Fall has definitely arrived here in Belgium! :-) I could do without the rain of course, but other than that I’m really happy about it: fall is such an inspiring season, knitting and sewing wise (and I’m not even talking about cooking and baking, yum!). As far as knitting goes, I’m still begrudgingly working on the same old project (yawn), so I had to turn to sewing to truly welcome my favourite season.
To me, the Sureau pattern by Deer&Doe is the fall dress par excellence. I don’t really know why, actually: is it the length of the sleeves, the fact that it looks great with tights, that it can be layered effortlessly, that it screams for a floral pattern? Whichever it is, I couldn’t wait any longer to sew a Sureau, especially since I recently found the perfect fabric (at Berger in Brussels), a cotton lawn with tiny blue, white and pink flowers.
The fabric was a dream to work with, as was the pattern. My only tiny complaint about the pattern is that I couldn’t find any mention of the buttons in the explanations (I was wondering whether the button markings on the pattern corresponded to all the sizes or to one size in particular). Though I have to say, I didn’t have any trouble figuring out that part. :-) I just found it weird, that’s all, especially on a beginner pattern. Maybe it was an oversight in the first print of the pattern and it has been corrected since? Anyway, I’m nit-picking, other than that the instructions were perfectly clear and easy to follow.
Seeing as the first two Deer&Doe patterns I sewed fit me quite well, I didn’t bother making a muslin for this one. I didn’t make a single fitting alteration and the fit is close to perfect, if I do say so myself. I cut a straight size 36 even though I’m a touch bigger than a 38 on the bottom, thinking the gathered skirt would be forgiving, which it was.
The only modifications I made were style choices, the first one being that I need my dresses to have pockets (I’m not carrying my tissues in my bra anymore!), so I added two patch pockets. The second one concerns the sleeves: I’m not totally sold on the form of the original sleeves, which are a little too billowy to my taste, so I added an elastic in a casing at the hem. It gives the sleeves a puffier look, which I love. Also, although I don’t know whether to call that a modification, I understitched the collar facing instead of topstitching it. Oh yes, and I lengthened the skirt a little by making a baby hem instead of the recommended 2cm hem.
The dress is exactly as I pictured it and I feel like it was the first project in a long time that did not almost end up in the trash! Everything went smoothly, I took my time on the finishing (French seams wherever possible, and machine overcast stitch on the rest of the seams: waist, zipper side and sleeve setting – oh how I long for a serger!) and poor zipper challenged me didn’t even encounter a problem inserting the zipper, now that’s a first! :-D
Now I have to decide on my next sewing project: another dress, leggings for lounging at home, a desperately needed coat…?