Colette Seamwork Akita Dress Hack

by | Oct 27, 2015 | Garment, Sewing Projects | 5 comments

To say that I am a Colette fangirl is a bit of an understatement, as they have been my pattern makers of choice since starting to sew my own clothes. I think their patterns are modern, but have a vintage flair that I love, they fit my body quite well, and their patterns are interesting enough to stimulate my mind grapes and make me feel super jazzed when I finally figure out what the heck they are trying to say (#unconfidentbeginner).

So last year when they came out with the monthly Seamwork magazine subscription, I was immediately on board. I get a lot of random fabrics gifted to me, with good and bad results, and Seamwork has allowed me to experiment with so many different styles and techniques without having to buy $20 patterns all of the time. I truly recommend a monthly subscription if you starting to make your own clothes, as each month you will learn tidbits to garment sewing that will help you when you move on to more intermediate patterns. No jokes, I have finished a few patterns from Seamwork this year, and when I purchased a full pattern from Colette, I was super excited to find similar techniques to ease me through an otherwise intermediate project. All of the patterns in Seamwork are for beginners (some more confident beginners than others), and should only take an evening to complete, even if you muck it up and have to try again!

In the September issue, they shared the Akita, a pattern for a shirt that was made with just one pattern piece and thusly, one piece of cut fabric. Absolute magic people, one pattern piece is 100% my style. The Akita shirt looks super great for something being so simply constructed, so I was very excited to rock this pattern. Furthermore, Haley threw out a hack for the Akita pattern to make it into a dress, which made it even more appealing. Collette Akita Dress Hack Hakley

Yis please! In my epic fabric destash of 2015, I found this wonderful embroidered fabric that I knew would be a perfect fit for this pattern. And, if you know me by now, you most assuredly know that ‘found this fabric’ means that it is probably a table cloth or an old pair of curtains. Who cares though right?! In my mind it was going to look great.

Now, I read the hack through and through, and then just tried to fudge it to the best of my abilities. I cut the dress an inch below the embroidery on the front, and hand crafted a curvy hippy curve by myne eye. Yeah, I should have been more careful with this, but I am a confident beginner, not an educated intermediate (a duuuuhhh). I then matched up where the arm scythes should meet and cut the back fabric to match the same length as the front. Wham-bam, I now have a dress.
Collette Seamworks Akita DressFor serious guys, this dress is hemmed sleeves, bias tape neckline, some bust darts, and a bottom hem. You are in and out of this pattern in an hour for real (not a pretend ‘you can do this in an hour for real’ hour). It will make you feel like $100 bucks, because it was so easy to make but so awesome to wear. I cannot recommend this pattern enough! I plan on making the shirt version eventually as well, as it is such a chill project to complete.

If you are not into that shift dress look that is oh so popular right now, choosing a lighter fabric (as suggested in the pattern) also looks pretty great belted and layered. You know I am down for a layered outfit; the fall is basically my favorite season because I can wear 1000 coats in dark colours and still be comfortable.

Have I tempted you into a subscription to Seamworks magazine? If so, LET’S HAVE A SEAMWORKS PARTY OK?!
P.S. Seamwork recently came out with a podcast, Seamwork Radio (do you remember when I said I was a fangirl?). The first episode seriously got me like whooooaaa. They interviewed Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette, and she spoke about self confidence, trying and failing at sewing, sewing to fit your curves, and creating the Curvy Sewing Collective. It was like I was listening to a more British version of all of my thoughts. Ugh, so good. The most recent episode with Matthew Holloway is also super great. Go listen to it! BE A FANGIRL WITH ME.





  1. Robyn Holm

    I love this post; you are an amazing writer, and make me want to SEW!!

  2. PsychicKathleen

    I too love this post! Brilliant and inspiring – I too am a HUGE fan of Colette patterns and books. I must download this pattern! It’s so versatile and would make a great T for summer or just a nice comfy shift for around the house or who knows what other creative inspiration could make it into? You really make it look great! Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm. I need this today 🙁 I had to toss a beautiful blouse that I was SO proud of because the bust darts were so completely wrong and of course I didn’t discover that until I tried it which I should have done much earlier. Something else I learned DO NOT do 1 mm stitches at the tip of the dart because if you have to pick those out – well let’s just say it’s impossible. Anyway thank you for lifting me up again after such a distressing sewing day!

    • Natasha

      Thanks for your tip on darts Kathleen! I am sorry to hear about your blouse!! I am glad to hear from another Colette-head! haha.

  3. Julie

    I love your choice of fabric for this, just perfect. I need to sew more for myself, – that’s my very belated new years resolution I think!

    • Natasha

      Yay! I love that New Year’s Resolution. Good Luck Julie!!



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