Finished Laurel dresses with tiny ruffle variation.

Here it is!  After a year delay, the debut of the Laurel dresses.

The woman who owns and designs Colette Patterns is large of bust and long of leg.  Her designs tend to minimize bust and highlight leg.  As I am small of bust and short of leg, I am always dropping her necklines (sometimes by several inches) and hemming her dresses to a longer length.  
After I finished making these dresses, I remembered that this is not necessarily the most flattering style on me.  I tend to do better with a defined waist.  However, these are incredibly comfortable dresses and I think they will get a lot of use.  I’m glad I spent so much time fitting the shirts, as it translated into a pretty good fit on the dresses.
To see all the posts in the Laurel journey, click here.

Laurel finished. And my eye is already on other projects.

This picture makes me think I’m a midgit.  But it’s just a weird hanging height.  I’ll take some pictures wearing said Laurels later.  I can’t believe it took me almost a year to finish this project.  Too many things going on.  But let me say, these dresses are COMFORTABLE!  I really like them a lot, though their length means I have to squat like a lady while at work.

But yeah.  The projects have stacked up.  In addition to materials bought to make another apron (I kind of want to do a new one every summer) I also succumbed to the siren song of knits that Colette patterns has been sounding of late.  The material on the left is so I can make a Moneta of my very own and, if the pattern is as simple and flattering as people say, I may make three more uniform dresses so I can have a new uniform this year.  The material on the right is for curtains for the bedroom window.  I bought them on sale at Lowe’s and I have plans to make them work better than they do now.  

And, of course, I bought material to make a roller shade for the door-with-window in my bedroom ages ago. The colorful fabric is from Ikea.  The border/backing fabric might look familiar to you, it’s the leftover fabric from the uniform project. I’ve layered the two together with a picture of said roller shade so you can get the effect.  The not-quite-blue curtains I purchased at Lowe’s will be integrated with the room by cutting out birds from the excess Ikea fabric (I have enough, I checked) and sewing them on triangles of the uniform fabric and sewing those on the curtains.  I also have plans to run a red ribbon across the curtains, (and possibly on the back of the shade?) to tie it into the red of the comforter.
As you can see, Sentinel is quite excited by this project.

Laurel Dress. Making more bias tape and a setback.

I concluded I did not have enough bias tape to complete this project, so I made some more.  Matt helped.  I have good spacial relations, but not good enough to be 100% confident that I could make the bias tape exactly as before with those stripes.  

Also, I discovered my iron has sprung  a leak.  I store it on top of the file cabinet when I’m not sewing and I discovered a wet, rusty mess below the file cabinet.  This involved moving the file cabinet and cleaning under it.

Then I propped it up on bars of soap so air would circulate under and dry the bottom, without leaving rust stains.

I felt very smart to think of this solution.

Should there be any future reference needed, this is the way you slice your stripy bias tape to get bias tape to come out vertical.

Here’s my new bias tape maker!  It’s the yellow thing on the right, nosed against the iron.

Here’s my good helper.

And here I am sewing together sleeves.  You can see where the iron drips.

Laurel dress. Cutting of fabric.

I love that I can sqeeze both front and back on one fold of this material.
I also love my new Bluetooth speaker I bought at Fred Meyer.  Much easier to listen to podcasts while I work.
And I have this much left.  What to do, what to do?  Don’t worry, I already have a plan.
Waiting to be sewn.

Shrug and a return to the Laurel Uniform Project.

It’s getting really cold and I need to finish this shrug.  So here I go.  Look how much I took off the sleeves!  That would be the line sewn into the sleeve area.  Then I trimmed and bound.
Attaching binding on the edge of the sleeve.
And to the inside.  Matt’s out of town and I wasn’t in the mood for a self-capturing of the final product, so an official picture will come later.
And here we have a muslin of the Laurel Dress.
And here I am wearing it.  It’s too loose in the front, but guess what?  I’m going to sew it that way anyway.
The back looks good, but could be taken in a bit across the seat.  But guess what?  It’s getting sewn this way.

I’m ready to be done with the uniform project. Which isn’t really the best way to sew, but there you have it.

Colette Patterns’ Laurel. Tracing Dress pattern.

Remember how I still have two dresses to make before I finish with the uniform project?  Me too!  It’s been a while, but I did some work today.

First I checked the shirt pattern against the dress pattern and found that the dress pattern is exactly the shirt pattern, but longer.  Score.

Then it was a matter of taking my personal shirt pattern and marking where it hit on the dress pattern.

Then I just traced the shirt pattern and switched to the Collette Pattern original pattern for the bottom of the dress.

Colette Patterns’ Laurel. It’s a shirt! With the tiny ruffle variation.

Oh my gosh, do I like these shirts!  I love the color, I love the tiny ruffle variation and I love how quickly they came together.  I hoping that the dresses will come together quickly too, since I spent a lot of time fitting the shirts.
I especially love how the back is fitted. It’s not something I feel like I see a lot in shirts.

Are there things I would improve on, given my druthers?  Yep.  The top of the back is a bit too poofy and I probably could have given the bust another half inch or so.  Also, the tiny ruffles like to roll and expose the bias binding, perhaps because I over stay-stitched the neckline, perhaps because it’s just too much bulk.  The sleeves are weirdly puffy and I clearly have a ways to go in the setting-in-sleeves skill.  But overall?  Very happy.

Colette Patterns’ Laurel: Ruffles and necklines. Also, starting the first apron.

These are the millions of threads it’s smart to cut off before attaching the ruffle.  Also, notice the spools of thread on the sewing machine.  I’ve sewn through two spools of thread for the three shirts and I still have two more dresses to go.  Back to the fabric store I went for more thread.
A realization I had more than once while working on this project:  It’s time for a new ironing board.  This one tends to randomly collapse.  Plus, I think my loyal readers are a bit tired of looking at the stained floral pattern.
But look!  Uniform shirts finished!
And we are continuing on to the apron.
With my trusty assistant.