First finished is my version of the Colette Laurel dress now renamed as It Happened at the World's Fair dress. I just wanted a simple easy pattern so I could make a cute little dress to bag for the Road Trip. (Not long now peeps...think it's just under 9 weeks...and incase you don't know where I am going...I'M GOING TO GRACELAND!)
So, simple easy pattern? Yes, technically speaking it's VERY easy in its construction but AFTER you make a series of alterations to make it fit.
Regrets? I've had a few. I can draft patterns and I kind of wished I had just copied the thing - whaaaa, me? shhhh - okay, I meant just draw up a basic shift dress pattern. Would have saved me a whole lot of time. Why didn't I? I don't know, patterns are fun to buy and receive. They make me feel like I am sewing before I even open them. Anyone else have that feeling?
I know others have made some lovely versions of this dress, and I am pleased with my finished result, but it's kind of a smile through slightly gritted teeth.
But it's done, I like it, and it's for my date with Elvis when we go to the fair.
Here's my date having to babysit while he waits for me to turn up. I like to keep him waiting. I hope the little girl gets lost when I turn up. The cool red dog can stay.
Sorry I'm late, Elvis, I was in the middle of a photo shoot.
Don't even think about it Joan O'Brien - he's mine.
The fabric is from Mood Fabrics, NYC. I bought this last year when me and Mr S hit NY before going to Canada to see family. It's so pretty and dainty. It's quite a sheer cotton, so I underlined it with some plain cream lawn.
As per my little whine above, I made quite a few alterations. When I first made this up in a muslin I thought it looked pretty shapeless and I felt like a sack, but that could have been the calico or me just not being able to rock a sack. So I tapered in the front a fair bit and the back even more - as well as deepening the waist dart as well.
Most commercial patterns seem to love giving me a gaping back neck. I either have a head that sits too forward (according to some research...but, wait does that make me like one of those car bobble heads?) or it's my rounded shoulders. Whatever, another gaping neck fixed with neck darts. Luckily, my date is in 1963 and neck darts are IN!
I also think the shoulder seam sits too far back on this pattern. The internet tells me most commercial patterns are guilty of this. I found that in relation to this the back pattern was pulling the front up. Only slightly, and probably not obvious to most, but I could just see it. So, I slashed the back pattern from about midway of the armhole straight across and added 1/2". This really helped.
Related to this issue is the bust darts. For a tall girl, they sit up far too high. Even when adjusting the back I still had to lower my bust dart point 1/2".
For the sleeves I added a little band at the bottom with slits and a cute little button. I left the neckline as it was, as by the end of making this dress, I felt I had done enough with the fitting alterations and didn't have the desire to add a collar. I was done with this dress and the fair was just pulling into town.
On the inside I french seamed all the seams including armholes and hand sewed the hem.
And that's my version of the Laurel. I'm not sure I'll make it again. I do have a half done wearable muslin in a mock denim blue cotton, which can sleep in my WIP pile for a while, but for now it's back to finishing the Jungle Room pencil skirt. Only the waist band to go after a tricky fiddle lining a vent. Let's promise to never line vents again! ;)