Saturday, November 22, 2014


I'm going to be honest, here. When Sally and I decided to start Let's Sew Deer and Doe a couple of months ago, the pattern I was least excited about sewing up was the Aubepine.  I just didn't think the empire waist was going to be flattering.  I'm more of a "natural waist" girl.  But, a pledge is a pledge after all, so I gave it a go.

You know what?!  I've totally changed my tune.  This dress is SO comfortable and totally flattering.  I don't know what I was thinking...

I've always been told that girls with large chests shouldn't wear dresses like this because it makes you look pregnant.  Well, I'm here to tell you that they're wrong.  As with most things, it's all about the fit and the proportions.  Now I'm not saying that this makes my waist look tiny or anything, but it certainly isn't in preggo territory.  I think that the cut of the skirt, the lightweight fabric,  and the pleating at the waistline make all the difference.  The dress really moves with you and doesn't "tent" out at all.

Plus, no alterations, so win-win.  (Seriously, though, these patterns are freakin magical)

Let's talk fabric and finishes for a minute, shall we?  This puppy is beautiful inside and out.  I topstitched my impeccable (and painstakingly marked) tucks with hot pink thread because I wanted them to stand out against all that black.  The entire dress is lined with bemberg rayon.  It's totally dreamy and floaty on the inside.  That stuff is seriously all it's cracked up to be.

It's getting harder and harder to take decent photos when I get home, since it gets dark so early!  This is probably the best shot of the "real" colors of the fabric because  I had to play with the photos so much to get them clearer/brighter.

We've got just over a month left before Let's Sew Deer and Doe is over!  What are you sewing up?


Pattern: Aubepine by Deer and Doe
Size: 38
Alterations : NONE
Fabric: Moonlit Gnome Pants Black Lawn by Cotton + Steel (FYI, I'm obsessed with all their designs so expect to see more on that front from me)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lola + Virginia + 100

Can you believe it's been 100 posts?  Crazy.  I feel like I don't get the chance to blog as much as I would like to these days, but when I look at a number like 100, I feel like I've accomplished something in this little space.  Thanks to all of you for sticking around and giving me feedback and love for the past 100 posts. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for you!

I can't think of a more perfect post to mark my 100th, either.  When I set out to start making my own clothes a couple of years ago, I never ever thought I'd be making things like underwear or leggings.  My tastes are a bit more party dress.  But, here we are!  I'm inching toward a more self-made wardrobe each week (especially since I lost 50% of my winter clothes when I moved).  I'm starting to replace the worn-out rtw clothes that I reach for again and again, and really make things that I will wear all the time.

This little ensemble totally fits that bill.

A fancy-ish (I'm looking at you, Sarah) sweatshirt dress and leggings.  Aaaahhh so good.  At first glance, there's really nothing special about either one of these garments, but the fabrics are divinely comfy.  At that, my friends, makes all the difference.

I've had sweatshirts on my mind for a few weeks now, but I'm just not into traditional sweatshirts.  Hoods make me uncomfortable, and I really don't need a fanny pack pocket, thankyouverymuch.  Enter this fabric.  Isn't it the coolest?  I found it at Joann's and had to have it.  It was marked as a jersey-spandex knit, which I'm sure it is, but it's really much cooler than that.  It's more like quilted sweatshirt knit, with a black jersey lining to stabilize all that quilting.  It's awesome and supremely warm. 

The pattern is Lola.  I wanted the fit to be relaxed, so I know it's a little big all-around.  Trust me when I say it was totally intentional...I literally fell asleep in this dress for a few hours yesterday, it's soooo comfortable.  Perfect for Chicago winters!  My only gripe is that I cannot, for the life of me get my ribbing to lie flat.  It's topstitched and pressed, and still nothing.  After doing a little research, I discovered that all of my favorite versions of Lola used self-fabric bands or just turned under and topstitched.  Maybe that's why.  The wavy-ness is annoying the crap out of me, but it's comfy as hell so I'll deal with it.

