Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bleuet: Shirtdress of my Dreams

After seeing so many gorgeous versions of Deer &Doe’s Bleuet around the Internet I finally got around to make one of my own.  And now I’m hooked – I’ve since cut out two more versions and expanded my Deer and Doe pattern collection.
Check out that Seattle sun!
 I’ve had this dark, lightweight denim in my stash for several months with the idea to make it into a shirtdress.  Despite having several options in my pattern collection, I couldn’t commit to one.  Until one afternoon when I discovered that Made Sewing Studio, my local source for indie patterns, now carried Deer & Doe.  Excited about the process of not having to wait for shipping I debated which pattern to start with before deciding Bleuet was the shirtdress of my dreams.

Surprise back bow

Initially I was a little concerned about the pattern being drafted for a C cup (which I’m not) but figured the princess seams would make it easy to adjust mid-construction.  I’m really glad I was too lazy to attempt any pattern alterations because I ended up not needing them.  ( Am I a C cup?...)  The length ended up being perfect too.
Understated French girl style
The directions tell you to topstitch the princess seams and I took the opportunity to topstitch ALL the seams.  And when working with denim what’s better than using denim topstitching thread?  Of course the best way to make sure it turns out nice and even is to use a denim needle and go SLOW.  Which means it took forever to topstitch those long princess seams but the outcome is worth it.
Bow closeup
Next time I will probably sew the sleeve bands with a .5” seam.  It’s not like they’re tight or anything, it’s just a closer fit than I’m used to.  After topstitching the bands on the sleeves the armhole seam looked a little plain so I topstitched those as well.  Which means the only seams I left alone are the shoulders.
Topstitched like my life depended on it
I used pearl snaps instead of buttons and this decision had nothing to do with the prospect of 10+ buttonholes.  Sometimes a girl just wants to pretend she’s the Hulk and rip her shirt(dress) off.  Plus any time I get to use a hammer on a sewing project is tons of fun!  I used my simflex to painlessly space the snaps and they all matched up perfectly. There's nothing worse than slightly off snaps or buttons.  Pearl snaps seemed like a good match for a casual denim shirtdress topstitched within an inch of it’s life.
Two snaps are cracked but are barely noticeable
The back was the teeniest bit tight but I doubt I’ll adjust the pattern for future versions.  I discovered this while doing my usual movement test – goofy dance moves.  I can raise the roof like a champ but fall short when attempting the YMCA.  That’s just fine by me since I rarely spell out words with my whole body and am willing to accept that I’ll need to wear something else if the urge strikes me.  And that’s a big IF.  But I can reach the tall shelves in my kitchen and give someone a hug so I think I’m good.
Raise the Roof: Pass
I was excited to be able to take photos outside on a sunny fall day while the leaves were still around.  Last Saturday we had a huge windstorm in Seattle that blew them all away and knocked out my power for 10+ hours.

YMCA: Fail


While planning this dress I realized it works for the Fabulous Frocks category of the Fall Essentials Sew Along.  This is my kind of sew along - one without any restrictions or daily To Do tasks. Sometimes all it takes to suck the creativity out of me is a formalized schedule and plan.  I much prefer to sew whatever catches my eye at the moment.
I can’t wait to finish my next two versions although it’s going a little bit slower since the fabrics are a bit sheer so I’m underlining everything.  In other words: I’m in love.  Deer and Doe is quickly claiming a place in my heart next to my beloved Sewaholic.  Just the other day I snapped up two more and immediately set about tracing them out which I never do.


  1. Lovey dress! Beautiful top stitching. I agree with you, scheduled sewing kinda sucks the fun out of it for me too!

    1. Thanks! It's weird how creativity & order often seem to be at odds with each other.

  2. Really lovely dress, the topstitching is so perfect! And it doesn't look like it's straining, so I'm sure it's not to tight. We can all be so picky about our own makes! I would love to know any tips you have for putting snaps in, I'm a little afraid of them to be honest :)

    1. That's the problem with sewing - you tend to hold yourself to unreasonable standards since you have so much control. I'm currently working on another version that will have pearl snaps as well so I'll try and include some tips. But I promise with a little practice they're not so scary!

  3. The slow top stitching was definitely worth it - love the "jeans" look in a dress and the pearl snaps are the perfect finishing touch - I just started cutting out this pattern in a pink/black/blue plaid :)

  4. I'm very glad that my machine has an adjustable speed lever so I don't have to rely on trying to maintain consistent pressure on my foot pedal. This allows me to focus completely on keeping the line straight. Can't wait to see your version - the plaid sounds awesome!

  5. Oh wow, this fits you so well! I have 3 deer&doe patterns and they are so lovely to work with :)

  6. Your bleuet is so cute! I am ready to sew one, but I don't want to make a muslin…what size did you make? What's your waist measurement? Is that creepy??

    1. Ha ha! I think questions like that on a sewing blog aren't creepy at all. I made size 34 & have a 22.5-23" waist. (I'm 5'3" if that helps for length) Keep in mind this dress has very little ease in the waist so if you want a slightly looser fit you'll want to grade up or use smaller seam allowences. Also if you plan on making multiple versions, pay attention to how the armhole fits on your first. I found it a bit low & should probably raise it just a smidge. Good luck on your Bleuet - I'm curious how it turns out!