A Floral Laurel for Frocktails

I am not a particularly dressy person.  I don’t really do fancy clothes.  Fancy events and restaurants don’t tickle my fancy.  So, although I was excited about an event in which I could hang out with lovely sewists and, you know, try to make friends in Melbourne, I wasn’t all that excited about sewing up a dress for the occasion.  

Unsurprisingly, I dithered about what to make.  I am doing my best to make things that I will wear, and given how much of my life I spend at work, I want it to be work appropriate, too.  I’m still trying to work out what day would be best for wearing my Citrusy Sureau.  I actually had an event that I thought I could wear it to – a friend’s BBQ – but then I learned one of the people attending, for whom the event had been organised, was allergic to citrus, and that seemed … rude.  So I wore my tablecloth dress instead.  Much of my stash is reasonably good, in that it is solid, sensible colours, with only the occasional fruit, bird, frog or fox print.  But I also know that I had so much fun making the Sureau out of a completely ridiculous print that I’ll do it again, I’ll giggle and I won’t be sorry.

I thought of making a dress out of some dark red knit I have.  I thought about actually completing the Belladone that I cut out in January. It’s yellow cotton twill.  But the Belladone now has other plans (more on that in the nearish, I hope, future).

Then the lovely Sew Busy Lizzie sent me some fabric.  How awesome is that? I think in a Twitter exchange, we discovered we have similar fabric tastes, although Ms SewBusy is a much more prolific sewing sort than me. (It’s all in the name, I suppose…)  It seems like what she completes in a month, I might be lucky to complete in a year!  And given that she was coming all the way to Melbourne, I felt positively  compelled to turn the lovely fabric into something wearable.  Initially, I though I should make something Ms Sew Busy would really approve of – Cambie (been there, done that), Anna (eek! Too scary! Might take me a while!) but I eventually went for something I knew would be pretty fast and easy: Laurel.

Shift dress? Fairly shapeless? I’m on board!  I don’t really know why I like shapeless dresses so much, given that I have little shape to give them, but if it looks a certain way on a coat hanger, well it’s pretty much going to look like that on me. Basically, I’m just shoulders.  Very mouthy shoulders, but mostly shoulders nevertheless.  I can work with that.

Even better, Laurel is only 4 pieces: front, back, sleeves (2 of them).

Laurel came together quite well, but the fit is not quite right.  I think Laurel will be a very nice work dress when I’m a few months pregnant. (And, in case you’re wondering, that’s not in the foreseeable future.) Also, the darts are a bit too high.  And the sleeves feel weird. I don’t think I inserted them back to front (though its possible). And the arms scye (that’s the armhole bit) is too small.

Anyway, I tied a sash because I’m very handy with a bow (origami skillz, yo), and called her good.  

I like Laurel.  I especially like all Kokorimbaud’s versions.  So I shall just have to work out the fit issues, perhaps in a series of tops.  Don’t hold your breath, though.  Wouldn’t want anyone to expire on my account.

It was such a joy to meet everyone whom I had not previously met in person.  There is talk of the event being repeated in Sydney 2014, and Brisbane 2015.  Perhaps Rocket Sews will agitate for Hobart 2016, and Bimble and Pimble will make a case for Canberra 2017 (although, honestly, who lives in Canberra for that long? No one, that’s who.  They all move to Melbourne.  Well, Amanda?) 

I failed to get photos of me in my dress at the event, but you might enjoy this one, taken by Seamstress Poppykettle, Melanie.  There are a lot more photos to be found here.

L -> R: Lara of Thornberry; Sew Busy Lizzy; Spinning Danika & the grinning fool herself (me, in case you got confused)