Friday, September 27, 2013

Homemade Friday: Laurel by Colette Patterns

I started this post this morning when my daughter was relatively calm and it was fun and goofy and talking about cheating on my sewing schedule, but I only wrote a tiny bit before that calm passed.

This week has been incredibly difficult.  I mean, she's a difficult child anyway, walking the line between wanting with all she is to be bigger and older, but not having the capability to do whatever she wants yet.  And so she struggles.  And I try, I try so very hard to be patient, to be understanding, but when she pinches me multiple times just for fun, and just because I've asked her nicely not to because it hurts because she won't let me cut her fingernails and they're broken and jagged and sharp, I kind of have some trouble keeping it together.*

Also when she kicked me in the shins because I had the audacity to help her brush her teeth.

And when she spits on me for, well, whenever  I do anything she doesn't like.

I want to be patient.  I try to be patient.  But when my entire day is filled up with explosions of temper, I just can't.  I can't keep it together.  I look so forward to naptime because at least then, then I can have a break from the disagreeable attitude.

Something is up.  It's really not this bad, normally.  I mean, yes, she's stubborn and fiesty, but not to this extreme.  But I don't know.  I don't think she's sick sick.  I think the changing seasons are getting to her.  
 She hasn't been sleeping well, which of course means that I'm not sleeping well.  And I end my days feeling like I've run a marathon or like I've been carrying a heavy backpacker's backpack for days.

I'm beat.

Which is one of the reasons I decided that yesterday during naptime I was going to sew.  I didn't really have time to sew - the house was a mess, I had a sweater that I've been trying to finish quickly so I can have my mom sew the buttons on when I go see my parents this weekend.

But I needed it. 

When I sew, I usually only do it when I'm alone or when Adele isn't around because she wants to help me by pushing my foot on the pedal or shoving the fabric through or helpfully touching the light on the machine, burning herself, then telling me it's hot.  And then doing it again.

So when I wrestled her into her bed (and believe me - it is a wrestling match) for a nap that she didn't take but that at least kept her in her room, I put on my headphones to listen to a book and zoned out into my work. 

Oh gosh.  It was perfect.

And then I couldn't keep her in her room not sleeping anymore because child services probably would frown on it (although maybe not if they spent much time with her?  They might be more understanding.).  So I let her come out - which meant that she headed right for her brother who'd been calmly playing on his Wii, and proceeded to smack him on the back.  And then she trashed his lego plane that he'd created himself.  And then she threw a remote at him.

So after I got both of the children in bed I went out for wine.  And cookies.  And I came back home and put my headphones back on and drank some wine and ate some cookies and sewed until I was finished with this dress.

As soon as I saw the pattern for Laurel by Colette Patterns I bought it.  And it wasn't really in the budget - but it was the type of dress I'd been wanting to sew for quite some time.  I'm trying to be better about picking my clothes, to put more thought into it instead of just grabbing whatever jeans and t-shirt are handy.  I've never been someone who knows a whole lot about style, but I've been attempting to look more grown up and more put together.  And I think layering is a helpful tool for looking like you know what you're doing even when you don't.

So I had a plan for this dress.  It will be worn this fall with brown leggings and boots and a scarf and I'll be straight-up autumn. 

Layering it up!  And yes, I do feel as exhausted as I look.
(And I totally knit that sweater I'm wearing.)
I didn't realize when I bought the pattern that the dress called for a zipper.  (Reading instructions is important, kids.)  But I looked at the pattern and the dress and thought that maybe, just maybe I could sew it without one.  My plan was that instead of cutting two pieces out for the back I would cut it on a fold like the front, thus creating a whole back that wouldn't need to be zipped up.  Now, it might have been smarter to sew a trial dress out of scrap fabric before diving right in, but I don't have that much spare time and so am not going to waste it sewing something I'm not going to use.

However, I did measure myself and used the size measurements on the pattern, which means that I had to piece together two different sizes because my top half is two sizes smaller than my bottom half.  My mom would be so proud of me for taking the time to do this step.

That being said, I think I should have gone smaller on the bottom half.  It's a little wider than I'd like. 

Actually, when I finished at 10 p.m. last night and tried it on, the entire dress was too wide.  The reason for that, I realized, was because I was supposed to have a seam up the back of the dress for the zipper.  To fix it I just, well, sewed a seam up the back and cut off the excess.

I know it's not the proper way to do it.  The proper way would have been to take out the hem and take in the sides and blah, blah, blah.  Or maybe to have followed the instructions and finally learned how to sew in a zipper?

Too much work.

I also had to use a smaller seam allowance on the sleeves, which is totally because of my giant muscles and not at all because of arm fat. And apparently the pockets were made for people with tiny, dainty, fairy hands and not my super-sized man ones.  Or maybe they're just for looks?  But at least it has pockets.

Tiny pockets!
 So.  The verdict is that I love-love-love it, though it could do with some adjustments - even more than the ones I've already made.  I think the bust darts are maybe made for someone whose upper lady parts are a bit higher than mine - or maybe for someone who hasn't nursed two kids. 

Luckily I cut out the dress in another fabric at the same time as this one by placing the fabric on top of each other and cutting them both out.  As you can tell from my ingenious move I'm crafty.  Plus I really, really hate cutting out patterns. 

So, if you see me at anytime this fall I will probably be wearing this dress, starting tomorrow when we take the kids to a pumpkin patch with some friends.  If you look out for us, we'll be the ones chasing after a screaming, spitting, kicking, adorable little girl. 

Here's a close-up of the fabric and the back seam
for your viewing pleasure.
Pattern - Laurel by Colette Patterns
Fabric - $3/yard at Wal Mart (and no I'm not even a little bit embarrassed - look at how cute it is!)
Size - 8 for top and 12 for bottom, but probably should have gone to a 10 or 8 on bottom because it's a wide dress - a little too wide.


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