Deer and Doe Plantain – first make of 2014, a year without resolutions

While I am trying to catch up with all of your blogs -I had around 200 unread posts when I got back from visiting my family- and reading all your (sewing related) resolutions for 2014 while listening to One Direction -blame it on spending a week with my little sister-, I decided I will not make new year’s resolutions.
I don’t believe in radical changes in behaviour or mindsets anyway. I think change is an organic movement, slow but steady, with a lot of reflection, not a straight highway, but a steep mountain road with several difficult parts and a lot of turns, sometimes even U-turns.
So in 2014 I will continue to work towards the long term goals I have for myself.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have specific goals for 2014 either. But those are not really resolutions, but just plans, things that would be nice if I could accomplish them this year and other things that I absolutely have to do…
The most important of my plans is surviving the renovations of our appartment. This will be the second time we go through renovations, so we sort of know what to expect… I’m definitely looking forward to the end result, the whole process… not so much. We start next week! Definitely exciting!
Our intention is to drag this apartment into the 21st century, we have a few decades to cross…
I also have a few sewing plans, including:
– Finish my Albion in time for the competition on the Colette site
– Make trousers for my husband for his cousin’s wedding at the end of May
– Execute the projects I have envisioned for my stash. I purchase fabric with specific projects in mind, just have to get of the couch and sink my needles in…
– Draft myself a dress
– Train my picture monkey personal photographer better so I get loads of cool pictures
Since you managed to read through all the above, I think I should show you a project as well.
I couldn’t be more thrilled last week when I saw on Twitter that Deer and Doe released a FREE T-shirt pattern. Yes, that’s right, a FREE pattern. Talk about a great Reyes* present.
I’m not big on sewing or wearing knits, so buying a 15€ pattern for a T-shirt is something I just cannot bring myself to. But if the pattern is free, that makes is an entire other story.
Plantain is a T-shirt fitted at the shoulders and flaring at the hips, with elbow patches. Short, long and 3/4 sleeves included in the pattern.
I had been contemplating what to do with this piece of geometric black and white fabric for a while. I was thinking along the lines of another Lola dress or maybe an Avocado hoodie, but when I saw Plantain, I knew they were meant to be thrown under the machine together.
I think I blend in well with the urban jungle
I didn’t want a T-shirt but a loose sweater, so instead of making size 42 I made size 44 and I’m absolutely thrilled the way it turned out.
Yes, I did the unspeakable and wore leggings as trousers. I will now certainly go to fashion-hell.
Things I love about this pattern:
 – the low neckline. So many patterns out there are just very conservative, and I like a little collar bone on display.
– the flaring at the hips
– the elbow patches, even though I didn’t add them
I added a waistband and sleevecuffs, because I like how they look and because I thought the sleeves would be a bit on the short side if I didn’t add some length.

To draw the waistband and cuffs, I first measured the circumference of the pattern pieces, I left of the seam allowance, multiplied this by 90% and then added the seam allowance. I wanted the waistband to be 4 cm wide, so I made a pattern piece of 11 cm high. For the cuffs I went with 7 cm, so that piece was 17 cm high.

I could have made this shirt in about an hour if I had a serger, but since I had to sew the seams, finish the seams and then cut away all the excess fabric, it took me about 3 to 4 times longer, but since my man was on a business trip I really didn’t mind the extra work to keep me occupied.

*Reyes are the 3 wise men and traditionally bring Spanish children that have been good all year gifts on January 6th.


Deer and Doe Airelle and an Award, my first EVER!

*** Warning *** Crappy mobile phone pictures coming up ***

*** Next project are more exciting, I promise! ***

I wanted to post this 2 weeks ago before we went to Belgium to visit family and friends, but never got round to taking pictures (and now I only got round to snapping a few bad pics with my mobile phone), so here it is now…

My Deer and Doe Airelle.

Please don’t mind my hair. I have a long standing love-hate relationship with my hair. I had long hair (I didn’t go to the hairdresser’s for over 2 years), then decided I didn’t want that anymore. I went to a hairdresser and asked for short asymmetrical hair and she said she wasn’t going to do that, but that she would cut it to shoulder-length. I hated it from the minute I stepped outside. (Push-over much, me?) My hair doesn’t have a nice drape (yes, this is a fabric analogy) when it is shoulder length, it does what it does in the above picture. Mad Max Tina Turner… And I hate my bangs right now too, they’re not short enough to lay flat but not long enough to lay neatly aside. So now it is growing again and it will take me at least another 2 years before I go to a hairdresser again! But until then I will just have to make do.

