Well, I did it! I finished my Laurel dress in the nick of time for the Cocktails with Colette party last Saturday in Boston (pics and party details to come later this week).
I had a couple of firsts with this dress – it was my first time working with silk (eek!) and my first time underlining a garment. The underlining probably would have been much easier to do had I not been working with silk which, by the way, was a miserable experience. All the shifting, all the raveling….ugh!! I’m not a fan, to say the least. Had I had a bigger cutting mat, I would have used a rotary cutter to cut out the lining pieces, or if I had tissue paper, I would have tried the paper sandwich method to cut out the fabric. But I took my time with hand sewing the darts and the basting of the two fabrics together and it turned out alright.
The dress seemed to fit a little different than the top. For my top, I cut out a 2 for the bust, a 4 for the waist, and a 6 at the hips. When I did that for the dress, it hung like a sack and and felt and looked too big on me. After re-grading down to a 4 for the waist and hips, the fit looked better but…I just wanted a little more of a fitted look. Tilly’s Bow Belt to the rescue! I cut out some leftover silk (with my rotary cutter this time) and whipped one up following her instructions. I love the contrast to the main dress fabric and the belt makes the green underlining pop and stand out a little bit more. In the future, to get a better fit, I’ll take in more at the back darts – the front fit was great but it really looked like it was the back that had more of a fitting opportunity for me. Again, this was different from how the top fit on me.
A word of caution: this dress is s-h-o-r-t! Which, if that’s your thing, this dress is perfect. I could have made this a teensy bit longer, since it’s difficult to pick up things in a dress this short, but the length makes the dress much more hip and fun than if it was a longer length. Because, you know, no one wants to wear a long shift dress – that would just look frumpy.