Colette Wren dress aka more John Kaldor love…

Hello chums,

I am super excited to share with you my first ever sponsored post. Sponsored post! I have to share how this happened cause it was totally awesome. So a few months ago I read this post from KitchenTableSewing and discovered – an awesome online shop that has a HUGE selection of John Kaldor fabrics at my kind of prices. I ordered 4 lengths of fabric that I was so happy with upon arrival. So when I needed a navy blue jersey fabric for a top I went and got more from their John Kaldor Isabella Wool Mix Jersey. Again I was very pleased with the quality of the fabric. About 6 weeks later I got an email from Lucy at SewEssential reaching out and offering me a choice of fabric and pattern from the online selection. Um it was a no brainer for me, I already knew they have great fabric and service so I was like “You had me at Hello“!

When it came to selecting fabric I had already bought some of the John Kaldor Isabella wool mix jersey which feels so lush against the skin – I cant tell you how much I love it  – so I decided to get it in the red and make myself a red dress. <You see I can do other colours that are on the opposite end of the color spectrum to blue :-).

Allow me to wax lyrical about the John Kaldor Isabella jersey – it is truly lovely. I washed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried on cool and that worked a treat. The edges don’t curl up as much as other jersey do which I really liked.

SewEssential stock a huge range of patterns from indie pattern houses and the big 4 to choose from. I had a lot of fun going through their selection deciding what pattern to get. In the end it was Wren. Ever since Ali ( wowed me with her Colette Wren I have been dying for a chance to make one so this was my chance. It was a happy day when I received my packet in the post with the pattern and fabric :-).


Construction wise its very simple to sew up. The instructions are concise and straightforward. However I do not like the back neck and in my next one I will redraw that back neck.


Ok the nice bit is out of the way I am going to get  into fitting……because I did my research and I found out that a lot of people had issues with the bodice on the Wren dress so I wisely made a muslin. I made size 2 which was the one that corresponded to my bust measurement but it was much much too small unless if I was going for an exposed boob look a la JLo circa the Puff Daddy era.

So I made another muslin in the next size up. This one fit my shoulders perfectly and my waist BUT it was still lacking in boob coverage, which again, would be fine if that was my cup of tea. But it isnt. So I did a 1″ Full Bust Adjustment for the first time. So I made a third muslin which was spot on. I also added 1″ to the bodice length on account of the fact that I found the waist was too high for my liking. I liked it better sitting on my natural waist.

Initially I made it with the short sleeve version – but there is something about them that I don’t get along with so I ended up cutting them into cap sleeve which better fits my broad(ish) shoulders. The skirt portion is gathered and attached in the same way the Moneta is. Having had 4 practices with that elastic gathering technique – this step was easy enough for me. I finished the hem, sleeves and back neck with a twin needle.

Colette Wren Dress + McCalls M6844
Wren Dress + M6844
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress Back neck line view
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress
Wren Dress

I love this dress. It flows and moves so beautifully. Basically I am in this dress but it feels like its PJs :-). It was worth all the fitting trouble I went through. I do think its one of those styles that is flattering on an any body type judging by all the beautiful versions I have seen on the blogosphere. Just make sure to make one or two muslins to get that fit spot on, then make it in a lush fabric :-).  I am thinking I’d like to make this with long sleeves in … blue next (this French Navy to be exact). Yes! I cant stay away from blue. And on that note…..

Thanks so much for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. I will be back soon!

Peace and love,





46 thoughts on “Colette Wren dress aka more John Kaldor love…

  1. Lovely dress, Hila…the colour is great on you too! I attempted to make a Wren in a pretty blue bamboo jersey; unfortunately, it was a bit of a fitting fail so I should have made a muslin as you did. Also because my fabric was on the thin side, and I made the other version (the non-gathered skirt), the dress left too little to the imagination! I’ll have to try again with the right fit and right fabric – yours is perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bianca! Dont give up on it yet – its a great style worth persevering to get the fit right – try it one size up with a FBA and see how that gets on for you. ALso check out akathimberlina’s posts on the Wren – they are very helpful for fitting. Good luck 🙂


  2. Yup, the muslins have really paid off, it fits perfectly. It’s crazy that a knit dress should need as much tweaking as it does, I was thinking I must have a really odd body shape until I read others had fitting issues too. The colour looks gorgeous on you, and I can almost feel the scrumptiousness of the fabric! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well its thanks to your post that I fell for the Wren but your very informative fitting posts made sure I didnt mess up a beautiful fabric! Now I just nee a long sleeve one – perhaps make it maxi length – with a provocative thigh split 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s beautiful! I agree the fabric from Sew Essential is lush!! Thanks for sharing your fitting details with this, as I do want to make the Wren and now know I would almost definitely need to do an FBA as well. Jen x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Red really suits you! The fabric looks gorgeous – I’ve already checked out the website and the colours are lovely. I’m always reluctant to buy jersey on line because you never know what you’re going to get but with your personal recommendation all will be well!! x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that John Kaldor fabric. And was thrilled when I realised it was much cheaper with Sew Essential than with Fabric Godmother. They need some new colours so I can buy more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like SewEssential prices too and thats why I was happy to do a sponsored post :-). I’d love it in a mustard – how about you? Which colour would you like it in?


  6. You look as gorgeous as ever Hila! I love the bright red of this and the wool mix jersey sounds perfect for winter. Funnily enough I was wearing a dress made from a John Kaldor knit fabric today, from the Man Outside Sainsbury’s, now if only I could get him to sponsor me 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hila I think yours is the prettiest Wren yet! It’s beautiful 🙂 I love the movement of the skirt on you which you’ve captured so well in your photos (great photography!). I think you’re so right about getting the fit spot on. That makes the biggest difference in how the Wren can flatter.


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