Jungle Print Laurel Dress

I’ve made another Laurel Dress and I love, love, love it! This is also my second completed make from my Summer plans! I made this pattern twice before (1, 2), not long after I started sewing my own clothes but I made them too small.  I still wore them around the time I made them because I’d made them and I was proud, but once I discovered more comfortable patterns they soon got neglected and I gave them to a charity shop a few months ago. I made the mistake (I think) of choosing the size closest to my bust measurement, when I know my chest is small so I should choose based on my waist/hip measurement if I want a thing to actually fit, and do an sba if necessary. I previously made the size zero (bust 33, waist 25, hip 35) and this time I made the size 4 (bust 35, waist 27, hips 37) and it’s so comfortable, but still looks like it’s the right size across my shoulders – it was the sleeves and armholes that were particularly snug the last time. For reference my measurements are: bust 32, waist 27, hips 37.

The fabric is some gorgeous cotton lawn from Fabric Godmother, which is sadly now out of stock. I didn’t really realise that cotton lawns are thinner than cottons so this dress is quite thin, but I think layered with tights, a vest and a cardigan, it will work for the colder weather. But it’s also a good dress for this warm weather we’ve been having!

I added in-seam pockets because I was going to add the patch pockets but I couldn’t really face pattern matching the fabric, so I went for the hidden option! I also made no attempt to pattern match across the back – I figured it’s a large enough design to get away with no matching.

I made version 3, which has the ruffles on the sleeves. This pattern is pretty old so I’m amazed it has this option included, since ruffled sleeves have been a trend for a couple of years now! The ruffles are really easy to add, in case anyone is wanting to try it. You could also easily add ruffles to another pattern – it’s just a rectangle gathered into the end of the sleeve. For this pattern there are 2 rectangles for each ruffle which are stitched together to hide the wrong side of the fabric on the inside of the sleeve.

I will say this dress does come out quite short – though it doesn’t look like it in these photos because the camera is looking a little down on me. I’m 5’3″ and it’s above the knee on me so if you’re tall you might need to lengthen it a bit so you don’t end up with a tunic instead of a dress!

I think, as with the Inari becoming my go-to tee/tee dress pattern, I think the Laurel could become my go-to shift dress pattern now I’ve made it in a size that fits and is comfortable. Though I do have the Carnaby Dress cut out and ready to make, so maybe I’ll have 2 shift dress patterns!


I think I was running out of enthusiasm for posing at this point?!

Have you made the Laurel Dress? Or rediscovered a pattern that didn’t work when you made it before but now it’s a favourite? I feel like I might revisit some other patterns I’d written off because they were uncomfortable and see if I made the same mistake with the sizing as I did with the Laurel!

 

 

Style Inspiration: Dear Creatures

Have you heard of Dear Creatures? I think I discovered them via Pinterest (have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? Oh, I have….) They’re ‘About Us’ page says:

“Dear Creatures is a labor of love for founders and husband & wife duo Rob and Bianca Sinclair. Since the day the two first met, they’ve been cultivating each other’s creativity and common love for decades past. Harmonizing traditional elements with a modern sensibility, Dear Creatures offers seasonal collections that spin sentimental tales of whimsy. With an understanding of decades past, Dear Creatures interprets each season with an eye for visual optimism. Dear Creatures looks to the future of fashion, with a nod to the past.”

I love them because a lot of their designs are quite sixties, and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while (or even not very long!), then you’ll know I’m drawn to 60s style clothes, so I thought I’d share my favourites with you. Some of these are from their most recent collection, but others are older so might be unavailable. But I figure most of them can be copied 🙂

This navy blue dress with white detailing is lovely and from their current collection. I like the higher-waisted, almost baby doll style of dress which was popular in the 60s and the detailing stops it being too boring!

Rennie Dress - Navy

I like the style of this dress and the pleating, but I’m not totally sold on the colour. I used to love this shade of blue, but I don’t think it’s really me any more. And I think I suit stronger, bolder colours. But they get points for having a kitty in the picture! Bella Dress - Light Blue

This is from their current season and I really like it. I’m finding myself drawn to maxi dressed this Summer, having never particularly seen the appeal before! Cross My Heart Maxi Dress - Paint Chips Print

This is another maxi from this season. Needless to say I love the colours (mustard is one of my all time favourite colours at the moment!). I like the contrast between the bodice and the pleated skirt.  Mojave Maxi Dress - Mustard & Black

This is the last one from this season which I’m posting.I’m not totally sold on the great, but I like the patterned detailing. This looks like a Colette Moneta dress to me.  Neuhart Dress - CreamI went through their previous collections and picked out my favourites – you can spot which ones are from the same season by the colour palette and the models!

I think these tops are sweet and I like the collar/ bow detail. I think any basic tee shirt pattern could be altered to have the little cut out and you could probably fairly easily draft a collar like this.

Autumn 2012 Tops 2 similar blouses from the same fabrics. I like the piping down the sides of the button bands and collar. This could maybe be copied using the Colette Violet pattern? Camille Dress - Yellow & Black or Navy & red

I love the colours of both dresses and the binding on the cut outs matches the skirts! I’m always intrigued by fabric and pattern mixing, but I fear it would look a mess, but these both totally work.Christine Dress - Green or MustardI also love these 2 tees. Again, I would think most tee shirt patterns could be made into these. You just need a little lace for the collar. And I think the sleeves are gathered on the shoulder, but I can’t really see properly. (Dear Creatures also make the very skinny jeans) Daisy Blouse - Green or RedI love these 2 dresses too – another example of great fabric combinations. And again the collar and binding around the cut out is coordinated with the skirt fabric. Elena Dress - Navy & Green or Mustard

These look like really comfy jersey dresses. You could probably fairly easily add the detailing with another colour of jersey. Maybe a Moneta dress with a v-neck instead of round neck?Emily Dress - Navy and Green More dresses! I’m totally drawn to their dresses and yet I wear way more separates than dresses! Jane Dress - Red & NavyI think I mostly like this one for the colour. Also the button and neck detail reminds me of my Spring for Cotton Dress. This is super sixties – my pattern from the actual 60s has the exact same design detail!Julie Dress - Mustard I’m definitely a fan of the shift dress, and I love these 2. Again the detailing around the neck looks like my Spring for Cotton Dress. I can’t tell if this is printed fabric with a border print or appliqued detail. I think the former, so if you found a fabric you like, this would probably be easy to copy, maybe using Colette’s Laurel pattern.Presley Dress - Orange & Mustard or Black & Brown This might be one of my favourites – I’m a sucker for navy blue and although I’m not normally necessarily drawn to nautical style clothes, I like the sailor vibe of the detailing around the neck.  What a Ketch Dress - NavyI definitely think eventually, once I stop being scared of sewing with knits, that I could copy some of these dresses and tops.

Do you like Dear Creatures? Would you be tempted to approximate any of these styles? Any ideas of patterns you could use for them?