Monday, February 26, 2018

The Silver Lining Laneway Dress

I had a few days off last week, and made the most of it. I visited the big city to take in the ROM Dior exhibit with a friend; I took a daytime hand sewing workshop with my local quilt club that was running when I'm usually at work. And I spent quite a bit of time in my sewing lair!

This was the project I spent the most time on; it took me a couple of days work to get it cut out and put together so that I could wear it to work today. I bought this Jennifer Lauren Handmade Laneway Dress pattern a few months ago; traced it off during my Christmas holidays, but only got to work on it this week.

I used this beautiful flannel that has been in my stash for at least two years. I've always had it in mind for a fit and flare style dress, but I was never quite satisfied with a pattern match for it. When I put it together with the Laneway, I realized it was exactly what I wanted, though I'd have to make a few modifications for a flannel winter weight dress.

I started by extending the sleeves -- can't have short sleeves in a warm flannel dress! I drew them to my preferred length, but found when I tried it on that they were still two inches longer than intended, and quite wide at the hem. I shortened them and also narrowed them slightly, and found that worked perfectly. I was going to add a grey sleeve band to match the turn down facing, but the effect wasn't so good -- as my husband noted, it truncated my already short arms. So I left the sleeve hem plain!

Also got to wear some of my amber jewellry!

I also lengthened the skirt by an inch, and most importantly with a flannel dress which is always going to be worn with tights, I added a skirt lining. I have a very large amount of this silvery grey lining in my stash, which comes in handy for most anything. And as I like to say, every dress needs a silver lining!

Aside from those changes, I made minor adjustments -- shortening the back bodice by an inch, and the front by about 1/2 inch. Taking the side bodice in after trying it on -- I'd cut a size 14 at shoulders and 16 at waist, as per my usual size adjustments, so I don't know if it's this pattern or simply the fact that flannel stretches a bit that required that little bit of taking in. In any case, taking in each side by 1/2" made the bodice fit much better.

I used some grey cotton scraps from my stash as the contrast facing (first used for this set of skirts). I love this grey and wish I had more!

After wearing this for a day I can feel that I'll have to make a couple more adjustments the next time I sew this, primarily taking a dart in the upper back bodice edges, since it does gape a bit when I move around and I get a little draft right down my back (which isn't necessarily always a bad thing...)

Otherwise, I am a huge fan of this pattern and can't wait to make a summer version as well. I enjoyed sewing it up; it's logically laid out with good instructions and diagrams to follow. It is comfortable, flattering, and work appropriate so I know I'll get lots of wear from it. So nice to finally use one of those cherished stash fabrics!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Deanna! I do love this fabric & silhouette.

  2. Found this post through Helen's Closet's Wednesday weeklies, excited to find another sewist in South Western Ontario! I can't get over that this dress is flannel, in the photos it really looks like quilting cotton. It must be nice and soft and warm, a great layering and transitional piece too. Just lovely!

    1. Thank you!! It is a very smooth, even flannel -- may look a little different after a few washes though :)

  3. Hi Melanie:

    I also discovered your sewing Blog via Helen's Closet's Wednesday Weeklies. I really live Laneway dress and fabric you used to sew it up. Given the fact you live in southern Ontario - hopefully you will be able to wear your new dress for several more months before it's too warm to wear anything flannel.

    BTW - I was not aware of the Dior exhibit at the ROM and I am hoping to be able to schedule a bit of time to check it out before it leaves Toronto. Thanks for mentioning the exhibit in your Blog.

    BTW - I also live in a small southern Ontario town approximately an hour north of the GTA. I also noticed there was another comment on this thread from another reader who lives in southern Ontario. Wouldn't it be nice if we could organize some sort of get together for other like minded people from around southern Ontario.

    That's all for now, Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy, nice to hear from another local sewist! I hope you'll get a chance to see the Dior -- it was wonderful :)

      As for a meetup, that is a great idea. PatternReview Weekend is in Stratford this year so will function as a start in this direction! It's a great idea to have some get togethers -- I know there is a good Toronto group on FB but nothing more spread out at least at this point.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!