Dressmaking, Tops
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Colette Laurel 3/4 Sleeved Top

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Hello again
After my first make of 2017 – The Merchant & Mills Curlew long-sleeved top, I decided to make another top, this time the Laurel by Colette Patterns.

Colette Patterns Laurel 3/4 sleeve top

Colette Patterns Laurel 3/4 sleeve top

I’ve had this paper pattern for a few years now.  When I first bought it I had a go at making the dress, which didn’t go so well due my lack of experience in fitting patterns.  This time I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve top using a lightweight denim.

“The fit is semi-loose with a fitted bust and back darts to keep the shape streamlined”.  The Laurel by Colette Patterns

French Seam

French Seam

Making this garment has also enabled me to have a go at improving some of my sewing techniques.  I’ve used French seams on the sides of the garment, and flat and fell seam for the back seam which is a nice decorative feature.

Instructions for s French Seam –  Reader’s Digest, Complete Guide to Sewing (see photograph above)

  1. With wrong sides of fabric together stitch 10 mm from the edge of the fabric.
  2. Trim seam allowance to 3 mm.
  3. Press seam open.
  4. Fold right sides together and stitched line exactly on the fold.  Press again and stitch on seam line – 3 mm from the fold.  Press seam to one side (I folded it to the back of the garment.
Sniped too close to the seam

Sniped too close to the seam

The only down sides was I realised I had sniped my markers a little close to the seam – I am hoping this won’t mean the seams separate after washing and wearing a few times, but we will see.

Here is the Laurel prior to inserting the sleeves.  I particularly like the darts along the back of the bodice which give a little shape to the waist.

I finished the neck and cuffs with bias tape.  This time I ironed the tape rather than using the little bias tape maker as I wasn’t sure I could pull the denim through it.  One thing I noticed about working with denim was it marked quite easily – by that I mean when I unpicked it, which I did a few times, a line of little thread marks were left behind.

The finished garment works really well.  I am a huge fan of 3/4 length sleeves, and I love how denim can be used to make a smart semi-fitted top which I could wear for work.

The Colette Laurel is recommended as a beginners pattern, and I found this to be so.  The instructions are really easy to follow, especially as it has a limited number of pattern pieces.  Each pattern comes with web-links to a range of tips and additions designed to encourage you to make the garment your own.  I love the idea of using this pattern again and modifying it to make a very different garment.

Heres to more Laurel’s in the further

Jo x



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