3 October 2014

Bruyère, Je t'aime

Bruyere Deer and Doe

Oh Bruyère... je t'aime!

There are a few Deer and Doe patterns in my stash but this is the first one I've actually got round to making. I'd been wanting to sew a shirt or shirt dress for a while, but classic shirts can look a bit boxy on my boobs and shirt dresses often have a 1950s vibe that I've been moving away from. (It was going to be Grainline's Alder shirt dress, but then it got too cold in London for a sleeveless design, so I'm saving that one for the Spring.) The Bruyère design is the perfect middle ground for me between masculine and feminine shirt styles - it looks modern and casual plus the shaping works with my lady lumps.

With total lack of originality, I chose a polka dot chambray very similar to the one shown in the pattern sample. Eléanore's fabric is her own design for Les Trouvailles d'Amandine, whereas the one I used is Robert Kaufman. I bought it from M is for Make - they've since sold out, but you can also find it at The Village Haberdashery.

I began by grading between sizes as I always do and making a toile of the top bodice. Usually I need to shorten the bodice of any sewing pattern (including mine) by about 2 inches because I'm so little, and often I need to reposition the bust darts, however I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to do any of this with this pattern. Bearing in mind it's a casual garment, the fit is pretty good as it is! Which is great for me, but if you're average height or above, you may need to lengthen the bodice, and maybe the skirt part too depending on your proportions. In any case, I'd always make a toile of a bodice before cutting into my nice fabric since we're all different shapes and sizes so a pattern is unlikely to fit perfectly first time. This one was a fluke!

The pattern is labelled "advanced" - the trickiest part is probably the sleeve placket, which requires precision stitching. Mine could've been neater TBH, but since this is a for-fun project and I've been pretty exhausted recently I cut myself some slack. I prefer the sleeves rolled up to three quarter length in any case, so next time I'd be tempted to leave the cuffs off (ssshh!). I finished the insides with French seams, and wish I'd inserted the sleeves before adding the yoke facing to conceal the armhole seams too. You do need to read between the lines and know what you're doing with some of the instructions, but if you're a confident stitcher it's an extremely satisfying make from start to finish. Ooh and there's a sewalong going on right now on the Deer and Doe blog if you do need extra help.

I absolutely adore the design! I have a feeling I'll be wearing this a lot this Autumn and may even whip up another one fairly soon...

What have you been sewing recently, please?