A Snowdrop Deer and Doe Sureau

As the Camas blouse was the last thing I made I thought I’d show you the first this year. The fabric was a Christmas present from my Mother in Law, it’s one of Liberty’s 2015 collection called Hesketh (I can’t find it on the liberty website but it’s available here) This is the black and white colourway, it does come in navy and white (as well as grey) but I am trying really hard to move out of my blue comfort zone.

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I decided not to risk using a new pattern and stick with my TNT Deer and Doe Sureau. I made it up exactly the same as my other ones (tried one of my other ones on to check it still fitted first!) cutting a 42 at the shoulder and grading to a 44 through the bust and waist.   I used a 9 inch zip instead of the 16 inch one suggested on the pattern and added side seam pockets underneath. Again I added a little cuff to finish the sleeves. I also remembered to curve the waist darts which seems to make a big difference to the fit underneath the bust. Instead of the gathers on the front placket I added two tucks.

Once the dress was finished the print was so busy you couldn’t actually see the placket. I thought adding buttons would look odd and after an Instagram poll agreed I left them off.

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It was so good using an old tried and true pattern. Being able to just cut straight out and sew without all the hassle of working out sizing and fitting was a perfect way to start the year.

It’s a lovely (and very seasonally appropriate) dress.  Snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers and I have a snowdrop necklace which goes perfectly. While we are on the subject of Snowdrops mine in the garden have been behaving strangely this year. They are usually the first things to push through in January but they’ve been really late, only coming into flower at the end of February (I’ve even had Daffodils flowering before them) I think they must need a period of sustained cold before they start to grow and the mild winter we have had has confused them somewhat. Anyway, I digress! My other Sureaus have had so much wear, with boots in the cooler weather and sandals when it warms up.  I know this one will get year round wear too.  All in all it’s a lovely little pattern I’m so glad I gave it another outing!

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And then the wind got up….

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If I look rather dishevelled here, you should see the next ones!

 

This was a wonderful Christmas present and one which will last for years to come. I gave her a similar present this year, some beautiful Malabrigo yarn (which I really wanted to keep myself) and the Casu Cowl pattern as a ‘knit your own Christmas present’ thankfully she was pleased, so much nicer than perfume and pyjamas!

Helen x

Me Made May 15 week two round up

Day eight

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Purple deer and Doe Plantain and Green Miette Cardigan

At work uniform!

Day nine

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Silk ‘Darling Ranges’ mash up

This is my favourite dress but the one I had most problems with. The fit was dreadful and I ended up completely redrafting the bodice and sleeves. The only original part of the pattern is the skirt and button band!

Day ten

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Paisley Weekend Doris dress

Living up to its name!

Day eleven

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Flowery Grainline Hemlock and By Hand London Victoria Blazer

This is an old tee and starting to look worse for wear but I love the fabric. The Victoria blazer didn’t get a lot of wear as it looked really ‘boxy’ on me. A couple of months ago I got around to unpicking the lining to fix it. I took it in at the waist and added fisheye darts to the front and back which has made a lot of difference. I’m glad it’s wearable now as the jacket is wool and lined with silk and I felt a bit guilty at wasting such nice fabric.

Day twelve

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Ladyskater with Myrna cardigan

Working from home so dressed for comfort (looking very blue!)

Day thirteen

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Stripey Deer and Doe Plantain with Grainline Morris Blazer (not yet blogged)

I will get around to blogging this Morris eventually. It’s a blue Ponte and this was the first time I wore it. It’s perfect for work, a bit smarter than a cardigan but just as warm.

Day fourteen

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Deer and Doe Sureau

This was my second wearable muslin of the Sureau and to be honest it’s had more wear than the final one! It definitely needs to be worn with tights though as I got carried away when hemming and shortened it a bit too much. Glad I got chance to wear it before the weather gets warmer!

Some thoughts:

I wear blue a lot! I didn’t realise how much until people started commenting on it on Instagram. I’ve worked out that about half of my wardrobe is blue along with a good percentage of my fabric stash.

Wearing the Morris for work was a good idea. Gardening usually means wearing practical clothes and my usual choice is jeans with t-shirt/cardigan/jumper/shirt. It was nice to look a little smarter and as we do get visitors I really should make the effort to look a little bit more professional. I can’t not wear jeans but if I can try and smarten up the top half that would make a difference.

If I’m honest I actually prefer cooler weather wear (autumn and spring, not winter!) I feel more comfortable in tights and boots. I’m just not keen exposing so much bare flesh when the weather warms up!

 

We are already halfway through, how are you getting on?

Me Made May ’15 week one round up.

Well we have the first week over and it seems I’ve been a little premature getting my summer dresses out. We’ve had a couple of good days but instead of sandals I’ve been relying on my boots.

Anyway, here’s the run down:

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Day one

Spotty Deer and Doe Plantain, Navy Miette and Liberty Scarf

This is possibly my on the project work uniform!

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Day two

Colette Hawthorn (unblogged)

Had wanted to wear something a bit more summery but it was cold and windy so decided on my winter Hawthorn as it’s one of my warmest dresses.

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Day three

Weekend Doris dress

Sunday pottering around dress

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Day four

Marilla Walker Evan Skirt with stripy Deer and Doe Plantain

Bank holiday Monday, generally pottering with a bit of sewing time.

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Day five

Deer and Doe Sureau

Combination of work and running around trying to catch up with all the things that usually get done on a Monday!

