I am completely obsessed with Laurel Pattern. I am not even hiding my obsession or pretending it does not exist. I think I have made over 5 Laurels, most of them un-blogged, and I still have one cut out waiting to be made. I could easily wear Laurel dresses every day of the week and be as happy as I can be. This pattern is so versatile and so easy to make!
Lately I have been strangely drawn to drop waist dresses and I have been collecting images of what I liked on my Instagram. There is just something about that dropped waist and slightly gathered skirt that completely stole my heart.
I envisioned a very simple dress – boat-neck, bust darts, dropped waist, gathered skirt and loose fit. Originally I had my eye on Malvarosa Dress by Pauline Alice and I even bought the pattern. But after trying to put together a muslin and running into fitting issues with my shoulders I quickly gave up. I have enormously wide shoulders! So wide that it would seem that I can swim for hours, if only I knew techniques other than doggie paddle (though my doggie paddle is da bomb!) It does seem that Malvarosa Dress is a great pattern, but I just didn’t want to deal with shoulder adjustments. So I gave up and turned to my tried and true Laurel.
My modifications were not complicated at all:
- I’ve completely eliminated back darts. Just outright ignored them
- I’ve added about an 3/4″ on to each hip for less fitted silhouette, and used my French curve to draw a new side seam
- I’ve decided that I wanted my dropped waist to start right around the widest part of my hip. I felt that it was a more pleasing look. I’ve measured the length from the center of my shoulder to my widest hip and that became the length of my new dress bodice pattern
- For the gathered skirt, I’ve planned to use rectangle with 1:1.5 ratio for the width of the skirt but I didn’t have enough fabric. So I cut two rectangles instead, both the full width of the fabric. I sewed the side seams of the rectangles, gathered them and attached to the bottom of the dress. I also slightly pressed them so the skirt wouldn’t “puff out” too much as I didn’t want a tutu look
- I’ve left the top part of the dress and the sleeves untouched. I also didn’t insert the zipper since I didn’t have issues getting into any of my other Laurels without the zipper. So both my dress front and back are cut on fold
I am completely in love with how this dress worked out! The fit is exactly what I was looking for. All my previous hard work of fitting Laurel to my body has completely paid off and the dress is ridiculously comfortable in my chest, back and shoulders.
The fabric came from my stash and is a polyester suiting blend that came from a local FabricLand. It irons well, but definitely requires an ironing cloth! It melts so easy and shine marks are super easy to make. Other than that, the fabric was easy to sew with and is really nice to wear.
I do wonder if I’ve hemmed it a little too short. The length is probably okay as is with dark opaque tights, but I am unsure if it will be too short with bare legs… I have left a really wide hem of ~2.5″ in this dress so I can easily let it down a little longer. What do you think?