Sunday, 19 May 2013

Winter Lace Dress - Laurel by Colette Patterns

So I'm another year older now. When did that happen?!! I remember I couldn't WAIT to turn 18; boy did that backfire ... now I break into sobs of gratitude if by some fluke I get asked for ID.

I like to claim the whole month of May as my birthday. Sorry, not sorry.

Me: 'Husband dearest, can I eat the last piece of pizza'
Husband: 'You've had every other piece!'
Me: 'But it's my birthday MONTH'
*Sound of husband banging head against the wall*

I also half seriously think that all this Me-Made-May-Mania going around is in my birthday honour.

Awkward. But hey, look! I made a dress!

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

The Pattern
It's the Laurel by Colette Patterns in a straight size 10. A great easy pattern to whip up, with lots of different variations. A great wardrobe filler, a flattering cut and a great first pattern for beginners.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

Fabric
Lace from The Fabric Store and underlined with a cotton poplin. The lace is gorgeous and I normally love sewing with lace, but this one was an a-hole to sew with. It was a thin, super stretchy cheap lace that I purchased because, hey, I love lace and it was pretty. But I should have known better. It took so much extra time cutting this maddening fabric because each piece kept stretching out like pizza dough, and not in a good way. Great. Now I'm hungry.

Alterations
Amazingly, I didn't have to make any changes to the structure of the dress, I just sewed it up in a straight size. The changes I made were just in the finish of the dress.

I underlined the dress as per the instructions,  but made the underlining hem slightly shorter than the lace hem so that I could feature the scalloped edge. I cut into the lace fabric to create a scalloped edge, as the fabric didn't come with a scalloped edge. I featured it on both the skirt and the sleeve hem.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

I annoyingly didn't buy enough of the lace fabric (another reason I wanted to punch the lace in the face) and so had to either lose the sleeves or cut the dress shorter. Wah! After scooping my heart off the ground, I decided to sacrifice the hem length which made the dress pretty teeny tiny. Perfect with leggings as a sort of long top, but not so appropriate with out.

Pattern matching and underlining
I took extra time carefully cutting out the lace so that the pattern on the lace matched down the centre front and back of the dress and the sleeves. I also made sure that the scalloped edge matched around the entire width of the hem. 
It's so worth the extra effort and makes the dress look cleaner. The simple shape of this dress really allows for perfect lace matching as the lace pattern doesn't get lost in a gazillion seam lines.

The pattern comes with great underlining instructions. Underlining is great for laces, sheer and light weight fabrics. You can also check out my own underlining tutorial here.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

My thoughts
I love the classic 60's silhouette of this shift dress. You all know I'm a little bit crazy for Mad Men Fashion, so there was never any indecision over whether I would make this dress. Speaking of Mad Men, did you see how amazing all the dresses were in the Mad Men Challenge? Amaze-balls!

Even though this particular lace fabric was a menace to sew with, I'm really happy with the end result. The colour and the drape are really nice, and it's a bright happy shade to cheer up my recently dusted off winter wardrobe. As you can see in the pictures, when it gets dark and gloomy outside I rebel with colour.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

Styling
For those of you who are wondering how I did my hair, I used this tutorial from my pinterest to get the effect.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

The necklace is a handmade, hand painted wooden piece that I purchased from the Sew Little Time shop on Etsy. I'm a little bit in love with this store at the moment. Who wants to buy me something? It is my birthday MONTH *cough* 

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

I've seen so many amazing Laurel dresses around lately. It amazes me how you can have one pattern, but with different fabric and a different seamstress you can end up with a completely different looking dress. It tickles my creative fancy.

Julia Bobbin: Laurel dress by Colette Patterns

So what do you think? Have you made this pattern? Are you going to give it a go? Is it your birthday month too? (It can't be, it's MINE ... just kidding-ish)

In all seriousness though, I love birthdays and I'm proud to be getting older. It means that I'm still alive. With each extra candle, each extra wrinkle, each extra grey hair we are given the opportunity to make more dresses. How lucky we are. 

65 comments:

  1. Happy birthday month!:) hope you're having a good one..dress is lovely, cute colour..now I want pizza :/

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's my birthday today! We are both very lucky ladies, with our little boys!
    I love your hair do- I'm completely useless when it come to hair.
    Are you going to make many more laurels? I like the scalloped hem look, I think its a lovely look, but not my style.
    Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are certainly very lucky with our little boys! I reckon I might make one more Laurel. I usually like things a little more fitted, but It's a great wardrobe filler!

