Completed: Deer & Doe’s Bleuet Dress

3 Jul

One thing that I love so much about the sewing community is the neverending supply of fresh patterns, made by small-beans businesses. I find them soo much better than the offerings from the Big 4 – the style lines are more unique, the instructions are easier to follow, and there tends to be a HELLUVA lot less ease in the finished pieces (ask me about Simplicity’s “close-fitting” dresses with 4″ of bodice ease. No, wait, don’t. I’m getting all ragey just thinking about it).

Bleuet Dress

This is the Bleuet Dress by Deer & Doe, a sweet pattern company based in France. (Actually, Google tells me that Bleuet translates to Blueberry – but I like the French word, it sounds FANCY. Also note that I took 2 years of French in high school and I need Google Translate to tell me the word for blueberry. Bitch pls) (Also, I was just informed that Blueberry only applies to Canadian French, not French French. The things I learn on this blog! :)). Deer & Doe is a fairly new pattern company – the first set of patterns were released only in French, but now they offer English translations and I’ve been ALL UP ON THAT. I should probably also point out that the English translations were done by Anna, which means that they are actually concise and easy to read and understand, as though they were actually written in English to begin with. Nice!

Also, these patterns are ADORABLE. Like, um, why do I not own this? Or this? Or this jacket SWEET JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.

Bleuet Dress

So, I really love this dress. Like, a lot.

Bleuet Dress

I bought this fabric in NY, at one of the random tiny shops in the Garment District (Fabrics for Less? Chic Fabrics? Halp.). I was originally drawn to it because, well, that colorway is pretty fucking awesome. I thought it would look totally ace as a shirtdress. Of course, I didn’t bother to actually check the fabric before buying 3 whole yards of it (I’m going to blame that on being starstruck at the presence of Sonja and Oona, as well as on a total fabric high), but IF I HAD BOTHERED, I would have noticed that the seersuckery-ness of the fabric actually meant that it had LOADS of stretch. Which, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that sort of fabric if it’s your jam or whatever, but I’ve learned my lesson and I tend to stay away from woven fabrics that incorporate a lot of stretch.

That’s part of the reason I delayed cutting into this for soo long. I had the perfect pattern in mind and everything – plus I’ve been hoarding these purple buttons I got at the flea market months ago – but it was cut to my current size, and this fabric has enough stretch the necessitate sizing down. Add that to matching up all those checks (what was I THINKING?) and fugeddaboutit.

Bleuet Dress

This Deer & Doe pattern seemed like the perfect match – the princess seams allowed me to cut the sides on the bias (less plaid-matching, yay!), as well as making it easy to fit as I sewed. I cut the very smallest size, the 34 (ok, I lied, I actually TRACED it. Can you believe that shit?! Hell must have frozen over), and combined with the stretch of the fabric, the dress fit almost perfectly from the get-go. I had to let out a tiny bit of seam allowances at the bust, but other than that – perfect.

This pattern is rated “Advanced,” but I think a very confident beginner could easily tackle it. The instructions are good, there are lots of diagrams, and the pieces are pretty easy to figure out on their own. Make sure you use the right weight fabric, though – mine is a bit too flimsy, as you can see. A shirt dress like this really needs a fabric with a bit of body to give the dress structure – even a quilting cotton would work here.

Bleuet Dress

My line-matching is… ok. I got the front lined up beautifully, but the sides are less than perfect. Somehow, I didn’t think to double check those – I was just excited that the bias on the sides meant that I didn’t have to match them at the princess seams. LOLLLL.

Bleuet Dress

Anyway, this side is worse than the other. Oh well!

Bleuet Dress

I LOVE THE BACK THO. Look at that cute little bow!!! Ack, it’s so sweet!!

Bleuet Dress

You probably noticed that my dress has a placket, while the pattern doesn’t call for one. Actually, it’s a mock-placket 🙂 I had the dress almost entirely assembled – everything but the buttons – and when I put it on, it just looked wrong. I couldn’t figure out why it looked so weird, so I set it aside for a couple of days and considered my options. Eventually, I realized that the stripes matching across the front meant that there was a big ol’ uninterrupted chunk of lines going right down my center. I don’t think this necessarily looks bad across the board – but in this small/busy print, it just seemed unfinished. I considered adding bias tape to the center front, or even rick-rack, but a quick Google of “vintage plaid shirtwaist” gave me my aha moment when I saw all the bias plackets. That’s it!

