I find myself drawn back to denim over and over. Is it something in my distant past, I wonder? Too much of my adolescence spent dreaming of Jon Bon Jovi? Either way, I think that you just can’t beat a classic shape in a classic fabric. I made this dress almost exactly a year ago, and at this time of year I find myself wearing it week-in, week-out. The Laurel by Colette Patterns was my first paper indie pattern and was a Christmas gift last year from my craft-loving sister-in-law. I fell in love with the luscious packaging and the detailed instructions, and decided to try my hand at a simple denim dress.
I diligently traced the pattern, cut out a muslin and stitched up my first version in a US size 8. I wasn’t entirely convinced that the shift dress style was flattering to the more curvy figure. I mean, it’s kind of synonymous with the 1960s, chic, slender, boyish look. Not something that really springs to mind when I think about defining my style. I decided to have a crack at a simple pattern modification and took a few inches from the side seams from hip to hem. I did the same on my later Laurel, and I wonder in both cases if this made the dress pull a little across the stomach. It works better on this denim version as I foolishly took rather too many inches off the hem when cutting out the pattern to conserve fabric for my Colette Beignet skirt. So I think the rather short length and perkiness of the denim helps this version to sit better than the Liberty Laurel. I made bias binding for the neckline and sleeves from a vintage-y ditsy blue floral cotton bought during my quilting years from a Walmart in Texas!
Now I’m a bit more confident with trouble-shooting fit issues, I think I’d be tempted to lower the bust darts by an inch. Gosh, even writing that down shows how far my skills have improved in a year. There’s no doubt that the Laurel is a versatile number. I’ve tried out the shirt version, which I also love, and will no doubt return to this dress version when I find some perfect spring-weight printed cotton. Wait……! I think I’ve got just the thing… cerise floral African wax from my last trip to Goldhawk Rd….