A friend reminded me of them a couple of weeks ago when she ordered the Datura blouse. So of course, I then promptly popped onto the Deer&Doe site, and just as promptly ordered the Pavot jacket and the Chardon skirt. (These patterns are only available online direct from Deer & Doe - but shipping is both reasonable and quick)
Both of these jumped to the top of my sewing queue - I traced both off the day after the patterns arrived. The patterns are printed on heavyweight paper, and were very easy to trace - the pattern is the same width as the interfacing I use for drafting, and the pieces were well laid out.
I started with the Pavot jacket (I am waiting on a fabric order for my skirt!) I had some navy blue drill in my stash (it was earmarked for a jacket for Will - ooops!), and decided to go with that. I've been a bit obsessed with navy and green lately, and so decided to use some lime green Prints Charming fabric for the facings - but more on that in a minute....
Construction was simple - the pattern is well drafted and the directions well written. Despite the number of pieces, all fitted together really well. I overlocked the edges prior to construction (as suggested by the pattern), and all the seams are pressed open and then top stitched. It probably took me about 2.5 - 3 hours to put majority of the jacket together (up to collar, facings and hems). I did deviate from the pattern with the sleeves - I attached the sleeves prior to stitching the side seams. (It's the method I am used to).
But then I got cold feet - I was worried that it a/ wouldn't fit me (my only gripe about the pattern is the small size range - take note - the pattern sizes are French, and do not correspond to bust measurements, as I first thought, and there are only 6 sizes included in the pattern. I made the largest size.), and b/ wouldn't suit me. I tried it on and didn't like the look. So I took yesterday off from sewing and started fresh on it today.
And here came my first mistake (totally mine, not the pattern's) - my decision to use a contrast for the facing. I misread the directions, and had failed to realise that the facings actually fold back on themselves to form a button placket (which did solve my dilemma re the upper bodice not fitting me). While I did want to see a peek of the lime, I did not want a placket made from it! So, I then had to cut the facing back and piece it with the drill - except I didn't have very much of the drill left. I managed to find one piece that was long enough - but it was slightly too narrow. It ended up working (tiny seam allowances and some unpicking) but it would have been easier and better to have had a wider piece to play with.
For the second (and worst) mistake of the day, I cut a triangular hole in the front skirt while overlocking a seam. I have never done this before, and I truly hope I never do again. Anyway, (shiftily) patched and now I'm ignoring it. Ok?
By now, I had spent a further three hours on it - but was determined to finish it. I wanted to use covered buttons, but have never had much success with those do it yourself ones. At first, I could only find four the right size, and needless to say, they didn't work. But then I found a new packet (same brand mind you) - & for once, they worked. The pattern calls for 7; I've made do with 6.
And so, the finish. I used navy satin bias to bind the facings, and also used this to finish the hem (the pattern calls for this hem finish - a nice touch, I think). I had a play with a 'fancy' stitch on my machine for the sleeve hems - a faux buttonhole stitch.
I'm really happy with how the jacket has turned out. I like the contrasting facing and think the overall style is quite flattering. And I forgot to mention - it has pockets! The only thing I am unhappy about is the front placket - due to my mistake, it's not as neat as it could be. The drill I chose is also not the best quality, but for a first run it's fine. I would like to make another one - maybe from wool? And definitely lined.
I hope my skirt fabric gets here soon!
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