Sunday, October 19, 2014

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt: A Review

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt

Bruyere: I think this is only the second pattern I've bought the day it was released. I am one of those people who likes to wait and see how makes are looking in the real world before shelling out almost $20 for a pattern. As soon as I laid eyes on this shirt, though, I was smitten.

I have been admiring everyone's oversized button downs (how many Archer posts have I read??), but I know from experience a big untucked button-down does not look flattering on me. Enter the Bruyere. It's a curvy girl's dream! I love pretty much everything about it--the waistband, the box pleats in the skirt front and back, the beautifully curved hem on the skirt. It's the perfect length, and I even saw where someone had already hacked it to make a dress, which would just involve lengthening the skirts.

So anyway, I HAD TO HAVE IT when I saw it released. On the pattern announcement blog post, I bemoaned the fact that D&D don't release in PDFs, and in reply, Elenore pointed out that actually with the discount, the paper price wasn't that high and I realized that even with shipping, the price was actually less than buying a regular-priced Colette pattern. So, I ended up purchasing 3 patterns to make the shipping from France worth it. After receiving my patterns, I can attest that D&D must take a hit on their international shipping, as I recall it was postmarked 10 Euros, and I think they only charged 5 or 6 Euros. For 3 patterns and shipping, I think my entire purchase was about $35 (dollars, not Euros). I will definitely buy from D&D again at those prices. I hate paying the shipping at Colette, which is around $6 and you can clearly see it only costs about $2 for the postage.

On to the actual pattern....I originally traced a size 42. Muslined the bodice and an arm and decided it was going to be too small, and the overfit of the bodice was making the arm have all sorts of weird poofiness/wrinkling. After making my Reglisse dress and reading some of the first reviews of Bruyere, I was concerned about the waist being too high, but it hit just about perfectly. So I went back and traced a 44 (that's the second largest size, and I'm only a size 10-12 in RTW--I guess Americans really do run much bigger even than Europeans since I would think that small range of sizes would rather limit the audience for these patterns!). I didn't bother muslining the 44 and just jumped straight to cutting my fashion fabric.


Deer & Doe Bruyere 
Shirt

Deer & Doe Bruyere 
Shirt

Deer & Doe Bruyere 
Shirt

This pattern is classified as advanced, and I'd say it more or less lives up to that. It wasn't really difficult, but it had a lot of parts, and the directions are very minimal. I didn't see any mistakes in them, and they are clear, but there's no hand-holding as in some indie patterns, so I definitely wouldn't undertake this one as an early beginner.

Aside from the arms, this went together perfectly. On both the muslin (in size 42) and my final garment (size 44), the notches in the arms did not match up to the armscythe, so I think there might be a drafting error there? The notches on the sleeve itself are below the notches on the armscythe, so gathering the arm does not solve the problem. It seems to look ok, though, so I guess it didn't matter much.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
Close up of the back. I promise it doesn't wrinkle when I'm not trying to reach behind my back.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
I love that gently curved hem!

I took my time (which goes totally, totally against my nature! I love as near-to-instant gratification as I can get) and French seamed everything. I am really proud of how good this thing looks on the inside.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt

I used a contrast facing for the yoke/front. I didn't think about the front facings showing if it's not buttoned all the way, so when I make this again, I will probably save the contrast for the back only and self-face the front.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt

The fabric was some mystery thrift store fabric. I think it might be shot cotton since it contains both blue and white threads, but not in any particular pattern. It almost has a metallic sheen to it from some angles. The different colors give it a lot of interest up close, but overall it reads almost as a chambray.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
My first plackets! I didn't even cry!

It looks just as I imagined it would! I can see from my pictures that I really need to just bite the bullet and do an FBA. I can definitely tell which of my boobs is bigger than the other (thanks,  breastfeeding :/ ). Overall, though, I don't think the fit problems will be noticeable to non-sewers, and they aren't bad enough to bother me. I haven't worn it for any length of time, but it seemed comfortable during my photoshoot, and it will allow me to wear the most comfortable (not)pants to work. Win!

Some outtakes

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
Toddler photobomber! He happens to be wearing Mama-made pants, I notice.

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
What a pose!

Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
People are always asking how I get decent pictures of myself. I chuckle since I know that most of them actually look something like this (I was yelling at Will to stop touching the tripod). The key is a ton of pictures. And sometimes I still need to crop out my head. :-)

I'm not sure I like it with the crazy leggings, but at least I have the option!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bimaas in the Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Happy Fall!

I made two Bimaas each for the boys last year soon after I got the pattern as part of a big fall package that was released. I love it. For some reason, it's a very fun and satisfying make as testified to by the large numbers you can find all over the blogosphere.

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Let it be noted that the boys created their own outfits. I wouldn't choose PJ pants and flipflops myself...

I never blogged either version. The first set looks great--gray with a black/white plaid for the inside of the hood. However, I neglected to read or follow the directions for fabric choice, and the main fabric I chose was a very beefy something (maybe a ponte?) that has almost no stretch. Well, the Bimaa is a very snug fit, and it needs some serious stretch to work. I could get the first hoodies on, but it took contortions and caused tears to get them on.

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Sometimes they love each other--aww!

I ordered some stretchy knit from Girl Charlee just for these, and they came out nicely. After a year, they still fit OK. Soren's a little less well--he's still got the toddler tummy, so his has always been tighter, plus he's really long-torsoed, so I will definitely be using the 3T for any I make this season, and I should probably add some extra length just for good measure. The 4T fits Will fine.

The fabric hasn't worn particularly well--there's quite a bit of pilling on Soren's gray/green, and Will's red stripe has a little hole in the waistband. It's possible he caught it on something, but I've also known this type of fabric to develop holes, so I'm not sure what happened.

These pictures are taken in our local pumpkin patch. The boys had a great time looking through (seemingly) every pumpkin there and loading up their wagon (they only got to pick a couple of tiny ones each and I picked one for carving--they were pricey!).

They also had a tractor-trolley ride thing, which because the boys were taking their sweet time pumpkin-picking, they managed to ride 4 times. After the last ride, the old man driving the tractor said, "Now get off and go buy some pumpkins!"

Pumpkin Patch 2014
The hoods are huge!

Pumpkin Patch 2014
All better.

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Peer pressure--brother has to put his up too.

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Wheeee!


Well, Will rode 4 times. Soren skipped one ride, which is when I was able to snap some decent pictures of him alone.

Pumpkin Patch 2014

 Pumpkin Patch 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Philosophizing.  

Pumpkin Patch 2014
Look at those eyelashes!

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

I wanted to get a nice one of the boys together, but that was a big fail. So hard when there are two quickly moving subjects!

Pumpkin Patch 2014
I love this one of Will.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

When I saw Deer & Doe's newest pattern, the Bruyere Shirt, I had to have it. In order to make shipping from France worth it, I spent some time scoping out all their offerings and noticed this dress, the Reglisse, which they released last spring. It's adorable! How was the sewing-blogosphere not all over this? I checked around and only found a handful of people that had blogged it, though all the versions I saw were cute in the extreme. It's the perfect summer dress! So, I snagged it up along with the Belladone, which I've seen a million versions of online.

I had this bicycle fabric, a peachskin from Girl Charlee, which I had originally purchased to try a woven-version of the Myrtle. When it arrived, though, I was shocked at the scale--much larger than I had imagined. I've really got to train myself to look at the dimensions better! Anyway, I felt it was far too large a pattern to work with the cowl-neck, so I set it aside. After I discovered Reglisse, I determined to use the bicycle fabric, even though it was lighter weight than what is called for.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

The pattern went together perfectly, though the directions were a bit less detailed than what I've come to expect from indie pattern companies like Colette and Sewaholic. For instance, there was no suggestion to understitch the bias-tape on the collar, and since I wanted to really keep mine from rolling out since it was a contrast color (not entirely successful there), I added this step.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

But, in all it was a quite simple little pattern, and I'm not sure why it would be marked intermediate unless it's because the bodice is cut on the bias.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

Now, I have to admit, I paid no attention to pattern matching on the bodice. I don't know what I was thinking. I did try to match on the skirt and then just completely forgot about it on the bodice. Oops! I think the ties successfully disguise the mismatch across the front, and I don't have to look at the back, so I can't be too bothered by it.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

What does bother me is the rolling collar, although it's fine to look at straight on.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

What I love most about this pattern are all the sweet details on the top. It has these clever little flutter-type sleeves that don't require hemming (glory be!), and then the shoulders have kind of a yoke thing--not sure what to call it. The back and front bodice have a little rectangle shoulder piece they both join to, and the front bodice shoulder has soft little gathers. And then of course, the adorable collar and tie. Love!

