I have never made or even bought a shirt dress that suited me or fitted properly. I have fitted this dress with its princess line panels so that it fits perfectly with room to move and whilst retaining its shape. The fabric is organic cross weave from Saints and Pinners and it is perfect for it. Thicker than poplin or shirt weight, lighter handle than denim and a wonderful blue.
I did an HNC in fashion years back and a big influence at the time was Hussein Chalayan and his 'Before Minus Now' dress collection. The dresses were beautifully shaped- I've seen a couple in the V and A, they worked 360 degrees all around the body.
The Bleuet reminds me of them. It moves outwards and over my backside and belly in such a flattering way. It is incredibly comfortable and easy to wear.
The bow detail at the back is so easy to do but the neatest detail and what sold the pattern to me in the first place. A photo shoot isn't complete without Lottie rushing in to be in the picture.
Once I finished this I ended up buying two more Deer and Doe patterns. The styles are so well cut and seem to work for me with relatively straightforward alteration on the top half and non on the bottom. They deliver quickly at low cost- no higher than ordering from UK. Do be warned that the instructions are scant- I relied on my own knowledge and the ever helpful Readers Digest Guide to Sewing (the best dressmaking guide you can every buy). I have the copy that got me through O lever dress at school and it is incredibly comprehensive.
For those wanting to make Bleuet, these are the details of my changes.
- Traced size 36 top half/ 38 waist/38 hip/46 length. The lines blend as you move from size to size a bit like dot to dot.
- Made alterations over the bust and the back taking the seams in but not at the sides
- The sleeves were a little tight under the arm so those seams were sew with 1/4" seam allowance which made for a good fit.
- One layer of medium woven cotton interfacing rather than two for the collar, non for the cuffs- there are five layers of fabric there, it hardly needs more structure. I do find pattern designers a little over obsessed by interfacing.
- I used Prym pearl snaps bought from an ebay seller at a very reasonable price. I have Prym pliers for these which from past experience I have found essential for successful snaps. I used 16 snaps altogether.
- The hem facing and collar stand facing are made with a thrifted Liberty shirt ( I was squeezing this dress out of just 2 metres of 120cm fabric so creative cutting was needed).
The fabric I used is a steal at £10 a metre at Saints and Pinners at the moment as there is a 20% discount for all purchases over £10. Fabric of this quality, organic as well, is hard to find for dressmaking. It definitely needs pre washing as it will shrink and needs a colour catcher on its first wash and probably its second but the handle and texture is beautiful. Its also available in blue the blue in my dress photos captures the colour better) and pink (see Jo's Madeleine skirt in the pink/red here. They would both be good fabrics for bag making too.
No code is needed for the 20% discount at Saints and Pinners and there are other treats for dressmaking there such as this, this, this and this as well as the usual quilting cottons.
Yay for bank holiday weekend in UK even if it is a little cool its still holiday time. I have had a couple of days of turmoil relating to the tricky events of December but now I have a week off and a bit of time at home with the family and days at the beach. Enjoy x