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