I spent a mad weekend making this for the Colette Patterns Laurel competition back in the spring. I had intended to make no changes to the pattern and sew it with some lace in my stash. However, it was a bit see through so I decided to underline part of the bodice as I didn’t want to wear a camisole underneath. I wanted to make something along the lines of this top from Anthropologie but with the deadline looming I had to go with whatever was in my stash. There was nothing suitable for the colour block panels but I did have some blue grey lining fabric which looked pretty when overlaid with the lace.
To make the new front piece, I made a mark where I wanted to divide up the front. I wanted the panel to be high enough to cover the top of my bra. I drew a line were my mark was from one side seam to the other. I cut along this line and added a seam allowance to both sections. I did the same to the back but made it slightly lower than the front as it looked more pleasing this way.
This was my first go at underlining and Collete’s instructions were easy to follow. There’s a bit of prep involved as it’s important to line up the two layers of fabric and baste them so they can be treated as one when you sew. I also hand basted the centre of each dart and sewed them as normal. Once all the prep was done, I was flying as the Laurel is quick to sew up.
Alterations to the fit included lowering the bust dart and shortening the bodice. I was in a rush so didn’t spend much time checking the fit so the dart is a bit too low and I shortened the bodice too much so did not have enough length for a deep turned up hem. I found the fit of the sleeve a bit odd as I ended up with excess fabric around the back of the sleeve. Did anyone else have the same problem? I unpicked it and trimmed about 1 cm just at the back, tapering up to the shoulder seam. This got rid of some of the excess but I’ll do a toile next time to get the sleeve right.
The neckline is finished with bias binding from Hobby Craft and is a good match for my underlining. This is my favourite feature and I like how it contrasts with the lace. I overlocked the hem and left it unturned as I didn’t want to shorten the top any more. It’s not too noticeable and blends in with the lace.
I love this top. I don’t have any smart tops so this fills a hole in my wardrobe. It was the first time I’d sewed to a deadline which is an experience I don’t want to do anytime soon. Jeez it was stressful and I had a weekend. Don’t know how those guys did it on the Great British Sewing bee. My other half thought I’d gone slightly mad with my weekend sewing frenzy. The Laurel pattern is fantastic and I know I will make lots of variations. Have a look at the Colette patterns Laurel flickr group. It’s a real blank canvas of a pattern and all the different versions show just how versatile it is.