Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Scarf Turned Laurel Dress

This dress is my last make of 2013. I had my eyes on the Colette Laurel Dress for some time before my sister and brother in law gifted it to for my birthday (Thanks Nat and Ben!). I was ready for a quick sew at the time and I thought the simple sleeveless shift dress would do the trick and that I might even be able to wear it on Christmas day.  How wrong I was.

Colette Laurel Dress

I chose to sew it up using a silk Country Road Scarf that was just a bit too big and bold for around my neck but had a BEAUTIFUL pattern. This was my first mistake. I knew I would need to underline the dress as the scarf was very sheer. As soon as I started cutting into the scarf, it started to fray. I was quick to underline all the pieces to prevent further fraying. I also used french seams to enclose the ratty frayed seam allowances.

Colette Laurel Dress
When the dress was a scarf
I traced the Pattern size 4 at the shoulders and bust, grading out to an 8 waist and hips. The dress came together very quick. When I tried it on, pre zipper insertion and finishing's, I had a few fitting issues. The dress was too big from the hips down while the arm holes were a real squeeze. I also noticed that I could easily get the dress on and off without the zipper. I mentioned my struggles with this make on Instagram and read that others had had similar troubles. Abbey, from Sew Charleston, even posted tutorial on widening the arm holes (must remember for next time!). I left it alone, not being quite the quick make I was hoping for, and didn't attempt to fix it until after Christmas.

Colette Laurel Dress

Eventually, I took the side seams in about 1.5 cm from the waist down and for the armholes I took 1cm from the shoulders grading it out to 2cm under my arm. That's just a guess though. I was being more methodological in my trimming to begin with but sometimes hacking just works better (or, at least as well as)! I had intended on hand sewing the bias finishing and hem but wasn't as motivated after the fitting issues.  I sewed up the centre back seam leaving about 6" for a back slit to easily pop the dress over my head. but, as you can see, it gapes and I will have to remove some excess fabric from the centre back neck next time. I hemmed the dress by machine using contrasting red thread with a wide hem.

 Colette Laurel Dress


The final fit is a still a little loose around my hips, but I really like length and I think this scarf is much more wearable now. The fabric and the length feel just that little bit fancy, which I love. I will definitely sew up another Laurel dress and perhaps a blouse too. I would like a simple cotton summer dress and also a sleeved version for winter layering. Overall, I like Laurel very much. But, I do have a few fitting issues to keep in mind next time. 
  
Colette Laurel Dress 

7 comments:

  1. The print is lovely Liz - I really like the simple shape of the Laurel, looks great on you :)

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  2. What an inventive way to re-use a scarf. Love it. I was told that to reduce fraying the use of a roller cutter on one of those squishy sewing mats can help. And thanks for the tip on the armhole adjustment. My first Laurel was WAY too big...so I'm not sure what's going to happen when I downsize...

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    1. Hi Mel,. I have a rotary cutter and mat now, but didn't at the time of cutting this dress. Will keep that tip in mind, good luck with your downsizing!

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  3. Such a lovely use of the scarf and the fitting looks good. The laurel seems to be a tricky one to fit.

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    1. Thanks Kirsty, I think it turned out ok in the end and I'm glad I can get some use out of my scarf!

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  4. Very cute! I really like the fabric and the back slit is a super smart idea! Must remember that for some cute summer tops :)

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