Colette Laurel Dress

I am currently working on a project that has become really frustrating.  I’ve made some big mistakes (like cutting one of the back skirt panels the wrong direction so that it will be inside out if I use it as is!) and there are fit issues I need to work through.  This Colette Laurel dress was a project that required a lot of fitting changes to get it to where it is now.  The first thing I did when I got this pattern was make the top version and I ran into problems with pulling in the upper bust and the sleeves were too tight.  When I tried on my muslin and realized it was going to need changing I did some research online and found some insight from Kelly of Cut Cut Sew.   I tried what Kelly did and filled in the armscye a bit and it helped solve the problem.  I also had to pinch out some excess from the back of the sleeve and make that change to the sleeve pattern.  The last change I made was to slash and spread the sleeve to give me more room through the biceps.  The shirt I made after these changes is sort of a wearable muslin.  I think I could stand to fill in the sleeve curve a bit more to get it perfect.

I knew I wanted to make a dress from the pattern so I transferred my changes to the dress pattern.  The sleeve curve isn’t as severe on the dress as it is on the top so it’s better through the upper bust.  I found that my hip measurements put me in a size 12 but I needed an 8 in the bodice.  I graded out and when I tried on the dress it was HUGE in the hips.  I had to take it in over and over to get it right.  As it turns out I could have just cut a straight size 8 and been fine.

I really love the fun bell sleeves.  I wasn’t sure whether to add the ruffle but I’m glad I did.  When I first made the dress I had a tiny bubble at the base of the invisible zipper that I could not get to lay totally flat.  I had read on a few different blogs that some people were able to remove the zipper and pull the dress on without it.  That worked for me so I went back and removed the zipper.   I really like how my dress turned out once all was said and done.  Now that I’ve solved most of the fit issues my next one should be a breeze!


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