Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deer & Doe Bruyère in Bicycles

Hi there, readers! Oh just me, hanging out on a perfect fall day in my new Deer and Doe Bruyère Shirt, avec BICYCLES! I sewed this up as part of Selfish Sewing Week (SSW), hosted by Rachael of Imagine Gnats! I cannot even tell you how excited I was to get Eléonore's newest pattern to try out!

This was such a fun top to make, but also challenging! Waistbands, sleeve plackets, cuffs, collars - you name it! Some definite new-to-me techniques, and a fully french seamed inside made this a slow process, but it was worth it! I can say this is one of my proudest sewing projects!

Here are the details:

Pattern: Bruyere Shirt, the newest from Deer & Doe Patterns

A long sleeve, button down tunic with waist band, darts, pleats, collar, and cuffs


100% Cotton - described as "a very nice cycle pattern for all children" ;)

Ten 9/16" buttons - vintage - found on Earth Gatherings, an Etsy shop

Thread (two spools!)

This is one of the best fabrics I have ever sewn with, and so wonderful to wear! It is light and soft, and the print! Bicycles! Originally I purchased this fabric to make a Bleuet dress, but it is a bit sheer so I decided it would be better as a top!

I could not believe how well it matched the buttons I found on Etsy a year previous to purchasing the fabric - the purple / gray / brown is such a unique color!

Sizing / Alterations:

Size: 38 (B), graded to 42 (W), graded to 46 (H)

While I should have made a size 40 (B) according to my current measurements, all my other Deer and Doe makes have been size 38 and fit wonderfully - I risked it and am very happy with the results!

Added length: 1 1/2 inches - Bodice, 1 inch - sleeve

Next time I will sew a size 40 waist (there is a little extra room there), and lengthen the sleeve another inch

Construction Notes:

Oh boy! This is possibly one of the more advanced patterns I've made, thanks in part to my decision to FRENCH SEAM ALL THE THINGS! Here are my thoughts on a few parts of the process:

These pattern instructions are a good mix of illustration and text, but nothing too extensive - the pattern is rated "Advanced" but I think an Intermediate level sewist (like myself) could pull it off - just be sure to take your time! This is not a one-afternoon project ;)

The collar, facing, and button placket construction is very cool - I like the finish quite a lot and it didn't take nearly as much time as a "proper collar" with a stand and everything

Button placket - to interface, or not? You are to interface the collar and sleeve cuff, but no mention of it for the button placket? Also does "topstich 7/8" from the edge" mean on both sides? I only did one.

Sleeve placket - I sewed mine inside out - oops!

Sleeve cuffs - possible the trickiest part, gathering and inserting the sleeve end into the cuff. Next time, maybe I will baste the sleeve end to one side of the cuff before pressing the ends in 5/8"?

Eléonore includes directions to use french seams for a impeccable finish - this included: waist band, side seams, armscye, and sleeve seams - all other seam allowances are neatly hidden in between other pieces, etc. and it really does look flawless! :)

And that's really all I have to say about that! I am so proud of this garment, inside and out. It will be in high rotation through the autumn :) Be sure to check out Selfish Sewing Week with Imagine Gnats - there are several featured stitchers, sewing up some amazing indie patterns!

Oh! And of course, I will be adding this to the flickr pool for Let's Sew Deer & Doe! Two awesome sewing collaborations, one adorable bicycle top :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ivory / Mustard Striped Lady Skater

Hello friends! There are few patterns I have made more than once, and only a handful I've made three or more times. Some would call these "TNT" or "tried and true" patterns. At this time in my sewing career, these would include: By Hand London Anna Dress, Deer & Doe Plantain T-shirt, Simplicity 2451 Skirt, Simplicity 1690 Top, Sewaholic Renfrew

And now let's welcome to the club... the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress!

Pattern: This is my third time sewing up the Lady Skater, and it is definitely an easy sew, even in stripes! The size, construction, and everything is the same as the first two versions (in red ponte, and sequin stripes). I was able to construct this in an afternoon, even with my perfectionism about stripe placement ;)

Fabric: Mustard and Ivory Cotton Jersey Knit - Girl Charlee

This dress was directly inspired by Kelly's striped skater, made last year in the same fabric! I just loved the stripes and the colors and ordered the same fabric immediately :) Then it sat in the stash...until this week's cold front, which has made me crave 3/4 sleeve, comfy knit dresses!

The fabric is a bit thin, but so soft and cuddly. I should really make a tan slip for wearing under all those dresses I'm too lazy to line ;) Even though the stripes are printed on, it isn't stiff, and stretches quite nicely. My theory still stands that the less ink used, the better the fabric, when it comes to Girl Charlee knits.

So that's about all for today! I would love to know, what is one of your TNT patterns???

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Let's Sew Deer & Doe - Chardon Skirt

Greetings sewists and friends! I'm about to blog the longest belated make in the history of the quirky peach - my Chardon Skirt from last year's (that's right, 2013) Me Made May! It is my kick off post for a very special sewing challenge I have taken on, alongside my friend Ashley from Craft Sanctuary. Read on to find out more about it :)

The nice thing about a belated blog post is that I can talk about the wear-ability and durability of a garment! This skirt has definitely been a go-to in my closet over the last year and a half! It is perfect for throwing on with a belt and sandals, or tights and boots. It is also (until a week ago) the only solid colored skirt I own! ;) Sadly, my stitching left something to be desired - you can see where it is pulling apart at the lower end of the pleats, and one of the belt loops is hanging by a thread. But still, it gets worn... because it is plain and awesome. Or plain awesome. Kind of like this picture...

I really should go into modeling.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Deer & Doe Chardon Skirt

Materials: Dark Blue Denim / Chambray from Joanns (circa 2013), Invisible zipper

Sizing / Alterations:

Size 40 waist (TOO SMALL!) altered to a size 42ish

After sewing the majority of the skirt, I realized this barely fit my waist :( I took out all the pleats and made each one smaller so that gave me some extra room, and added some from the seam allowances at the side and back. 

Note to self - do not try to flatter your ego by sewing the size you are when you suck it in ;)

Construction Notes:

Here's a fun tip! If you are just starting out using a serger (which I was... back in May 2013 - lol), use a different color spool for each one. It is easy to see what does what, and if you are just finishing seam allowances, it doesn't have to match any colors! My serged seam allowances on this skirt are turquoise, hot pink, purple, and black (viva la 90's.... seriously, my mom just found my old lunchbox and it is these exact colors)

The pleats on this skirt are very cool, but unlike any I had sewn before. The first time I made this skirt, I sewed them all inside out. And also the second time I attempted this skirt, but that version never got past seam ripping the inside out pleats. Bad fabric choice :/

Okay, so at the beginning of the post I mentioned a special sewing challenge that I am taking on with my friend Ashley from Craft Sanctuary. We are both pretty obsessed with Eléonore's adorable patterns and set a lofty goal to sew every Deer & Doe pattern we own by the end of the year! We are calling it "Let's Sew Deer & Doe!" 

In addition to this Chardon, I have previously made the Belladone, Sureau, Plantain (twice), and Reglisse. On my "to-make" list are the Pavot, Datura, Bleuet, Centaurée, but first up is her brand new pattern, the Bruyère button down shirt! :) Look for that post coming later this month!

If you love to sew Deer & Doe, we want you to join in! There is a flickr group for this challenge - enter your photos of Deer & Doe makes made from now until the end of the year for a chance to win a Deer & Doe pattern of your choice. Yay! :) Grab a button below, if you want. And be sure to follow Ashley's blog to keep up with all her adorable garments, and also just because she is awesome!