Deer and Doe Givre dress hack?

I’m never sure when to use the word hack when sewing. I think this might qualify:

I really like the Deer and Doe Givre dress and as I am a fan of their drafting I was happy to buy it. On a whim I decided to change the skirt to an A-line, which is my favourite type of skirt, as I liked the fabric (ponte from Cotton Reel Studio) so much and knew that I most often wear the dresses in my wardrobe that have A-line skirts. I slashed and spread the pattern until an A-line was achieved, smoothed the new lines and that was it.

As always Deer and Doe have produced a well drafted pattern, with every notch and seam lining up and reliable sizing. It’s a quick and easy project and exactly the shape I like.


Simple Sew Annabelle dress

You all probably are familiar with this fabric:

It’s the Rifle paper co. Les fleurs print of Cotton + Steel in navy and I love, love, love it. I bought it in three colours and made things with the red and periwinkle, but I want the dress I’ll make with the navy fabric to be the best dress in the universe ever. There’s a couple of contenders for the pattern I’ll use and I want to test out these patterns first before cutting into the preciousssss….

First up is this one:

It’s the Annabelle dress from Simple Sew. It came free with Love Sewing mag and has been a contender for the Les Fleurs from the start.

I made it in a viscose from Weaverdee. It’s still available at the moment.

It was surprisingly easy to sew. In my head I am very much a beginner, but I guess I’m not and should be finding projects to level up with. I did not use the instructions and looking through them now, I realise that I had a very different order of construction. I sewed up the front first, then the back, added the sleeves, then the neckband and facing. Oh well, it turned out well I think. I reinforced all seams with hemtape. The viscose frays just by looking at it, so it needed something to hang on to. All pieces went together without any problems and sewed up great. Only thing I would change on a second version is taking in the neck a bit. I have small shoulders apparently, because that’s something I have to deal with often. Definitely a contender!

Burdastyle in scuba

The above dress is from the 2017 August edition from Burda. It’s the first Burdastyle magazine I got and it’s a really good edition with some beautiful dresses with retro touches and interesting details.

I made this dress before:

That version was made in a teal ponte and I wear it at least once a week.

Now comes the part I’ve been debating myself about: how honest should one be on a public blog? Usually when I outright don’t like something I just don’t blog or post about it online. I don’t feel I need to be negative about things I don’t like when I can be positive about things I do like. If you give attention to things you love these things will grow. But the fact that I didn’t like the fabric of the dress I made is instrumental in how I ended up feeling about the dress. I love ponte and stable knits and sew with these all the time, but I loathe scuba. I worked with it once and I would describe the feel of the fabric as ‘blegh’. I really don’t like the synthetic feel of the fabric and the synthetic way it moves and drapes. I don’t like the feeling of it on my skin either. That one dress I made never got worn. When I thought about making that dress into a Grainline Morris blazer I changed my mind during the cutting (and touching) of the fabric and just chucked it into the bin. So when someone gave me two metres of crepe scuba I was not delighted with it. But I also didn’t want to be ungrateful and I tried to think of a suitable pattern for this fabric, maybe something to wear in winter so it wouldn’t feel sweaty, just nice and warm. I decided on making another version of this Burdastyle dress and here it is:

Construction wise this is a pleasure to make. It’s really straightforward and there are no complicated bits. I understand people find the instructions sparse, but for a dress like this that doesn’t matter. This is my only experience with Burda so far, but I am looking forward to making a lot more patterns from the magazine. I subscribed to the magazine after buying the September edition too and every edition has at least three garments I really love and want to make. I don’t love the tracing, but Swedish tracing paper does help with seeing the lines.

I still don’t like scuba. Since making this dress I’ve had it in my hands three times when deciding what to wear for the day and all of those times I chose something else to wear. The sponginess of the fabric really puts me off. I don’t think I will wear it a lot, maybe I’ll end up not wearing it all. No more scuba for me. If I do end up with scuba again I’ll just give it to someone who does appreciate it.

Burda adjacent?

Burda Style had this really pretty dress with draped elements in their January magazine.

But I didn’t have any fabric in the right yardage. My jersey stash is running pretty low, but I still have so much fabric that I don’t want to buy anything new at the moment. So I took the element that I loved, the knotted detail, and used the Agnes top as a base for a dress with an A-line skirt. I drew a pattern piece for the knot with the width of the waist of the Agnes top, like this:

I cut it out on the fold, then fiddled about with the placement until I was happy and sewed up the sideseams with the ends of the knot and presto!

I will probably end up making the original pattern too, but for now this will do nicely.

