When the Laurel dress pattern first became available I was completely uninspired by it for two reasons: I didn't think the shape would suit me and I thought it looked a bit boring. First, I found out I was wrong about the boring bit. This dress is definitely as interesting as you make it and, having decided I'd give the pattern a go, I found I was wrong about the shape not suiting me at all. I still think there are other silhouettes that suit me more, but the Laurel is better on me than I expected.
It was almost impossible for me to get any decent photos of this dress today, as it's been raining all day long, heavily, and it's so, so dark AND 7°C out there. Seriously, it may be cosy and atmospheric, but it's also crazy. I mean...it's May.
I had read that some people had had a few fitting issues with this dress. I soon found out I was one of them. In the past I found I am a size four in Colette patterns, except for on the waist where I usually grade up to a six. Because this dress is obviously not fitted at the waist I went for a four all round. On making up a muslin I discovered that there was an incredible excess of fabric across the upper back. To get around this I extended the back darts all way up to the neckline and ended up taking out 6.5 cm in total (see altered pattern below). That is a lot. The dress still slips on with no back closure, no problem. The second thing was that for some reason the shoulder seam needed moving towards the front by 1.5 cm. Odd. I have never come across that before.
Anyway, once these alterations were made, the dresses came together so quickly. I really do enjoy finishing edges with bias tape, and I'm so used to it now that I don't ever use pins, let alone basting! It really takes only several minutes to lay the tape on, sew it, press, fold and press, sew again...done! And it looks great.
I would make loads of these dresses as they are so easy to throw on (and they look great on dog walks, with wellies and a little cardi) but I have so many other new and interesting things I want to make, there just may not be time.