Sunday, October 26, 2014



If I had to describe Deer and Doe's patterns in one word, it would definitely be charming. Seriously, I love every single one of their designs. They have sweet details but don't look like they're trying too hard. Initially, I didn't think I would be able to make any Deer and Doe projects because I fall outside of their size range. But after having had such a great experience with their free plantain tee pattern and after reading about Laurwyn's experience with grading Deer and Doe patterns, I thought I'd give a Deer and Doe pattern a try.


So this is the Sureau. My plan is to make a Bruyere, but since I was paying for shipping from France, I thought I'd get the most out of my postage by ordering two patterns. (I have no idea if this made a difference, but it's an excellent justification for ordering an extra pattern.) Right away I noticed that the Bruyere is rated advanced, and the Sureau is a beginner pattern. Now I'm not always the most sensible person, but in this case it seemed obvious that I should try the easier pattern first  - especially since I was going to make some adjustments.

To begin with I ended up not grading the entire pattern, but rather applying a FBA and then grading out only at the waist. I was worried that it would be too big all over,  or I would forget to grade a crucial piece, so I thought I would try this modification first. I made a quick muslin of the bodice with part of an old sheet and proceeded to stare at my reflection in shock and amazement. The shit worked.



I really wish I had some decent pictures wearing this dress because I feel just great in it. (I figured out my camera timer, but I don't have a tripod. I was stacking books precariously on a ladder and ended up with very few usable shots and was more than a little frustrated. Hence the dorky facial expression and necessary cropping. Sadly, this is the best of the bunch as most shots only got the top third of my dress.) It's a tad too large in the waist and bust now, but I'd rather have that than be too tight. I rotated my shoulders and reached high above my head to test it. It has good mobility for wearing to work. I'm not much of a dress wearer, but I like the simple frock/day dress vibe of this style. I would wear this with tights, brogues, and a cardigan at work and not feel overdressed. Speaking of tights, I'm thinking my next Sureau will have to be lined to avoid static cling.

Some quick notes:
  • Fabric is a purple swiss dot from Fabric Outlet.  I bought it during their 40% off sale, so I think it was around 4.99 a yard. It's a nice fabric to sew- nice and light without being transparent.
  • I suck at invisible zippers. I don't know how I can get it wrong so many times. I used a smart tip by Christine Hayes this time, though, and interfaced the area where the zipper is sewn on.  I actually love that the Sureau has NO interfaced pieces, but I wanted to make that part of the dress a little stronger. I used black fusible bias tape.
  • The center panel has some great possibilities for adding  trim - piping, embroidery, or cute buttons.
  • I love that this is such a simple dress and that the skirt is only slightly gathered. I want to make another one in black - lbd, right?
  • Next time I should remember to check fit more carefully before inserting the zipper. I do get a little carried away.
So that's all I can think of. I'm still finishing up my two Anise jackets. The single breasted one is very close to be finished. The problem is that the project finishes with a lot of hand sewing, which is kind of a buzz kill when you're so close to the end. Also, the weather's been really nice. I need a cold snap to motivate me to finish up.

Have a lovely week and thank you very much for reading.

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