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Made by a Fabricista: Deer & Doe + Chambray

Summer endures here in Colorado, so I went for something nice and cool for this month's post.  I'm trying out Deer & Doe's spin on the classic shirtdress in this ultra soft cotton chambray and a bonus dress for my daughter.

Deer & Doe Bleuet



When I saw this denim chambray go up on Fabric Mart, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to make it into a Deer & Doe Bleuet.  I love the classic shirtdress look of it and that tiny collar is so darn cute.  Bleuet is not in stock at the moment, but here are the other Deer & Doe options if you're like me and curious about this indie company.



The chambray itself has holes all across the surface of it.  At first glance, it looks a bit like eyelet, but it's almost like the yardage was put on some kind of machine with a gridded punch.  All the holes are raw and not embroidered like eyelet.  I'm always looking for ways to add visual texture in my garments, whether it's through dye, or block printing, or fraying like I did on this linen fringe sundress, so these holes fit the bill!  Unfortunately, it sold out, but here is a similar navy tencel/cotton chambray.

Bleuet:  The good 


The deets of this pattern: a classic shirtdress with princess seams in front and back, with A-line skirt collar, and 15 (!) buttons down the front.  You can go sleeveless or add the tiny cap sleeve.  All the interior details are really lovely from the hem facing to the self-lined sleeves and bias finished armholes.

I had heard about the fit of Deer & Doe patterns being really good out of the envelope, and boy howdy was that the case here.  I don't have narrow shoulders in my own frame, but compared to patterns, there are very few patterns where I don't end up having to grade down the shoulders.  There are fewer patterns still where a sleeveless armhole dips down too low for my short upper body on the sides, giving me that dreaded side bra effect.



None of that here.  No shoulder grading, no side bra.  For once, I gleefully cut out the pattern on the lines.  And the princess lines which I also have to usually for my smaller chest fit beautifully.  It was like finding a unicorn sitting on a pot of gold.

That being said, there was one major annoyance I have with this pattern...

Bleuet:  Seriously A YARD????!!!


Beware my friends of patterns that have 1 fabric requirement listing for all sizes.  Deer & Doe lists 2 7/8 for all sizes (34-52) in a 60" width.  I wasn't sure that I'd need all that, but without the pattern in front of me, I dutifully ordered just that much.

Now you can say, but Elizabeth, you're on the smaller size of the pattern range.  Yes, but when all was said and done I had nearly a whole YARD leftover, and in my cutout layout.  In fact, the layout seemed positively roomy, with enough of width leftover I would guess enough for at least a few sizes up from me.

It is true that if you were sewing this with a patterned fabric or a plaid, you would need a little extra yardage.  But still not a yard.

Lesson learned: if you can, measure out your pattern pieces before you order fabric.  I like to do this right on my gridded cut table, pretending it's the fabric, and laying out the pieces as if they were on the fold.  Even if you're on the upper end of a size range, your number and resulting pattern Tetris might be less than the pattern envelope.

Vintage details


I did add my own sew something creative spin with this dress with some vintage lace.  The lace is from the 70s and started out sky blue.
The original color from Annie Leonard's Shop on Etsy.

It was quite pretty on it's own, but the contrast between it and the chambray was a little too much for my eye.  So I custom dyed it with Rit DyeMore Kentucky Sky and Rit Denim Blue.


I thankfully had a couple spare inches so I could first make a couple swatches to test out the color.  Good thing because pure Kentucky Sky was too teal, but the combo was just right.
so.many.buttons.



Have you ever thought to hit up a thrift store for buttons?  15 of any kind of buttons is not always easy to come by, and 15 good quality buttons can be even tougher.  Knowing this, I went to my local thrift store just to see if I could find a source of nice rtw quality buttons.  Within a couple minutes, I found an old women's shirt.  It was not a good candidate for refashioning because it has about 49 seams on it, but what it did have is epaulettes and cuffs with 2 buttons each.  All total, in this $2 shirt, there were the 15 buttons that I needed, plus they're interesting metal ones at that!  And if I ever want to wear that shirt, I'll just swap them out for simpler ones--the metal looked weird on the teal anyhow!

Mom style


I really liked the casual look Ann gave to her plaid shirtdress, so I wanted to play around with a different look for my Bleuet as well.  I grabbed my favorite pink jeans and coral heels.  When I was shopping in my closet, I found a light blue tank, but it was too much color with the hat.


So very last minute, I made up a Blank Slate Texana tank in a small piece of ivory cotton/modal jersey I had.  There was so little of this fabric that I had to add a contrast yoke from a piece of embroidered mesh I was saving from a thrifted cardigan.  In the end, I didn't want a plain front either, so I block printed it with my latest vintage scissors stamp that I made for my how to make a block print stamp post.
tank in printing process--I spy that embroidered back yoke!


So a totally different feel with this look for just layering it over other stuff in my closet.  This will definitely be a Mom style kind of look for me!

So what happened to that extra yard?


My mistaken extra yard of fabric ended up being a happy accident for my daughter.  I quickly sewed up this Ottobre 3-2017-14 dress.  I love Ottobre patterns for all of their details that they put into their kids' patterns.  They always give you such good ideas for your own garments.

In this case, the lower gathered skirt is attached to a lining that finishes off the shoulder seams.  The lining is cut narrower than the upper bodice overlay, so it floats free from it.  Pretty cool.  And the bias tape ties are a fun way to finish neck and armholes.  Plus they're very practical for kids.  I only need to untie one tie at the neck to get her in and out of the dress.

And there's a back keyhole!  When has a keyhole not made a garment better?


I added a couple small lace appliques near the neckline so we're truly twinning it here.  I gotta ride this Mommy and me train as much as I can while it's still cool for her!


So I'm curious:

What's been the one pattern that fit straight out of the gate for you, and how happy were you to find it?

Sew something creative
~Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This


Comments

  1. This fits you so nicely!! What a great use of the extra fabric! :)

    Shame on them for not giving usable info on fabric requirements!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad it was a happy accident, and yes. 1/4 extra yard I can handle, but a whole yard(?!), come on people!

      Delete
  2. I LOVE your Bluet in this fabric, and such a sweet extra dress for your little lady. :) I've also found that Deer & Doe fits me pretty well right out of the envelope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jess! I had heard that about D&D, and I'm a believer now. I'll just measure the pattern first, LOL!

      Delete
  3. I love the buttons and if course your dyed lace. And that little dress uscthe icing on the cake. Good thing you didn't measure out the fabric, because your Mommy and Me outfits are perfect!
    My friends little girl call the key the "tickle hole"!
    Great makes! Great blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carrie! That's the sweetest thing about the keyholes! She definitely loves any time I sew for her, and when we match, it's all the better. When I finished my dress, she insisted on a joint twirling session!

      Delete
  4. This is really cute, Elizabeth. Love the dyeing of the lace, and the thrifted buttons. Your daughter is adorable in her dress too. The tank top is very, very you- so cool! I hadn't thought of looking at garments for buttons, but I will now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann! Oh, man, you'll love button hunting!

      Delete
  5. I really like your Bleuet dress, it's cute and fits you so well! The fabric is also very interesting - how come I didn't see it???? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember when you started stitching this at the retreat! This fabric is super cool and made up beautiful! I especially loved the addition of the lace and your dying tenacity surely paid off, it's the perfect added touch to a basic shirtdress. With that size range, I might need to give D&D a try. Thanks for all of your super cool ideas! Especially since I've been thinking a shirt dress sew-along would be a good one for me to do!

    ReplyDelete

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