A Well-Loved Denim Laurel

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.

Denim LaurelI 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!

Denim LaurelNow 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….


17 thoughts on “A Well-Loved Denim Laurel

  1. Never really looked at this pattern before, looks a really useful one 🙂 It’s great when you can see yourself improving, think blogging really helps with this process too. Will look forward to seeing a few more on you!


  2. This is such a great dress – I love the contrast trim as well – I have seen so many versions of it around but I also felt as if the shape really wouldn’t work for me! I also started doing things like moving darts and an SBA over the last year and feel as if I have come a long way, it seems that as soon as you master one adjustment though you spot at least one more that you need to get your head around!



  3. Cute! Talking of Spring, have you see the new Liberty Lawns based on Alice in Wonderland? Really love the yellowy one with all the characters and trying to decide if it is too ridiculous for a mature woman to have a blouse (or even a frock!) made up in it. Happy Sewing this weekend x


  4. Pingback: A Laurel for the Tropics | Sew South London

  5. Pingback: Top 5 of 2015: The Hits | Sew South London

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