While the sewing world was getting carried away by Deer & Doe’s free Plantain pattern I worked away at one of their dress patterns, the Aubépine. You may recall from my Top 5 Hits & Misses posts that I tried this pattern late last year and due to poor fabric choice (and a lot of haste on my part) it ended up in the trash. This time around I decided to take my time and go nice and slow.
- Pattern: Aubépine dress by Deer & Doe
- Outer Fabric: 2 metres of 60” cotton, a gift brought all the way back from Argentina by my friend Cristina.
- Lining: 2 metres of bemberg rayon from the stash.
- ½” forward shoulder adjustment with a corresponding sleeve adjustment following Heather B’s method
- ½” small bust adjustment – I noticed in the pictures I saw of this dress that small busted women had a lot of ease in the bodice so I decided to sew a bodice muslin, and sure enough it was too big. This was my first time doing a SBA and I followed the instructions on the Deer & Doe blog, which I found quite easy to follow even with my mediocre French language skills. Even after a SBA, there is still some excess material pooling just above the casing.
- Lowered bust dart by ½” – gravity and aging. Enough said.
- Shortened bust dart by 5/8” – as a direct result of the SBA.
- Omitted the visible tie in the casing – For the same cinched look minus the bow (not really a fan of those) I made a buttonhole opening in the lining and inserted ¼ inch elastic in the casing.
This was my second time sewing a Deer and Doe pattern. Once again, the instructions were very clear and the pattern came together beautifully. Eleanor does a great job with her drafting and if you have not used one of her patterns yet, you must: they are a dream to work with. On this dress the bodice pleats can be a bit tricky if you are working with slippery fabric but what I found the most challenging part was matching the lining and outer bodice seams to stitch-in-the-ditch and create the casing. Bemberg is just so slippery! It took some ripping and re-sewing but with patience and perseverance everything worked out just fine.
Initially I wanted this to be a light weight denim dress that I could just throw on with boots and tights in the winter but then was convinced by more knowledgeable peeps that a drapier fabric would work better. While I’m proud of the dress’ construction and can speak highly for the pattern, I don’t think the style is “me” after all. The gathered empire waist and flow-y skirt feel a bit twee. Kristin called it from the get go: “It’s juvenile”, she said, and she was right. Which is too bad because I really like the fabric.
I’m not sure I’ll actually wear this dress in its current incarnation. When I was getting changed after taking these pictures I caught a look of myself in the mirror wearing the dress over jeans and thought maybe shortening it to a blouse or tunic length may make it salvageable. What do you guys think? Do you have any suggestion to make this a bit more wearable?