On a recent trip to New York, I was lucky enough to pop in to see Jennifer at Workroom Social in Brooklyn and stocked up on their AMAZING rayons! I didn't want to rush straight in to working with them, I wanted to wait until I'd decided on just the right projects, so for this delicious coral coloured rayon scattered with mouths, I chose to sew the Deer and Doe Datura Blouse.
Now, I am obsessed with mouths. I don't know why, but if there's a fabric with a mouth on it, I'm there! I don't buy many ready-to-wear garments anymore, but what I do buy more than likely has a mouth on it. Markus Lupfer is my absolute design idol with his sequinned mouth t-shirts and jumpers!
Anyway, I digress...I went for the Datura for this fabric as with all of the Deer and Doe patterns, it has a little design feature which makes it a little bit different and special. In this case, it is the triangle cut-out neckline.
Now, be warned with this pattern - Deer and Doe have labelled it as a skill level of 3/5, meaning it is more for intermediate sewers. What this means is that some of the instructions are a bit vague as they assume at this stage that you will know what to do. Think of it as a Paul Hollywood Technical Challenge on Great British Bake Off! So, for example, the instructions don't tell you how to sew on the bias tape to connect the neckline to the points of the triangles, they just tell you to do it. So do it I did. Quite a few times in fact as it took me a while to get to a stage where I was happy with the neatness of my stitching.
The trickiest bit of the pattern I found was stitching the yokes together. Step 2-6 tells you to "pull the straps of the front yoke for about an inch". Now, could I figure out what this meant? I did, but not for about two hours!! I don't know if I had a bit of a dense moment or what, but just in case you have the same bother, it means to reach inside the straps then pull out the front yoke from there. You'll know what I mean when you come to it!
So the yokes were done, my little triangles had strong points and I was feeling very pleased with myself. Until I laid the finished yokes over my dressmaker's dummy...
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I had inadvertently created a "boob mouth". A perfectly placed, slightly open mouth (complete with teeth) located over my right chesticle. My heart sank. I had spent quite a long time cutting out the pieces to ensure I made full use of the gorgeous fabric design that I didn't even contemplate this would happen. My only saving grace at this stage was that the fabric design isn't symmetrical so I didn't have a mouth over each bazooma.
So I had two options:
1. Remake the yokes
2. Persevere and if worst comes to the worst, wear the top and OWN IT LIKE A BOSS!
Needless to say, I went with the latter and I'm glad I did! When finished, the yokes actually sit just above the boobage meaning that the mouth looks more a badge of honour, rather than an open invitation to all and sundry, so crisis well and truly averted!
The back is equally as special as the front, as it is constructed in two pieces which are then fastened together using three buttons that are stitched through both plackets. How glad was I when I discovered I didn't need to sew buttonholes? I don't think my nerves could have taken it!
Despite my emotional rollercoaster whilst sewing this, I really enjoyed making it! Was it a bit faffy? Yes it was, but a bit of faff tends to lead to the most special of garments; you don't get an omelette without breaking eggs! I will definitely be making this one again, especially as the other variation has a peter pan collar, which I am a fan of.
If there's one thing we can all from this is make sure your pattern placement is right before cutting out and if it isn't, who cares? Just bloody own it!