Drapey Datura Blouse

I feel like I should tell you up front that this is probably going to be quite a negative post. It feels like I buggered up pretty much every part of this top.

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Mistake number one, my biggest mistake, was not staystitching. Not entirely sure what possessed me to think I could get away without staystitching when I was using the drapiest fabric known to man.

It’s really lovely feeling fabric but it was a nightmare to work with. It called itself viscose challis but it was different to other fabric I have that have called themselves that so I’m not sure which one is telling the truth. This one seems to have a visible diagonal weave that’s quite pretty but doesn’t photograph. As you might be able to tell from these photos it was a pain to press, all I seemed to be be doing was pressing creases into it.

 

Deer and Doe Datura blouse

I did a really poor job with the collar but the fabric didn’t take well to my unpicking it so it has had to stay poor. I think it probably would have benefited from interfacing but it wasn’t in the instructions so I didn’t. Though now I am second guessing myself about whether it was in the instructions or not.

datura-blouse-collar

I think I said in my post about my first Datura that I was going to try sewing the shoulders a different way this time, which I did. I tried to do it this way. It makes more sense with photos so you might want to have a look at that link but I’ll try to explain. Basically you sew the lining to the shell at the neckline and armholes on your front and back pieces. Then you turn only your front the right way out and slip it inside the back. You line up the shoulders and then sew them in the round.

Which was really bloody difficult. For a start it’s a very little space to try to fit a sewing machine foot. There are loads of seam allowances to try to keep in place and a collar to take into account. So my shoulder seams are a bit of a shambles. I also forgot that I’d understitched so it mattered which way round the back was. Sooo, my understitching is on the outside and I’m now calling it topstitching.

datura-side-view

But the biggest problem came when I’d stitched the main body parts to the outer yoke, sewn the side seams and then went to stitch the inner yoke down. The inner yoke was too small. At this point I considered having a cry and throwing it across the room but ended up just attempting to ease it. I think I’ve mentioned before how bad I am at easing. What could possibly go wrong?

A puckered horrid mess, that’s what. And the weird bubble above my bust that you can see in the photo above. And similar on the back as you can see below. It’s also clinging to my back fat ever so attractively.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse-back

I used the little pearly buttons that I didn’t use for my first version and I think they look really pretty with the grey.

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″ (These might not be entirely accurate anymore as I haven’t checked them in a while and I think I may be a smidge bigger now)

Size made: 40

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 1m of 145cm wide grey viscose challis and about 0.5m of 145cm wide black viscose challis. Both from Abakhan but no longer in stock.

Another version?

Yes probably but not for a while, I’m a bit traumatised by this one.

Any changes next time? 

I’m not entirely sure because so many bits of this stretched out I don’t think this is a fair reflection of the size. I like the way it fits across the shoulders but the under yoke is too tight across the chest, which is causing the yoke to bubble. So I have no idea what changes I’d need to make or if I should just go back to the size bigger.

Tips or advice

If you’re using a really drapey fabric like I did then staystitch everything. Even bits you wouldn’t normally.

Final thoughts

I hate this top. I’ve only worn it for pictures and a video because it’s uncomfortable and the fact that it refuses to be ironed annoys me. I need to unpick the yoke lining and do something with it but I don’t know what that something should be. I’ve got my overlocker back now so I was thinking about just finishing the seams and raw edge of the yoke lining and letting it hang loose. I don’t know though. I’ll probably do nothing and let it sit neglected in my wardrobe instead. Oh well, you win some and you lose some and you learn something from every make, even the failures.

Deer and Doe Datura Blouse

I was trying to blog my backlog of makes in order but I’m bumping my Datura blouse up the list because I want your opinions on my next version. But first, let’s talk about this one.

deer-and-doe-datura-blouse

Despite only owning three of their patterns I think Deer and Doe are my favourite pattern company in terms of their style. If I could win a competition where the prize was all the patterns of one company of my choice, Deer and Doe would be it. Top of my current lust list is the Fumeterre skirt (check out Camille and Lynne’s fab versions). Followed closely by the Chardon skirt after Jo’s post last Sunday.

datura-blouse-leaning

Anyway, my Datura blouse. My very first Advanced pattern! Go me. Though of course I did version B, with the collar and not the cut out version so I don’t know that I can actually claim to be advanced. My version of the pattern has been in my stash for nearly a year so it has the old instructions, which were a bit brief and I did struggle at times. Luckily I found this tutorial series, which was super useful.

Deer and Doe datura blouse

The hardest part was sewing the shoulders and I definitely used that photo tutorial for that. Because the top has a lined yoke you sew the shell to the lining at the armholes and neckline on both front and back yokes. Then you put the front inside the back and do some shoulder seam magic. I would try to explain but I don’t think I’ll do a very good job so you’d best look at the tutorial.

I have seen a Seamwork magazine tutorial where they do a very similar thing but slightly differently and for my next version I think I’ll try it that way as it seems much more simple.

