fabric choice. A warm flannel Version 1 would be perfect for a winter workday; a sleek and slinky Version 2 would be fabulous for an evening out. So use your imagination, dream up your Dahlia and come join us in the sewalong!


Your teacher

I’m Devon, a sewing teacher living in Nashville by way of Los Angeles and rural Ohio. I’ve been sewing my whole life and have shared this obsession with others by teaching at places like Sew LA, The Fabric Studio and the Craftcation Conference. You can read about my sewing projects and similar exploits on my website Miss Make.

How it works

Our sewalongs are simple. We’ll publish a series of posts detailing each step in the process of fitting and sewing your pattern. You can sew along with us, ask questions, and share your techniques and advice with others.

Feel free to leave comments here on the blog, or join our Sewalongs Facebook group to post thoughts, questions, and photos. We try our best to answer as many questions as possible, but encourage you to jump in and help each other out as well.

What’s covered

Tomorrow we’ll get started by going over what fabric and supplies you’ll need for your Dahlia. You’ll have two weeks to get your shopping done before the actual sewing gets underway.

A week from today, we’ll talk a little bit about pattern adjustments (including bust adjustments) and cutting.

Then a week after that on November 17th, we’ll get started with the sewing. We’ll work through both versions of the dress through the next two weeks, with the final sewing post being on Monday December 1.

You’ll have a week to get all your Dahlias finished and into the Colette Flickr group before we highlight some of them in a parade post.

The Dahlia Sewalong

  1. Welcome to the Dahlia Sewalong! (48 Comments)
  2. Gather Fabric and Supplies (103 Comments)
  3. General Fit and Cutting (77 Comments)
  4. Raglan Seam Bust Adjustments (49 Comments)
  5. Staystitch, Darts and Bodice Gathers (7 Comments)
  6. Shoulder Seams, Side Seams and Yoke (27 Comments)
  7. Sew and Attach Skirt – V1 (4 Comments)
  8. Sew and Attach Skirt – V2
  9. Install Zipper (16 Comments)
  10. Finish Sleeves and Neckline – V1 (7 Comments)
  11. Neckline and Straps – V2 (4 Comments)
  12. Hem and Finish (10 Comments)
  13. Your Finished Dahlias! (15 Comments)



Thank you for doing this, Devon. I am very excited. A question, will you be covering lining the dress for those of us who wish to do so? I think I may want to, but I have not done a lining before, so I am nervous.



I second that. Very excited, and interested in lining.


Great question! I am curious about this also – I purchased plaid wool for my Dahlia, and it is scratchy. Definitely needs lined!


I just wanted to add my voice to those asking for lining tips. I’ve got a wool fabric in mind but there’s no way I could wear it without a lining, my skin would protest! I think it would be fantastic if this could be covered, I’m not experienced enough to figure it out for myself. Make another dress out of lining fabric I imagine, but how on earth to attach them together?!?

Devon |

Yes, we will discuss how to add a lining when we go over how to install the zipper.


How much smaller do we have to make the lining that it fits under the main fabric?


@ Magali,

The outline shown above does not mention lining the dress, but perhaps Devon will share a few tips on that subject anyway.

@ All

Even in summer, I wear floor-length skirts and have not worn a short dress in 40 years. I have one heavy, full length dress that I wear only on special occasions, and would like to own a lighter weight dress… however, I still insist on the full-length. I am wondering how adaptable this dress might be to my purposes as I do like the bodice and neckline. I am contemplating a combination of the bodice/sleeves for the first version and the more flared skirt from the second version, but extended to fit my length requirements.

Devon |

Hi Lady D,

You could lengthen the dress to floor length, but you would need to add more fullness to the skirt to allow for ease of movement. A couple options for that would be adding a slit or slashing and spreading the skirt pieces.


I’ll look into the slash and spread possibilities. I have several ready-to-wear skirts that would be suitable for comparison.


Thank you Devon for taking on this project. It is a great-looking pattern. I am a little worried though. Will there be alteration instructions for bosom-challenged? I can’t figure out how to ease out some of the fullness without ruining the dress. Thank you.

Devon |

Welcome! We’ll be talking about bust adjustments on Monday Nov 10.


Yay, I’m so excited to get started!

Devon |

Hooray! Welcome! :]


I love this dress, especially the plaid version! I have reservations about the length though. My legs are just not good, I do much better with skirts in the mid-calf to just above the ankle range for work, longer for casual or dress-up. I’m not sure the extra length will translate well, unless I can work in a little more fullness and drape. What is your advice?