The bottoms are Virginia Leggings.  I would say they're basic and boring, but they're totally the greatest thing ever because I made them from bamboo terry knit.  They're extra thick and warm and have great recovery.  If you are looking for a perfect legging fabric, it's the way to go.

The rise is pretty perfect as well, although I may take it down 1/2 inch next time.  I don't have a belly pooch/muffin top, either, in case  you're wondering.  It's just my hands in my pockets causing drag lines.  When you've got pockets like these, and you've decided to take outdoor photos in November, you use them.

Are you sewing up anything snuggly this weekend??


Patterns: Lola // Virginia
Size: 6 // S
Alterations: Took out 2 in from the neckline // none
Fabric: Sweatshirt knit + ribbing // Bamboo terry knit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Silky Drawers

Hiya guys!  Happy Hump Day!

As you all know, I've been short on time lately, and haven't been able to sew as much as I'd like to.  I've been turning to smaller projects recently for some instant gratification in between larger projects. I never really know how to take pictures of the little things so I usually just shove them in a drawer without pictures.

After I made this set, I decided that really wasn't fair.  After all, I make some pretty cute undies for myself :)

These really take that cake as the cutest in my drawer.


The undies are my beloved rosy lady shorts.  I think I've made 5 pairs so far, and I love them all.  I finished this pair with stretch lace that has scallops on one edge and polkadots on the other.  It's not quite as stretchy as other stretch laces I've used, but it didn't really have any effect on the construction.

The fabric is scrap from my miz moszelle dress and it's still the greatest thing ever.  

Bonus tip: if you have issues with jersey dresses clinging to your undies, make some new ones out of the scraps.  It'll solve that problem stat.

The bra is the Sarah Longline Bra from Ohhh Lulu.  I fell in love with the longline design, and snatched it up over the summer.  I still need to do a little tweaking with the fit.  Right now I'm having some gaping in under arm area.  I think that two things are going on with that:  the fabric stretched out a little when I attached the elastic, and it's an area I always have issues with in RTW bras.  

The drafting and instructions on this bra were perfect, though.  Everything matched up and it was really simple to put together.  I subbed out the elastic at the bottom for more stretch lace.  It does nothing for support, but I love the way it looks :)

The cups are actually a LOT more supportive than I was expecting.  I've never worn a wireless, foamless bra that is mildly supportive before, so major props to Sarah for the drafting on this one.  I don't know that I'd wear this as a bra outside of the house, but for someone with a smaller * chest, it would definitely work. 

*By smaller, I don't mean just those people who don't need a bra anyway.  I just mean not an E cup like certain members of the Craft Sanctuary household.  

The final thing I need to tweak is the longline part of the bra.  It's sooooo big on me.  You can see it on my dress form a bit, but my bust-to-underbust ratio is a bit more significant than hers is.  

Despite my issues, I'd totally recommend this pattern.  I'm dying to make one with mesh like the sample.  Bras are not easy to fit, so I didn't expect to get away without adjustments.  

Those lady shorts, though, they're pure gold from the start. Go make some.  NOW.

Size: L // 6
Fabric: Magic silk jersey left over from here (also see Sally's newer, shinier make which may or may not be as fabulous as my miz mozelle.  So I'm biased, whatever.  I made it.)
Alterations: Left off the bra hooks, cut an xs for the back band // none

Friday, October 10, 2014


Hi y'all!  Long time, no talk!  As most of you know, I'm insanely busy this year (grad school + work) and have so much less time to sew than I used to!  It's been really hard for me to scale back sewing and blogging and not feel guilty about it because I miss you guys!

My most recent make may be my most favorite, though.  It took me a few scattered hours over three weekends to put this beauty together, but I think it was well worth it....

Meet Bleuet!

