I finished sewing four more Laurels this month. It was a fun personal challenge to plan a few variations that would fit into my wardrobe. My favorite is this little black blouse. I took an old dress that I no longer wore but had always felt great in and picked it apart. I was able to squeeze the front, back and binding out of the skirt portion, and cut out new sleeves from the old sleeve section. I got rid of the center back seam and made the blouse longer because I had the extra length to work with, and I really love it. The fabric is a very drapey crinkle rayon, and the blouse looks nice tied and tucked in, or on its own over a narrow pair of pants. I followed the directions in the “Extras” booklet from the Colette website, but modified the keyhole to be much narrower and shorter. The fabric was so slippery and tricky though, it stretched a bit during construction and looks to be about the size the original pattern intended. I’m glad I modified it as much as I did, or the blouse might have been a peep show disaster!
I made the plaid jumper to go with it from the same pattern, modifying the dress neckline and narrowing the silhouette. I added single welt pockets to the front using guidance from Claire Shaeffer’s The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts, which is one of those sewing books on my shelves I find myself referring to over and over. I lined the jumper with bemberg rayon, and used this very cool technique from Pattern Scissors Cloth to line up the plaid when sewing the side seams. I am stoked that the invisible zipper in the back is really invisible. I’m quite pleased with this one and, like the blouse, see it getting a lot of use.
My muslin to work out the neckline and fit for the jumper was this blue wool tunic, and I ended up liking it so much I decided to finish it off for an arty layering piece. I played with the hemline to find a length I liked over trousers. I drafted the patch pockets to be wider than the pattern and found an old silk necktie at the local thrift shop to cut into bias strips and edge the pockets with. I had enough bias to go around the neckline as well, but held off because I thought it started to look too apron-y. I think it was the right decision and just the right amount of detail. I also lined this jumper with bemberg rayon to slip over layers easily.
And lastly, but actually the next Laurel I finished after my initial flannel attempt, is this green check version. I extended the center front to allow for the addition of pintucks. I am planning a longer tunic version out of linen based on the same variation.
Phew! Now I’m Laurel’d out for a bit, but have several more variations percolating in my brain and will no doubt be inspired by the Colette Flickr group for a while to come.