First comment my husband gave: Very pretty, well done again! Too bad I don’t really agree. This shirt does nothing for me… I don’t dislike it, but I’m not in love with it either. I don’t know what it is.
It could be because I really hate what the neck facing is doing, and I don’t know if it is my fault for messing up, or if the pattern is just not wide enough, or maybe it has something to do with my fabric… More on that later…  Another possibility is the fact that it is a shirt and thus I am forced to wearing pants (or a skirt if I had one that goes with it) and I don’t like waistbands. At least not in summer, in cold weather I don’t mind because I have to wear stockings anyway. So I’ll just put this shirt away until my body doesn’t reject waistbands anymore.

Unlike with my Bleuet, I set my pride aside and cut size 42. Cutting a size 42 makes me sad. In my mind my ideal size would be a 38. When I have to cut a 40 that’s OK to me because that means I’m really close to a size 38  but cutting out a 42 means I’m a long way from my (self-imposed) ideal… Maybe pattern companies could change their sizing to animal-names (although I don’t recommend a size Elephant) or colors or … Just anything but numbers or letters…
Now about the fabric…
Someone please stop me when I’m in a fabric store and keep looking and coveting the slippery stuff and redirect my attention to the cottons? It is some kind of polyester because this fabric DOES NOT breathe. It sticks to my body and I feel sweaty after about 30 seconds.
But just look at this fabric… They are poodles. POODLES, I tell you. How can you pass on poodles? You are absolutely right, you can’t! And so now I am paying the price…

Due to my attraction to the poodles, I’m in a lot of trouble with the neck facing. I not only understitched the facing, I even stitched it in place under the collar, but it still pops up… Anybody have any idea how to remedy this? Preferably a method that does not involve invisible handstitching…

The pattern calls for a double-folded hem, which I replaced for a very fine rolled hem, because taking off 2 cm of the length would make the shirt too short. Now it ends where I kind of want it to end, sitting on top of my butt, not above and not under it.
And although I don’t really like it, I still get complimented over the doggy shirt. Nobody seems to notice the facing sticking out, or maybe they are just too polite to say anything about it…

On a completely different note, from here on I am my own positive self again, I got my first ever Blog Award. I was so happy when I got the news. Like everybody I like to be liked… Preferably publicly… 
I was awarded the Super Sweet Blogger Award by the lovely Kim from Reves Mecanique.  A very pretty (as you can see in her pictures) and smart (she is a veterinarian) lady that makes super clothes and bags, like a Megan Nielsen Cascade, a very cute Deer and Doe Datura Blouse, a gorgeous Gertie’s Wiggle Dress, and she went to Burning Man last year… Thanks Kim, I feel really honored!

1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

THE 5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS – these are really hard for me to answer because I don’t eat processed foods, especially if it involves anything made from soy and it’s derivates and refined sugar, but I am a sinner sometimes, so here goes:

1 – Cookies or Cake?  
Homemade Chocolate-Chip Cookies, definitely my favorite. But my mom makes a wicked apple-cake too…
 2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? 
Chocolate, the darker the better, no doubt about it. Belgian genes, do I need to say more? (But my favorite chocolate is Spanish, a brand named Amatller Chocolate. They have some über-cute tin can packages).
3 – Favourite Sweet Treat?  
Marshmallows, I can just keep eating those.
4 – When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? 
 When I am tired, the sugar-rush wakes me up for a little while.
5 – Sweet Nick Name? 
I am not deserving of a sweet nickname, but my mom sometimes calls me “Zoetje” which translates as “Sweetie”.

I nominate the following bloggers – I don’t know if any of these people already received this award, but here goes:

Indie Pattern Month 2013 – Deer and Doe Bleuet

I finished this dress the last day of June, but haven’t been able to get pictures before, blame it on an urgent desire to go to the beach.

This dress is the Bleuet from Deer and Doe, and I love it. I am so so so happy with it! Finally a shirt-dress that actually suits me. I have tried several before in different stores, but something was always off, but not with this one!

The bow in the back is really cute.

I got the fabric on our trip to La Coruña last month, and I am in love with it. I had been looking for a small flower print for a very long time, and finally I came across this beauty. I knew immediately that it was meant for my Bleuet.

I found a great tutorial on photoshopping your fabric to your pattern by Mel from The Curious Kiwi, and just for the fun of it, I tried it out. It’s such great fun. You can find the tutorial for Photoshop here and the tutorial for Gimp here.

See, I knew beforehand this dress was going to be great!

I had the buttons covered in my local haberdashery store, I didn’t feel like messing around with those DIY-kits for 15 buttons, and they were only 70 cents each, so I was glad to outsource that task…

I’ll definitely make this again, but I’ll overcome my vanity and cut a size larger, this one is rather tight…

Nothing more to say about this dress, just enjoy the pictures.

 The sun is finally here, so off to the beach again it is! And don’t forget: wear sunscreen!