Tag Archives: shift dress

SOS LBD: Colette Patterns Laurel saves the day

OK, so when you are really busy at work & have built in an additional early morning exercise routine into your already busy week, do you usually sew spontaneous next-day projects or do you maintain a degree of calm in your home life & keep to a plan? Yes, I usually keep to a plan, maybe cutting out projects on a Sunday night in front of the TV, with a couple of options to sew during the week.

Laurel dressBut last week, the week that had a massive work event organised by me occurring in it, what did I do, but go rogue.   This event had a theme that meant we were going to dress up a bit (even though it was the afternoon, we were putting an effort into it at all levels). I thought that I could wear my trusty scarf back top & velvet skirt. At the eleventh hour I suddenly realised that the other female members of my team were wearing black dresses. Doh! The perfect opportunity for an LBD. Of course. But I didn’t have one (isn’t that shocking? Someone who makes her own clothes does not have a little black dress). This was on the Tuesday & the event was Thursday afternoon. When I could find some thinking time I was desperately listing the potential dress patterns:

For my instant LBD I had to make something that I’d already made & knew fitted. The girls at work said slim fitting was best, & therefore I knew for so many reasons that it was going to be the Colette Patterns Laurel (sleeveless)- you can’t go wrong with a shift dress, can you? And I love that vintage vibe.  But I wasn’t able to sew until Wednesday evening nor go out fabric shopping until Wednesday either.  On top of that when I could make it out I had only 20 minutes, therefore I had to brave the shop “that looks like it needs a good tidy” as someone recently observed, as it was closest to where I work. You would think that a city centre fabric shop would have an array of black fabric in the lead up to party season, wouldn’t you? I asked for crepe or even some silk – nothing. I didn’t want linen, I wanted something a bit more glam than natural.

Fabric

The shop assistant managed to find me this cotton that almost has a burnt out look about it.   The pic is weird – it’s actually very black, but at least you can see some of the pattern.  It’s thin, transparent almost but I was always intending to line my shift. Scooping up just over a metre of the black cotton with poly lining came to the grand sum of £10.98, then with the addition of a zip, it all came under £13. At the same time I had in mind a chunky set of pearls to set it off, & popped into the vintage jewellery stall in the Guildhall market- finding what must be the perfect set- all for £5!! I was stoked.

Colette Laurel dress

So this was my Wednesday evening- got home about 6:45, cut the dress out whilst my dinner was warming up then a quick bite to eat before embarking on the sewing. I think I finished it at 10.30pm.

Marking all of the darts in both lining & dress seemed to take a long time & there I was itching to get the sewing started.  I had no intention of sewing anything by hand & managed to find some great tutorials for inserting a lining into a sleeveless dress all by machine at the Slapdash Sewist (thank you so much!!) as well as checking out the instructions for machining the lining to the zip also.   I overlocked all of the raw edges & used my blind hem stitch (aka heart rate monitor !) for the dress itself. I felt as if I was on one, to be sure.

Colette Laurel dress

So the dress is perfect. I loved wearing it. It was so comfy & I felt smart & badger-stylish. I haven’t got any more pics of it than were taken at the event itself by our official amateur photographer (a member of staff who happens to be a friend). He thought I was helping him out get his settings sorted in advance of the photos, but I had ulterior motives 😉  (And I did remove all that ID badge paraphernalia- just a bit later than these photos unfortunately.)

So, after an adrenaline fuelled Wednesday night, I can’t say I have sewed that much since – I needed a break. I have started to handsew a tie and have also started some knitting as a Christmas gift. But I think the break has done me good. I cut out a couple of things on Sunday night, plus have a man’s shirt on the go. That’ll be this week sorted!