Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Colette Patterns Laurel in Liberty print silk


Following my last post about the construction details and the adjustments I made to the pattern, here are some photos of my finished Laurel blouse.


It's already my favourite item of self-made clothing. It's rare for me to want to wear something I've made straight away. Often it will hang from my picture rail for a few days first so that it has time to settle in my mind and I can come back and look at it more objectively and try to gain some peace of mind that it doesn't look too overtly like I've made it myself (in a bad way, at least). Happily, I haven't felt that this top needs any settling time. The only thing currently stopping it from breaking out of my wardrobe is that I love it so much that I want to save it for when I'm going somewhere special - there's every chance this will be soon, for a weekend with my sister. (I've been tempted to make her one too, but the last time we worth matching outfits was when I was 6 and she was 9, after our mother bought us matching miniskirts and jumpers to wear on the plane journey as we emigrated to Australia for a few years. It may be a treat reserved for when one's leaving the country with the knowledge that you have no chance of future contact with anyone who has witnessed your matchiness. Or just for when you're 6 and 9).


The blouse is really quite loose-fitting, but the pattern's cleverly placed diamond-shaped double-point darts at the back mean that it follows the curve of your back, giving a fit that's loose, yet tailored. I used double-pointed darts to try and rectify a dress I was making that didn't look quite right last winter and while the dress never came to anything, I realised then that they're an amazing way of stopping something from being shapeless when viewed from the side. I may want to add them to everything now.



The silks I used while making this (a Liberty print crepe de chine and a sand-blasted silk that happened to be an identical colour to one of the flowers in the printed fabric) were slippery, but thankfully not too prone to fray, which meant that I could actually enjoy making the piping for the collar and the narrow binding for the sleeves.


Inside it's finished throughout with french seams. Grainline Studio has written a fantastic tutorial which will give anyone new to these all-enclosing seams the confidence to try one not only on a straight seam, but an armhole too, called 'French all your Seams' (I love that title!) which is well worth having a look at if you're working with a fine, light-weight fabric. I contemplated overlocking this blouse as it's so much quicker, but the idea seemed slightly obscene when I considered how much I adore this fabric.  


What I love about tiny Liberty prints is that they morph into something different when viewed from a distance - what looks like quite intense colours and a busy pattern when viewed at close range, tone down to something easily wearable the moment you're a yard away from them, and a pattern repeat that wasn't previously observable suddenly emerges (I noticed the same thing with this top which I made a few years ago).


I'm entering this top into the Colette Patterns Laurel sewing contest. Have you made your own Laurel entry? I can't recommend trying this pattern highly enough - it's such a lovely blank canvas for showing off a special fabric or adding in your own details. Obviously, because I love this pattern so much, I have several more already planned in my head and hopefully soon to be made. I think this may be my summer of Laurel.

Florence x

39 comments:

  1. It's a beauty, Florence, and suits you so well! I've been highly suspicious of French seams for armholes but with your endorsement perhaps I'll try them out - I usually just zigzag my armhole seams which does the job but doesn't look terribly nice on the inside. My Laurel's almost done, just some seam finishing and the neck binding to go. x

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    1. I've been checking your blog and no Laurel has yet appeared - do leave a link to it if it's on the internets anywhere - I'd love to see. x

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    2. OK, OK! It's on my Flickr now: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toftsnummulite/sets/72157633357448867/

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  2. Beautiful, inside and out, and it certainly suits you! Very elegant.
    And thank you for showing both close-up and distance shots for comparison - I never would have imagined the pattern shifting like that!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, the fabric thing is really odd, isn't it - I think that's the lovely thing about a tiny print that has a repeat to it.

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  3. Oh my goodness, that is so beautifully made. It fits so well, and as with everything you do, perfection down to the tiniest detail. Why are you not on the Great British Sewing Bee? I had read a bad review of the first episode and so avoided it, but a non-sewing friend said how wonderful it was, persuading me to catch up. It is wonderful, and inspiring, and indeed awe-inspiring.

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    1. Oh, you should definitely watch it - it's wonderful and the best girl very definitely won it!

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  4. I am not surprised it is your favourite thing - it is wonderful. Enjoy wearing it and receiving lots of compliments. Jo x

    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. So nice looking, and does suit you. It would be a pattern you could do in so many different colors and not look the same I think.

