Cactus

Bloody your hands on a cactus tree,

wipe it on your dress and send it to me.”

The Pixies, Cactus

Cactus, Levi 921, Hush Puppies

Soon as I first laid eyes on this superfine lawn with a photograph-like print of cactus, I was reminded of that Pixies song from the brilliant album I still love so much.  I’d spot it every time I went to one of Jeff’s fabric shows.  It never seemed to diminish on its bolt.  I’d be all over it, thinking, “Nice, but what kind of person would wear cacti all over themselves?!”.

And it gradually dawned, “Er, me….” 

The Pattern: Colette Laurel, redrafted with a scooped neck and a Peter Pan collar.  For drafting the collar, I followed the instructions in my Adele Margolis ‘Primer’ but here’s a similar tutorial.

The inspiration: this lovely Laurel contest winner in silk.

The cost: £8 for one metre of fabric, £3 for a concealed zip, £3 for bias binding, thread and cord  = £16

A great wardrobe filler though I probably won’t be getting too many hugs in it.

Laurel Giveaway

Ever fallen in love with someone who at first sight didn’t appeal at all?  Well, that’s the story of me and Laurel!  A month ago when the pattern was released, I was decidedly underwhelmed.  “Hang on, that’s not a pattern, that’s a block!” I thought.  But of course, Sarai, who thinks of everything, had foreseen the reaction of sceptics such as myself and produced not only a booklet with tempting ideas on how to vary the design, she’d also thrown in a challenge in the form of a competition to see who can come up with yet more creative interpretations.  Which got me thinking along the lines of: “but it looks like it’d be really quick!”  And: “those sleeves are so feminine.”  And: “I could do with a dress that’s practical… where’s that credit card?”  🙄 🙂

Having already garnered a few compliments IRL on my muslin, I can now safely declare Laurel to be my feelgood dress of the summer.  And I want to share it with (one of) you.  For a chance to win my used but respectfully preserved pattern, leave a comment below.  Worldwide commentators welcome! 

I’ll also be drawing for three other Colette patterns from the stash:

–  the Clover, which I sadly made into porkBut you’d be luckier!

– the Sophia Lauren-inspired Lily, and

– the versatile Jasmine.

 

You may specify which draw you would, or wouldn’t, like to be entered into.  If you don’t, I’ll enter you into all 4.  The draw is on May the 1st.

 

The Laurel Muslin Review

I used a 1.5m of a full-width, light cotton to make Version 3 with the following adjustments/modifications:

1. French Seam: as my fabric is perforated and I didn’t want the seams to show, I used a French seam throughout, including in the sleeves.  

2. I shortened the length by 5cm (or 2″ in Colette-speak) so as to wear as a tunic or to the beach.

3. I widened and lowered the neckline.  Since these photos were taken, I’ve lowered it again by another 1cm so as to cut out the hook and eye at the back (I didn’t like how this sat).  The new lower front also works better with  this lapis lazuli necklace brought back by my mum from her travels in Chile.  

4. I made bias binding twice the  specified width

5. The waist seam: narrowed and made more vertical  than out-curving.

Time taken: most of a day, not including the reworking of the neck.  Would have been quicker if it wasn’t for the French seams.

Next time: I feel a slight pull towards the back so on my pattern copy I’ve moved the shoulder seam forward 0.5cm at the neck and 1cm at the shoulder.

And, oh look what indigo beauty I found browsing round Hobbs!  My version cost £20: pattern, fabric an’ all.