adventures in repeat offending

I like observing that rush of new projects online that follows a popular pattern release. I also have a lot of admiration for those of you who are always on the lookout for a new challenge.

But when it comes to sewing, I’m pretty intent on reducing the risks. Fabric — and increasingly also time — seems precious, even when it was a second-hand purchase. And it’s not the fabric, anyway, it’s the mindset. I know you can’t win them all, but I want to at least win most of them. And by “win” I just mean “get a wearable garment.”

It’s not that easy for me, I’ve found. It might be a matter of silhouette but I know I wouldn’t get that result “right out of the pattern envelope.” So it’s either muslining or at least baste-fitting before actual sewing. And, in this case, making several versions over which I worked on the fit of my tricky upper back.

Without further ado, here’s yet another Laurel shift:


So no novelty here, but knowing that I have the fit worked out (and witha few different fabrics), I can play with details. I added pockets (which are included in the original pattern) and cuffs (taken from the Seamwork York blouse and slightly redrafted to work with the Laurel sleeve).

I also replaced the bias finish on the neckline with a facing. I prefer the bias tape finish most of the time, but this time I wanted to give the facing a try. It doesn’t flip out too much (tacking down on the shoulders definitely helps keep it in check).

Here I am playing with the cuffs

I usually bring the side seams in above the waist a little bit but I left the original shape this time and skipped the zipper. I could have sewn the central back seam all the way up but I wanted to use a fun button at the top (you can’t see it very well but it’s a cat). And life would be too boring if I didn’t get to fight with a corded button loop every now and then, so I also added that.

unbelted and pleased with the darts on the back

Thoughts for next time:

  • do make those manila/light cardboard pocket templates for next time. Pressing the pockets into shape was difficult and only worked out okay because the fabric was cooperating;
  • the fabric was an incredibly pleasant surprise: it’s a polyester crepe. With some patience it pressed nicely and it wears well even if it’s not the most breathable (but it’s not the least breathable either, who would have thought?)

Most importantly perhaps, this dress has given my slender work wardrobe a boost, so I’m signing off with an invisible smile.

What have you been sewing?


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

9 thoughts on “adventures in repeat offending”

    1. Thanks, Tifaine! I’ll admit I’m slightly envious of your sewing speed — two Belladonne dresses! And they’re both lovely 🙂 The one in plaid is absolutely dreamy for this season.


  1. When I see a bunch of sewing bloggers all excited about a pattern I want to get in on the fun but my personal sewing style means I’m always late to the party, if I go to the party at all. I have a few favorite patterns that I use over and over again and when I buy a new pattern I usually let it sit in the stash for months waiting for it to speak to me. I just finished a fall blouse a couple of days ago and now I’m working on a western style shirt for my granddaughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to wait, too. And then when/if I get to a pattern, fitting always takes time. Well, unless I’m making a skirt and can fit as I sew.

      Your fall sewing sounds great! I’ve been meaning to finally make a shirt but it’s taking me longer than I thought it would.


  2. Beautiful color! Wow! So rich.
    Thanks for showing a belted and an unbelted photo. I like with belt best in your photos, but it’s neat to see both.
    Regarding trends, all my patterns are old and/or second hand, so trendy patterns aren’t happening over here, but it is fun to watch them happen and see where other people go with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It is a nice color. And I’m really surprised how much I’m liking this polyester.

      I love seeing what you do with your vintage (and less vintage) pattern finds. I love that element of surprise in your posts. The throws can be very interesting, though I do feel sorry about you losing time on them. But from a reader’s persepective, your sense of humor makes them fun. Life’s strange that way, I guess 😉


      1. Gosh, thanks! Don’t feel bad about the throws though, I always learn something, plus it’s satisfying to put those patterns/fabrics to use, even if I don’t end up keeping them.
        And yay for polyester, sometimes it’s just right.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a gorgeous colour! I love your sleeves too, and the pocket. Looks like the perfect dress for this time of year. I just finished sewing up a cardigan, which I started last winter, so that was pretty satisfying. So behind with blogging my makes though!


    1. Thanks, Kathryn! I can’t wait to see your new makes. I also need to sort out my Blogger login info finally so I can properly comment on posts on that platform (which includes your lovely blog!).


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