Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laurel dress (in the nick of time!)



Size: size 4 for the torso, graded up between a 6 and an 8 at the hips. The length is more or less of size 8.

Alterations: Lowered the bust dart by 1,5cm and shortened it by 1cm. Took the waist in slightly. Added in-seam pockets. Omitted the zipper.


(As you can see, I decided to add this quick list at the beginning of my posts, à la The Sew Weekly, House of Pinheiro, True Bias, etc. This is meant as a reference for those who are not interested in the rest of the post or are returning here looking for this information.)

If you follow me, on Twitter or Facebook, you might know that I started working on this dress just Saturday (which actually became Sunday night...). OOPS!

As every other seamstress on the Internet, I got incredibly excited when the Laurel dress contest was revealed over a month ago, so I purchased the pattern almost immediately, even though I wasn't completely in love with it.
I had planned to take my time with the muslin and had enough ideas for at least two versions.

But of course, I hadn't taken into account the fact that I SUCK at plans and that I'm the biggest procrastinator on Earth, so there I was, two days before the deadline with an ill-fitting muslin and not enough time to make the block printed fabric I would have wanted.

I couldn't just give up, so I made another muslin and went digging for fabric in my stash.

The first time around, I had cut a muslin for the blouse version, taking for granted it had the same fit as the dress.
Boy, was I wrong! The blouse has a weird armhole curve and was desperately calling for an FBA on me, while the dress fit me quite well since the beginning (I just had to move the bust dart slightly and adjust the side seams to my curves).
And at the muslin stage, I also noticed I could easily slip into and out of the dress without a zipper, so I happily omitted it.

If you add that the bottom and sleeves didn't need hemming because they were cut on a border print,  this dress took me little more than an hour to make, which is fantastic.

Actually, I couldn't cut one of the sleeves on the border, so i stitched as if it was a trim... Can you notice it? It's practically invisible!

This beautiful fabric is part of a precious gift my boyfriend's father made to me last year, he gave me these beautiful vintage batiks he had bought in Indonesia and kept for over 30 years. I used another piece to make a Hazel dress (again, from Colette patterns!) last summer.
These fabrics are even more dear to me now, since he passed away last winter, which still feels unbelievable to me. I know this is a great way to remember him.

Anyway, final thoughts on this dress: it was a surprise to me, but I really really love it! I was afraid this silhouette might look "nightgown-y" on me, and although it's probably not the most flattering for my body, I like it a lot. It's loose enough to be comfortable, but not as much as to be unflattering, and it's a great balance between casual and girly. I definitely understand why this pattern is getting so much love, now!
Who knows? This might not be the last Laurel I make...

38 comments:

  1. The fabric is gorgeous and silhouette definitely looks good on you. Glad you were able to make it in time!

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  2. It turned out beautifully! I had similar plans for multiple versions of this pattern, which I coincidentally waited to start until Saturday evening. So, just one for me. And, I'm actually kinda glad. I'm not sure I need more that one of this dress.

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  3. To the contrary - I think this dress is very flattering on you. I had been on the fence about this pattern, I admit, but I may just buy it now. Yours is so beautiful.

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  4. Oh my goodness, this is absolutely GORGEOUS! I haven't really been swayed by the Laurel pattern for me, thinking that it would make me look like a sack of potatoes, but this dress has definitely made me think about it!!

    And that fabric is beautiful!

    You look stunning, congrats!

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  5. The fabric is stunning! Good luck in the competition!

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  6. I think it's very pretty, the fabric is amazing ... Love th photos too...

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  7. Beautiful, I love your version of the Laurel dress!

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  8. I love this on you! It's so pretty! I hope you make more! But I did the same thing as you-- made two muslins, hated how it looked, then let it sit until this weekend when I finished mine in a rush! :)

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  9. I had similar concerns as you about the shape of the pattern. I think it's because I'm larger in the hips and always feel that I would prefer to emphasise my waist rather than hide it. The shift dress silhouette skims over the waist and I wasn't sold on it. But, like you, I really like how it's turned out.

    I made very similar alterations to you. I love the fabric you chose! It's really pretty and good work on the cuff! I wouldn't have known if you handn't mentioned it. I too left it very close to the finish line to get photos taken and get my entry in. I made it though :)

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  10. The fabric is so so beautiful! I love the trim too!

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I noticed when tracing out the patterns that the dress and top armsyce was different! I decided to muslin the top first, you know less fabric wastage and had a god awful time with fitting the sleeve, it was hideous really. I wish now that I'd just moved on and tried the dress as I gave up after three fittings! :-( So no competition entry for me. You are the only person I think that has posted about the armsyce, so thanks. I will go back and give the dress a go, in a top version. I love love love your dress, that fabric is really stunning and the dress shows it off to perfection. Goodluck with the competition!

