Completed: The Sureau Dress

8 Sep

You know what rules? When you have a brilliant strike of inspiration that comes together perfectly – from fabric, to pattern, to completed project.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

AKA this dress.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

I’ve been holding onto this silk cotton voile from Mood Fabrics since the beginning of this year (it’s sadly long gone from the site now, but they have lots of other options – including this gorgeousness. Ok, that doesn’t have silk, but it belongs in my fabric stash nonetheless). I had originally planned to make an Aubepine dress with it – but changed my mind at the last minute and ordered the Sureau instead, also from Deer & Doe (I still have the Aubepine & still plan to make it, but I’m thinking I would like it better in a dark/solid color, possibly even a lightweight knit. We’ll see!)

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

I LOVED sewing this dress! Too bad the pictures are kind of shitty. I promise it’s much prettier in real life – the voile is floaty, slightly sheer, and fucking ethereal. The colors are amazing and very fall-like, but the lightweight fabric keeps things from getting too sweaty.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

You’ll notice that my version differs quite a bit from Deer & Doe’s – I had to make a few changes – both fitting and design – to get the look I wanted.

For fitting changes, I made a muslin and made the following adjustments:
– The front neckline was slightly gaping, so I removed a 3/8″ wedge (similar to this method)
– The upper back was a little loose, so I removed about 3/8″ from the center back, starting at the top and tapering to nothing at the bottom.
– Shortened the shoulders 1/2″
– Added 1/4″ to the side seams

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

I also made a couple of major design changes! The main one was that I lengthened the sleeves to be full length, and added a cuff and placket (stolen from Archer pattern). Unfortunately, I didn’t correctly measure the sleeve length – which seems to be a common mistake that I ALWAYS ALWAYS make, argh! – so they’re a tiny bit on the short side 😦 Bummer! Fortunately, the sleeve placket means I can roll them up, so there’s that.

The other ridiculously hilarious issue with the sleeves is that they are sewn on backwards – and I did that shit on purpose! Let me back up a little. When I altered the sleeve pattern to include the placket, I used my Grainline pattern as a guide. I didn’t think to make sure that I was tracing the placket to the correct side of the sleeve, so – you guessed it – the placket ended up on the front of the sleeve. Didn’t realize this until I’d already attached the cuffs and everything, derp (and didn’t have enough fabric to recut because, come on, that would make too much sense). I weighed out the options, and decided that a backwards sleeve cap was easier to forgive than a placket in the wrong place, so the back of the sleeve is now at the front, and vice versa. Fortunately, the sleeves are fairly loose & the cap is slightly gathered, so it’s not obvious that I inserted them incorrectly, and I still have plenty of room for movement. That being said, y’all all know my secret now. Don’t tell anyone.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

The other design change was adding that cute little half collar! I used this tutorial to draft my little collar, and interfaced one layer of the fabric before sewing them together. I hemmed and hawwed over whether or not to include it – but ultimately, Landon & I both agreed that the dress looked weirdly unfinished without the collar at the neckline, at least with this particular fabric.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

Because the fabric is so lightweight, I took extra care with the construction. All seams – including the waistline and sleeves – are sewn with a French seam, for a durable and elegant finish. The facings are finished with pinking – any other finishing would result in showing through the fabric. The instructions don’t have you interface any part of the dress, but I added interfacing to the facings, sleeve cuff, collar, and both front placket pieces (both the front and the placket facing). Again, the fabric is super lightweight, so it needed a little more support from the interfacing. Specifically, I used the Pro Sheer Elegance Couture fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I like that is gives a little needed support, but it doesn’t actually change the drape of the fabric. I had black on hand, which was perfect for my emerald fabric as white would have slightly shown through.

Also, ugh, guys, I know it’s REALLY short. Wasn’t planning on that! My fabric shortages meant that I couldn’t lengthen anything, and once I got the dress sewn up – I realized it would look way better with a deep 2″ hem. Which means the dress is now rill short (again, didn’t have enough fabric left to face the hem, which is how I would have normally solved that issue), but I plan on mostly wearing it with tights and/or boots sooo it’s not too bad.

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

Pretty much everything to do with this dress – other than my frantic last-minute pattern ordering – came out of my stash! Fabric, buttons, interfacing, even the thread – I love it when that happens!

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

There’s a cute little lapped zipper in the side of the dress πŸ™‚

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

And that damn deep hem! Ha! I topstitched it because, I figured the rest of the dress has lots of topstitching, so it woudn’t look out of place πŸ™‚

Deer & Doe Sureau dress

And that’s it! I like to wear the dress with a belt – I’m still not sold on how I look with gathered skirts (even slightly gathered, like this one), but I think the belt breaks things up nicely πŸ™‚ I also wear it with the sleeves rolled up, because, again – they are too short (even if they look ok in the photos, trust me, once I start moving around, it’s evident that they are too short)(maybe someday I’ll have sleeves the right length. Sigh.). It’s pretty short, but not so short that I flash cheek when I bend over (as several people have been kind enough to observe and report on).

