When it was released a few years ago, the Deer & Doe Bruyere shirt pattern felt like a breath of fresh air. At the time, the relaxed-fit Grainline Archer was everywhere, and the Bruyere offered some unique details for a button-down shirt: a fitted bodice, a waistband, and general fit-and-flare shape. I instantly fell in love and have been wanting one of my own since it was released.
Unfortunately, the Bruyere’s size range is fairly limited, going only up to a European size 46 (41″ bust, 43″ hip). Although I’ve always loved this top, that’s way, way too much grading for me to take on.
There’s an out-of-print McCall’s pattern (McCall’s 6898) that has some similar design elements that I debated hacking a few times but never got around to it. However, recently on the Cashmerette Facebook group, member Rachel Turner had the brilliant idea to hack the Cashmerette Lenox shirtdress into a Bruyere shirt.
Comparing the line drawings of the two patterns, you can see that they have most of the important design elements in common:
- Fitted “bodice” (darts in the Bruyere and princess seams in the Lenox)
- Shoulder yoke
- Separate button band
- Pleated “skirt”
That said, they do have a few key differences:
- The Lenox has a more open neckline.
- The Bruyere “skirt” has a shirttail shape.
- The Lenox has an additional set of pleats compared to the Bruyere.
- No long sleeve option is currently available for the Lenox.
Overall, though, I felt that the two patterns were a close enough match to do a reasonably easy hack.
I opted to make a sleeveless shirt. I know that many of our CSC readers love sleeves and would probably prefer to see the long sleeve hack, but when I started this project, we were in a two-week long stretch of 90-degree weather. Sleeves just weren’t going to happen. If you want to follow this hack and add long sleeves, your easiest bet would probably be to morph the sleeve cap of the Lenox sleeve onto the sleeve cap of the Cashmerette Harrison shirt. I’d muslined the Lenox before in the past, so I also knew that armhole gape wouldn’t be an issue for me if I left the sleeves off.
I also opted to just use the Lenox neckline, rather than trying to re-create the Bruyere neckline. I prefer a more open neckline on myself, so this seemed like a win-win situation.
Preparing the Lenox pattern
The first task to hack the Lenox into a Bruyere is to prep your pattern. I’ve made the Lenox before and pulled the following pattern pieces to work with:
- Bodice – center back
- Bodice – side back
- Bodice – center front
- Bodice – side front
- Button band
- Collar stand
- Skirt front
- Skirt back
I used most of these pieces as-is, with a few changes, described below.
Drafting the Bruyere “skirt”
To draft the new Bruyere skirt, I knew that I wanted to remove length and some fullness from the “skirt” pieces, including the extra set of pleats:
- Fold out the additional pleats that were closest to the side seam of the skirt front and back, folding these all the way down to the hemline. The pleats closest to CF and BF match up with the princess seams on the bodice, mimicking the look of the Bruyere.
- Fold the front and back pieces on the lengthen/shorten line and tucked the hem portion under the rest of the “skirt” to bring these pieces to more of a “tunic” length.
- Remove the seam allowance from the back skirt piece, so that I could cut the fabric for this piece on the fold.
- Trace your new pattern pieces, also tracing the grainline and pleat placement:
- Using a French curve ruler, shape the hem on both skirt pieces into a shirttail hem. (I forgot to take this photo before cutting my fabric):
Your modified skirt pieces are now ready to go.
Drafting the Button Band
For the Bruyere button band, I simply measured how much I’d shortened the length of the front skirt pieces, and folded the excess behind the pattern piece.
Sewing the Bruyere/Lenox Hack
To sew the Bruyere/Lenox hack:
- Follow the sewing instructions for the Lenox until you get to the point of inserting the sleeves. Instead of setting in the sleeves (if you’re sewing a sleeveless version like I did), simply sew up the side seams.
- Finish the armholes with bias tape.
- Proceed with following the Lenox instructions again until you get to the steps for the skirt. Omit sewing the CB seam (since the Bruyere skirt back is cut on the fold). Omit the second set of pleats, and omit the pockets.
- Attach the “skirt” to the waistband as instructed, then follow the Lenox instructions the rest of the way.
- When it comes time to hem the “skirt” portion, you may want to shorten it or reshape the shirttail shape slightly, which you can determine after you’ve tried it on.
My Final Shirt
I feel like this was a very successful hack. As is the case with the Lenox dress, I feel like the shape and lines of this shirt are quite flattering on me, helping to create the illusion of a waist.
Given that I have the option to layer this with a cardigan in cooler temperatures, I expect this shirt to get a lot of wear over the coming months.