The Myosotis is the May Sew My Style online sewing challenge promoting the creation of handmade wardrobes. I hadn't made the April Marigold jumpsuit as not my style and I had no-one to make it for so I eagerly awaited the release of the new Deer and Doe pattern.
When I saw the pattern I wasn't sure whether I would make it - not a flouncy girl. Then I remembered the beautiful cotton lawn fabric I picked up at the Guthrie and Ghani stand at the Olympia Knitting and Stitching show. I looked up the fabric requirements, more than I had available, but given it gave one amount for the whole size range I thought I would buy the pattern and see if I could squeeze it out.
A good start - the pdf is layered. My hips are one or two sizes less than my top measurements so I printed two sizes. With the gathered skirt this was an easy choice, no blending necessary. I just used the smaller size for the skirt so is slightly less gathered than it should be which suits my style.
I was so pleased when there was enough fabric. Just enough length but plenty bits spare around the sides as I didn't want the pockets.
Not a complicated make so just a few pages of instructions with illustrations which are more than adequate. Six darts to do first. I use a clover tracing wheel and transfer paper to mark the lines. These marks don't come off so I only use to mark on the reverse of the fabric. I do the pattern side up first and trace along the lines. Then I flip over and use the mark lines to trace on the reverse side of the pattern. Perfect darts!
I then interfaced the collar and front facings with some really soft non woven interfacing. The facing went in well. After sewing and finishing the shoulders and seams I moved on to the collar. You attach the collar to the wrong side of the neckline and then fold up on the right side and topstitch in place. I prefer to fold up and press the bottom edge before attaching so I have an even collar. The collar wasn't quite right on one side so I ended up unpicking and redoing. I know I wouldn't wear if not happy with the finish.
So on to the buttonholes and my very helpful tools! The Simflex expanding gauge makes marking buttonholes a doddle. I am pretty accurate but this takes all the effort out of measuring especially if you want to re-position. The other is the extremely sharp buttonhole cutter. Mine is a Bernina and comes with the wooden block. So neat and tidy.
I do have a little confession to share. As I think with most machines today you just pop your button into the buttonhole foot and it sews a perfect button. For the last two makes the buttonholes have been too long. With the Kalle pattern this was not a problem as hidden in the placket and I only cut open as much as needed. With this pattern only having the three buttons in a short space ti looked odd. One early morning start I remembered to check the foot as it has an adjustment at the back. Yes, it was on long from when I made the coat at the beginning of last year and needed more room for the thick buttons! At least on the cotton it wasn't too long a task to unpick. This time I used the short setting as slim buttons. I won't forget to check again.
I like to prepare the hems before the side seams or attaching to the bodice for sleeves as so much easier to work with. My best tip for this is to mark a line twice the width of the hem and fold up to this line. Then, for this pattern just fold over again and press. Unfold to do the seams and then simply repress in place over the seam. Then just the buttons to finish. I thought the little wooden buttons went well with the botanical fabric. All ready to wear for the sunny spell.
I am 5ft 6in which is the height most patterns are made for and I thought it just long enough to be comfortable walking around in. I would say the bodice is a slim fit. I did compare the finished measurements to other dresses I feel comfortable in to help me decide which size to make in the first place. The sizing was spot on. So really happy with the dress which got a big thumbs up from everyone especially the collar. I will definitely look at the other Deer and Doe patterns available.