Since my dress was mostly assembled at that point, I fixed it the cheater way. I cut a bias strip of my plaid, folded the raw edges to the inside, and topstitched that little shit right on top of where the buttons would go. It’s only on the outside layer – the under (where the buttons sit) is still the straight plaid. Considering I can’t wear this unless it’s buttoned all the way up to the collar (my fabric is reeeal flimsy; it droops all sad-like), it’s not really a big deal. And it instantly made the dress look SO MUCH BETTER.

Bleuet Dress

I also omitted the sleeves. I had every intention of adding them, but there was just too much plaid going on. I finished the insides of the arm holes with black self-made bias tape. Easy!

Bleuet Dress

The pattern calls for you to face the hem, but I did not because my fabric was being really obnoxious. In retrospect, I may go back and face it anyway with something non-stretch, like a cotton batiste, because it’s obvious that it needs a little bit of structure, at least where the buttons are.

Also, sorry for the lack of flat shots! It slipped my mind until literally just now, oops! Speaking of taking pictures – I bought a new camera over the weekend! It’s a Canon G12, and I’ve been having a lot of fun learning how to use it! These pictures were taken on my old camera, but you should see some stuffs with the new camera next week 😀

Anyway, I love my finished dress – but next time, I will make it in a firm woven fabric. If I want stretch, I’ll buy some fucking jersey knit.

Bleuet Dress

I guess that’s it. My office gave me a 4 day weekend, so I’m off to go celebrate America and Hot Chicken and sticking it to the man or whatev.

Have a great weekend!


58 Responses to “Completed: Deer & Doe’s Bleuet Dress”

  1. Shae July 3, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Keep those blogposts comin’! Have I said how much I love your blog? Yeah? Well, I’m sayin’ it again. Love getting those little inbox updates!

  2. Aubrey July 3, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I am loving this one!!! You lined up the fabric so perfectly for great contrast and matching. I bow down to your sewing powers, lady.

  3. Ami July 3, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    LOVE your bold fabric choice with this pattern! And I particularly like the bias side panels too!
    Deer and Doe patterns are so lovely aren’t they, I made Reglisse, Chardon and Datura recently and they all fit straight out of the envelope! Woohoo to that!
    Happy long weekend 🙂

  4. Michelle July 3, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    This is a perfect little summer dress! Love the colors, fabric and bow detail in the back. I used to love your posts on Craftster years ago and I just ended up at your blog randomly and realized it was you again. I’ll be following you now! xo

  5. Chris July 3, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Echoing the other comments – Everything you make looks fabulous so like Shae I have to ask ‘have I told you how much I love what you do?’ – keep up the excellent work – you put window shoppers like me to shame – lots of fabric and ideas but NO TIME!

  6. RC July 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I recently found your blog and I’m loving every post. This dress is kickass. I love the mock placket. It totally adds to the dress. Gorgeous colorway and WTG on the matching stripes! Happy long weekend. Me too. Stick to the man, indeed! lol

  7. Kelly July 3, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    This dress is so perfect in plaid! It’s like the pattern is made for it. I love your bias button band and bow, so flattering!

  8. mirza July 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Cute dress! And bleuet means blueberry in Canadian French, not in French French. It’s a flower name, not the kind of stuff you’d learn in high school 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      OH, that makes sense! I was wondering why the site was translating it to “Cornflower.” Oh, the mysteries of language.

    • Rachel July 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      Hee, yes, my most recent French teacher at work (from Algeria) was very confused when I talked about having bleuets with my breakfast. I hadn’t realized until then that it was a Canadianism.

  9. Maggie July 3, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Don’t you just love Deer & Doe patterns! I seriously want the entire line. I have the Reglisse pattern and just waiting for some cute fabric to come my way. Good to know that the patterns are well drafted and this, clearly, will have to be next on my list. Great job — that plaid is perfect!