As with all of my other Deer + Doe makes so far, I didn't have to make any adjustments to the fit to get a wearable garment (other than grading in at the over bust/shoulders which is a standard adjustment in all patterns for me) which is pretty flipping awesome.

The real miracle of it all is that I didn't have to do a FBA.  Seriously, what kind of magic are they cooking up over at Deer + Doe?  I'm obsessed with the drafting of all of the patterns I've tried so far because they just fit so well!

If I'm being a stickler here, though, I think I could definitely make a few adjustments for next time.

I've lost a little bit of weight recently (and inches because I'm so short any change is kind of major) so I think I could size down.  I've got some extra room in there, but I think it'll be pretty perfect as-is for layering throughout the fall.  I also could stand to shorten the bodice by about an inch and do a little swayback adjustment.  That beautiful bow is a little low in the back :)

Speaking of bows, how cute is this?  Seriously, though, I'm obsessing over the way the pattern and the fabric came together on this one.  I never would have thought to put it all together, but Sally came to the rescue.  She assumed (because, like, duhhh) that I bought the dotted swiss expressly for contrasting this cotton, and mentioned it to me!  Naturally, I pretended like it was my idea all along...

Oh, and thanks to all of you who helped me pick buttons!  I went with the coral and I think they're a winning choice! (Although I was seriously tempted by the "home is wear the heart is" parody potential lol)

I think that it's really the finishing that makes this dress fabulous, though.  The bow, collar, and all of the princess seams are topstitched which really brings the whole thing together in my opinion.  The hem is faced, which I also think is a nice touch on the inside.  It makes me feel all fancy :)

I'm in love with my Bleuet and the fabric and the buttons.  Really, just all of it.

How's your make coming along?

If you've been stitching up Deer & Doe, don't forget to add a photo to the flickr group!

Pattern: Bleuet by Deer & Doe
Size: 40, graded to a 38 in the shoulders
Alterations: NONE!
Fabric: 1/2 yd white dotted swiss + 2 yds glorious quilting cotton from The Needle Shop that is now   all gone :(

Sunday, September 14, 2014


When the Reglisse pattern was released last year, I think my heart stopped a little.  It literally has everything I love: tie collar, elastic waist, and circle skirt.  

I've sewn up three Deer and Doe Patterns so far (but not blogged them all, because I'm SO bad at photographing things).  Here's what I've learned so far: they are drafted really, really well for ladies with curves.  I have yet to make a FBA on a single pattern, which is HUGE for me.  Not only does it save time, but it means I'm more likely to just get sewing.  My sewing time has been cut short lately, so that little push of no alterations has really got me going.

That being said, I do not consider this a well-fitting or well-made garment.

But, true to my pledge to sew all the deer and doe patterns by the end of the year, I thought I'd share it with you anyway.  The weather here has drastically changed, so I don't think I'll be making another one until the spring.  I need some sleeves!!

So many things went wrong with the construction that had nothing to do with the pattern, and everything to do with the fabric.  I had been hoarding this blue and white seersucker for a year and a half.  I had initially earmarked it for a hawthorn, but nixed that idea when my muslin needed so many changes.

I thought it would be perfect for the Reglisse dress, though.  It's so light and soft, and really just wanted to be a floaty dress.  What I failed to consider, however, is that this pattern is cut on the bias.  The fabric stretched like CRAZY and I was left with a waistband and a skirt that just did not want to match up.

In the end, I took out about two inches of the bodice and the skirt to make it work.  I added a seam up the front and the back instead of ripping out the side seams, but the fabric is just too floaty.  It didn't press well, and that front seam is enough that I probably won't wear it.  The bodice stretched out pretty badly, too, so it's also a bit more blousey than I'd like.

I talked to Sally about it, and she had zero issues putting hers together, so I'm blaming the fabric on this one.  Bummer because it had such potential!  They can't all be winners, though, right?  Onward!