Bicycle Reglisse Dress
Swishy circle skirt!

Bicycle Reglisse Dress
Leaving out the shameful failure to pattern match, otherwise the back fits nicely.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

I'm grateful to my mother, who helped me level the hem. Otherwise, it would probably still be hanging (like my Tania culottes) this time next year. I ended up doing a rolled hem on the serger since I didn't have any navy bias tape on hand.

Notes: I made a straight 42, and it fits ok, but next time I plan to lengthen the bodice. It's not sitting at my natural waist. I think I need to add about an inch. The darts are also a bit high, but this fabric was something of a polyester nightmare, and sewing left holes, so although I just basted the darts to start with, I had to put them back in the same spot since the fabric was holey.

Bicycle Reglisse Dress

All told, I'm really happy with this dress. It came out just about as I'd envisioned. Though a pain, the lightweight fabric works really well, and it's fun and flirty. The boys love it, and I got lots of compliments at work. A definite winner! I'm excited to trace out my Bruyere shirt next.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Myrtle 2.0--Much Better!

Myrtle 2.0

So my first Myrtle was pretty much a failure. I wanted to try it again, but didn't have any fabric on-hand that seemed just right. As Mrytle 1.0 made clear, appropriate fabric is definitely a must for this pattern. In fact, I had gotten distracted by other things after my initial fail--I have a half-finished Crepe in the works and then Deer & Doe released the Bruyere Shirt, and I ended up buying it AND the Reglisse Dress and the Belladone, so my last week has been spent day-dreaming about those.

Myrtle 2.0

But, I managed to run by the thrift store last week, and there I found a nice yardage of jersey that I thought was just about the perfect weight and drape for the Myrtle (also some shot cotton that's going to become my Bruyere, once it arrives in my hot little hands!). Yesterday I went on a mad hunt through all my various sewing-stash places and couldn't find my traced out pattern. I had finally given up and was looking for a kid's pattern when I turned it up in the binder where I keep my traced out PDF-pattern pieces. It would save me so much time if I would just follow the organizational schemes I set up--some day I'll learn.

So, after a couple of hours spent cleaning/searching for the pattern yesterday, I was able to cut this out this morning (no church due to Will having strep throat--boo!). I remembered to add 3" to the skirt since the "short" version turned out to be much too short for my liking. 

This one went together really easily having already done it once. Again, I opted to line the back bodice so I wouldn't have to fool with hemming the arm and neckholes and risk stretching them out. I also remembered to do the shoulder tabs this time, which added a significant amount of time. Anytime I use my buttonholer, I can count on it taking at least 30 minutes, it seems. It always does my sample perfectly and then ruins at least one of my real ones. Sigh.

Myrtle 2.0

Aside from lining the back, I followed all the directions. I really like how the bodice comes together and you end up with everything nicely contained between layers. I also like how the waistband ends up all contained. The construction isn't difficult, but it is clever.

Myrtle 2.0

Speaking of the back, I did not try to double-needle along the back neckline this time, and either that and/or having a suitable fabric made the back on this one nicely drapey rather than stand-off gapey like version 1.

Myrtle 2.0

Myrtle 2.0

Anyway, this one turned out MUCH better than the last one. I'm actually pretty happy with it! I was thinking it would look great with copper or rose-gold accents, so I chose a antique-gold button out of random ones I got at a garage sale this summer.

Myrtle 2.0


Unfortunately, I don't have jewelry in those colors, so nothing to style it with at this time. I really like it with the gold belt, though I'd like to get one that fits a bit better. This one is on the biggest setting and just barely goes around my elastic middle.

Myrtle 2.0
Not overly flashy, IMO

Myrtle 2.0

Myrtle 2.0

In all, I now think this is a pretty flattering dress, and I am still pondering what woven to make it up in. It's definitely nice to have a silhouette that's different.

Myrtle 2.0


These were my little photobombers throughout this photo shoot. Can you tell Will is a king? Some of the adults in the house think he might look a little more hobbit-y than kingly. ;-)

Myrtle 2.0