When I read about Colette pattern’s contest, I immediately thought: I must enter! I bought the pattern when it was first introduced, at 10% off. I printed it out and traced it in the space of 24 hours I think. The following day, I chose an amazing paisley printed satin, and got to cutting it out. I even put tracing paper underneath the fabric so it wouldn’t slip and slide! I did french seams! I hand-picked a side zipper! I made adorable cap sleeves! Then I got to making the bias tape and suddenly it became part of my UFO pile. I must have spent hours on that stupid tape. I don’t have a bias-tape maker, and I had to make my own starch spray to stabilize the tiny strips of fabric, otherwise it would not press at all. I sewed the bias tape to the bottom half of one of the sleeves, and then gave up. All that’s left is the neckline and the hem. Actually, the hem is half way done. I’m doing a narrow seam, so it’s already got a line of stitching close to the fold, I’ve trimmed it, and all that’s left is turning it over and stitching again. It’s scandelous, really.
Half way through April, I decided to get my ass in gear and have another go at it. After perusing google images, I was inspired by a silk shift dress design by (?), which was color-blocked in navy and coral. And since I recently purchased a french curve, I was prepared to take on some simple pattern design.
I chose two fabrics from my stash: A black eyelet and a printed lace, which I hand-dyed in my wok pan! I used tumeric to dye it, an all-natural dye that gives a lovely yellow colour. And those of you who love Indian food, you know how bad it can stain your clothes.
So I cut out the pieces of my newly designed Laurel pattern and I sewed it up really quickly, even with all of the tricky corners in the blocking. I was just about finished, then I tried it on and realized that I hadn’t put the sweetheart neckline far enough down! I didn’t even take pictures to show you before. It just looked horrible. Like I had a flat DD chest or something. So I picked out the top part and re-cut the pattern pieces. I had plenty eyelet still, but I had to be careful with the yellow fabric because I did not have enough left. It all worked out!
Like all the reviews say, this dress comes together very quickly, even with my blocking modifications. I also french seamed all of the seams except for the shoulder seams because I reduced the seam allowance. When I tried on the dress, the arm holes were too tight, so I did a 1cm seam instead of 1.5cm.
I used two different sizes of bias tape on the dress. I used a narrow one on the arm holes and a wider one for the neckline. I ran out of the narrow one after the arm holes, which is why I switched. I think it looks pretty good, though.
It was so lovely taking pictures out in the sun. It seems like everywhere in the world, the winter was hanging on as long as it could. It’s the first time I’ve experienced the grass turning brown in The Netherlands since I moved here 9 years ago.
The back is beautiful, I think. I eliminated the zipper because in making the satin version, I noticed there was enough ease to be able to pull it over my head.
I hemmed it with a double fold. I originally wanted to use the narrow bias tape to keep most of the length, but as I said, I ran out, and the wide one was just too wide in my opinion. The length is ok, though. A nice summery length.
But I am seriously thinking that I will never sew with eyelet again because everytime the needle went through the embroidery, it stopped or slowed down. I had to replace my needle after this project. And I think I might add darts in front one of these days to make it a bit more form-fitting. It’s a bit too loose in front for my taste.