Tag Archives: Colette Patterns

Last of the Laurels

These are the last 2 Laurel dresses I have to show you (for now). I’m telling you, this is a great pattern. It looks great on (someday, I’ll get photos of myself wearing one), even when it is too big as mine now are. The pattern is simple with easy to follow instructions. There are so many ways to vary the design that no one will realise you used the same pattern for 6 dresses!

My Purple Laurel, was my muslin version. I used an old sheet for my fabric. I’m glad I made a muslin. The pattern is created to be a bit lose, but on me, that actually meant my normal size was a little too big. Yay! I get to make a smaller size. Making the muslin also gave me the opportunity to test out some design changes I planned to use on other versions.

First off, I made this version sleeveless. This was a simple change. Rather than sewing the underlining as an underlining, I sewed it in as a lining. This gave me the ability to close the arm holes inside. I still used a binding around the neckline to add stability as I didn’t add any facings.

Second (this is my favourite addition), I added buttons down the back. I did this partially to save on sewing in a zipper, but also because I thought buttons down the back sounded fun. To do this, I extended the back by an inch on each side. Since there is already a seam allowance for a zipper, I didn’t need much more wiggle room.

My final Laurel project was inspired by all the projects with variegation I had been seeing. My plan had been to make a dress with 3 colours of fabric that were slightly different shade of each other. The plan didn’t work out as my local shop didn’t have the color variety I needed. I modified my plan and went with two colours instead.

 

The photos show pockets, but I later removed them as the sewing was poorly done  (in my opinion). Once I took them off, I liked the dress better without the pockets.

 

I did finish this dress with short sleeves. Yes, I know, I don’t have completed photos. This is so far my favourite version of the Laurel that I have made. As I’ve mentioned, I am inspired to make a couple more. I’ll be sure to share them when I do.

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Little Yellow Laurel

I told you I went on a Laurel craze when this pattern was first released. I’m currently pondering what fabric I have in my stash would make another cute version. Part of this craze was inspired by a contest Colette Patterns was running. My goal was to enter in each category. I don’t think I quite succeeded, but I had fun making them.

 

This version was a concept I imagined for my sister. My first thoughts were to use yellow linen. Yellow is one of her favourite colours. I planned to make it sleeveless. To line the neckline and arm holes, I planned to use a blue piping. It sounded good in my head. Then I discovered that my local shop didn’t have a yellow linen. While searching for an alternative, I found a yellow eyelet fabric. I knew she would love it. Since it was a lighter fabric, I lined it with a coordinating Kona cotton. I decided on a green piping for the arms and neck.

Conveniently, one of the versions included in the pattern is designed with an underlining. The difference between an underlining and a lining is simple. An underlining is sewn together with the outside fabric. This means there are no seams showing between the outer fabric and the inside fabric. (I didn’t sew it that way!) I had to be difficult because I had to make the dress sleeveless.

Instead, I attached the piping to the sleeve and arm edges. Then I followed the tutorial from Green Apples on how to line a sleeveless dress. This tutorial has changed my life! I love how simple her instructions are on how to sew the lining. I no longer have to hand stitch a little opening closed. I love it!

To finish the dress, I just stitched the sides together in one long seam. To make sure the arm seam lay flat, I top-stitched around the arm holes just inside the piping.

Look at that perfect zipper!

I believe on my next version, I am going to add side seam pockets. I have discovered a love for pockets on dresses. 

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Flapper Laurel

Nearly a year ago now, Colette Patterns released a new pattern. I just had to have it! It was the Laurel. This pattern inspired a flurry of designing in my little sewing nook in our old place (That’s right, this project happened a year ago. I’m catching up on posts I missed last summer). The release of this pattern came with a contest. I just realised I never got around to sharing them properly. You can find a few sample photos on Flickr.

Around this same time, we had a handful of invitations to Twenties themed parties. Rather than spending a small fortune on a skimpy-itchy polyester costume, I decided to create my own version of a flapper dress. After a bit of research, I realised that the Laurel pattern lent itself to the proper shape of a flapper dress. It is rather straight (with just a little shaping) and the length can easily be modified.

My intention was to find a dark fabric such as a navy or black. Maybe even green. But then we (I was shopping with my fiance) found the dangling circles fabric in hot pink and I was in love!

My first modification was with the neckline. I created a deep scoop (deep for me) down the back and a shallower scoop in the front. I think next time, I will make sure not to widen the opening so the straps stay wider than they ended up on this version.

                                             

I also shortened the length of the tunic to end just below my bum. This added a seam to create a dropped-waist look.

The skirt ended up being a little more complicated than it should have become. If you do this, I recommend leaving your lining from the top long enough to also be the lining for the skirt portion. Then you can attach your skirt fabric to the top fabric without worrying about tugging and bunching the skirt. I’m leaving my instructions at that because I cannot make what I did understandable.

                                                         

Finally, I added a wide sparkly black ribbon at the top of the skirt and a massive rosette at the side. They really topped the dress off nicely, don’t you think?

Make It and Love It

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