True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

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Colfax Dress in Raw Silk

I love when fabric in my stash is perfectly suited to a new pattern, almost like it was awaiting its fate and the time has come for it to fulfil its purpose. Too cheesy? Probably, but much like I once believed my stuffed animals to have personalities and secret lives, I assign character traits and aspirations to my fabrics.  I hope I’m not alone in this, somebody, back me up here!  This gorgeous bright coral raw silk has been sitting in my stash just dying to burst out of it’s ziplock bag and become…a True Bias Colfax dress! Who knew?  

True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's ClsoetTrue Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet
True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

I just couldn’t resist the a-line shape of the Colfax with its bias binding and neck yoke detail.  I am also a sucker for straps that sit a bit closer to the neck, showing off the shoulders, not sure what you call this shape – any ideas?  This is a perfect summer dress, not clingy and well suited to natural fibres like linen, cotton, and (case and point) silk.

True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet
True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

I made the Colfax as-is but for a slight grading from a 14 to almost a 16 at the hips. The bust darts sit a bit funny on me, I think I will raise the point up next time and take in the sides a bit at the top to get a better fit around the armpit.  As Sam kindly pointed out, the darts are giving me ‘weird nipples’, great.  What do you think?  Will re-positioning the dart do the trick here?  I am still a total pattern alteration newbie. 

True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

Lucky for me, it is hard to see anything like ‘weird nipples’ with fabric this bright blinding you.  Coral is one of my absolute favourite colours, so cheerful and full of life.  I am always drawn to this shade and was so thrilled to find this fabric at an Our Social Fabric sale here in Vancouver.  I got 2 meters of this raw silk for 2 dollars.  THAT IS $1.50 USD PEOPLE!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, OSF!  This fabric has reached its destiny.  Speaking of OSF, they are opening up in their new location next weekend!  The first sale is on May 1st, check their website for details.
True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's ClsoetTrue Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet
True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

The only thing I did differently from the pattern instructions was to sew the hem band as directed for view B instead of the directions for view A, the version I made.  I did this because I really liked the extra ridge that this hem application created, I think it mirrors the edge stitching on the yoke detail perfectly.  View A does not have pockets, and this fabric would have sagged something fierce on either side if I had put them in.  I would like to make a more structured version and add the pockets because, well,  I love me some pockets!  Alas, the raw silk would have been angry at me (she’s quite particular, you see), so no pockets this time around.

True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet
True Bias Colfax Dress by Helen's Clsoet

The Colfax sew-along is complete and you can participate in the Colfax dress contest by making a Colfax and sharing it on instagram with the hashtag #colfaxdresscontest.

Read more about the Colfax Dress Contest here


Final Stats

Pattern: Colfax dress by True Bias

Fabric: Raw Silk from Our Social Fabric

Time:Adjustments: None. Next time I think I will move the point of the bust dart up and take in the side seams a bit at the top.


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

6 Comments on “Colfax Dress in Raw Silk”

  1. Raw silk + this gorgeous colour is a double win! I don’t see weird nipples here, but it’s true that the dart sits a little low and the points could melt more seamlessly into the shape. I had the same problem with the Xeria dress I made in chambray last summer. The problem was solved with a lot of pressing AND a lot of steam over a pressing ham in order to round the points. Fortunately, natural fibers like to obey! Careful though, I know that raw silk is more delicate than chambray.

  2. You are totally not the only one who gives personalities to their fabrics! I do the same thing. So many times I’ve had fabric for years waiting for the perfect pattern. And when it happens to me it’s like the stars align, skies open up and angels sing… haha
    The bust darts are not bad at all! But repositioning it would absolutely do the trick. It’s very easy too. You can either just lift the whole dart up by the distance you need. Or if you find that by lifting the dart up you are too close to armscye, I would just angle the dart from it’s current position on the side seam to the higher point on the bust where you need it to be. You would also need to redraw the bottom of the dart so that when you sew and press it down there is enough fabric to align with side seam. I don’t even know if I am making sense anymore… 🙂
    But the dress looks absolutely fabulous!! I love it! The color is so good on you. And $2 per meter for raw silk???? Whaaaat? I have trouble finding regular expensive silk in Calgary let alone anything on crazy sale like that.

  3. This is really pretty Helen! I love that colour too!

    I’ve had this issue with darts before too. I think you have too options. You can try to move the dart up about 1/2″ or so so that the point is at the right place, or you could just angle it. So keep the dart the same width, and at the same place at the side seam, just angle it up to your apex. Does that make sense?

  4. That color is perfect on you! Must be über comfy too in raw silk….Mmmm silk…so jealous, I wish I could find silk locally. I have a chunk of raw silk from Blackbird fabrics and it’s very much being hoarded away until the absolute perfect pattern is found and muslined, and maybe muslined

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