Tag Archives: Colette Laurel

My first LBD!! (what the??? right?)

While working on my planned holiday outfit this year, I came to the realization that a) I might not get completed in time, and b) I wanted something more modest for my staff party than I had originally planned.

With just over a week to go, I knew I needed an easy TNT pattern & fabric from my stash to make this work. Inspired by Winnie’s lovely recent LBD, and realizing I was devoid of an LBD of my own (the horror!!) I decided to shamelessly copy her with my own (already altered) Laurel pattern & some embroidered border print silk-cotton I had been hoarding πŸ™‚

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closeup of border hem - lovely embroidered silk cotton! :)

closeup of border hem – lovely embroidered silk cotton! πŸ™‚

I just love this pattern – not much new to say on it as I’ve already done the fit adjustments before – all I did differently here was to shorten the sleeves.

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I’m still working on the original outfit I’d planned (in a sumptuous silk duchesse!!), but it’ll be for New Year’s; much more party and much less work appropriate! ^_^


Could it be?? My first TNT pattern – Colette Laurel!

A few of you may recall I was the lucky recipient of a Hart’s fabric voucher some time ago. I blogged my careful selections but up until now my beautiful fabrics have lain in wait for the perfect projects to give them life.

Well recently I gave my beautiful red silk habutai and charcoal silk voile triumphant life as sassy yet smart Laurel tops πŸ™‚ (as a side note, you guys, this is my FIRST time using a pattern TWICE (or 3 times actually!)!!!)

(disclaimer: ALL my photos were REALLY derpy – sadly, these were the best… apparently Friday after work is not the best time for photos…. noted, lesson learned, moving on LOL)

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As both fabrics were quite sheer I knew they needed underlining but wanted the silk next to my skin. I thought I’d see if I could maybe squeeze the underlining out of self fabric so I went for it and YES! Just barely had enough but I managed to squeak it out! I cut out both tops at the same time & sewed the red one first.

I used the adjusted pattern from my Laurel dress so of course no major fitting adjustments needed this time, but I did widen the arms slightly for comfort. Β I should mention that this turned out a tighter fit in the chest than my dress; apparently an extra layer of even the delicate weight of habutai is enough to affect fit, particularly if there’s bust darts involved!

I constructed the blouses a little differently in order to avoid an extra finishing step at the neckline. Basically, I sewed my identical bodice pieces together at the necklines, then flipped & pressed the seam before continuing to baste together as per instructions. Voila! No facings – no bias tape. Just a nice clean neckline πŸ™‚

The red top is a lovely and versatile piece; the style is flattering and works in the office, but also pairs well with jeans, or could easily be dressed up.

The silk is amazing – beautiful quality habutai with a rich, vibrant colour and a soft hand. I hand washed my top twice after the first wear (because I’m accident prone & ended up wearing some salad dressing lol) using a little shampoo and vinegar. The colour bled a little but only in the first wash, and still looks vibrant and fresh.

As lovely as the red silk is, the charcoal grey voile is even better in some ways. A perfect drape, the satisfying slight crispness of voile, the soft hand of good silk, and perhaps best of all: it’s SOOOO well behaved to sew, and presses perfectly, each seam almost disappearing into a crisp press… ahhhh just delicious!! πŸ™‚ I could make everything out of this fabric! πŸ™‚

I also made sure to reduce my seam allowances by 1/8″ or so on this one, to make up for the extra layer of fabric. For whatever reason, though, it made this particular top a little too big, so it’s a bit poofy on my upper back and hips but whatever, I still love it LOL.

And just cause I love ya, I’m gonna share some additional derpy pics from this fun-filled photoshoot:

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seriously, what am I doing here?? I look like I’m about to punch my cameraman! LOL 

“Yes, that’s it! Make duck faces while pulling down your top… that’s a great look!!” said no photographer… EVER LOL.

deer in headlights? or something smells? not sure what this face is LOL.

Anyway, all silliness aside, Laurel is my (very first!) TNT pattern – you have no idea how I’ve longed for this day!! πŸ™‚ Β It’s a great basic wardrobe staple; flattering, fits well & works with many different fabrics – I bet I’ll make many more! πŸ™‚

Many many thanks again to the wonderful ladies over at Hart’s Fabric – expect me to come knocking soon for more of your sensational silks!! ^___^


Laurels for Laurel

And by that I mean Colette Laurel, of course πŸ™‚

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And this is after wearing it all day at work, and 3.5 hrs on public transit in the sweaty heat… hence the wrinkles πŸ™‚

A fitting entry back into the world of sewing, if I do say so myself: this dress is a joy in every way. It is the perfect combination of demure and sexy. It has a simple silhouette but is saved from being a sack by vertical darts and bust darts (yay for bust fitting – my girls don’t look good in sacks – more on that later LOL). If that wasn’t enough, it’s comfortable, and makes me feel pretty at the same time – nice!! πŸ™‚

To be honest, I wasn’t going to buy this pattern – after all, I already have lots I haven’t even touched. I bought it when it was released because I was going to enter the super fabulous contest Colette was holding. As it turns out, my plans for that version of Laurel went all out the window and it wasn’t until a few months later, fabric shopping with my mum, that I was inspired to make this beauty.

The fabric is silk cotton, and it’s sheer. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I could have used the handy-dandy built in instructions on the pattern to do an underlining but I decided the fabric needed to keep its light, breezy quality, so I decided to make a slip. So here I am in the fabric store, planning a dress AND a slip, when I haven’t even sewed anything in months LOL. Even I was pretty sure this was a pipe dream, and that pretty fabric would wind up in my stash. I didn’t care, as long as it became mine. LOL.

Nevertheless, I surprised even myself by getting to work on the slip project shortly afterwards. First roadblock: I didn’t have a slip pattern. No worries! I’d just download one – there’s tons on the interwebz, right? But none of them were quite right… so I drafted my own. Yup, just like that. Turns out I can do stuff. Whoda thunkit? LOL

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Yay for cat photo bombing LOL.

A little more on the dress:

  • I cut a straight 6, and did an FBA. I made a muslin of just the blouse part, and the fit was good without any other adjustments, so I went ahead with the dress.
  • I could probably have used an extra 1/2″ in the armscye and sleeve circumference; either I have big biceps, or this pattern is for skinny arms LOL.
  • This dress is short, peeps. It calls for a 2″ hem. I did 1″, and still had to take up the hem on my slip over 2″.
  • The good: I made my own bias tape out of this flimsy silk cotton and lived to tell about it.
  • The bad: apparently I cannot sew an invisible zipper. It’s quite visible LOL.

So back to the topic of sacks… this wasn’t TECHNICALLY my re-entry into sewing – I actually attempted a Burda drawstring halter top, which I was SUPER excited about, as it was exactly something I’d been dreaming about for a long time. Alas, after drafting the pattern, and spending an entire evening lovingly sewing it out of some beautiful Chinese silk I’d nabbed at a thrift store, and hung onto for just this blouse, I put it on triumphantly and then stared in horror at what I beheld in the mirror: me… only 14 months pregnant with quadruplets. I am not exaggerating.

We will not speak of this anymore.

So… Laurel!! Go get this pattern, friends… it’s a winner πŸ™‚