Well, our coffee date will have to wait until tomorrow because I have an actual garment post today!!
I mentioned last week that I had just gotten back from an amazingly fun sewing weekend with my girlfriends. Well, this Bruyere Shirt was my main accomplishment that weekend, and I L-O-V-E love it! I also whipped through a few easier makes, which I will blog eventually. When I take pictures. Yeah…you know how that goes.
But back to Bruyere!
I won’t pretend like this was a quick, easy make because it wasn’t. I started this around noon on the Sunday of my weekend away, and I worked solidly until about 10:30pm, only taking a quick dinner break. That’s right, 10 hours of solid sewing went in to making this shirt — and that doesn’t even count cutting and marking the fabric!
But I’m not complaining. I love that I had the time to sit down and focus on a meaty project and come away with a finished shirt at the end of the day. This shirt is finished really well, too. In fact, the only finishing touch that I could have added but didn’t was French seams on the side seams. That one couture touch would have been nice, but I just couldn’t bring myself to add yet another step when my serger was sitting just a few feet away.
I cut a size 38 at the bust, graded out to a 40 at the waist and back down to a 38 at the hip. In hindsight, I could have cut a straight 38 and been fine, but the extra inch of ease in the waist is kind of nice. I also made a few modification to the pattern, which are detailed below.
My fabric is a polka dot Japanese double gauze that I bought from the Imagine Gnats online store (still some available here!). When looking at these pictures I realized that my top looks almost exactly the same as the model Bruyere top on the Deer & Doe page. Totally unintentional!
Anyway, this fabric is absolutely heavenly. It’s baby soft and has beautiful drape. I think double gauze may be the perfect all-weather fabric because the double quilted layer gives it some nice warmth for cooler temps, but the gauzey nature of it makes it super breathable for warm weather. This fabric was not cheap, but it was seriously worth the investment!
I’m not a big button-up fan, but I must say that I love this shirt. I am generally anti shirts that need to be tucked in and anti stiff boxy shirts, which covers most button-ups. This shirt, however, is designed to be worn untucked, and the waistband makes it the opposite of boxy. Paired with skinny jeans or leggings, this is already becoming my weekend “mom uniform.”
After I got home from my sewing weekend, I cut fabric for two more Bruyere shirts too! These will take me much longer to finish, but I figure that if I can sew even for 30 minutes a day on them, I should be able to finish in about a month.
Anyone else have a weekend uniform?
Pattern: Deer & Doe Bruyere Shirt
Size: 38 at the bust and hips, graded to a 40 at the waist.
Fabric: Japanese double gauze from the Imagine Gnats shop.
Difficulty: Intermediate. There’s nothing particularly advanced about the techniques used to make this shirt, but it does take a lot of time and attention. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner, but an intermediate sewist, or even an adventurous advanced beginner shouldn’t have any problems if they’re willing to put in the time.
Techniques required: Sewing a curved seam/hem, setting in sleeves, plackets, buttons and buttonholes, precise edgestitching,
Modifications: Ok, there were a number. I really love how this shirt turned out, so I want to keep a record of them.
- Rather than doing French seams on the waistband, I cut two waistband pieces and faced that piece. I very much prefer having those seams tucked inside a faced waistband instead of French seams. It was really easy to secure the inside bottom edge of the waistband since the pattern calls for topstitching at both the top and bottom of the waistband. This also helps keep those seams secure.
- To do a faced waistband, I ended up changing the order of construction on the bodice. I sewed up the side seams on the bodice, waistband and skirt separately and then attached each piece together. On my next ones I cut the waistband as a single piece rather than 3 pieces.
- My pleats face the wrong way. They’re supposed to be inverted box pleats and mine are regular box pleats. Oops.
- The shirt is designed to have a gathered sleeve cap. However, I didn’t think there was enough fabric for nice gathers, so I just made tiny pleats in the sleeve cap instead.
- Same thing with the cuff. The sleeve is supposed to be gathered at the cuff but IMHO, there wasn’t enough fabric for that.
- I interfaced the button stands for some additional stability in that area. The pattern did not call for this.
Fit: Amazing. This shirt is so comfy and (I think) so flattering. I really need to sew more Deer & Doe patterns because these patterns fit me perfectly!
Pattern Format: The Deer & Doe paper patterns are really lovely. The pattern pieces are printed on a fairly heavy white paper which makes them really easy to trace.
- Really comfy, especially in my nice, soft fabric. I love how this feels on my skin.
- The cut is really flattering. It accentuates the natural waist, typically the narrowest part of a woman’s body.
- This shirt would be sooo easy to length and modify into a dress. And it would be a super cute one to boot.
- The fit is right on, at least for me. The bust darts on this pattern fit me so well that I might even use it as a bodice sloper. I did make a muslin to check the fit, which I would highly recommend before putting in the time it takes to make this shirt.
- Great details and finishing makes this top look like high-end RTW. I love that.
- The collar is a single piece rather than a proper two-piece collar and stand. I thought about trying to adapt my Archer pattern pieces, but ultimately decided not to. I don’t mind the collar as drafted, but I do think the two-piece collar looks more professional.
- The sleeve placket is not a proper two-piece placket, which is a continuing annoyance for me in women’s shirt patterns. I like this placket much better than the Archer placket, but I still wish it was a 2-piece. Still not annoying enough for me to mess with changing it.
- I wish that the pattern was drafted with a faced waistband because it is soooo easy to do and makes for much nicer insides. I did make this change and I’m very happy I did.
- I don’t like the order of construction, which basically has you assemble the whole front and then the whole back before sewing up the side seams. I think it’s much harder to match seams this way and prefer to sew up the side seams of each part (bodice, waistband and skirt) and then assemble them. In fact, on my next ones, I’ve cut the waistband as a single piece rather than 3 because I don’t intend to follow the included order of construction.
Overall Grade: A. I think this is an incredibly flattering tunic and looks really RTW if you take your time on the details. I’m totally jumping on the leggings and tunic bandwagon for weekend wear and my Bruyeres will likely be staples in that wardrobe!
**Oh and in case anyone wonders, I got absolutely nothing in this post for free. I paid for my pattern and all my fabric out of my own pocket.