Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunny Day Laurel Dress

Well the sun has finally come to New Hampshire.  

Yesterday I had a fire going, it was raw and rainy, 40 degrees.  I used that time wisely and finished another Laurel Dress.  Today it was in the 70's and I got to wear it!  Hooray!!  

So I have to stand in the mud to have my photo taken, I'm not complaining!!

This version is in Voile by Anna Maria Horner, bought (on sale) at Pink Chalk Fabrics.
This time I used my self-drafted collar from my previous version.  I also used the keyhole opening idea from the Laurel Extras download (love that!!).  

This time instead of using pleats to shape the waist I drafted in two front darts.

I also used the underlining as suggested in the pattern, it worked very well.  I used a soft cotton and it compliments the voile very well.  This is going to get tons of wear this summer, it's very comfortable!

I got this second one done just in time to enter the Colette Laurel ContestThe Flickr group is full of great ideas for customizing this versatile pattern.

I'm having so much fun sewing for myself, I kind of flaked out on Kids Clothes Week.  Oops!!  I hear now they're actually having it four times a year though, so that's great news, and they have a new blog up and running!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Colette Laurel Dress

Colette Laurel Dress

I've been looking to expand my skills in changing up a basic pattern, and Colette's latest release, the Laurel Dress, seemed like a perfect starting point.  It's a basic shift dress with all kinds of options for customizing.  For this version I actually made a muslin (a real muslin y'all - out of muslin!!) and that was worth the effort because I was able to really try out some ideas.  I wrote on it with a sharpie, ripped it apart and stuff!  I knew it wasn't ever going to be wearable so it gave me freedom to experiment.

Fabric used: Navy brushed twill and red linen "look"
I'm a submarine sailor's daughter, I can't help loving anything remotely nautical.  At least I didn't put an anchor on it.

So for this version the changes were:

- I added pleats at the front sides to add waist definition
-I changed to short sleeves
-drafted a peter pan collar using Gertie's tutorial in her book an also online
-added a bunch of trims like ric-rac, strips of bias, and machine embroidery

The machine embroidery is what almost KILLED the dress.

Let me explain, I worked on the dress over about a two week period due to my time constraints, being a mom of 4 kids.  Everything was going as planned and I was proud I had taken my time.  As a last step I wanted to embroider the swallow and hooped up my finished dress.  Disaster!!!  Let's just say I ruined it.  I actually had to cut off the whole lower portion of the dress.  There ain't no seam ripper that can get out machine embroidery stitches.  So yesterday I took it out when I had a few free hours and had to "Make it Work".  I added on to the lower portion and used the accent trim to hide the join.  The second time I got smart and embroidered the bird separately, then added it as a patch.  If I ruined the project again, I couldn't take it.  So I think it worked out well in the end!

Are you sewing a Laurel Dress?  They even have a contest running until the end of April!  
Check it out!