  10. Molly Lindell July 3, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Love your blog, love your style and love learning how a real sewista makes everything work. Learning a lot and I can’t believe you have a job besides this one because you’re so productive. Bluet dress is a triumph and IMHO the seersuckery texture softens the boldness of the pattern. Looking forward to more glam and technique. Molly

  11. sewcookgardenrepeat July 3, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    LOVE it, but I totally understand about the annoying fabric. My mad men dress fabric was purchased on a whim and yeah, what a pain in the butt. Except only the white stripes of the fabric had stretch, not the green stripes, so it warped all weird.

  12. Roobeedoo July 3, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    It never once crossed my mind that this pattern would work in a plaid, but OMG you have totally nailed it!
    Jealous. Very jealous.

  13. Clipped Curves July 3, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Such a funky fun fabric.

  14. Layla July 3, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I didn’t even recognize the pattern! you took it to another level, you look greeeeeeat!!

  15. Aleksandra July 3, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    That back bow detail is really really cute! And I love the buttons you used. In general the Deer and Doe patterns are really sweet looking — the Belladone one you linked to is absolutely gorgeous. 🙂

  16. adriannebailey July 3, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    I LOVE this pattern, I wish there was a ravelry for sewing patterns because this would deffinatly be going into my que👗

    Also I love the blog👍

  17. A. M. C. B. W. (@AMCBW) July 3, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Dear Lladybird,
    Your real-talk style of sewing blogging is my absolute favorite. Also, would you say Lladybird en espanol, like tortilla? Or are we doing like we do with Llama as a nation, and just saying the L sounds?

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      Haha, the first L (or second L, I guess, depending on which one you like more!) is silent… like Llama, or Lloyd! There’s a totally not-interesting story behind the two L’s in lladybird, but the short of it is you’d pronounce it just the same way as you would ladybird.

  18. Carolyn July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Love your save! It really makes the dress work! And girl I thought I churned out new pieces but you are the Queen of the newly sewn garment!!!

  19. misscrayolacreepy July 3, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    You always amaze me with your ability to match up checks and patterns on fabric, you’re so good! I need yo get over my fear so I can make some cute checkered dresses! 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      It’s really just a matter of very careful cutting (which isn’t even hard… just time-consuming!). Since you’ve got all that fancy new Mood fabric coming your way, looks like plaid should be at least one thing on your shopping list, yeah? 😉

  20. Helen July 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Absolutely love this! Amazing.

  21. Rejoice For The Day July 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Love the dress and the material, perfect! I am inspired by every one of your posts. So I shall continue on with my sewing endeavors until one day, I end up with a handmade dress that looks great. 😉

  22. Kay July 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    It is an adorable dress! I love it.

  23. Lori July 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Great job on your dress, the pattern is so perfect for the fabric and your change of the placket is perfect. Great job once again

  24. Katy July 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    A-MAZING! My god I love it. The bias sides and placket make it really special, HOT!! Enjoy your long weekend 🙂

  25. Kelly July 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    This is really pretty- you have totally reimagined that pattern, it looks so different from any other version I have seen! Love it 😍

  26. gingermakes July 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Super cute! All this plaid makes for a really fun dress! I think I must’ve been (OK, I KNOW I was) overcaffeinated or something because the plaid fabric I bought was stretch, too, and I didn’t notice it. Whoops!

  27. mancunianvintage July 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Gorgeous fabric choice – it looks amazing! 🙂

  28. Marie July 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Too frigging cute, Lauren!!!

  29. powell2317 July 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Stunning. I love the Deer & Doe patterns. Can’t wait to try one out.

  30. Kathryn July 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    WOW! I have to have this one. You’ve done a great job, once again!

  31. thecuriouskiwi July 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Oh wow that fabric colourway is ridiculously awesome!
    I have this pattern too because while online buying other patterns I just saw the bow and added it to my cart! I love it in a check with the diagonals at the side. Cutting the sides on the bias, round of applause to you, love it!

  32. MarrieB July 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    So awesome, the back is my favorite part!

  33. jennorthrop July 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    I love it! I recently saw these patterns at my local sewing studio and wondered about the fit and translation. Glad to hear that they are done well. I can’t wait to try them.