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  12. I love this Anna, you look beautiful. I too downloaded the pattern for the competition and then decided it may not be the best for my shape, but seeing how good it looks on your curvy figure makes me think twice. I love the story behind the fabric too, what a wonderful way to remember your boyfriend's father!

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  13. I have a cruvy figure and have stayed away from this pattern for that reason, but you're making me reconsider!

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  14. great dress!! I love your shoes, and they match so perfectly with the dress colors. I was stoked to ommit the zipper too ;)

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  15. I really like the fit of your dress, and the fabric is lovely.

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  16. WOW this is beautiful Anna! I love it! The use of the border print is great. I love that you made such a simple silhouette so special.

    Just a thought I had when looking at your dress (this really doesn't have anything to do with it though) I really want to see a version of this with shoulder pads! (not crazy 80s shoulder pads). I don't have this pattern but I think I could draft a simlpe shift dress that would look similar. AH! sorry this had nothing to do with anything!

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  17. Gorgeous Laurel! And Gorgeous fabric! You wear rich jewel tones so beautifully!

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  18. Anna is a very beautiful dress and beautiful you are!

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  19. I love the batik fabric plus the dress.You will have a wonderful creation Anna. I have to get the pattern very soon.

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  20. Gorgeous! This fabric works so well with this pattern.

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  21. I known that you could do it! the dress is gorgeous and those shoes? oh my they are fabulous!! that's a lovely way to remember your father in law, huges.

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  22. foursquarewallsMay 2, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Yes these colors look great on you. Seeing this pattern on you makes me actually want to try it! Though I always want to make every pattern that you have made :)

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  23. What a beautiful dress, and the story behind the fabric makes it so special. The pattern suits you well!

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  24. felicie.a.parisMay 2, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Superbe tissu pour une superbe robe qui te va superbement bien!!

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  25. This beautiful dress gives me ideas for the batiks I have. Thanks !

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  26. I was hoping you would make this dress! I am bigger (and shorter) than you, but the curves are the same, so if something fits you, I know I can get away with it! Beautiful fabric, and a nice dress.

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  27. Hello ! I love your fabric ! it's a fabulous green ! and the dress fits you very well *o*

    the pattern seems very easy to draw. Have you ever tried to draw you own pattern ? because I did, and it's very easy (with the right book ^^)

    but maybe you don't need to draw you own patterns because you find your size in-all-ready made patterns. (i draw my own patterns because I'm very small with no bra aha, and I was tired to alterate the burda-and-others patterns)

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  28. Such a beautiful fabric. The green looks so pretty with the springy background! I was initially a little hesitant about this pattern, too, but I think it's a great, comfy basic.

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  29. Juliette MIJEONMay 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    That's a lovely Laurel, and your fabric is absolutely gorgeous! And your shoes look pretty cute too!

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  30. Just gorgeous Anna, you suit prints very much and what a special piece of fabric with a great back story.

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  31. That fabric and the trim is to die for and perfect for this dress. Great job.

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  32. Fabulous, incredible, but so, so special because of that fabric. I think you've done it such serious justice with this lovely creation. Also, I love the fabric placement on the back! Ok enough gushing. Gush, gush, gush. You look gorgeous, as always x

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  33. what a beauty, great fabric! colour suits you well :) (i was too late for the contest, but I wasn't counting on winning it so...)
    moramora.weebly.com

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  34. This fabric is something that I think a lot of people, myself included, would pass up in the fabric store for something else, BUT it is absolutely beautiful and goes with your skin tone and hair color flawlessly! Also, those shoes you have are to die for!!


    Chanel
    totallybasted.wordpress.com

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  35. The simplicity of the dress shape shows off the beautiful fabric perfectly. I have tried to make 2 Laurel tops now. I had to move the bust darts down 1 inch. The back neck gaped quite a lot so I had to put in a couple of neck darts to take it in. The armhole was an awkward shape, I couldn't make the sleeve fit it, so opted for sleeveless. How did you get around these problems? I would love to know!

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  36. I found that the blouse pattern pieces are different from the dress and the fit of the blouse was horrible on me, especially in the areas that you mentioned. It would probably save you time to just shorten the dress pattern pieces!

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  37. such a beautiful dress and gorgeous fabric!! you have inspired me to make two already (both without zips - so much easier!) and now i am planning a third with some fabric from thailand. this fabric also has a border, that runs along the selvage, however i would like to use the border along the hem. i figure this means i wont be able to lay the pattern parallel to the selvage, as normal. i am quite new to sewing so i was wondering if you had any advice about this - did you have the same issue with your fabric? i dont know if everything will go terribly wrong if i lay the pattern perpendicular to the selvage!

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