An Orange Blossom Laurel

As promised, I have some things to share that aren’t website related!

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My new orange blossom linen Colette Laurel!

I have actually had this pattern sitting unused in my sewing room since it came out.  I had plans to join the Laurel sewalong, but was busy at the time and didn’t make it happen.  Since then, it’s been simmering in my mind as I thought of what fabric I would use to make it and I never came up with a plan, so there it sat.  And then I was at Britex’s remnant sale in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and happened upon this gorgeous cotton linen for 50% off (ended up being about $15!) and I decided that they were a match made in heaven!

Colette Laurel

To be honest, the shape of this shift dress is not my favorite silhouette.  I prefer a fitted bodice and fuller skirt.  But sometimes its good to step out of the box and add some other shapes to your wardrobe.

I opted to make a sleeveless unlined version of the Laurel as my fabric is heavy enough that it doesn’t need to be lined.  I finished it off with bias tape and serged the seams.  This dress went together SO QUICKLY.  With only two pattern pieces to cut out and some simple darts, you’ll have a dress in a flash.

orange blossom 2

I honestly was afraid that this was going to turn out looking like a mumu and was unsure if it would be anything but a housedress.  Thankfully, the pattern pieces have some curves and the front and back darts add definition.  Plus, it’s looser around the belly area and doesn’t accentuate what I don’t want to be accentuated.

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This dress definitely has a 60’s flair and is quite similar to the Jiffy shift dresses.

orange blossom back

No, I didn’t care to match the print on the back zip (nor the sides).  I was working with a limited amount of fabric as it was a remnant and didn’t have any to spare (nor did I care about matching prints….)!


To me, this is more of a spring dress that would be nice to wear with a cute cardi.  As I write this, it is 94 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the lightweight airy cotton sundress I have on right now is much more comfortable in this heat than the Laurel.  When I revisit this pattern, I think I will make some 3/4 sleeve Laurels in wintery fabrics for the chance that it might actually get cold here….. I think it would be the perfect dress to wear with leggings, boots and a coat.

orange blossom 5

orange blossom 6

The only alteration I did to this pattern was to grade it up to about a 20/22.  I think I’d like to widen the armscyes next time and perhaps lengthen the skirt.  It’s a pattern that’s a great canvas to do whatever you want to it and has so many possibilities.

orange blossom 7

I hope you’re keeping cool wherever you are.  I could use some winter weather right now!

Happy Sewing!

signature 2

  •  Dress:  Colette Laurel in orange blossom cotton linen made by me
  • Shoes:  Sam Edelman
  • Sunglasses:  Burberry
  • Jewelry:  Bauble Bar
  • Samantha

    Newbie here, but how does one make it into a large pattern?

  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)

    I love the fun colour of this dress, it goes perfect with your skin tones and I think the pattern looks great on you. I vote for more Laurels in your wardrobe :-)

    • tanyamaile

      Thank you, Sandra!! I’m definitely going to make another laurel when fall rolls around.

  • Kelly

    This is a match made in heaven! That pattern suits you perfectly and the color is so cheerful. I love it!

  • Annette

    This is definitely the right shift dress for you. I think girls with curves need the back darts and other properly placed darts. It shows off the feminine curves well. You look very nice in it.
    I’m still jealous of your Britex trip. I was just ranting about our local stores. I think I’m going to start socking away some money for my San Francisco fabric shopping day. Hopefully, I can find something as nice as your beautiful find–and the price.

    • tanyamaile

      I agree, Annette! I did make a shift dress a while back with princess seams and that one works well, too. I just love, Britex. If only they had coupons like Joanns! lol! I just happened to be there at the same time as their remnant sale, so I lucked upon that. I think I will pay attention to their sales from now on as I lament not buying more fabric that day!!!

  • laurence00

    First, I really love your new layout!
    Also, the Laurel looks really good. I know that it is not your go to shape but I think it looks really nice!

    • tanyamaile

      Thank you, Laurence!!! :)

  • Mads (lifeinamadshouse)

    What a lovely Laurel! I think it fits you beautifully, too; you’re right that the silhouette looks like those Jiffy dresses, and you can definitely pull it off. =)

    • tanyamaile

      Thanks, Mads! I love the jiffy dresses, but not sure how I’d like them on me. I think maybe the Laurel is better suited for curves, although I’ve never checked out the huffy pattern pieces.

  • Honora

    What a fantastic fabric! I never even try shift dresses due to my own curves. But, it looks as if Laurel might be an okay choice. Maybe in a knit?

    • tanyamaile

      I think it would definitely suit like a ponte or a thicker wool jersey, although I’m not sure about the darts?

  • janhatchett

    I think that this dress is stunning. It skims in just the right places and fits where it should. Very pretty dress and model!

    • tanyamaile

      Thank you so much, Jan!!! :)

  • cindybyrd83

    Wow, this is gorgeous! I am a person who is afraid to wear an all over floral for fear I will look horrendous. Your photos may have just changed my thinking, though. Have also been afraid to grade up a pattern but I really need to conquer that fear since I find so many cute patterns that are a size or two too small.

    • tanyamaile

      Thanks, Cindy! I really was afraid this would turn out to be a big mumu, but thankfully the pattern is fitted so it didn’t! Don’t be afraid of grading up patterns. It can be easy on multi-sized ones and then you’re no longer limited to what you can make. :)

  • tworandomwordsie-Lee

    Well, this looks great! This and Mary’s versions make me think I COULD get away with wearing shift dresses.

    I love the new theme too, by the way :)

    • tanyamaile

      Oh, you will look awesome in a shift dress, Sophie! And thank ya! :)

  • Rox Guillemette

    Awesome dress! You look like you are attending the most elegant luau ever. It is very flattering and womanly, so three cheers for trying new shapes! I tend to shy away from shift dresses, but you just convinced me to gie Laurel a try.

    • tanyamaile

      Thanks, Rox! It is a bit like a tropical dress, isn’t it? When I was buying the fabric, the woman assisting me said it looked like cherry blossoms, so that stuck in my head!

  • lagilyard

    I love this! I was looking for a shift dress pattern, but my burda one failed, so this one might be a lot better for us curvy girls :)

    • tanyamaile

      Yes, definitely! I was Happy to see the curves on the pattern!

  • Maggie

    This looks lovely on you- beautifully fitted without being too tight anywhere.

    • tanyamaile

      Thanks, Maggie! I never really have to adjust the fit of Colette patterns other than grading sizes.

  • Tiffany

    That dress looks beautiful! It really brings out your eyes!

    • tanyamaile

      Thank you, Tiffany! :)

  • rachsews

    I do love your usual style, but I think this shape is also great on you and I adore the summery fabric.

    • tanyamaile

      Thanks, Rach! I do love the fit and flare!

  • robindrush

    The fabric is beautiful and the dress is lovely. You look beautiful and it fits you well-very slimming. You’re right, sometimes we need to try new styles. I am plus size and wouldn’t dream of wearing a shift dress–however, seeing you (beautifully) model this one makes me think ‘hey, maybe I should try that style’. Thanks for posting.

    • tanyamaile

      Thank you, Robin! I’m not sure about other shift dress patterns, but this one is definitely a good one for curvy figures.