Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

 

 

zephyr dress-2

So, I learnt sewing as a kid, in school, when they still used to teach it.  I still remember a lot of the things I was taught, such as using old school tailors tacks and hand basting, where necessary.  I really enjoyed sewing back then but, as life tends to do, other things came along, like a career and never staying too long in one spot, and I never really got to take it up again, apart from about 3-4 makes in about 20 years… hardly mind blowing experience…. that is, until recently.

 

A year and a bit ago, I got a new swanky sewing machine, for my birthday, and an overlocker for Christmas.  It was also around that time that I went back into studying, so time has been a bit limited however, I’ve slowly been making things, getting a bit more practice and skills under my belt.  I really love sewing knits, so saved up and invested in a coverstitch machine too.  It’s now got to the point where making something makes me feel relaxed and it’s become a bit of therapy, so I thought this would be a good time to start documenting it so… welcome to my blog!

My other great love is photography and digital editing (though I’ve got a bit rusty the last year or so, time constraints and all…) so expect a fair bit of that too.

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

I thought I’d start off with the newly launched Zephyr dress by Deer and Doe.  I must admit to being a bit of a fan-girl of their patterns.  I love Eleonore’s ascetic and have every pattern she’s produced… I’ve been hording like a magpie on speed!  Funnily enough though, this is the first pattern I’ve actually made.  I kinda think it’s because I wanted to do the patterns justice and was waiting until I had a bit more experience.  I figure I must’ve done a decent enough job because, only an hour or so after I’d finished it, my 15 year old daughter was asking to borrow it, for her first ever grown up party (a works do… yeh, she’s 15 and works… I’m such a proud mama!).

This is a wearable muslin (or toile, here in the U.K., though it is made of neither fabric!).  It is made out of some kind of scuba-ish type knit fabric… royal blue polyester (I think) with a waffle like surface, that I had in my stash.

 

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

I bought it at the Rag Market, here in Birmingham, a while ago, to make something for my daughter, but I liked the fabric too, so bought extra, around 4 meters, if I remember correctly.  It was cheap as chips, I think around £2 a meter, so I figured if the dress didn’t work out properly, it wouldn’t be a great loss, but I’m really chuffed with how it turned out!

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe
Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

What do you think… do I need a sway back adjustment?

I found the instructions mostly thorough, though I was a bit unsure as to how to finish the neck.  The instructions say to finish it the same as the armholes, however the finished dresses I’ve seen on the blogisphere don’t seem to be finished that way.  To be honest, I started finishing it that way, and then just winged it… I stitched at 3/8″ on the outside of the neckline and then folded the neckband to the inside and coverstitiched… it seems to have worked out ok.

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

Though it didn’t tell me to, I clipped the princess seams, on the front bodice, so that they would lie flat, then I coverstitched those.

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe
Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

I also coverstitched the hem.

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe
Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

All other seams I finished with the overlocker after sewing them all on my sewing machine first, using a stretch stitich.

The material was great to work with but a bugger to press, as it didn’t want to hold a crease at all.  I worked round this by steaming it and then using a clapper on it… it worked a treat, and was a godsend on those top stitched princess seams.

I think the fit turned out pretty well, though i may take a 1/4″ back off the bodice pieces.

Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe
Sewing blog post – Zephyr by Deer and Doe

All in all, a great pattern.  It’s well drafted, with great instructions and packaged beautifully.  For my first actual Deer and Doe make, it didn’t disappoint and I’m already planning future ones, including another version of this dress… what d’ya think, a black Ponti with white topstitching?

And how about that sway back adjustment, do you think it would help?