Devon |

Hi Susan! One option would be to lengthen and then slash and spread the skirt pattern pieces to add fullness you’d need for ease of movement. Here is a tutorial for that:

For an idea of how much to add, measure the hem circumference of a skirt you already have and like, and then compare it to the Dahlia’s finished hem circumference on the back of the pattern envelope. Then divide that amount proportionately amongst the skirt pattern pieces.

Hope that helps!


I’m excited. I already have all the fabric and notions that I’d need.

Is the body measurement for the bust the high or the full bust?

Devon |

Hooray! The bust measurement is for the full bust, and Colette patterns draft for a C cup.

Elise Hinkley |

What a lovely idea – can’t wait to give this a go!

Devon |

Hooray! Can’t wait to see your finished dress!


Looking forward to this project. Thanks for the opportunity and your time.

Devon |

Welcome, glad you can join in!

Mel Baird

Very excited but scared too, as I’m a novice.

Devon |

Don’t be scared, it’ll be fun! Glad you’re joining! :]

Yay! Pumped for the sewalong! I wonder if you might cover gaping neckline/shoulder issues, Devon… I had issues with my Dahlia muslin and saw that some other sewists may have had similar issues. Thanks!!

Devon |

Hi Meg! I’ll be covering a narrow shoulder adjustment in the fitting and cutting post on Monday the 10th.

Jessie Ratledge

I have not got the pattern which makes me unhappy as I just love the style how long would it take to get to Australia.

Devon |

Hi Jessie,

The Dahlia pattern is available as a PDF instant download if you don’t want to wait for the the paper one to ship:


Jessie, I ordered the Dahlia from Stitch56 on Tuesday (located in Moorabbin) and it got to me at work in Melbourne today!! They’ve still got the paper pattern if you don’t want to print at home :)


I got the pattern when it first came out and am sooo excited to follow the sewalong, as I AM a beginner. The last dress I made, I graded the top (small) to a larger bottom, but I am hoping to get more help on that. My shoulders are wide, so I have trouble with sleeves restricting movement if I simply go with a smaller size. Any helpful hints?

Devon |

Hi Sarah! It kind of depends on where you need the smaller size in the top – is it in the bust? Perhaps you’d benefit from doing an SBA [small bust adjustment]. We’ll be covering those in a post on Monday the 10th.


Thank you for responding to us all!
Maybe a sba is what I need… Shoulder length 17 in, upper bust 34, full bust 34, under bust 32, waist 30, hips 30. So it looks like a 10 in the yoke and skirt. What do you suggest for top? Is it an sba?
I’m going to do a muslin. I really like your suggestion of a peplum top wearable ‘muslin’! No waste :-)

It sounds like you’ll want an 8 in the bust with a SBA, then a 10 at the waist, but you could then go down a size or two to the hips (unless your 30 hips was a typo)


Many thanks! The hips are indeed a 40! Typo. I look forward to seeing the sba, then. :-)


Thank you so much for this sew-a-long. I comes at the right time for me as I prepare to study for exams. I always need a breather and what better than to sew. Promise to let you know how this pans out.

Yes, please do! It’s always so fun to see everyone’s finished makes.

trudy mae

thanks for this sewalong!! I’ve always wanted to join in on one but it was usually over by the time I found it. as a self-taught sewist, I’m excited for the opportunity to join in on the extensive online community! I might even get my sewing blog set up (finally!)

Welcome, glad you can join in! :]


Looking forward to this, my first sewalong, got my pattern to UK yesterday would a ponte knit be okay fro this, or too stretchy, got some nice grey/pink checked suiting that I would like to use out of my stash too.

If you want to make it from a knit you would have do make some changes to account for the stretch. You’d probably want to reduce or eliminate some of the gathers and make things smaller overall. The suiting would be a better first go since the pattern is already designed for wovens!

I am very excited to be joining in on this sewalong. I am waiting on fabric samples to come in but in the meantime, I’ll be making a muslin to better understand the sizing and whether or not I’ll need to do major grading and size mixing of the bodice and skirt.


I’m excited! I ordered my pattern from Stitch56 based here in Melbourne on Tuesday and already got it. I’ve gotten a bunch of friends on my FB interested in it as well :)
A quick question – if I needed to do a small waist adjustment will that be shown? I’ve never done one, but because this has such a firm waist section I’m a bit nervous it might not fit right.

We’ll be talking about grading between sizes when cutting, which is what you’d want to do for a smaller waist.


Thanks very much Devon. :)