Deer and Doe | Airelle
My second quick make for the great Italian caper of 2017!
I wanted a few new makes especially for our trip and, given Wellington is only just coming out of winter, a couple of lighter cotton pieces for some hopefully for balmy autumn evenings seemed just the ticket! This is number two.
The pattern is Deer and Doe's Airelle. I love how D&D break down their patterns into Botany for woven patterns and Meteorology for knits, and also their names for the individual patterns: Airelle, from the Botany collection, translates to huckleberry. The fabric is Twist Mustard, a cotton batiste Atelier Brunette from the lovely Miss Maude.
Process and Progress
My third D&D pattern and I continue to have really good experiences with their patterns! I made the short sleeve version, although envision making the long sleeve in future. This is a level three make, and I found the directions clear and easy to follow. Generally, I think I'm learning I prefer drawings/diagrams in patterns over photographs, and D&D's diagrams are excellent.
My one general note about D&D patterns is this: I prefer to do all my cutting, including interfacing, before I begin a project and like it when directions include the prompt to cut interfacing while you're cutting fabric. With both Airelle and Arum this has caught me out: I'm in full sewing swing and suddenly need to cut out my interfacing. Minor issue! —But there you go, I just need to remember in future :-)
I used a charcoal thread for the top stitching ... with mixed results. On the yoke, perfetto! On the collar, a little uneven (sigh). But necklines are my Achilles heel [ha! when I first typed this I wrote Achilles hell, which is totally appropriate!] so I should have guessed.
D&D use a different instruction for gathers than I'm used to, and I think I kinda like it... However, if you're using a delicate fabric take heed! Your two lines of basting stitches sit either side of your seam line, that is you sew one at 3/8" and one at 6/8", and your seam is 5/8" (see photo below, this was the yoke gather before removing basting). This was fine with my cotton, but in anything more fragile I wouldn't do this as it leaves little needle marks after you've removed your basting.
Fit and Finish
I love Airelle! Love her. She was comfortable and kindly to wear in all sorts of different ways in Italy: attending the Venice Biennale, running for trains, dressing up for meals out and hanging at the beach. I couldn't be bothered grading between sizes so went for a straight 44 (I'm 42 at the bust), and having it looser was great for the warmth.
While fitting her, I actually really liked the sleeves without the gathers, but I went ahead with them anyway. I do like the gathered sleeves, but would experiment leaving them off in future. Also, I would make the sleeve cuff a midge larger: those French ladies seem to have very petite arms! I actually think she may be one of my favourite makes... Anyway, here she is, in all her completed glory: