I went through a serious learning process to make this dress – pattern adjustments, new to me techniques such as gathers (handily covered during the Mathilde workshop too!), zip insertion (ok I’ve done that once before), sleeve insertion and skirt underlining plus the pressure of fabric purchased abroad. As a result, I was elated when I realised I’d completed it without disaster. I’m calling it my Global Sureau because the pattern is a Deer and Doe design based in Paris, France and the fabric I bought at Tessuti in Melbourne, Australia.
The zip seems to be in without puckers or wobbles but I did fret excessively about it. I’m booked onto a zips course in July so I can build my confidence and learn different zip insertion techniques then.
I tried my best to make it pretty on the inside too but I think it’s looking overly fussy. The underlined skirt and contrast binding just isn’t visually pleasing but it was a compromise between the pressure of zip/sleeves with full lining and having the skirt ride up my tights. Something to consider more carefully when I’m planning future makes.
There was a moment before I hemmed it or sewed the buttons on when I thought it might make me look like a character from Little House on the Prairie. I’ll report back after wearing it to work to let you know if I get any Little House on the Prairie comments!
I’d like to make a sleeveless version for the summer (fully lined of-course)… maybe I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the sewing process the second time around!
Posted in Deer and Doe, Dress, Dressmaking, Sewing Tourism, Sureau, Zips
Tagged Bias binding, Deer and Doe, Dress, Fitting, Pattern Adjustments, Sureau
I’ve been coverting the Sureau Dress by Deer and Doe for a few months now. Having seen in on so many blogs, it became really hard to choose my favourites but I managed to whittle it down to three:
I was so excited when this pattern was delivered but I’ve had a steep learning curve altering it to fit. I’m worried that all my novice alterations have changed the original features of the dress too much. Here’s my process (hours and hours worth) consolidated into one post:
1. I made the first full toile from the hideous fabric (which is now all used up!) using the pattern size that was closest to my measurements.
Two major problems were the excess fabric in the bust area and too tight round the waist.
2. At this point I switched to a gingham cotton scrap and just played with the bodice.
I made a small bust adjustment (SBA) to the front bodice using Paunet’s and Moonbeam’s tutorials on this technique. At the same time, I made the legs of the dart narrower and widened the button placket to increase the waist. I then had to lengthen the bodice to keep the waist at the same level as before (SBA shortens the pattern). This was an improvement but it was still too roomy and a gape at the neckline had appeared. I made another SBA, shortened the distance over which the gathers are made and tackled the gaping neckline using Phat Chick Designs tutorial. The fit was now better but the dart came too far up and looked weird. I pinched, pinned and transferred these changes to the paper pattern according to Karen’s post on this technique.
Returning to my original hideous fabric toile, I replaced the newly adjusted pattern pieces and continued with construction. The sleeves required a 7cm reduction down the whole length but this seemed easy in comparison to the bodice.
Afterwards I had a complete lack of confidence to cut my fashion fabric for fear that I’d missed something crucial or hadn’t copied my changes to the tracing paper properly. I embarked on a third toile, cut fresh from another fabric from my “for toiles” pile. Cutting a fresh toile from new pattern pieces is a labourious but worthwhile task. It highlighted that I also needed to transfer my changes to the facings and it restored my confidence.
Unfortunately, cutting my fashion fabric and sewing up will have to wait for another weekend.
I can’t express how helpful the Sureau Sewalong was (even though I’m a year and a half late!), I’m sure there would have been more rounds of toile trouble without it.
I’d been reading a lot about Deer and Doe patterns and decided to take a look for myself. The website is beautiful in it’s simplistic design and very easy to navigate. To find out more about indie pattern designer Elenore check out her About and Blog pages of the website. I was pleased to learn that the patterns come with both French and English instructions and my inner-Green can be reassured that the patterns and booklets are printed on recycled paper too. Deer and Doe has a fantastic collection of styles that aren’t overly fussy but don’t lack detail either.
In the online shop, I plumbed for Sureau and Belladone dresses and a few days later my purchases were delivered. I was lusting after the Datura top too but it is for Advanced level sewers… maybe next time I make a Deer and Doe purchase it’ll be in my shopping basket.
I’m going to start with the Sureau Dress, a Spring or Autumn type of dress with a Beginner Level rating. Following Paunnet’s Sureau Sewalong, I’ll be taking it slow and steady… leaving me plenty of time to find a suitable fashion fabric.
Since Belladone is an Intermediate Level pattern, I’ll hold onto this one for a little while. I envisage a plain one, a summery one and an evening version for this pattern so it has plenty of mileage!