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!


  1. I'm so glad you were able to salvage your dress after the disaster! It looks super cute!

    1. Thank you! I was glad too. We've all had that moment of panic, "oh no, I've just ruined my project on the last step!!" Ha ha, but it all worked out fine.

  2. I am *so* impressed!!!! I love anything nautical myself, even though we live in the desert, where it's very hard to pull off...

  3. Just beautiful! Such a great bit of embroidery too, I'd have no idea when to start! It fits beautifully too, and definitely looks age appropriate! ;)