City Lights Laurel

I had a work event last night, and I just couldn't figure out what to wear. That's not quite true, actually, I had the perfect outfit in my head. The problem was that the top just didn't exist yet. Fortunately, I already had both the pattern and the fabric picked out, so I quickly managed to whip out a Laurel Tunic overnight!

I was really excited about this pattern when I first bought it a number of months ago. I bought a few different fabrics that I figured I would use with different sleeve lengths, etc. Then I made a cheap test version in a size large. I made it with a slinky cheap knit that was a total pain to work with that was completely different than the good ones I had bought. Then I tried it on. And I was disappointed. It fit okay, but no WOW. I thought the seam where the bodice met the skirt was too low (I had used the long torso length thinking it might be an easy way to adjust for a larger chest). That would be an easy enough fix, but the sleeves were giant in the bicep and where they met the bodice was just... odd. And I don't really have enough experience in fit adjustments in sewing to figure out how to fix it. So I let the cheap tester sit on my ironing board as a reminder of its problems for quite some time. It's still there, in fact.

I bugged my friend across the country incessantly to tell me how to fix it (or even better, just do it for me!), since clearly she could do it from 2000 miles away. When that didn't work, I just had to suck it up and hop to.

I started cutting my pattern (all but the sleeves: I figured I could worry about those later), still in a large. It wasn't until I had it all cut when I noticed the first page of the directions listed the chest measurements. I had been breastfeeding when I made my tester. At this point, I should have been making a medium. Which would also make the sleeves smaller around. My friend pointed out that you can always make things smaller, so I went ahead and got to work. I've been reading through the Colette Moneta sew along blog posts as I prepare to make one of those, and I remembered that their suggestion for the bust alterations were basically to just draw a line from under the arm to the waist for the right size. So I just did that, narrowing it as I went down, and hoped for the best. I then realized that with any luck, my bodice (and therefore the armholes!) should now be in line with the medium, so I cut the medium sleeves. Thankfully, they fit.

I haven't made the skirt any smaller. I'd already attached the pockets, and I was racing against time. It fit into the bodice without any real trouble, so I don't expect I'll be going back in to change it, though I have considered just adding an extra set of pleats in the front and one set in the back (I'd chosen to make the flat back).

I also made the flat neckband, which worked out WAY better than I expected, even though you can't see it in the picture for the precise reason I chose to make it that way: I need to stop wearing so many clothes with cowl style necks because it makes it harder to wear scarves with them. I will confess to there being one tiny pucker that would be a snap to get out, but knowing myself, I'll probably never change it. It happens to be right in the very front, so I'm hoping it comes off as intentional.

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