Skip to main content

Colette Laurel Pattern: first impressions

I got the Laurel almost as soon as it appeared. Not necessarily for the dress part, but for the blouse.

Some more blouses are useful and I figured this would be a good pattern for most days.

With my "couture" dress almost done, I printed the pattern this Monday and am planning to do a full series on what works for me and what doesn't. It probably will take a while, but after all this is the whole point of a series. I'm going to be making version 4, the blouse.

First impressions

As with most modern patterns, this pattern does not mark stitching lines. I do wish pattern companies  added these lines on the pattern as well! It's one of the things I loved about couture sewing and I think I will incorporate in all my future project (the jury is still out on underlining), because I like to be flexible with how big the seam allowance is.

The second thing I noticed as I was taping the pattern together was that there are no waist markers. I found this a bit disappointing, although having some experience with patterns I know how to determine the waist line.

Interestingly, the blouse version does not require a zipper. Given the dress versions have (at least on paper) the same measurements, I do wonder if the dresses require a zipper either. If the blouse will look good enough on me I might consider doing the sleeveless version of the dress for summer.

Fitting the muslin

The reason I wanted to have the waistline marked is because I have taken Karen's challenge seriously and I have fitted a pattern for myself. But with such a high neckline on the Laurel and with my very changed shoulder line, I was going to start aligning the pattern from the waistline up. However, I decided to just try to fit the muslin from zero.

When I went to SewOverIt for my two (yes, 2!) fittings, we ended up changing quite a bit in the front, and not a lot in the back, so with a shift blouse I'm fairly confident I can get a good front fit on my own.

I expect the following changes on the back:

  • let out the back darts
  • adjust for a sway back
  • move the shoulder seams towards the back 
I don't really know what to expect for the front, I'm hoping that the C-cup design that Colette does will help with some of it. I'll probably need to put some more fabric above the bust though.

Still. First thing first: determining the STITCHING LINES. That will be a fun hour.


  1. I am not English speaker, but what is the difference between sewing lines and stitching lines?

    1. Great comment. I think (also as a non-English speaker!) my expression isn't correct - I'll look for the term and correct it.

      By stitching line I mean the actual line where the needle will go through. Rather than cutting a pattern "as it comes", I will trace the stiching line first. This allows me to have seam allowances as big or as small as I want.

      Patterns usually come with a 1.5cm (5/8in) seam allowance - the only company that doesn't add seam allowances is Burda as far as I know. I prefer to remove the seam allowance from patterns before I start making a muslin because that allows me a lot of flexibility.

    2. Okey! Catch it!

      Not only Burda - all europian magazines don't add seam allowance - la Mia Boutique, Patrones, KnippMode, Ottobre for example


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.

The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:

Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…

Vogue 1350: fitting and adjustments

I had another post prepared, but I thought I'd write this up now, even without pictures - before I forget what I did. :) I recently made Vogue 1350, if you follow me on instagram (@auxetically) you will have seen construction photos. This is a Rachel Comey pattern - I really like these patterns, they all turn out very well for me! Here is the line drawing for reference:

Despite the line drawing, this pattern is supposed to have a raised waist. I was very pleasantly surprised to see petite lines on the pattern sheet (yay). Here's my finished dress on the dress form:

I made a muslin of the bodice only, in size 14 - my measurements take me between 14 and 16 on a Vogue, but I had the pattern version with the 12-14, so 14 it was. Measurement wise, this dress was spot on - I had to make extra adjustments where I would have needed the bigger pattern size.

The petite line removed 1" out of the bodice, and 1" out of the skirt. I sewed the bodice muslin with the petite marking…