Colette Claudette

The theme of 2018 so far seems to be: ‘Make what you fall in love with’. I’m okay with that as I have gotten so much enjoyment from making the things I’ve made in the past few weeks. I really took my time, tried to get all the details right and just enjoyed the process so much. This Colette patterns Claudette dress was again a love-at-first-sight-pattern and an unusal silhouette for me.

I went for version 3, the one you see pictured above. There are four versions in the booklet, but you can mix and match to your heart’s desire. I thought version 3 would be great for the crepe I got from my husband’s grandmother with it’s cowl. I loved sewing all the darts, there’s a total of 12 darts to sew. Two of these are french darts, which I had not sewn before.

These are the front skirt darts:

Everything came together without a glitch, all notches matched and the whole thing was without any frustrations or problems. It also runs true to size for me. I think the back might be the best fitting of any of my dresses.

That all being said and done: I’m not in love with the dress I ended up with. I think the fabric doesn’t really suit me and that it is obvious that someone else bought it for herself. I would not have picked this out for myself because these aren’t my colours. I love the fabric, but not on me. I definitely will make this dress again though! Probably in a pretty solid to show off all the details of the design.

Deer and Doe Azara skirto

The first time I saw the Azara skirt I was immediately smitten with it and it went straight to number one on my list of patterns to buy on Black Friday (a list I keep going all year and then the week before Black Friday sales decide on which patterns to buy). I don’t usually buy patterns as soon as they’re out, because then I would buy all the patterns all the time, but about once or twice a year I will get those patterns I couldn’t get out of my head and kept thinking about. I love the lines of this skirt so much and I think the silhouette is so very elegant.

I also kept thinking about this fabric from Textielstad in combination with this skirt. It reminded me of an embroidered rtw-skirt I had once owned and loved and then gave to my mom because I wanted her to have something really beautiful (and then regretted giving it away because I missed it so much). I really liked the folklore embroidery on that skirt and this fabric reminded me so much of it I had to break my no-buying policy and get it.

The fabric isn’t perfect for this skirt as you can’t really see the lines of the yoke and the topstitching, but as a sentimental make it’s perfect to me as I feel I got my old skirt back.

I loved working on this and took my time trying to make everything as perfect as possible. I don’t really need instructions these days, so I can’t say anything about those, but the pattern pieces itself came together perfectly and everything lined up nice and neatly. Deer and Doe runs true to size. You can trust their measurement charts and plan accordingly. I switched the back zip to a side zip and added some room to the back.

I took my time topstitching the skirtpieces and inserting the zip. It fits like a glove and is really toasty to wear. Overall, I’m very happy with this! Hopefully I’ll be able to cut out my Lander pants economically and use the wool from that project for another Azara.

By Hand London Anna dresses

This is one of those patterns I have been wanting to make for years. I try to buy patterns thoughtfully and so I keep a running wishlist of patterns. Every year around Black Friday I go through my list and decide on what I really want to make in the year to come. This year I mostly bought By Hand London patterns and Deer & Doe patterns. I wasn’t sure about the Anna dress. It’s not really my silhouette, but I kept seeing beautiful versions and so I took the plunge. BHL says to make this dress in fabric with some body to it and that you need 3.5 m of fabric for it. The fabrics I had in mind were very drapey and I had 2.5 m of both of them. Turns out you can cut this dress easily out of 2.5 m non-directional printed fabric if you place the skirtpieces like sardines on your fabric.

First my golden dress for the schoolgala. I always like to overdress for this so kids have something to gossip about. It’s a very light and stretchy fabric from Textielstad and I had to sew carefully, avoiding pull on the fabric.

It’s everything I wanted and hoped it would be and I now have a party dress for the ages.

Next I wanted to evoke those velvet maxidresses from the nineties:

I got this fabric at Textielstad too. This one is for daily use and I’m wearing it with my kneelength boots and a long black cardigan. It’s really warm and comfortable. The skirt on the Anna maxi is really long even on a tall person like me. As I’m not planning on wearing this with heels I took up the hem an extra inch so it doesn’t sweep the ground and this seems to work really well for going up and down the stairs, getting in and out of cars etc. This was my first time working with velvet. It’s quite slippery to work with, but with slow sewing and lots of pins it didn’t pose any problem. I’ve been wearing this dress all the time. Since making it two weeks ago I’ve worn it five times!

There were some fitting issues with both versions. Not all the pattern pieces lined up and I struggled with the facing peeping out despite my understitching and attaching it at the shoulder seams. With the velvet one I omitted the facing and just turned the fabric under which worked so much better for this fabric. It will be interesting to see how the fit is for the stiffer cotton I got lined up for this next.

I think I will try the skirt with a different bodice for my next version. I absolutely adore the gored skirt.