Before we get onto my 4th (yes 4th, with a 5th cut out and ready to sew) Laurel dress I have to start with a confession. Remember back here I signed up for MeMadeMay'13? Well I failed on the first day :( so unimpressed with myself, but I have good reason. I was terribly sick last night and managed to put one of my back muscles into spasm whilst being so, yass :) So I spent today lying on my sofa in trackies and a tee, neither of which I've ever had reason to make for myself. However I'm hoping I'll be a bit more productive tomorrow and make it into proper clothes that will most certainly be me-made! Also in an attempt to make up for this missed day, I'm gonna wear me-mades up until I go on holiday on 3rd June. Someone hold me to that.
Anyway, here's my 4th Laurel. I think it's my favourite. (Go on, nosey at my version 1 and versions 2&3.)
This one is made from a 'craft cotton' (aka quilting cotton) from my work. I was covering in our haberdashery/quilting department the other week and spotted this as a remnant. I knew there was no way I could cut it up into fat quarters so popped it on hold until payday when I bought 1.5m. Now, it's 112cm/45" wide (as all craft cottons are) and I had to butcher the pattern to make it fit.
I think I ended up taking about 2" out the front and back pieces, shortened it by about 3" and squeezed the sleeves out of a random leftover piece and cut them on the cross-grain. But you know what, you'd never have known all that unless I told you! I think this one fits me better and is way more flattering than my first version which is probably too loose with hindsight.
I also added a 1" leather band to the armhole, leaving it un-hemmed, as I thought they'd be too short. But nope, they turned out fine and I quite like the added detail of the leather. Again I inserted the sleeve flat, it's my new favourite method, somehow it just gives it a neater finish and the ease is much easier to deal with.
The only other issue I had was fitting across the back shoulders. I know I've got a shallow upper back thing going on which is mostly to blame. The back neckline was sticking out so I hand-stitched top darts into it to make it flat. That was wayy easier to say than do. I had to stick the dress on and have the back tacked by my dad so it would look right, but with this fabric you hardly notice it. Win.
And I'll give you a quick fabric sneak peak for my next version:
Yes the fabric savvy amongst you will recognise it as Alexander Henry's Mahalo Girls cotton. We got our first delivery of Alexander Henry fabrics on Saturday at work and I immediately fell in love with this one and the Wranglers print (which I bought 0.5m of to make a bag out of, I felt that walking around with half naked men on a dress in Glasgow might not go down to well). I have my eye on Where's my Stache for a tee but that'll have to wait for now!
As I said before, I've been loving looking at all the Laurel dresses uploaded to the Colette Patterns Flickr group. That's what I love about this online community is that we're all happy to share what we've made with each other and encourage each other along the way. I always feel so inspired after browsing Flickr pools and catching up with blog reading. And I feel totally happy to be a small part of it all :)