      Delete
  3. I really like this tunic length- it's great for winter sassiness!
    Milk that birthday month for all its worth- a birthday pastry a day is a must! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's my excuse for the rest of the year with daily pastries? I'm in trouble!

      Thanks Amanda!

      Delete
  4. Happy birthday month! I claim all of March for myself. And perhaps the tail end of February and the first bit of April.

    Not to mention September is my half birthday month! I get all slouchy and sad because my mom's birthday is on my half birthday so I don't get to celebrate it *properly*.




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, half birthdays is an AMAZING idea. Consider it stolen! :)

      Delete
  5. Um.

    Also. Love the dress. Original reason to comment. Right.


    Maybe my heart just started racing faster at the mention of birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm completely avoiding my birthday being in 3 weeks - which is hilariously cause i'm turning all of 24.

    Love the dress! The lace is divine and the colour is sweet as hell!

    So glad for the braids tutorial. I admit to secretly studying your hair yesterday trying to figure it out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Happy Birthday month! (It's mine too!). Your lace Laurel dress is darling- I like it as a tunic. I just discovered your blog and I have to say I love your style! I'm a new follower!

    -Melissa

    http://scavengerhunttheblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melissa, thank you and welcome!

      Delete
  8. Your Laurel is my favorite of the ones I've seen so far. Love how you styled it also!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And now you're MY favourite! Thank you Ashley, that's a great compliment!

      Delete
  9. Happy Birthday month! Your dress is totally adorable:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy birthday month :) it's always good to milk it when you can! Mine was last month and I made it last about two weeks. Your laurel is lovely and a great use of lace, you always manage to make lace look great, I always worry I will look like an escaped bridesmaid. Something for me to work on perhaps :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I think I TRY and look like an escaped bridesmaid :) Thank you Ms Lizzie! Happy birthday month for April x

      Delete
  11. My Boyfriend and I are born in the same week of March so we claim that entire week as our birthday week and drive our friends mad! Cute dress. I really like the soft pink and it goes lovely with your hair

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy birthday! I love your laurel. I have also made a winter version of it but had some problems with the amount of ease in the sleeve so have out it to one side ofr the moment.

    I love your jacket too- is that handmade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jano! No, I bought this jacket. Though I've recently made a blazer and I'll be posting about that soon!

      Delete
    2. Julia: First off, I LOVE your blog! What are your thoughts about jacket patterns that would mimic the one you're wearing (that you bought)? It goes PERFECT with the dress!

      P.S. Do you have any headband tutorials using elastic/ruffle effect?

      Thanks!

      Delete
  13. Happy Birthday! You are not just a year older, but wiser and more gorgeous! Such a pretty dress. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather you are wonderful. Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Happy Birthday!

    I myself love getting a year older, I dunno makes me all grown up LOL.

    Love this dress.. I must really try some of the Collette patterns - everyone says that they are really easy to do. Must buy and stop just looking.

    Well hope you had a fab day.

    Stephanie

    (http://in-my-backyard.net)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy Birthday Month!!! Love your version of the Laurel!

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Is it your birthday month too? (It can't be, it's MINE ... just kidding-ish)" Hahahaha, oh Julia, this is why I fell in love with your blog, aka you. Lovin your lace Laurel!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a cute dress. I love how we can struggle to get something made with our sanity intact, but in the end it doesn't matter so long as the end result looks good.

    Happy Birthday month! I'm a May baby too - my birthday was yesterday. (Not that I get older anymore).

    ReplyDelete
  18. happy birthday month. june is all mine ;D
    nice laurel and i love your styling and pics. and the wit <3

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a great dress. I made the Laurel in lace too! Sounds as if my lace was a bit better behaved though. Lovely to see you at social sewing on Sat :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. you lovely julia have great taste! i love that etsy store too but couldnt afford that necklace! i ended up buying 15 beads very similar and handmade and putting it on a cord! I want the littler earings they have too!

