Hi there! Well, it’s been rather busy around here of late, hasn’t it? I seem to suddenly be blogging several times a week; I can’t promise it’ll continue and if you’re getting update emails, I hope they aren’t clogging up your inboxes!
Sorry though, but I can’t wait to share my latest make with you. If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you may have noticed I have rather a thing for Deer and Doe patterns. I love the style lines and, incredibly, their block seems to fit me rather well; it’s a win win. So when they announced their new patterns for spring this year, it wasn’t long before I succumbed.
I actually bought two of the three new patterns. The first, a classic mac, hasn’t been touched yet; I don’t really have a burning need for that style of coat and the Kelly anorak is further up my to sew list. However, I really liked the look of the Hoya top, so when I wanted to buy something from Sewisfaction on launch to support Sheona, this rayon seemed the perfect match.
I dithered a little on whether or not to make a toile first, but then decided, the night before my birthday, to just cut straight into the beautiful fabric and risk it. Clearly I did this too late on the night before my birthday, because my final sewing mistake / accidental design feature of my 30’s was to cut everything out with the print potentially upside down.
Design feature, OK?
The pattern is pretty fabric hungry; it calls for 2m for a short sleeved top and to be honest, there wasn’t loads left over at the end. The thing is that the front pieces are quite wide and you cut 4 of them for the wrap over feature.
Despite potentially having cut upside down, I did remember to get everything going in the same direction at least. The pattern doesn’t call for it, but I decided to use french seams throughout; honestly, this fabric just felt so divine I couldn’t fathom doing anything else than attempting to get the most luxurious finish possible. Seam allowances were 5/8″ so I sewed at 2/8″, trimmed to 1/8″ then sewed again at 3/8″.
The fabric, as expected, was a touch slippery to deal with but actually not too bad, easily dealt with using more pins than usual. It felt amazing to work with and I love the tiny, very subtle, bronze flecks in the print that just slightly catch the light. I cut out with the rotary cutter as usual, which I find helps a lot with this kind of fabric.
The construction was straightforward enough; it did take a little extra time because of the french seams, but I really feel this is worth it. Combined with the double layer front and the hem facing, the finish makes it feel like a real luxury garment.
The only deviation from the instructions I made was to slipstitch the front facing closed right at the top of the wrap; when I tried it on, the weight of the fabric made it gape here which I wasn’t keen on. I will probably still wear this with a camisole underneath just in case, but it feels a lot more secure now.
And I am amazed how much I love this top. Part way through I had a bit of a wobble about the shape; after all, I usually prefer something more fitted than this and the fact that it has no fastenings at all worried me. But once I tried it on, I loved it. It’s a great length and feels so much smarter than my usual woven t-shirts.
Once again, Deer and doe have totally nailed it for me – there will be more of these!
(Photos taken by my children, in St James Park, London over the weekend, hence slightly sillier than usual poses; apparently this is how my 4 and 6 year old think modelling is done!)
Pattern: Deer and Doe Hoya blouse
Fabric: See You At Six rayon from Sewisfaction (no longer on her site, so I can’t provide a link)
My measurements: Bust 36″; waist 30″, hip 41″
Size cut: 40
Adjustments made: none; might consider a slight sway back adjustment another time but equally might not
Make again? Absolutely. Probably many times!