Finished Project: Laurel Dress [Colette Patterns]

Laurel party dress1

PatternLaurel by Colette Patterns (view 1 )
Fabric: Eyelet from Fabric Place Basement, Silk Habotai from Grey’s Fabric and Notions
Size: 2 graded to a 4

Belt: self made (see Tilly’s Bow Belt Tutorial)
ShoesTommy Hilfiger

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).

Laurel party dress2

The Fabric 

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.

Laurel party dress3

The Pattern 

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.

Laurel party dress4

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.



  1. April 10, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    Love it, and your bow belt is super cute! Did you enter it in the Laurel contest? (you should!)

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:05 am

      I didn't even think of that, but now that you mention it, I think I will! Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      May 16, 2013 / 2:02 pm

      Can you still enter it? Where and how??

  2. April 10, 2013 / 10:07 pm

    This is super adorable! I really like the color combo. I haven't yet gotten up the courage to work with silk- you are a brave woman!

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:06 am

      It's not for the faint of heart…if I had more knowledge and/or time, it may not have been such a devilish experience.

  3. April 10, 2013 / 10:51 pm

    I love the contrast underlining, very cool! And the belt looks awesome. I just finished a Laurel top and I had assumed it was just a shorter version of the dress, so it's good to know they are different, thanks!

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:07 am

      It's so weird how the fit differed from the top…makes me wonder if it was something I did! I'm going to make another Laurel top and fit it the same as the dress to see if there really is a variation like that…

  4. April 10, 2013 / 11:08 pm

    It turned out great! I especially love the colour.
    You could perhaps add a band along the bottom to give it more length? Or just not bend over 😉 hehe

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:07 am

      I learned how to bend at the knees to pick things up instead of bending over, heehee

  5. April 11, 2013 / 12:49 am

    love the fabrics you choose! the dress looks great, and the belt is a really cute addition.

  6. April 11, 2013 / 12:55 am

    I wanted to buy that fabric from FPB, but I'm on a fabric diet. SO jealous! You look gorgeous!

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:08 am

      Thank you so much! And as Sarah from Grey's Fabric says, "I never do well on a low-fiber diet" 😉

  7. April 11, 2013 / 1:50 am

    I bought this pattern, but haven't started sewing mine yet. Based on your notes, I might try to lengthen the dress a tad. We'll see! 🙂

    So brave of you to try silk! It sounds frustrating to work with, but the result is so pretty. 🙂

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:09 am

      Thank you, and good luck with yours! Mine was a tricky but worth it.

  8. April 11, 2013 / 8:26 pm

    Super cute! I love the color combination! I lengthened my muslin by 2", but then when I was wearing it, I felt totally frumpy. You're right– the shorter length counteracts the sleeves, high neckline, and loose fit. 🙂

  9. April 12, 2013 / 8:57 am

    It is a beautiful dress. Your dress makes me want to buy the pattern, but I would need to add about 5" to the length. I am way too old to wear a dress that short LOL

    You should be very proud of this garment.

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:09 am

      I most certainly am, it has earned its place as a "special occasion" dress

  10. April 12, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    I just love your version! And I must say, as gorgeous as it looks in these photos, you looked even MORE stunning in person!

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:10 am

      WOW, thank you so much Sarai!! It was wonderful to meet you at the party and I loved seeing your eyelet dress, it makes me want to whip up another one like yours!

  11. April 12, 2013 / 2:02 pm

    This was one of my favorite Laurels (besides Sarai's) at the event at Grey's fabric last Saturday! I am glad to hear that others had such a hard time fitting the back as well, that was where all my trouble was too. You did a fantastic job!

    • April 13, 2013 / 2:14 am

      Hi Maggie, thank you so much for the compliment! I remember seeing you at the party, your skirt was really pretty. Hooray for other New England area sewing bloggers, I'm adding you to my reading list 🙂

  12. April 13, 2013 / 5:47 am

    Yours looks great, I'm sewing mine at the moment. No problems with the back with my muslin but now problems have appeared in my final fabric. I am altering the darts and extending them.

    BTWI love your name (my daughter is also a Lucinda :))

  13. September 17, 2013 / 1:10 am

    Such a cute Laurel dress! I love the fabric choices.

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