I’ll count this one as a success! πŸ™‚ Next question – whyyy have I not been sewing Deer & Doe patterns? They are SO GOOD. I actually just ordered the Bruyere and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival (as is apparently most of the sewing world :P). I have plaid flannel dreams for that bad boy. Man, I love sewing β™₯

59 Responses to “Completed: The Sureau Dress”

  1. ooobop September 8, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Oh sooo pretty. That fabric is gorgeous. The collar finishes it off just perfectly. And actually I think that’s a lovely length on you, you’ve got a great set of pins, shame to hide them!

    • debrajrawlings September 8, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      I agree that the length is OK. I’m not a huge fan of short skirts, but isn’t hem length all about proportion? The proportion appears to work just fine. I also think you look great in the gathered skirt and think you shouldn’t shy away from those designs.

      • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

        True, the proportions do work better on me because I am so short. I guess I just feel a little exposed with the length πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      Haha, thank you! πŸ™‚

  2. sewcookgardenrepeat September 8, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    DAMN that topstitching! I think the gathered skirt looks great on you, personally. And the skirt doesn’t look that short, maybe it is the angle the picture is being taken at though? Either way, really nice, well done πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      It very well might be the angle! I think I had the camera tilted a little for these photos. And, girl, the topstitching is all in the foot! That thing is amazing, haha!

  3. Andie L. September 8, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    That looks so amazing on you. I love the collar and the fabric. Basically everything about this dress. I don’t think it’s too short, but then with gams like that, who cares? πŸ˜‰

  4. sarah September 8, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    i would never ever pick that fabric for myself…but this dress is GLORIOUS! perfect pattern, fabric, notions combo. it looks fantastic on you even if you aren’t sure about gathered skirts πŸ™‚ you’re topstitching is pretty fab too. ok done kissing your butt! yay sewing!

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      Woohoo for butt kissing! πŸ˜€ haha!

  5. Nakisha September 8, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I REALLY like this one! And that fabric is gorgeous!

  6. Jan September 8, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    It looks wonderful. If I were as young and pretty as you I would not worry about the length! It really does not look too short. Great job.

  7. Emma September 8, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    Whaddya mean about the length? It looks great! I love your creative flair and can’t wait to see what you do with the BruyΓ¨re.

    Argghhh I wish I could sew even 1/4 as fast as you do! I take SOOOO long to pick a pattern, then pick the fabric, then sew the damn garment that it takes me around 4-6 weeks to produce ONE garment! How do you do it? πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Well, I don’t buy clothes – so when I want something new, I’m on a mission to finish it asap! πŸ™‚ I also sew pretty much every day, which can make even the most time-consuming project go by pretty quickly πŸ™‚

  8. sallie September 8, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    This looks just lovely! I absolutely adore that fabric! And I’m so glad you saved it for the perfect pattern! Also, love those gold buttons. This dress looks like fall to me, but I’m sure it’s super light and breezy to wear – so PERFECT for a southern fall!!

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Exactly! All the looks of fall without the sweat-inducing properties πŸ˜€

  9. tialys September 8, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I like it!! I just finished a Deer and Doe Reglisse dress which was also fun to make and I would like to try some more of their patterns. They are geared towards the young (and I’m not) but nothing a bit of lengthening and de-frilling won’t fix. Great patterns and – hoorah! – I get free shipping as I am in France, as are they, which makes a welcome change.

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      I wish I got free shipping! Haha! Well, I can’t complain – I think it costs about $6 to send it to the US, so that’s not so bad πŸ™‚

  10. Sabine September 8, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    The dress rules, the dress rocks and the dress rolls! Wowsa!

  11. Heather Lou September 8, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    This is gorgeous! One of my favourite Lladybird makes in recent memory. And I don’t think it’s too short at all, but I like a lotta leg.

    • nycbookwriter September 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      I’m with Heather. You can wear this well and with ease.

  12. gingermakes September 8, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I’m glad you’re finally on the Deer & Doe train! This looks super cute on you!

  13. erinalter September 8, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    bizarrely, today i am wearing a dress that i *just* finished this weekend, using this exact same fabric! i am a complete amateur, so mine isn’t so lovely and polished as yours, but i still love it πŸ™‚ the fabric really is so very yummy.

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      Haha that is awesome!! I bet your dress is gorgeous nonetheless – with a fabric like that, how could it not be? πŸ™‚

  14. thenerdyseamstress September 8, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    I love this dress, but then again, I am a big fan of the sureau! I lpve the changers you’ve made to the pattern. Gorgeous, gorgeous fabric!

  15. catheine September 8, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. Marta September 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Everything you do is an inspiration! Thank you so much. Just a suggestion…..try Chanel’s favorite skirt length, bottom of the knee. See if you like it!

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      I don’t really like lengths that hit at or below my knee 😦 I think they are a bit unflattering on me – make me look even shorter than I am, and dumpy! Might change my mind in the future, but for now -I like letting my knees see the world πŸ™‚ haha

  17. weefrills September 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Really flattering! I love teal and red together. Nice buttons.

