Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


Introducing Laurel


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Go to Seamwork



02-laurel-stripe{version 3, shown in crinkled linen gauze}

04-white-window{version 1, shown in embroidered cotton eyelet}





08-orange-pocket{version 2, shown in plain weave silk}




12-blouse-2-up{version 4, shown in cotton voile}

All about Laurel

Ok everyone. Brew yourself up a nice cup of Darjeeling and get comfortable, because I have a lot to show you today.

A while back, we made the decision to release patterns one at a time and with more frequency. Once the decision was made, I started thinking: how can we make each pattern even more valuable and special?

I’d already been designing a classic shift dress, something extremely versatile in its simplicity. Here’s what I wanted for this pattern:

  • Uses almost any fabric: from stripes and plaid to huge florals and vintage novelty prints, this is the rare style that works with them all. Because it has so few seams and darts (particularly in front), your fabric is really allowed to sing.
  • Flattering: How to make a loose style work well on different body types? I fitted the bust with side bust darts, while back darts keep the dress from being overly swingy and give it a streamlined profile. Yes, the style is loose, but it won’t swallow you.
  • Quick and easy: The most basic version of this dress has three pattern pieces. It’s fast!
  • Stash-buster: Because you can use so many fabrics, because it doesn’t require a ton of yardage, and because it’s so easy to make, this is the ultimate stash busting dress (or blouse). I’ve been using it to go through my collection of gorgeous vintage fabrics I’ve never quite known what to do with!
  • Comfortable: One thing I’ve learned is that the best sewing projects are the ones you actually wear. Nothing beats a pretty shift for comfort, especially in the warmer months.

I was excited about all these cool features, and that I could fit in four different versions, including a blouse. But I still thought, this dress is screaming for even more variations! There’s so much you can do with it!

Extras: Over a dozen variations

And that’s why I decided to create a free bonus book to go with it, with 9 MORE details you can add.

The Extras booklet is a totally free download (you don’t even need to buy the pattern), and includes a Basics sections with full instructions on making and using bias tape, plus photo-illustrated instructions for creating any of the variations you see, and even a few extra small pattern pieces to help.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this booklet. I think it will really get the creative juices going.














Laurel contest and 15% off!

To celebrate this incredible launch, we’re offering a little discount now through the end of day Friday for 15% off your Laurel pattern!

Not only that, but tomorrow I’ll be announcing a great big sewing contest with thousands of dollars worth of prizes you can win with your own take on Laurel. Stay tuned for that!

Head on over to the shop and buy Laurel!

Model: Alex Hagel
Photographer: Jade Sheldon
2nd Photographer: Cory Burnsed
Video: Sarai Mitnick

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 170


Great pattern! I have been looking for a shift dress for ages and squealed with excitement as I purchased the pattern within minutes of its release. Thank you for all the variations – its so fabulous to have the extras, I am loving the new one pattern at a time thing! I have a question about FBA’s. I am making up my first Laurel, I did a FBA – which added width and length to the front of the dress, now that I have sewn the back and front together it seems I have an excess of fabric in the front. If I take it apart and even up the sides, I will lose my wide dart which helps at the bust. For this dress I will probably add some waist darts to remove the excess but that changes the shape of the dress so I did not want to do it for all my Laurels…..and there will be lots! I have researched FBA’s and there is never info about the fall-out on other parts of the garment. Or maybe I am not ‘getting it’ . I am new to FBA’s and am in amazement at the better fit I am getting, it is a revelation! I just need to master them and the repercussions on the rest of the garment and I am not sure how to……any suggestions?


I was wondering if this dress could be made in jersey material…


I just made a tank version of the laurel in a gray linen that is ADORABLE! I can hardly wait for Easter!


Any way possible for it to fit an 18 DDD?

tors (girl meets wolf)

Oh wow, you’re spoiling us! I’m not normally a fan of loose fitting or shift dresses but I think you may have persuaded me otherwise! Beautiful as always, and the variation booklet is just amazing, thank you!


as drafted, is this a true boat neck? I can’t wait to get started on this! i have a blouse and dress all planned out :)


This is the most fun pattern I’ve sewn in a very long time- thank you for producing Lauren for us! The “muslin” I made of version 4 is very wearable. I’ve already made 5 more :). (I needed blouses in my wardrobe). I have received compliments, so that is a bonus!
I have plans for a dress out of medium to heavy dark navy blue linen. I think it may span all the seasons here in California, but first up is a navy ripstop cotton vaguely Chanel-esque jacket. It is nice to sew quick, fun projects like Laurel interspersed with more challenging projects.
Love it!


Hi, have just unwrapped the pattern and am about to snip along the right size line for me…but do I have to add on seam allowance (and cut the fabric further from the edge of the paper pattern), or is it already accounted for. If it’s accounted for, how wide it is?


Laura, the seam allowance is listed at the beginning of the pattern instructions and is 5/8″ unless otherwise noted within the instructions.

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