Well, I didn’t expect to be blogging about this any time soon (or maybe even any time ever!), but here is a Deer and Doe Bruyère, in a checked brushed cotton.
I had been eyeing up the Bruyère (which means ‘heather’ it turns out – my middle name. It was meant to be.) since Deer and Doe released it, and umming and aaahhing about whether or not to get it, but eventually I relented and went for it. I found this navy and red brushed cotton in Fenwick’s in Newcastle for £5/m (bargain!) and decided to go for it. I cut (I think) a 44 in the shoulders and bust, grading out to a 46 in the waist. If I had had the benefit of telling the future I would have probably cut a 46 from a bit higher up, but not to worry! I also lowered the bust dart and did a forward shoulder adjustment of a half inch (both normal for me). I didn’t raise the waistline at all, so it’s worked out quite well that it sits quite high. That said, I’m not sure how often I’ll be wearing this, as it’s a bit small now, and it’s also the summer – no time for flannel shirts! I’m sure it’ll come in very handy though post-baby.
Anyway, as I started cutting out the pieces (of which there are many!) it quickly became apparent that this fabric was not my friend 🙁 It shifted around like crazy, and try as I might I could never get enough checks being actually at right angles to one another to cut anything out satisfactorily. I soon gave up on the idea of matching the side seams, or matching above and below the waistband, or even getting the checks running horizontally across from shoulder to shoulder. I think it just about matches horizontally, if you don’t study it too much… I think I cut both fronts out twice, though by that point I was actually pleased to be getting rid of more of the fabric. I cut everything I could possibly get away with on the bias, which made life easier. However, this process of cutting out took about 2 weeks. It probably didn’t help that it was the height (or low point?) of first trimester rubbishness, and so after every few pieces I would go and have a lie down. I’m not sure what possessed me to attempt this at such a time! Although I was pleased to see I’m not the only one being driven mad by plaid-matching – even if Heather did get much better matching.
Once I’d got everything cut out, the sewing together was a dream. The pieces all match up perfectly and there are some very pleasing parts, like how the collar and plackets are finished off to be all cleanly encased. I sometimes think Deer and Doe get too much criticism for having quite brief instructions. It’s true that there isn’t as much detail as some other companies (especially other indie ones), but I actually appreciate that. I’ve never found myself at a loss for what to do. And although this shirt is labelled as ‘advanced’, I think anyone could have a go at it – I certainly wouldn’t consider myself advanced! I suspect it’s because of the number of pieces, and the plackets and collar, but those are both fine if you take your time and are willing to do some unpicking. What do you think? Are you put off by things being labelled as advanced (or even intermediate), or does it spur you on to tackle it?!
Sadly, after all that went so well, it somehow ended up sat on a shelf for the next 2 months. Why? Two words: hemming and buttonholes.
I don’t know why, but there is something inside me that curls up in a little ball and hides whenever something needs hemming or having buttonholes made. Even when they are the last two things that need to be done (apart from sewing the buttons on, obviously), and neither of them is exactly terrifying (my machine has a 1-step buttonhole function, which makes this an even more shameful admission). Lots of people seem to fear the zips, but the zips have never bothered me. But buttonholes, yeuch, terror. Are there any sewing tasks that you put off for weeks? Or even better, do you have any tips (practical or psychological) for getting over such silliness?
Anyway, last week I suddenly decided that I would DEFEAT the Bruyère. I don’t like having things sat around unfinished, and it had been there long enough. So here it is!
I feel like I’ve been quite negative about the poor Bruyère, but I think it’s an excellent pattern. So don’t let my ineptitude put you off!