Datura blouse collar and close up

The moustache and bowler hat fabric I’ve used was a gift from a sewing friend at work because I gave her some sewing stuff. She saw it and thought of me in a fabric shop because I enjoy wearing a fake moustache from time to time (Manfriend even bought me a pack of “Emergency Moustaches” as a stocking filler one Christmas). It’s quite a crisp cotton, which isn’t the recommended fabric for this pattern but I wanted to use it anyway. The yoke and collar are made with a cotton poplin I had in my stash.

Datura blouse side view

It is a little bit too crispy and I think the top is slightly too big too, which means if I put a cardigan on it can stand away from my body slightly but I still like it. I’m going to try a size down for my next version and it’s going to be in a drapier fabric.

Datura blouse back

 

I still haven’t actually sewn any buttons on as I couldn’t choose what ones to use. I was torn between these two and I have two of the polka dot ones safety pinned on at the moment. I’ll probably go with those ones and use the little pearly ones for my next version.

Button choices

The details

Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura blouse

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 40″

Size made: 42

Alterations: None

Fabric used: A metre of the moustaches and just shy of a meter of the black.

Another version? Yep, another colour blocked version in black and grey viscose but I’m not sure which colour to put where. Which do you like best? I’m leaning towards the one on the right.

Next datura colour options

Any changes next time? I’m going to try the next size down.

Have any of you tried the Datura blouse since Deer and Doe have expanded their instructions? Are they better now?

Nautical Anemone Skirt

Deer and Doe Anemone skirt
With added Manfriend shadow.

My first skirt! Well first proper skirt from a pattern anyway. I loved the Deer and Doe Anemone skirt from the moment I saw it. I am a big fan of high waists, my favourite pencil skirts have a high waist – or I pull them up high regardless of where they’re actually supposed to go in the case of a couple of jersey ones I have. I nearly went for the versions with the little fins but as the fabric I bought was navy I thought that some gold buttons would make a nice nautical version.

I bought the fabric on a recent trip to Cardiff. I don’t have any fabric shops near me and have bought all my other fabric online so it was very lovely to go to actual fabric shops and be able to touch the fabric, I did many laps of Butterfly Fabrics on City Road. One of the recommended fabrics for the skirt is a lightweight twill but I think I had drill in my head and I can’t actually remember what this was but I know that it was one of the two. I think they’re practically the same anyway aren’t they? *noob face*

Me in my Deer and Doe Anemone with Max the dog
I’m pulling a gimpy face but I thought I’d continue the photobombing Max theme.

I wasn’t sure whether to cut a size 42 or 44 so I measured the pieces and went with a 44 and cut and assembled the lining first to check the fit before cutting out the skirt pieces. It’s fully lined with a navy cotton voile I also bought in Cardiff. I’m fairly happy with the fit but I probably could have done with taking the side seams in ever so slightly at the top of the high waist but leaving them the same at the waist. If that makes any sense at all.

I made the shorter length skirt and got all the pieces out of a ridiculously small amount of fabric as my fabric was wide. I only used 60cm and I’d bought 2 metres so I’ve got plenty left if I want to make another version – or possibly a cropped By Hand London Victoria jacket to make a suit out of it.

Deer and Doe Anemone skirt cutting layout
Cutting layout

In term of construction I just followed the instructions but next time I think I might do things slightly differently. The instructions have you insert the zip on the main fabric and sew the rest of the back seam and then sew the lining to the main fabric at the top and along the zip. I am not explaining that very well. But I got into quite a pickle when sewing the lining to the zip and as I don’t hate hand sewing I might just do that by hand next time – either slipstitching it down afterwards or just sewing it by hand instead, I did have to handsew a bit at the end this time because I just couldn’t get to the end with my machine.

I understitched the waistline and I was quite pleased with it but I think it would just be so much easier if you attached the lining and main fabric at the waist, then understitched and then did the zip part but I am clueless about this sort of thing so there’s probably a reason for doing it the recommended way. I’ll also use a shorter zip next time, I think 12″ would have been fine.

I zigzagged all of my seams on my main fabric and pinked them on my lining fabric. My main fabric was very much a frayer so I did the top and bottom of the skirt too. Very time consuming – why am I always drawn to things with so many panels?! – but I’m really happy with the finish.

I wore it to work yesterday and then for a walk and beer garden lounging with my manchap – making him take photos of me whenever I thought there’d be a nice view behind me. I’m really happy with it and can see me making quite a few more versions. I nice simple black one with the peplum fins next I think.

Deer and Doe Anemone skirt
A closer view.

Cost:

Main fabric – 60cm @ £6.99/metre = £4.19
Lining fabric – 1.25m @ 2.99/metre = £3.74
Thread – free, came with my sewing machine
16″ concealed zip – £1.89
Buttons – 6 @ 50p each = £3.00

Total = £12.82