Pattern: Reglisse by Deer and Doe
Size: 40 graded to a 38 in the shoulders
Fabric: 2.5 yds Seersucker
Alterations: none

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Let's Sew Deer and Doe!!

When you make sewing friends in real life, funny things start to happen.  You have several of the same fabrics in your stash, you borrow patterns you wish you owned, and you discover that between the two of you, you own every single Deer&Doe Pattern.

Oh, wait, you don't??? Maybe that's just us.  You see, we're a bit obsessed.

The Quirky Peach and Craft Sanctuary have been spending a lot of time sewing together and obsessing over all of the pretty sewing patterns Deer & Doe has to offer.  The Deer&Doe collection is gorgeous, wearable, and perfect for our lifestyle.  A total wardrobe, if you aren't the pants-wearing type.  Which I'm not...

A couple of weeks ago, a thought crossed my mind: what if we sewed all of the patterns instead of letting them sit in our stashes?  We already have them all, after all.  How long would that take?  Would anyone want to sew with us?

Let's Sew Deer and Doe was born.

Let's Sew Deer & Doe

Sally and I are challenging ourselves to sew the entire Deer&Doe collection, between the two of us, before the end of the year.  Can we do it?  We'll find out, but I think it's going to be totally manageable.  As long as we keep posting about it to keep ourselves accountable, that is.  Personally, I'd love to sew them all of them myself, but I just don't know if I'll have the time, so I'm not committing to that much of a challenge!  Watch this space, though, it could happen!

We know that not everyone wants to sew every pattern, but we're challenging you to sew along with any Deer&Doe Pattern!  We set up a flickr group for everyone to show off their beautiful makes, and we'll be doing a giveaway at the end of the year.  We'll pick some favorites from the flickr group, and put up a vote for readers to choose a winner.  The winner will get a Deer&Doe pattern of their choice and some other goodies that we're not sharing yet :)

Any garments made from September 1st - January 1st can be added to the group, and are eligible.

Interested in sewing along?  We thought so because we LOVE Deer&Doe too!

I'll be posting my makes here, and Sally will be posting over at The Quirky Peach, so be sure to follow along there as well :)

Pick a pattern (or 10, they're all gorgeous), post to the flickr group for a chance to win, grab a button, and watch this space.  There's about to be a Deer&Doe party in here!

Let's Sew Deer & Doe

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

If you like Pina Coladas...

There are pineapples on my dress.

Apparently, I lost a finger on my right hand.  I'm just that excited.

Ahhhh, the joys of sewing.  This is my first version of Moneta.  And, there are pineapples on it.  Did I mention that?  Pineapples.

I'm about a million percent surprised at how well this came together.  My twin needle behaved the entire time, which almost never happens.  Maybe it was really excited about the pineapples, too.  Clearly, I'm not...

Can't you tell?

White is officially the worst color to photograph, though.  Everything is so washed out!  That belt is hot pink, and the pineapples are super bright.  Whatever, you get the idea.

The only issue I ran into was with my serger (go figure).  It kept flattening out the gathers as I attached the skirt.  We figured it out in the end, and all is well.  Translation: I chopped that shit off which shortened the bodice and the skirt so now I must wear a belt.  Whatever, there are pineapples.  I'll be wearing this one for a while.

I'm a little unsure of the fitting on this one, too.  I cut a size M for this, because the fabric has very little stretch.  But, I have weird gaping in the overbust armscye area.  Anyone else run into this issue?  I have NO CLUE how to fix that shit.  I tried sizing down (and used a stretchier, drapier fabric) and the weird gape-age was still there.

I have a huge pile of knits, and like 3 knit patterns, so I was really glad to add this to the arsenal.  I won it as a prize for TMS indie pattern month, and Dresses & Me sent it to me from NZ.  Thanks again Penny!  She's got an awesome online shop you should totally check out!

Pattern: Moneta
Size: M
Alterations: Inadvertently shortened the waist...ugh
Fabric: Tossed Pineapples Cotton Jersey