Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Colette Laurel

I love this dress, one of my favourites, I just wish the photos did it justice!  This is my first time making the Colette Laurel.  I've been wanting to make a well fitting shift dress and I think I'm almost there!    This is a perfect transition dress, here worn with tights and boots, but also cool enough for shoes and sandals.

I cut a size  10 at the bust grading to an 8 at the waist  but had to take in about an inch at the back.     I made some of my usual changes, narrowing the neckline and the shoulders (I'm only 15 1/2 inches across) and cutting the lowest possible neckline.  I thought a dress like this really needed a neck facing rather than just a bias, so I drafted and interfaced neck facings, which I think work well.    Because others had commented on the need to lower the darts I lowered them about 1/2".  That has ended up a touch too much and I would lower by around 3/5" next time.

Laurel does have a slightly gathered sleeve, but I thought this wasn't quite enough and I drafted my own which are 7" x 23" oblongs gathered and hemmed with a narrow hem.  What makes me really love the dress is the fabric .... it is fabulous.  I love black florals and this reminds me a bit of D olce and Gabana last season (it was advertised as Italian designer so who knows).  It is Clara Viscose crepe from the Fabric Godmother, unfortunately now sold out and no wonder.  It wasn't cheap at £16.00 per metre, but for me worth every penny.    If it so soft and comfortable whilst retaining some body,  perfect.  If you find any anywhere let me know .... I would have some more.    I think the dress also looks good with a belt.

The back has two darts that give some nice shaping and prevent too much bagginess.   Another major change was to leave out the zip, it just wasn't needed as the dress easily goes on over the head.  It might, then, be better to cut the back in one piece.    The only change I think I still need to make is to move the shoulder seam forward a little.  I haven't done this before but the seams seem to want to slip back a little, which then also raises the neckline.  I will make this dress again, though doubt I will find such perfect material. 

 Isn't it great when you make something you are really happy with ..... and love wearing?  I've worn it twice this week already and it is still comfortable at the end of the day ... and just to prove it, this is in the evening after the third day of wear. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Vogue 9243 and more sleeve love

Ok, so it does look a bit as if I'm getting too into trends .... but I do love a bit of sleeve action.

 Lots and lots of people are making  McCalls 7542   but that pattern is a little boxy in the body for  me, I much prefer this princess seam fitted body.  I haven't seen many versions of this, but that may be because some of the sleeves are a bit much over the top.  However, I think the plainest sleeve option is a winner.

Image result for vogue 9243

I cut a size 14 (having only bought the first size which goes up to a size 14), but was a bit worried that this was for a 36" bust and I'm a 37 1/2".  The size ended up to be fine and so it may be a bit on the large size.

The pattern calls for a 22" zip,  but I couldn't see the need for this and that it might be too heavy on my fine fabric, so I just made a short fastening with tiny buttons with loop fastenings.  The fabric is from Stoff and Still and is woven viscose at £11.50 a metre.  It is incredibly soft, one of the softest fabrics ever.

I really like the sleeves, though wonder if they should either be a little longer or a little shorter.  I used my small hem foot for all the hems.  I look the effect of this, but I just haven't cracked how to get over seams and also sew in a round.

I lowered the neck a little, because I hate high necks.  The neck uses bias binding as a facing and this worked pretty well.

I also made a skirt in the left-over fabric from my cashmere jacket  This is my second Colette Selene and I love this pattern.  It's a great work skirt and a very flattering fit.  The fabric was  little thick, but it is wearable.  I'm wearing  with a blouse I made last year, which is another on trend blouse!

Sewing apart I really enjoyed a week off during half term.  I met Dan and Gemma in Birmingham and we had a lovely day.  Especially as I did a bit of fabric shopping at Barry's and bought 4 great fabrics (2 for Gemma), this was on top of a bit of an internet haul from Fabric Godmother.  I had been pretty good over the last 2 month but it was only a matter of time!