So, I finally got around to finishing and photographing another dress. This is the third laurel that I’ve made, but the first that I’ve photographed. The motivation to actually get my butt in gear came from the Hart’s Fabric Laurel Sewalong. I was too busy with end-of-the-year teaching busy-ness to join in the Colette brouhaha, so I was excited to get a second chance, especially since I loved the Laurel pattern and Hart’s Fabric. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever purchased from them. So much so, in fact, that these cuts usually get tucked away in the stash for a special occasion, or when my sewing skills are better, or some other litany of excuses. This contest was a great opportunity to actually make something with some of their lovely fabric.
(Please ignore the weird facial expression…new to posing)
Initially, I ordered some navy blue cotton with a bit of stretch (listed in their suiting fabrics) and some crochet trim bias tape. They called the next day to say that they unfortunately were out of that fabric, but thankfully it came in another color. I’m actually glad that I ended up with this mustard shade. It’s adorable!
This is my third Laurel iteration, so I knew that I could safely omit the back zipper. I used Sunni’s Craftsy zipper course to insert a lapped zipper in my last Laurel. The results were awesome, and I strongly considered doing the same on this dress just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing, but my laziness won out in the end, and I just sewed the back seam together.
The only tricky part of the construction of this dress was in adding the bias tape. The adorable trim is a double fold bias tape, so I thought using it to bind the edges would be a snap (I’ve done it before, and I was referring to the Colette Laurel Extras booklet, so I didn’t anticipate any difficulties).
However, with the crochet trim, the two raw edges of the bias tape were actually sewn together in the center, thus preventing me from using the usual methods for attaching the tape.
On the pockets, I added in extra folds and created a sort of quadruple fold bias tape. I was reasonably happy with those results, but didn’t want that look or that extra bulk for the neck and arms. A very, very cursory Google search didn’t turn up any relevant tutorials, so I just kind of made things up as I went along.
I tried to line up the fabric so that the raw edge lined up with the middle of the bias tape (or as close as I could get it).
Then, I pressed the other half of the tape down around the raw edge to make a binding and edgestitched it. I’m pretty pleased with the results!
All in all, the dress went together pretty easily (although my patch pocket skills definitely need some work). The most traumatic part of the process was when I was ironing the dress for the photo session and a black mystery stain appeared out of nowhere near one of the pockets. A minor freakout, Spray and Wash, and several hours of drying time later, and thankfully everything turned out OK.