  18. joanneclarkson September 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    It is gorgeous – the softer fabric works really well and I LOVE the collar. I am going to make a second Sureau using your styling for inspiration. I agree with the others – the length on you is grand!

  19. Mary Danielson Perry September 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    Gorgeous! That fabric is to-die-for–teal and red are such a fantastic pairing–and it looks amazing on you. Your legs are so killer that the short length totally works, as well. Love it!

  20. Lori September 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    Fabulous dress, I really like your changes and although it is a shame you had those issues, it makes me feel better you do those kind of things, too! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Ha! Well, we all make mistakes… I’m just ok with admitting mine, loud and proud πŸ™‚ lol

  21. Dreaming of Avonlea September 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    This looks lovely. I don’t think it looks too short at all and the fabric is fab!

  22. nx44 September 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh man, I recently sewed a shirt and somehow managed to sew one of the plackets at the front of the sleeve. Once I realised, it was apparent that I had actually mixed up the sleeves and sewn them both onto the wrong side of the shirt. I had that conversation where you try to convince yourself that it’s not that obvious, but eventually commonsense prevailed and I unpicked it all. Grrr so annoying! You just have to laugh right?

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      Oh yeah, I totally had that conversation with myself too! I wish I could have unpicked mine, but the plackets involve cutting a slit in the sleeve 😦 at least you got to fix yours! And I bet it’s PERFECT now! πŸ˜€

  23. kathrin306 September 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Oh, the Aubepine is on my sewing list, too.
    Your Sureau is awesome! I like the collar you added and your choice of fabric fits perfectly to the pattern. Great job!

  24. SeeKatSew September 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Fabric envy over hear. Can’t wait to see your Aubepine and Bruyere makes.

  25. misscrayolacreepy September 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    This is my dream dress!!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      I knew you’d like it! πŸ˜€

  26. Colesworth September 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    That fabric is awesome, love your changes to the dress. Can’t wait to see your bruyere!

  27. Kate September 9, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Ooh pretty! Just a thought… Could you have faced the hem, to save fabric and still have a deep hem? Love the fabric!

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      I could have, but I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a facing (not from this particular self fabric, anyway). Oh well! πŸ™‚

  28. Tina Martin September 9, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    This dress is beautiful! When ever I have fabric shortages I just use a hand made bias binding in similar fabric to make my hem. I love the way 2″ hems hang & I always have to add extra length to my skirts & dresses.

    • LLADYBIRD September 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      I actually thought about using the bias binding at the hem, but I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut (nor do I have any in my stash that even remotely matches). Oh well, the 2″ hem is worth the extra short length πŸ™‚

  29. Sally September 9, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Love this Sureau! That fabric is gorgeous, and I really like the collar and sleeve design changes – I may have to copy those for my next version πŸ˜€ Woo-hoo!

  30. Bethy September 10, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    Looks amazing. You should definitely make all the Deer&Doe you can get your hands on because just taking a quick peek at their shop I can picture every last thing being a post on your blog.

    • LLADYBIRD September 10, 2014 at 7:14 am #

      Oh man, I know! I love every single thing she has – want to make them all. I’ve been pacing myself with buying the patterns, but somedayyyyy they will all be mine πŸ™‚ Ha!

  31. Danica September 10, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Absolutely wonderful! Perfect fabric choice for the dress. I just love it. I also prefer shorter skirts. I’m short(er), like you, and feel dumpy in knee-length and (heaven forbid) calf-length dresses.

  32. jumliana September 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    so beautiful fabric. overall, great!

  33. ette September 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    Such a beautiful dress, you look fabulous!
    And I love that little collar you added.
    Couldn’t you have added a false hem to make it slightly longer?
    And I spotted you have a Singer Featherweight, too. But you don’t use it, do you?

    • LLADYBIRD September 11, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      I didn’t have enough fabric left over to add any sort of hem (nor do I have anything in my stash that coordinates with both the colors & weight of that fabric).

      I do have a Featherweight! I don’t use it much, though. It needs to be cleaned and serviced, which isn’t something I have budgeted for right now.

  34. yosami September 10, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    What a great dress and in such beautiful colours that perfectly coordinate with the wall in your house.

  35. Sabine September 13, 2014 at 4:31 am #

    This fabric is to die for! I love the resulting dress. The collar addition is perfect and really balance the proportions.

  36. Christine September 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Wow, that fabric, that pattern, your changes! i love all of it! I have never heard of deer and doe but now ive bookmarked them for the future.

  37. missjoiedevivre September 28, 2014 at 12:57 am #

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I really love the colour detail, it works so well with the vibrant print to avoid looking twee, it’s impeccable. I’m curious though as to what the reasons are for the deep hem – what is the difference it makes to the way the skirt looks/wears (length aside!)?

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Since the fabric is somewhat sheer, it gives the skirt a little more weight so it hangs better. I also think it looks nicer, again, with the fabric being so see-through, you can really see that nice wide hem πŸ™‚


  1. Sparkly Bias Dress - Underpaid Nurse - September 14, 2014

    […] Completed: The Sureau Dress […]

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