I’ve been knitting throughout the winter. Just a few more scarves/shawlettes to keep myself busy in front of the woodstove. Now that the sky is finally turning blue, my thoughts are turning to sewing again. I never realized how seasonal my activities were.
Colette released its latest pattern last week, Laurel. The ‘shift’ dress is something I remember my grandmother always wearing. Hers were handmade, always with a v-neck, and always with a brooch pinned right at the bottom of that ‘v’.
I love Colette’s patterns, but I’m not as curvy as who they design for. Let’s face it—I’m columnar, blocky, rectangular. Some of those sweet designs call for an hourglass figure to show them off. But a shift—hey, I can rock a shift! It seems like a simple pattern to purchase, but I like supporting indie pattern designers, and this seems to be the perfect blank canvas for playing around with. Colette has a free downloadable booklet with ideas for personalization, and is hosting a contest that is sure to have the creative sewing community popping out great ideas.
I love Sarai’s attention to detail, and if you are frustrated with the usual sewing pattern foldout instruction sheets, you would enjoy Colette’s thoughtfully crafted instruction booklets. Inviting, clear instructions, room for notes, and a pocket in the back to hold the pattern pieces. Sarai’s a smart woman!
This time I purchased a PDF pattern instead of the booklet. No booklet, but instant gratification. It’s nice that there are options!
I used some gorgeous flannel I’ve had kicking around for a while. I made DH some pjs out of this years ago and still had enough to make a blouse. I used these fabric cutting tips to match up the plaid.
I made a size 8 with a few minor alterations. I shortened the darts in front by 1/2″ and lengthened the sleeves to a cool weather length. The muslin was gaping at the neck in the back, so I did a square shoulder/erect back/short neck adjustment by taking a wedge from center back above the armscye narrowing to nothing at the shoulder seam. Then I trued the seam along center back. I got the idea for the alteration from this post by New Vintage Lady and the lovely images from her vintage sewing books.
I was using the square shoulder adjustment from Fit For Real People, but it wasn’t quite perfect. I think this “move” works a little better for me.
I also added more room to the biceps. I’ve recently lost 20 pounds, but my arms didn’t get the memo.
I used some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton from this summer blouse to make the bias binding. I used Colette’s tutorial on hand sewing the binding. I found it a very relaxing way to finish this up and I had more control over keeping the binding even. I used French seams inside and serge finished the armscye.
It’s a comfortable, flattering top, and I’m looking forward to making my next version. It’s a great stash buster. I think the only tweak I’ll make to the fit of the next one is to narrow the shoulders a bit.