Sunday, 21 April 2013

Completed: Laurel dress

When Colette Patterns released their latest pattern, the Laurel, I was seriously underwhelmed. I had been hoping for a shift dress as many had rumoured as I wanted one, or perhaps two, to add to my summer wardrobe. I worried that the pattern would be far too loose and big on me and that it would be very unflattering. But then Sarai began to show how the pattern could be changed and I began thinking. Perhaps there was potential in this for me, so I bought the pattern. Being slightly in doubt about it still I decided to make a muslin. You might think that is a little strange for a loose fitting garment but I am so glad I did. I honestly looked like I was wearing a sack! Adam actually laughed at how big it was around my hips! However I could see that this is something I could wear if I cut out a smaller size. I liked the shape of it but just not how big it was. So that is what I did. 

Colette Laurel Front 2

I wanted a dress to add to my summer collection. It had to be simple but delicate. The fabric is cotton poplin and this is my first time using it. It is more delicate than I imagined with pin marks lasting a long time after they had been removed. It also crumples quickly as you can see from the photos. It began life in white as I couldn’t find the right colour. I decided to dye it using Dylon’s ‘Burlesque Red’ which is actually more along the purple line than red. I hand dyed it to give me a little more control over the colour. The finished article couldn’t be plain, I needed to have some form of embellishment and settled on a crochet cotton trim. 

Colette Laurel trim

The construction is very simple as there are only three pieces or six in mine as I opted for version one which is fully underlined. The underlining is made from the same fabric in the same colour to be as true to it as possible. I hadn’t underlined before but it turns out it is very simple. The zip went in reasonably well. It isn’t perfect but I can live with it. Putting a zip in properly is definitely something I need to work on. 

Colette Laurel back

The trickiest thing for me was actually the placement of the front darts. I put it on to check the fit after inserting the zip when Adam pointed out that one my darts was off by about 5mm. Cue some unpicking! I’m still not sure they are fully level but I can cope with them now. I won’t spend every minute I wear this dress wondering if others can see my mistakes. One thing I loved about this pattern is that there are no facings! I generally don’t get on well with facings. Instead you use bias binding. I chose a narrow binding around the arms and neckline to fit in with the simple but delicate theme. 

Colette Laurel Front

Do I love this dress? Sort of. It is different to what I usually wear and there were times when we taking the photos that it looked rather unflattering across key areas which makes me worry about what it looks like normally! But I love the colour. I’ll definitely make the pattern as a top as the fit there is much better. If I made the dress again I would need to play with the fit a bit more. However, I’m sure this will make it into my suitcase for a summer holiday…

14 comments:

  1. This is really lovely and is very flattering, although I know what you mean. It's weird not having a defined waist! And what a gorgeous colour. It has never occurred to me to dye fabric to get the colour I want - what a great idea!

    If you struggle with zips, I really recommend Sunni's course on Craftsy. It's free and covers invisible, standard and lapped zippers. It's really useful and great to watch someone actually doing it!

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    1. Thanks Helen. I agree about not having a defined waist - it will take some getting used to! Thanks also for the tip about Sunni's course - I must take a look at it.

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  2. I think this dress looks really good on you:) I allso considered this pattern, but I thought it is to "loos". However, what you did by altering it and making it slightly closer to your body, works! Maybe I should give it a try? I would guess that this dress can easely be "sproosed" up whit a shawl or a cardigan, high heels or boots:)

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    1. Thanks! Fitting is the biggest issue with this I think but once you are passed that the pattern is a blank canvas waiting to go to wherever your imagination takes you!

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  3. Its a pretty dress, and I think with addition of darts at the front for your next one to give more shape, the loose fit will improve. Shifts were real 60's dresses made for twiggy sort of figures, straight up and down. I think though this dress will make a great fun dress as you have said.

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    1. It definitely needs a bit more tweaking!

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  4. I love the color you dyed it. It's so simple and I love it for that reason. The lace trim adds a nice touch. Oh yes and as Helen said take a look at Sunni's course. I struggled with my invisible zip in my Mad Men dress and watching her helped a bunch.

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    1. Thanks! I love the colour too. And I have just got Sunni's course - can't wait to use this on my next project.

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  5. I love the lace at the bottom. What a great addition. I've been a bit like you with this dress. I'm just finishing mine off at the moment and have struggled a bit with the fit - especially around the hips as well.. it is definitely made for an hourglass figure.. (Oh and my fabric choice has been questionable ;))

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    1. I'm intrigued by which fabric you have chosen and a little relieved that I'm not the only one struggling with the fit.

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  6. This looks great on you! I really like your alterations - very flattering. And the colour is just beautiful. I've never tried dying fabric before, but I'll have to remember that tip!

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    1. Thanks! With dying I would choose the machine versions - more time efficient for you and less chance of you changing the colour your hands. Ask me how I know that!

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  7. It's really well fitted and a great colour. I love the broderie anglaise trim too.

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I still love the trim but I haven't worn it since completing it.

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