Sunday, September 23, 2012

FO: Deer & Doe Scottish Sureau


Here it is, the work of a day:  my first Robe Sureau by Deer & Doe.

I didn't set out to make a dress in a day.

I cut it out late last night and intended to just sew a little before settling down with my knitting in front of a dvd... but then I was swept away by the idea of having a new dress to wear tomorrow.

A dress fit to meet the Queen!

No, actually I'm not kidding...





Stats:
Pattern:  Robe Sureau by Deer & Doe, size 36 with slight adjustments at the waist (see below).
Fabric:  2 metres of a warm cotton / viscose seersucker-ish plaid, from Mandors in Edinburgh at the Crafters' Ceilidh back in January.  Cost?  About £12 in total, I think.
Buttons:  1940's vintage, rescued from my over-sized Eva Dress trousers.
Lace:  (Added to insides of hems of skirt and sleeves) From the depths of the stash, bought at eebaay at least 8 years ago.
Zip:  From stash.
Process:

The Fabric
OK, can I just say that this fabric was horribly difficult to match up?  The check itself was bad enough, but the seersucker-ish texture added to my troubles.  It is bouncy!
I can only assume there is some sort of elastication running through the puckered sections of the fabric, which made it wriggle out of alignment, just when I thought I had got my pattern-matching nailed.
Herrumph.
The mis-match is at its worst around the junction of the bodice and the skirt.
But that's what belts are for! ; )
Luckily, I managed to get the checks to line up on the bodice front... with a bit of finagling.


The Pattern:

But you really want to know about the Deer & Doe pattern, don't you?

Friends?  It is FABULOUS!

Seriously, I am SO impressed by the presentation, the drafting, the instructions, the design...

This is everything you want an independent pattern to be.
Rather like Megan Nielsen's patterns, it is printed on sturdy paper, which I chose to trace.

It comes complete with a comprehensive instruction booklet (printed on recycled paper) which is currently only available in French.  (But an English version is on its way.)

I will come clean with you:  I can read French without much difficulty.  It was my second-best subject at school (after Latin!) and I have kept it up through occasional novel-reading and regular blog-reading.  I can't speak the language for toffee, and my written French is a bit ropey, but yes, I am a fluent reader.

So I found the instructions easy to follow.  Lovely, clear diagrams accompany the text.
Are the diagrams enough?  Probably not, to be honest. 

Unless you understand or Google-translate the words, you will miss the helpful advice on details like finishing the seams.  As an experienced sew-ist you would probably do your own thing and make a perfectly wearable garment, but the instructions are good and well worth following.

I was most impressed by the bodice design.

The neckline is pretty low, but I think a girl with a bigger bust would have more to hold it up!  It is intended for a C or D cup, and I am neither of those.  Nevertheless, I think I get away with it.

The facing is impeccable.  I would consider having it on the outside of the dress instead of the inside.  Seriously!
It is built to stay in place and was drafted to within a millimetre of perfection. 

My weird fabric did not suit double-layering, so I used a simple poly-cotton remnant from the stash.

The only thing I did differently was that I added a strip of bias tape on the underside of the false buttonband, to cover the raw edges of my super-fraying fabric:  zigzags were not enough!

In terms of size, I found the given waist measurements to be alarmingly small.  I chose to cut the size 36 as it fitted my bust and hip, but was far too tiny for my waist.  However, the waist-line darts are really wide, so I simply narrowed them down by 1cm on each leg of each dart, which added a scary but entirely necessary 8cm to the waist measurement. 



Verdict?


I am extremely happy with my new dress!
I hope the Queen appreciates the trouble I went to, but I doubt she will notice me.

More about that tomorrow!

34 comments:

Melizza said...

It's so fun to see new patterns being made pop up on the blogosphere. Your new dress is so pretty. Plaid screams fall and the red looks so pretty on you.

Anna said...

It's lovely, well done you! I've noticed a trend towards having patterns drafted with a 10" difference between the bust and waist measurement which is surely not the case these days, maybe in the 50s! I know most independents are using standard measurement charts for drafting but surely they can find one that relates to the modern figure!

Again, fab dress, hope it's so comfortable you want to wear it all the time!

Marie said...

Oooh lovely! I'm now desperate to try a Deer and Doe pattern, but sadly, I have to wait for a translated version...French is not my forte!!! Have fun with the Queen, intrigued to hear more ;o)

Jacinta said...

It looks perfect! Love the fabric choice. I will have to wait til the pattern is translated into English as I don't speak a word of French. oui.

velosewer said...

Wow. How wonderful. Your dress looks great and the neckline is perfect/flatering.
Will you need to curtsie?
Have a great time and do tell us how the Queen appeciates your new dress:)

Andrea said...