  34. Jenny July 4, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Hmmmm…. the never ending supply of patterns… I’m yet to decide whether that’s a pro or a con! I can’t think of anyone else who can keep up with new pattern releases the way you do! I haven’t sewed any Deer & Doe patterns yet but am totally in love with this one and also Sureau.

    Good call on the placket too- how satisfying is it when you put something aside (anything, not necessarily sewing), almost stop thinking about it & then the answer just POPS! straight into your head like it was there all along!

  35. rachelinred July 4, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    I love your bleuet! I’ve been wanting to buy a shirt dress pattern for a while, and I was kinda on the fence about whether to buy the Hawthorn or this one, but now I guess you’ve pulled me into camp Bleuet. It’s gorgeous. I love your fabric choice! Very different from the versions I saw before. And I know from experience that the Deer and Doe patterns are indeed a dream to work with! I’ve made the Pavot jacket, the Datura and the Belladone so far… Sigh. 🙂

  36. houseofpinheiro July 4, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    I got my eyes on this pattern for ages.. its so cool.. I gotta try. Ohh tell me about about you camera. In seeking for a good one so Im keen to know about others experiences.

  37. Christine July 4, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I have 4 of the Deer & Doe patterns but not this one because as much as I love the others, this dress never spoke to me… until this version. This is the cutest version I’ve seen of this dress yet! The others all looked a little bit too much like a waitress uniform I had to wear back in the day. Sleeveless and plaid on the bias, yes. Well done!!!

  38. Eléonore (Deer and Doe) July 4, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    I was super-eager to see you blog post when I saw the dress on Instagram ^^. Your version makes me so happy, because I was forever waiting for a sleeveless and/or plaid version of Bleuet, and your dress is AWESOME! (I so need to feature this on the Deer&Doe blog!)

    So happy that the fit is good on you without alterations 🙂 , I made the little “it fits” dance in my living room ^^ (I’m not weird)

    • LLADYBIRD July 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Yay! I’m so glad you like it – getting a compliment from the patternmaker is definitely the highest praise 😀 And heck yeah, if you want to feature – feel free to use whatever pictures you want 😀

  39. Kim July 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Beautifull version of this dress! The placket is a very smart detail 🙂 sometimes it’s good to take a couple of days to figure out what’s wrong with it and how to fix it right?
    Makes me want to sew up a version too!

  40. Stephanie | Mabel Makes July 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Cute dress. The fabric is very nice and an unusual choice for the dress. I wouldn’t have thought of it but it works! Enjoy the long weekend!

  41. sallie July 5, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Love it!! I love the fabric/pattern pairing! And the pattern placement throughout the dress is brilliant – creates such a lovely shape!

  42. Siobhan Andrews July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    This is gorgeous! I wasn’t taken with the pictures from D&D but seeing it made up and sleeveless I may just have to give it a try.

  43. dixiediy July 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    wow, with the colors and the plaid this dress looks totally rock and roll. it’s amazing how one person’s interpretation can totally make me re-think a pattern.

  44. Gjeometry July 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Oooh, yes, I love the princess seams and the back of this dress! “Dresses” up a simple pattern for sure.

  45. BeccaB July 7, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Ahh! This is so adorable! The back is just perfect. I love the way you chose to place the plaid, and the bias placket was such a great idea.

  46. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! July 9, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I love it!! You’d never know from looking at it that the fabric was a pain to work with. I love the addition of the (faux) placket too. I have a 50s or 60s sleeveless shirt dress in plaid that has one too, and somehow it really just works with the plaid. And by the way your plaid is AMAZING and totally worth any troubles it gave you. The colors are just amazing! I think it was the perfect combo with that style. (And the bow, swoon!)

  47. Paunnet July 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Adorable! Great job, Lauren! Bleuet is probably my favorite pattern ever, so it’s a delight to see it get some attention!
    Thank you for mentioning the translation, you litterally had me blushing 🙂

  48. missjoiedevivre July 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    So cute! The seersucker might have been a pain to work with, but I bet it’s great in your heat!


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