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    1. Oh dear. As I type this I've already done it in another colour...and have more planned. I think it may be an addiction!

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  6. Gorgeous! It really suits you, and looks so beautifully made and finished.

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  7. It's beautiful Florence, I love the grey piping and narrow binding they are the perfect little detail for this blouse. It really suits you!

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    1. Thank you - the details are the bits I enjoy sewing most - I'd quite like to do a pintuck version too.

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  8. This is so beautiful I can't stand it. Amazing details, gorgeous fabric, and such a thoughtful execution.

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  9. Very nice and with all the lovely detail that you do so well. Have you considered applying for The Great British Sewing Bee? They are apparently looking for people for the next series. The time constraints are the only thing that would put me off, the programme has still been lots of fun to watch though.

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    1. I'm not sure I could stand the time pressure either!

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  10. This is a beautiful blouse, I love the design and I love Liberty

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  11. It's lovely - I especially like the piping detail.

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  12. I love your version of the Laurel Florence - it's so beautiful and looks perfect on you! I hope your time to wear it comes very soon! x

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    1. Thank you, Su, Lindsey & Sonia - I'm so looking forward to wearing it.

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  13. Absolutely beautiful Florence. The fabric is stunning and you had the perfect weather for wearing it today x

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  14. I saw this on Flickr, it's so beautiful. What a great on you've done!

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  15. Gorgeous top Florence. Thanks so much for the link to the french seams tips - I can't wait to see how to french seam armholes! It has been something I've always wanted to be able to do, as although I have an overlocker, I have never actually used it as I'm too scared! All those bobbins and oh, the threading! So knowing how to french seam an entire garment is simply excellent. Hope you enjoy wearing your new top out x

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    1. Oh you should - it's a wonderful thing - although armholes on an overlocker need a lot of care - it's incredibly easy to slice through the sleeve as you overlock it, so I think it's best to overlock the sleeve head and shoulder before sewing them together. However, a french seam beats an overlocked one hands down!

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  16. this is just so stunning. i adore the piping on the cute collars!

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  17. So beautiful! I love the piping on the collar, I'll have to try that one the next one :)

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  18. This is absolutely lovely and looks amazing on you! Well done! I always love the garment sewing that you do. :)

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  19. That's such a cute blouse! I see what you mean about the liberty print, it does look cool from far away. Great job :)

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    1. Yes, and completely different colours as well - really odd.

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  20. Okay, I can't keep quiet any longer. It's driving me crazy. I need to know the name of that exquisite Liberty print in case I can ever track it down. Please put me out of my misery.

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    1. Hi anon, I think it's called Liberty Hanako, I have some in my stash in a gorgeous dark green and grey colour scheme

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  21. Hi Florence, I'm just in love with your beautiful Laurel blouses, and this one in particular is my very favourite. After searching the internet high and low for this gorgeous Hanako silk crepe de chine, and not finding it anywhere, I'm thinking of making the Laurel blouse in this Liberty Tana Lawn (http://www.calicoandivy.com/product701/detail/) with piping matching the coral colour. I hope I can put a link here in this comment to show you, but if not, then you can see it on the calicoandivy.com.au website in their "past seasonal Liberty collections". It's FL0277D. I think a nice crepe de chine like the one you've used would hang more beautifully, and I actually bought a pretty little silver/grey piece of fabric throughout, but do you think the Tana Lawn will have a fairly similar drape? Also, I'd love to make a nice little collar too, but I'm not so confident to draft my own. Do you know of any tutorials on the interweb that could help me?
    Thanks so much. I rarely comment on your blog, but I read every single post, and absolutely love everything you do. x H

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  22. Hi Helene,

    A Tana lawn will never have the same drape as a crepe de chine - they're just very different fabrics. So while it will be beautiful, it will have a slightly stiffer, less fluid look to it. If you have a look on Flickr I'm sure you'll find lots of gorgeous Laurels made from lawn and it will give you an idea of the finished look.

    From memory, I'm sure Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing had a Peter Pan collar tutorial on it - I think it may be a video tutorial.

    Good luck with your Laurel - it sounds like you are plotting it out very carefully - it's sure to be lovely!

    Florence x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x