Winter sunshine - Laurel blouse

So I do realise its not quite winter yet here in Melbourne, but it has been decidedly icy the last few days, which has more than justified the making of my first Colette Laurel in a lovely warm flannelette cotton. I suppose it's technically a wearable muslin - I have made a dress muslin that is/was going to be a dress lining, but this is a completed version of the blouse. I have to admit I was lazy and didn't actually print/tape/cut the blouse version, I just used the dress pattern and stopped cutting at the hips....

I've made it in a pretty but crazy yellow floral, an odd remnant I found at Savers. It does have a certain 70's winter bedsheet appearance, but the fabric was really narrow, only 95cm wide - maybe it was pillow case material!! Anyway I love it. Its a lovely sunny yellow and great on a grey day. 

The fit is pretty good - I had to move the bust darts down, and like many people have described there is some pulling from the lower front of the sleeves creating some diagonal lines. I constructed the sleeves slightly differently to the instructions - I've recently acquired a great sewing book (that I will review in more detail in a later post) by Sandra Betzina who suggests setting the sleeve caps in before sewing up the side seams and sleeve seams of the garment. Apparently its faster. Anyway I gave it a go, and it meant that I was able to make a little alteration to the sleeve hole, narrowing it a little by making the sleeve seam/armpit/side seam 1/8 inch deeper at the armpit - ie I set the sleeve cap, then pinned the sleeve from cuff through armpit down to the sideseam, and did a 5/8 inch seam allowance from cuff to just before the armpit, increased it to 6/8 inc, and tapered back to 5/8 inch by the time I was at the bust dart. Making the sleeve hole smaller can make a sleeve fit better - weird I know, but it means the seam sits up higher under the armpit, and there can be less pulling. If I'd inserted the sleeves after doing the seams I wouldn't have been able to make this alteration as smoothly I think. It also helped trimming the seams as suggested in the pattern instructions. 

There's been a bit of discussion on the Flickr Colette Patterns group offering advice on other ways to help with this sleeve pulling, including this suggestion, which I am going to try with my next version of the top which is going to be SO gorgeous. 

I think this is a lovely top, and I can't wait to make the dress (Liberty wool-cotton blend I'm talking to you!). I wore it all day today to work, and found it comfy to wear, warm and snuggly and definitely one of a kind! 


  1. Oh, this is just gorgeous! I love the print, and the colour is just sublime. The brooch is perfect too :) Love it!

    1. Thankyou Danielle! I'm really pleased with it!

  2. By the way, I just wanted to say that I think your blog is wonderful and have nominated you for a Liebster award. If you like, you can can answer the questions I've left on my mine and then pass the award on to 10 other bloggers you enjoy :)

  3. I like the print. It looks snuggley and warm as well!

  4. Thankyou! It is snugly indeed!


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