Saturday, 15 March 2014

Completed: Lace Laurel

What do you do with a pattern that you really like but your first attempt failed dramatically? I kept it at the back of my mind for nearly a year and waited until an idea came to me. It finally arrived a couple of weekends ago when I went to Goldhawk Road with Kelly, Jen and Daniela. I spotted a gorgeous piece of lace that screamed "buy me!" and wouldn't stop yelling until I had parted with my cash. I knew it was time to dig Laurel out again. 

Lace Laurel

My first attempt with Laurel didn't go well, nor did my second which is why it hasn't made it to the blog. But this time would be different, I was sure of it. I have wanted a lace top for a long time but I'm super picky when choosing which piece to buy. It is either the wrong colour or I don't like the flowers. Thank goodness there was 1.5m of this cotton crochet lace left on the bolt. I might have cried if there was less. I chose a teal fabric to go underneath the bodice. I knew it had to be a bright colour and was constantly being drawn to the different shades of teal. I'm not fully certain what fabric it is. I suspect it is a poly mix but it has a good drape and is lovely to touch. 

Lace Laurel

Key to making this top work was getting the fit right. The poor fit of my other Laurels is the primary reason why I don't wear them much, if at all. I needed to lose a lot of the ease so I used the finished measurements that best matched mine and then went up a size. The pattern in the lace isn't dart friendly so I chose to remove all of them. The teal doesn't feature them either as I underlined the bodice to keep the seam allowances out of sight. This was my first time eliminating all darts from a pattern. For the back ones, I measured the width of the dart and then removed it from the side seam, drawing a line from the armscye to the hem. For the front, I slashed the bust dart through the middle to the apex. I then cut a straight line from just below the apex to the hem before pivoting the left side of the pattern so the bottom line of the original dart matched the centre of it. I also removed the back seam and lowered the armscye a little. This is one of the biggest issues I have this pattern - the sleeves are just too high, feel restrictive and don't allow for a lot of movement. Lowering them slightly has made such a difference. I no longer feel like there is too much fabric fighting for space under my armpit. To account for the change, I added a little extra to the sleeve cap to ensure the sleeves still fitted perfectly.

Lace Laurel

The teal frayed badly, so much so I'm still finding threads throughout our flat despite a thorough clean up. To prevent any of the frays escaping, I bound all of the seams and the hem using the same fabric. The binding is cut on grain rather than the bias (not enough left over fabric) but it seems to be flexible enough to cope with the curves of the neckline and the arms. This took a while as I slip stitched one side of each seam to give me extra control in making sure nothing could escape. 

Lace Laurel

I've worn this top a couple of times. I'm very pleased with the overall fit, it doesn't feel too loose or too snug. I can pull it on and off without any problems. I love having the extra movement in the sleeves and that the scallops hit perfectly at my elbows. It is lightweight and perfect for the spring days that seem to be arriving with more frequency here. It seems Laurel has finally made up with me.

28 comments:

  1. That is so beautiful, Claire! I'm glad you finally made this pattern work for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a lot of work, but so worth it. It's beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Helen. It didn't feel like much work really. Slip stitching took the longest but with the TV on it soon whizzed passed.

      Delete
  3. This is amazing! I love that embroidered fabric, and the teal underlining is beautiful. Both fabric go together so well. It's interesting to read about how you eliminated the darts, I didn't even know this was possible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynn. I found it was possible at my pattern cutting course but I had to look up how to remove the bust darts. Opens a new world now!

      Delete
  4. That is lovely, all your work definitely paid off! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perseverance has definitely paid off! It's a gorgeous top!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh wow- this is well worth all the work. What a stunner!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, it was definitely worth persevering! Its gorgeous and perfect for this spring weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katy. I love that spring has arrived just in time.

      Delete
  8. That's an impressive list of modifications! It's really lovely, well done you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Danielle. I didn't realise how many bits I changed until I listed them. Sometimes it just has to be done!

      Delete
  9. It's a lovely top, the lace and teal look great together. And well done for making all those modifications!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ruth. I'm a sucker for teal!

      Delete
  10. That looks stunning, and really suits you. It sounds like a heck of a lot of work, but worth the effort for the end product. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! It took some thinking on how to make it work but it came together reasonably quickly. Except the slip stitching, which was my fault!

      Delete
  11. This is gorgeous Claire! I've been dreaming of a lace top like this... I'm still on the hunt for the right lace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam. I'm amazed how long it can take to find the right lace. Keep looking out though, it will eventually pop up!

      Delete
  12. This has turned out so brilliantly Claire! I knew as soon as you picked up that lace you'd make it into something fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Third time's a charm! This is beautiful, love the lace with the teal peeking through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I might have to adopt three as my lucky number at this rate!

      Delete
  14. I am so glad you spotted that lace - it looks amazing made up in your Laurel! And even better that you have overcome your fitting issues that must have been a massive relief. Maybe Laurel can make it into your TNT pattern list :) and hopefully we will see more versions. See your beautiful lave top really inspires me to get my hands on lace as well! But, I have to work my way through my chiffon pile first! Did you come up with an idea what to use the bird silk/cotton for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Daniela. There may well be more Laurel's on the way, if I can get the dress to work... I haven't yet come up with an idea for the silk cotton but I really want to. Have you?

      Delete

Do you have thoughts about this post? If so, please leave a comment - I really appreciate them! I read them all and try to reply as much as possible.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...