    ALso. cant wait until my hair i long enough to do that :o

    And, Gorgeous laurel! I havent used the pattern only because i made one up just before it was released almost the same....but with french darts ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  21. Cute and lovely to see ya https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love, love, love your blog!! My 18 year old daughter is also obsessed with Mad Men and we have been making dresses inspired by the show for quite some time now. We always find lots of inspiration on your blog, thankyou!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! Thank you for your kind comments :)

      Delete
  23. This dress is beautiful Julia and it totally works as a tunic with leggings!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lovely dress. Wish I could wear that colour. I wasn't that sold on Laurel but people have done some fab versions! x

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy Birthday. Lovely dress and it is super cute as a tunic!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This it's beautiful ... Love the styling too

    ReplyDelete
  27. Such a beautiful dress, I have my Laurel pattern arriving soon and there is so much inspiration out there. Have a happy birthday month.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hmm!! Happy birthday!! I should steal your idea about bday month! Hehe!! Mine is in may too!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Laurel is beautiful in lace! I would have had to buy that lace too, the pattern is fantastic. Happy birthday month!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy birthday month! Your dress is darling.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Happy Birthday month, I'm a May baby myself and it's an excellent birthday month :-) Such a beautiful Laurel, I'm a sucker for any type of lace dress really. I love that you added the scalloped edges on sleeves and hem

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think it's very cute, expecially with your grey jacket!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I really like the tunic length. Birthday and Mother's Day in may, totally justifies the festival of Julia.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've been thinking of giving this pattern a shit. I saw a really cool sheer white fabric in spotlight last week and I think it would make a cool summer version. I'm just not sure of the shape on me. I tend to need a bit more definition. Although I did see one version that had waist darts added so maybe I could try that.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hip hip hooray, happy birthday beautiful. Your Laurel looks lovely in lace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops that's my daughters Google account :) We both wish you a fab day.

      Delete
  36. Happy birthday you crazy girl! LOVE that last sentence. Yep, it's all about the dresses pour moi aussie!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Betty Stitchup20 May 2013 at 22:11

    Happy Birthday Julia! It's mine this month too - I usually make a week of it but I'm with you - birthday month it is from now on! Love the dress, the lace is so pretty and it's a groovy length - very 60's.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Happy Birthday! That's a very cute dress. I love the way you've styled it. Your whole outfit is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Julia, you look absolutely wonderful! I haven't sewn this pattern before - I've been too stuck on lingerie! lol Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Happy birthday month! You have become a master of lace goodness!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy Birthday! This look is so nice! I love this dress and the lace! I haven't sewn it yet, but it looks like something I might have to do! I just finished a nice cotton jacket with a drape in the front, you can see it on my new sewing blog. BTW: Any ideas on when the next Mad Men challenge will start? I wasn't able to get in on the last one since I'm a new follower, but I'd love to get in on the next challenge. I just watched all 5 seasons on Netflix and I am hooked! Love that show!

    -Reyna
    http://www.MySewingHabit.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Happy birthday, lady! This is too sweet-- absolutely love that pink lace on you! I love the Laurel pattern-- I made a most unladylike Jurassic Park-themed version of the dress, and am cooking up a few more!

    Hope you have a lovely birthday month! :D

    ReplyDelete
  43. So pretty, lady! Love this. Happy bday!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Happy Birthday!! Loving the Laurel pattern in Lace. May you have an awesome B-day month.

    http://www.lollipop-couture.com/apps/blog

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy Belated Birthday!!! I love your version of Laurel. All the work you did with the lace is really impressive. Nicely done!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Happy Birthday Month! The dress looks great and totally worth all the stress with sewing it for that result :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. wow.How style you are!!!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wow Julia, I love your blog, who takes your amazing photos for you? I've been inspired to start my own blog, ANY feedback you (or your guests) have for me are appreciated. http://annakistideas.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  49. Such a beautiful 60's silhouette! You look amazing and have done such an excellent job making this. Happy birthday month to you! xo

    ReplyDelete
  50. This dress is suitably for your birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello, Happy birthday and what a pretty birthday dress to have made and now be rockin! :) Im new to these here parts of the blogosphere, your blog is very pretty and now im off to explore more of it. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  52. BEAUTIFUL!!!! My Colette Laurel doesn't even compare to yours!

    http://sewcharleston.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/colette-laurel-in-white-eyelet/

    ReplyDelete
  53. That is a beautyfull Laurel! You inspired me to make my first Laurel Dress! I gave you some love at my latest post on my blog: http://trollemors-hverdag.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=th83f0EBAAA.hP0KOuWSauaqzP6N1IJPsw.dfmUaSdpBAmhFOFnpQGSjw&postId=3232227233367984689&type=POST

    Have a look:D

    ReplyDelete