Gray Floral Laurel

I’ve talked about the Laurel pattern from Colette Patterns before, a couple of times, so I won’t go on and on talking about it. I am completely pleased with this dress, except that I didn’t finish it in time to wear for my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner and haven’t had anywhere to wear it yet. I got up early the morning we needed to leave for the wedding and sewed as quickly as I could, but it just didn’t happen. This fabric was pricey, so I didn’t want to risk making a mistake I couldn’t fix. Now that I am done with this project, I can say that was a wise decision.

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Let me talk a little bit about how this dress is different than my first Laurel and how I would do things differently for a third version. First of all, since the blouse doesn’t have a closure and the dress has a zipper, I decided to go down a size. The extra ease wasn’t necessary because I don’t have to pull it on over my head. I made the version with front patch pockets, and I really like how they look, but they aren’t really functional. Next time, if I wanted functional pockets I would add them to the side seams.

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Design/Pattern: Colette Patterns, Laurel, version 2

Materials: Amy Butler cotton sateen, Alchemy Studio Collection, zinc, Victoriana, 22″ invisible zipper, bias tape

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Techniques:

  • matched “stripes” along side seams, sleeves and pockets
  • stitched & serged seams
  • darts
  • set in sleeves
  • patch pockets
  • invisible zipper
  • hems & neckline finished with bias tape & hand stitching

Alterations/Changes: I didn’t make any alterations.

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Even though I haven’t had a chance to wear this dress yet, I’m sure I will use it frequently. It’s not too fancy to wear to work (I’m on summer break right now so I’m not working), but it’s also nice enough to wear for more special occasions. I hope I have a reason to wear it soon!

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Striped Linen Laurel

I finished this top one month ago exactly and I’m just getting around to talking about it. That may tell you a little bit about how this past month has been. The good news is that I’ve worn this top at least four or five times since I made it, which means it’s a keeper! It coordinates well with my existing wardrobe and is something different than a generic solid colored crew neck knit tee shirt. I needed a little variety in that department.

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As I mentioned, I was very excited by Colette Patterns’ new Laurel blouse and dress pattern and planned to make two versions immediately. Based on my measurements I was between a size 2 and a size 4. Since this shirt version was my wearable muslin I decided to make a straight size 4 and go from there. I am pleased with how it fits in this fabric. I think that this linen fabric calls for a more relaxed fit and I also wanted to be sure it was easy to pull on since it doesn’t have any closures. 

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Design/Pattern: Colette Patterns Laurel, version 4 (blouse)

Materials: striped linen (This fabric has a great story, if I may share. I bought it for about $4 a yard from a table at my local fabric store that had a wide variety of fabrics for summer clothing. Just today I was back in the fabric store and I noticed this fabric in a new location, with the other linen fabrics, and the price had been changed to $14.99 a yard. I am certain I wouldn’t have chosen this fabric at that price, so I’m really glad I got it when I did!)

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Techniques:

  • seam allowances were folded under and stitched down (It was my first time trying this and I don’t think it was worth it. If I were to use this fabric again, I would just use a zig-zag or overcast stitch.)
  • darts
  • self-fabric bias tape finish on the neckline
  • under/edgestitched the self-fabric bias tape to strengthen it (I am not sure what to call it, but this is what I did: Stitched bias tape to neckline, pressed seam allowances towards bias tape, stitched through bias tape and seam allowances close to seamline. Since the bias tape is turned to the outside of the shirt, this stitching is visible along the top edge of the shirt.)
  • selvedges used as the bottom edge of the shirt and sleeves

Alterations/Changes: The only change I made was to the cutting layout. The fabric was vertically striped, but I wanted my shirt to be horizontally striped. To achieve this, I simply cut my pieces with the lower edges along the selvedge. I then used the attractive selvedge as the “hem” of the shirt and sleeves. This also made the process of matching the stripes hassle-free.

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I already know that this shirt works with my wardrobe, so I am pleased with how this project turned out. I don’t have many woven tops, but I may have to change that since I like this shirt so much. The only thing I am not entirely pleased with is how the seams are finished. I may go back and re-do these at some point because the fabric still wants to fray, and since there isn’t a proper hem I sometimes get visible strings hanging down. It’s not a big deal, but it might bug me over time. For now though, I am just happy to report that Laurel may be my newest tried-and-true pattern. I’ll let you know how the dress version turned out soon.