Laura Ashley M8318 Birthday Set

I started cutting out this two-piece set, a reproduction vintage Laura Ashley pattern from McCall’s (M8318), on my birthday in November 2022. Somehow, I didn’t get around to finishing it until the following August, not too long before my next birthday!

I fell in love with the pattern artwork as soon as the reprint was announced, and ordered a copy of the pattern as soon as it was released in the UK. I made pattern Views B and D, which look really cute paired together on the pattern cover, in size 14.

The blouse is sewn in a Liberty tana lawn, a birthday gift from my brother, which I choose with this blouse in mind. The blouse has ruffles around the collar and at the sleeve hems, pintucks on the blouse front, and full sleeve caps. For the dress, I choose the simpler view (without a ruffle at the hem) and used a fabric from my stash which I suspect I chose because it reminded me of the art on the pattern envelope. The dress has some light gathers, absolutely enormous pockets, and a working (but unnecessary) button closure at the back.

Both items are really wearable pieces, as well as looking cute together. The only thing stopping me from wearing them more frequently (before the weather got too cold) was that both fabrics crease really easily, so ended up waiting to be ironed instead of being worn. I do think the blouse loses some of its impact when I wear my hair down, to get the full impact of that collar ruffle I need my hair up.

I didn’t start any new sewing projects on my birthday this year, instead I’ve finished a jacket which I’ve been working on intermittently for a few months, and have plans to start making Phil a new coat over Christmas, once I complete a little bit of Christmas present making.

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