Sunday, April 7, 2013

Finished! Colette Laurel

I'm on a roll. I finished something else and took more pictures. I am quite proud of myself.

This is my version of the Colette Laurel pattern, an easy-fitting shift dress.

I like this dress, but I'm not in love with this dress. This marked my first time making a shift dress. I've always wanted to make one but could never decide on a pattern. When the Colette Laurel popped up, I figured I would give it a try.

Per the usual, the Colette pattern instructions were excellent and the pattern was well drafted. There is even a free booklet with ideas on modifying the pattern. The neckline and sleeves are finished with bias tape, which adds to the ease of construction. I have a love/hate relationship with bias tape. Sometimes it makes a garment look a bit homemade. Other times, not so much. I made my own bias tape for this dress.

As far as alterations go, mine were few. I made a size 14 for the bust and shoulders and a size 12 for the waist and hips. I used a hem facing, so my actual hem size was about 1/2". That was it. The fit was spot-on.

Next time around, however, I plan on lowering the neckline. Every time I sit down the neckline kind of choked me a bit. I would also shorten the sleeves.

For the fabric, I used a cotton-linen blend purchased from Joann. The website lists it as a cotton/rayon blend but on the bolt it was listed as cotton-linen. I'm inclined to agree with the latter as the fabric is missing rayon's trademark drape. Using linen was also a first for me. I hope to repeat this in the future. It was a bit sheer so I underlined it with white cotton/poly batiste.

I don't know if shift dresses are for me. It was flattering and all but I don't know. It's cute and easy to wear but it just doesn't do it for me. I think the neckline is too high. I will make it again with a lower neckline and see if that changes my mind.

It's a great pattern though and a great basic shift dress. Most of the ones I've come across are shapeless, this one is quite flattering. I like it but I want to love it. I'll tweak it some more and see what happens.


  1. I like your choice of fabric, and I agree with what you have to say about bias tape and looking homemade. But yours came out very cute and the tape showing was minimal.
    My body shape isn't very shift likable, but I'm going to give it a try and make it a little more fitted.

  2. At first I didn't think I could pull off a shift dress either. I was pleasantly surprised by the Laurel pattern. I'd love to see what you come up with.

  3. this looks great on you! I've also wanted to make a shit dress for a long time.

    1. I think you left out a letter in "shift"....I had to edit this post three times before I could publish it for the exact same reason :)


Thanks for commenting with thoughtfulness and maturity.

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