What a lovely dress! Thank you so very much for the extensive pattern review. I'm happy to hear it will soon be available in English and I’ll be keeping in mind the waist measurement issue if I end up purchasing it. And what’s this about meeting the Queen?

Andrea B said...

Heh heh, you weren't kidding about how we share the same sewing brain. Red and black plaid, love it! I have a Deer & Doe pattern on the way and I'm a bit nervous but so dang excited. I may be crawling to you for translation help!

Kirsty said...

Your dress looks great! I'm so glad to hear the pattern is good too. Can't wait for mine to arrive in the mail!

Gail said...

I absolutely love this dress - well done! You chose a great fabric for it. I also really appreciate your thorough review of the pattern. I'm planning to buy a couple of these in the near future, so any information is much appreciated! (Of course, I wouldn't have even know I NEED these patterns if it weren't for you!)

sarahel said...

Lovely, lovely dress. I think the fabric was worth the trouble. And that red suits you perfectly.

Scruffybadger said...

I think this is the most exciting breakfast reading for a long time! I am in love with your interpretation...the fabric is perfect for the season, the style, the Scottish visitation, and errr, the backdrop....you could well convince me that I need to add this to my wish list. It's a thing if beauty. Nice review too....enjoy your day :-)

sabrina said...

elle rend très bien ta robe dans ce tissu!

Jane said...

What a perfect dress. It looks lovely on you, and the plaid is just right. You look like a Highland princess in the first photo!

What does your label say?

La Couture Rose said...

Nice !
et jolies finitions avec la dentelle aux manches...

Donna said...

That is a beautiful rendition of the pattern - the color looks great on you! You've just made that pattern jump onto my short-list ;)

Sølvi said...

Gorgeous dress, lovely photos, and a great review. I love the plaid, and especially together with that shawl. So pretty! :-)

Lizzi said...

Soooo, meeting Queenie? How exciting!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Just catching up here :) The dress is a stunner Roo!

I'm sure the Queen will notice you, she seems to notice everyone!

yvette said...

Gorgeous dress, I find french sizing is different to uk, they do tend to have smaller waists than us.

sewbusylizzy said...

Ah I am soooo jealous. I would love to try this pattern company. It's all too gorgeous. I love your Scottish turn in this French design!
And if you can make up and read a French pattern, you will probably make up a Vogue pattern with your eyes closed!

Kestrel said...

Aha, I love the combination of fabric and pattern and its great to her your review of the instructions. This dress is definitely on my list!

Linda C said...

I love that dress. The plaid reminds me that every year my mother saw to it I had a new plaid dress to mark the start of school. The symbol really says fall to me. You have brought out its best points by your choice of accessories. You look like an advert for "Come to Scotland. It's a great time of the year to visit."
The queen please, more details...

LindaC

sylkotwist said...

Always a delight to read a new post from you, but come on, reading French Novels, producing fine handmade garments and meeting Queenie … a girl can get a little jealous you know! This is lovely and suits you perfectly!

Eléonore said...

I stumbled on your version of Sureau today, and I have to say I am amazed by your interpretation, I love it !!!

It is so heartwarming to read such kind words on my pattern ^____^ , I'm really happy you had a good time sewing it !

Have a good day with the Queen :D

Dibs said...

ah! mais dis donc. Elle est tres belle ta robe. J'aime trop. J'attend avec impatience mes patrons. Je l'aime beaucoup, et j'aime aussi le tissu.

Lynne said...

Wow!! You didn't waste any time! And your dress is gorgeous! :)

Punkmik said...

I love this! I am also in love the this new indie designer! wish my french was better but I think iw ill just have to be a little bit patient. :P

shivani said...

oh wow - just perfect! great choice of fabric. I am amazed at how speedy you are! This is my absolute favourite of her patterns, so I'm thrilled to see your version. I'm going to try to hold off buying it for now, however. I absolutely love that first photo too - you're really selling the whole lifestyle!

Clary said...

That fabric sounds awfully fiddly, but it looks lovely! - what a great little dress. Is that an Ysolda shawl? Also very nice.

Laétitia said...

Beautiful dress!!! Tu as bien travaillé :-)
À French reader of your blog ;-)

House of Pinheiro said...

Looks beautiful. I will wait for the English version..

Sabs said...

Marie & Jacinta - Anna at paunnet is doing a Sureau see along with English translation help - I'm joining in even tho I won't be able to follow the French pattern very well! May be a good way of making the dress for you two as well?

Sabs said...

Love the dress, can't wait to make my own! How come you're meeting the Queen? At Balmoral? Wow, I'm jealous - of the meeting and your dress!

Sabs said...

Oops, don't worry about answering my last question - I read your next post!