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Day six

Grainline Archer and stripy Hemlock tee

On the project and a variation on the Miette, with an Archer instead.

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Day seven

Deer and Doe Chardon skirt with stripy Grainline Hemlock

Cold and windy again so out came the boots, black ones this time though!

Musings so far:

 

  • There has only been two days out of the week that I didn’t wear Grainline or Deer and Doe, I have made other patterns!
  • I rely heavily on my Hemlocks and Plantains, I didn’t realise how heavily until seeing the evidence! (I have made a couple of Maria Denmarks’ Kimono tees so I am starting to be a little more adventurous)
  • I like the stripes with the Chardon, I couldn’t find my black Plantain which I usually wear with it and just grabbed the first thing that came to hand. Quite like the idea of using stripes as a neutral.
  • I could probably do with more than one pose although in my defence the bathroom is north facing and I’m trying to turn towards the light!

 

How are you getting on with MMMay? Have you encountered any startling revelations yet?

My Deer and Doe Sureau ‘wearable muslins!’

I was lucky enough to be given the Deer and Doe Sureau dress pattern for Christmas, along with two metres of Liberty Mitsi Tana Lawn to make it with. With the arrival of Spring and the prospect of warmer weather it seemed like the perfect project.

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I have put a bit of weight on over Christmas (and beyond). I’m not exactly sure how much as I haven’t weighed myself in six months but my clothes are getting a little too snug around the waist. I struggle to get through winter and the prospect of dieting in January is just far too depressing so I have been binge watching Netflix and comfort eating (mainly chocolate) to get me through those last cold dark months.  Now Spring has arrived a switch has been flipped in my brain and I am now craving Olives and Beetroot so hopefully some of the extra padding might start to drop off!

The point is that I’ve been a little bit worried that any new clothes I make will end up being too small. I decided to do the sensible thing and retake all my measurements (honestly and without breathing in!) which I hadn’t actually done for two years!

I wasn’t going to cut straight in to the Liberty without first doing a trial run so I decided to use some drapey wine viscose twill from the stash. I thought I would do things properly this time and cut the bodice based on my high bust which came out at 44.  There was a two inch difference between this and my actual bust measurement so I did a 2 inch Full Bust Adjustment and graded out to a 46 at the waist. I also shortened the bodice by an inch. There are gathers down the front of the bodice which are joined on to a ‘faux’ button placket. I distributed my gathers evenly between the pattern markers. I also added another placket on the inside, sandwiching the raw edges to keep things tidy. The fabric was a bit fiddly to sew as it kept moving around (it was a bit like trying to tame an eel!) and it seemed to stretch out and grow with every seam I sewed. Once I’d sewn the shoulder seams I decided to try it on for size, it was huge, a good two inches either side on front and back. It was then that I realised that maybe I didn’t need a FBA because I hadn’t taken the button placket into account when I measured the bodice pieces! I had also significantly underestimated the amount of ease in the pattern. The unstable fabric choice didn’t help either (on a side note I have some of the same fabric in Aubergine to make an Aubepine just so I could say ‘Aubergine Aubepine!’ I’m having second thoughts now as the chances of getting those pintucks straight are headache inducing!)

I took the side seams in as best I could but had to start recutting the armsyches. I was at this point contemplating throwing it in the bin but decided to see it through to the bitter end. I tried it on once it was assembled and it was ‘wearable’ but looked a bit frumpy (like a charity shop find that was a couple of sizes too big) My solution to this was to chop 3 inches off the bottom (I have been spurred on to shorter lengths after my weekend Doris) which made it a bit better skirt wise. The bodice was still a bit too big and gave the distinct impression of saggy boobs. This was mainly due to the unnecessary FBA but the gathers and the drapey fabric really didn’t help. It’s wearablebut but proved that I have seriously overcompensated my fear of making it too small!

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After my first learning curve I decided to give it another go.  This time I chose a nice stable cotton.   I cut a 44 at the shoulders and graded out to a 46 at the bust and waist (this time I didn’t do a FBA) I also shortened the bodice again by an inch. The cotton was a lot easier to work with and it came together well. Another thing that bothered me about my first dress was the lack of pockets. The pattern has a 16 inch side zipper but I found that I could easily get in and out of my first dress with the zip pulled only 3 inches below the waist. I decided to fit a shorter zip and add side seam pockets below. I added a bit of a curve to the waist darts which has made a lot of difference to the underbust. I also concentrated the gathers higher up. The fit on this version was a lot better, the only mistake I made was forgetting to staystitch the neckline which has stretched out a bit. I also got a bit carried away with the hemming and it is possibly a little too short but it’s fine with tights. The stability of the fabric also highlighted that I don’t really need to shorten the bodice.

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So for the final version I am going to:

  • Cut staraight out of the packet! 44 shoulders and 46 bust and waist.
  • Shorten the side zip
  • Add side seam pockets
  • Move the gathers down a bit so they are in line with my bust apex
  • Curve the waist darts again, I’m amazed at the difference this made and I may start doing this with all waist darts in the future.
  • I want to add a little cuff to the sleeve, I like little cuffs!

I’m starting to realise that a lot of my blog posts seem to be chronicling all the mistakes I make along the way, I may have to change the name or tagline to ‘Helen’s catalogue of sewing errors’!

Hopefully the next post will be a perfect fitting liberty Sureau (fingers crossed!)