The Laurel pinafore

The Laurel dress by Colette Patterns has to be one of my staples.  I have made *quite a few* with the last one showcasing how well it works with a lining as my LBD.

Laurel dress

Upon my last expedition to Goldhawk Road with Jane, a blatant copy of sorts was afoot, when she happily showed me where she bought the teal  crepe she used to make her Francoise dress.  After hearing how it worked well with thermal tights (we are such goddesses) I felt that it could well be possible to wear a cute dress – above the knee- in winter- & still be warm enough.

Laurel dress

But somewhere along the way between deciding I would buy a length of this fabric (£12.99 per metre) & asking for a proper amount, I sort of, er, didn’t ask for enough.  In my head I thought a metre would be plenty, as this fabric was pretty wide.  Yes,  I can get a shift dress out of a metre of fabric, but not the sleeves.  Doh!

Laurel dress

Anyway, I discovered this when venturing forth to cut out my Laurel.  Sleeves, even short sleeves, were out of the equation.  Some mad brain computing later churned out the alternative Laurel – the pinafore (or jumper?) in teal with purple lining.

Laurel

Now when I made my LBD I sewed this in an evening.  Exactly, or almost exactly the same.  Not so this time.  I attempted to add pockets – which I lined – but were nothing beyond the pockets provided by the pattern.  Apart from that, I did nothing different.  I used the same tutorials as they are pretty darn excellent, for lining a sleeveless dress by machine.   Although, the final time I inserted the zip (yes there is a story here) I attached it by hand.

Laurel

So what’s the story?  Firstly the crepe is more of a challenging fabric to sew if a crisp finish is desired.  I am not 100% pleased with the pockets – they look decidedly amateur & I didn’t achieve brilliantly square edges.  But that is the fabric I am sure.  It’s reasonably thick & bouncy.  Doesn’t hold a firm fold.

Laurel dress

The zip though?  I usually tend to opt for lapped zippers, & was anticipating this not being straight forward so I remembered to interface the zipper  seam edges (ie centre back) before attaching the zip.  Despite this look how it has a tendency to bulge through sewing.  I even basted the zip with perpendicular pins to counter this fabric jokery.

But this is not the reason why I had to unpick the zip more than once (I think I took two attempts to get it this far).  Sadly I was all ready to try the dress on to hem it, when I discovered that one of the shoulders had twisted.  Aaaargh!

SO I had to unpick & start again.  On a positive note the zip went in a lot better.

Laurel

I also forget that some of Colette Patterns dresses are a bit short – this is no exception.  But hey ho.  I should maybe add a note to my pattern piece for future memory lapses.

Laurel dress

I’ve only been wearing it with jersey long sleeves, but really do need to see whether it works with a button-up shirt.  I will have to report back to you if it’s a goer.  Anyone else a fan of the sleeveless dress= pinafore/jumper?  Could an aging badger pull it off, or would the collar be just a little bit too Lolita?

30 thoughts on “The Laurel pinafore

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Susan, try following the tutorial for lining by machine – you’ll love it- I believe there might even be a supporting video on Youtube…you could check it out as I think it looks so special when it is lined ….

      Reply
  1. Ann watts

    i keep seeing references to Goldhawk Road…but have never been there. Then I see articles about redevelopment in the area. Are the shops still open?
    Love your dress…..and your always cheerful photos!

    Reply
  2. Sophie-Lee

    I LOVE it with the red and white stripes (and the stockings – I’m a sucker for stockings). I have two lengths of wool crepe in my stash, I keep hearing about how wonderful it is but so far I’ve been too scared to sew with it (probably because it’s so expensive – $35/m – and I’m still not sure the best procedure to pre-wash it)

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Sophie-Lee – this I am sure was not wool crepe therefore I (shock) machine washed it! I felt that if Jane had made a Francoise then it probably does get washed, so just went for it. Saying that it is a lovely quality. Wool crepe though – no chance- I would not pre-wash out of fear – & then I guess I would have to dry clean it. Must be why I don’t buy it!!

      Reply
  3. Lynda Adlington

    I love your photo’s – I think I am far too serious 🙁 I’m not sewing anything at present as I’m trying to set up a art business and doing Marie Forleo’s B school but have managed to get some nice french chambray to make a babies patchwork quilt, from Naturalleigh ( I think that’s nearly correct without checking) Dress looks great with the striped top but as you say with a collar could be a different story All the best Lynda

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      You sound really busy, so no wonder you don’t have time to sew, but at least you can still keep reading and scheming about what you will be sewing. It sounds like a patchwork project will keep your sewing sanity! Good luck with your business.
      I will keep you all posted about the collar styling!!

      Reply
  4. TamsinW-P

    Great dress and the colour is fab! I love how you are wearing it, but think is could look really smart with a white button up underneath. One of my favourite outfits when I first started working in London was a sleeveless button through dress which looked fab with a shirt underneath in winter.

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  5. Sox

    That is such a fun dress and it looks great on you. I love your tights (wherever did you find such cute ones?) and you could make it more serious with the white button down (I agree, no Peter Pan collar) and plain tights.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Sox, I am sorry to have to tell you that my tights are *so old* that I don’t think the shop even trades anymore! They are a rare breed -no holes even & at least 15 years old. But rainbows! Wheeeeee!

      Reply
  6. Hélène

    I love this kind of classic pinafore. Yes, with a pointy collar blouse, or just plain with a cardigan. The fit is admirable! Thanks for candidly showing your “big mistake” with the lining. I shall not feel alone anymore!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I will be trying it with a shirt, definitely! And youre never alone when you sew – everyone makes mistakes! I am usually rubbish at photographing them – in such a rush to obliterate its memory & fix it!

      Reply
  7. Helen

    This is lovely, and the stripy tights are awesome! Also congrats on an interesting and entertaining blog – as a beginner sewist I can’t imagine making the amazing things you seem to rustle up in no time. But I do enjoy reading about them so thanks. 🙂 H

    Reply
  8. Deborah

    Thank you for this! I love pinafores and have longed to make one to copy of a black one from Gap that has been a fab staple, but is now on the decline. This would be the perfect option and the lining instructions are brilliant.

    Reply
  9. Carol

    Gorgeous dress and colour, would look great with a shirt underneath, I have a similar RTW dress and have worn it with and without a shirt underneath. I really do enjoy reading your blog and seeing your wonderful creations.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thank you! But my tights are a miracle of manufacture – they are at least 15 years old, if not older, & no holes yet. Admittedly I don’t wear them often, and brought them out for this outfit, but I usually bust through the toes of even the thickest denier in a matter of wears. So sorry I can’t point you to purchase your own!

      Reply
  10. Debbie

    I like it, especially with stripes underneath. What a tale of zip insertion …I wear a sleeveless dress over making jersey tees in winter but an not sure I am a good style icon xx

    Reply
  11. Caroline

    Great idea of yours to turn the Laurel into a Pinafore/Jumper dress, its lovely and the colour suits you. I am a fan of the Pinafore/Jumper dress, and I made the Abigail Dress (The Magic Pattern Book) to wear with a light jersey top and tights during the colder months. I think this style of dress is an essential/versatile garment and I would like to see it in more modern sewing patterns..

    Reply
  12. Alessa

    Aww, some projects just attract difficulties, but your Laurel turned out really nicely in the end! I’m a fan of the shift-dress-over-longsleeves look, so you won’t get any arguments from me. 😉 Love your striped tights and the teal is a really lovely colour!

    Reply

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