There really is no denying it, but I am—and we all are—colored by our youth. Mine was during the grunge colored days when Seattle rock usurped the nation’s top-40 air waves, long before the now consolidated Napster and the overwhelming recognizable iTunes. Underground music was not easy to come by back then, and as I was in rural Kentucky off mainstream clothes weren’t always accessible. So . . . when grunge hit the scene it was all the rage. That being said, I still have my Docs. Yes, yes I do. I also have an affection for flannel shirts, jeans (though I’ve long eschewed the torn out knees), and hair neither flattened nor straight. These days hairdressers always want to flatten my hair. I say, “I like the curls and waves. Leave it! Makes me a rebel.” It does, and I’m sticking to that. Of course, it also saves me about an hour in the morning—meaning more sleep for me—and that I find firmly within my half-hazard sewing motto of “lazy but efficient.” Sometimes that motto creeps into life . . .
I can’t really say sewing is all that lazy, as well . . . the mere nature of it is a handicraft and labor of hand. But, I can say that those hand crafts allow me to duplicate, improve on, and replicate some classic wears of my youth. I don’t mean I’m re-rocking hemp bracelets and vests, but those flannels and leggings are certainly still lurking about.
Enter the Deer and Doe Bruyere.
Ah. That placket turns to the front . . . oh well.
Those box pleats and darts . . . the key it to make sure your pleats and darts align when you sew the top and bottom pieces to the waistband, which really happens in more of a blink of an eye. The shirt is just that well drafted.
I’m on the far end of the sizing, as Deer and Doe is a French company. With that being said, alterations were as simple as mixing creamer in my morning coffee. I would say that by and large, I think most folks would have a simple time altering (i.e. upsizing) this bad boy.
My alterations: I sewed the side seams and sleeve seams on a 3/8ths seam allowance (the standard seam for a domestic serger if you will) and I did my standard grade of adding 2” over about 1.5 inches at the sleeve and armpit junction. My arms fit better, though, in all fairness I didn’t really have to add the sleeve allowance. And I sewed the box pleats a ¼ inch longer in the back, as I wanted to reduce some fullness on my rump. Not a lot, but just enough. That’s it. Really. Talk about a simple shirt for a wearable muslin! My waistbands are on the bias, as I’m a plaid lady today. Next time I might add a second waistband, on the inside, not on the bias. Couldn’t this time as I had just enough fabric. As in . . . the inside button placket is pieced together and the under-collar is also pieced . . . yes, you need the full 3.25 yards (I only had three).
She fits my chest like a well-designed glove holding and not crushing, and those buttons are in the original placement of the pattern. If I wanted to wear a foam supported bra (you know, one of those “racy” numbers from Vicky Secrets that elevate your boobs up to your chin) I could, but probably more from the bra than anything else I’d be on the uncomfortable side.
The fabric is free to me flannel, which is why I used it as the wearable muslin here. I had a gift certificate and coupon for JoAnn’s, which I only go to with my Mom as A) it’s the closest and near only store neighboring her and my Dad in rural Virginia and B) we abuse the sales and coupons for notions. There’s no JoAnn’s in the city, so online it was. So, this time . . . The fabric is a lovely print, and since it was free to me I figured why not. Of course, I saw a semi-recent Banana Republic email with flannels in styling reminiscent of my youthful ‘90s and my mind and sewing went down memory lane. Yea, I have those sales ads come to see the current trends and such, sometimes for ideas. Okay, all of that being said, the flannel is of questionable quality as it is not thin and not really a medium weight. I am certain it will be dead by summer, but I love it for now. And, it was free to me! Those buttons are stash, vintage cast offs from my best friend’s grandmother’s estate, and the thread I used also came from that same domain. So, this shirt cost me the price of the pattern. Yet, that isn’t fair, as I am certain I will make two more (more on that in a few). So the real cost of the shirt will decrease each time I use that pattern. Ah, the joys of sewing math.
Some more lovely shots of my ’90s grunge glory with a baby doll flare.
That collar works gloriously well, and there is no stand. Yea, even easier! It gets a smidge of interfacing. I should note, I forgot the interfacing on the cuffs. Oh well. And the placket . . . it’s folded like an accordion four times and sewn to the shirt, so that’s five layers. No need for interfacing there. It really is genius. Of course, this means you are not putting this blouse together like, say my TNT button down, an Archer. In my book, that makes it that much more fun. Instead of mundane, near routine, construction I had to pay attention to make sure I didn’t do something out of order. Good stuff.
As for making this one again: most certainly. I have some flannel I picked up at Mood not long ago that is dying to be a Bruyere with smoke colored snaps, and a generous cut lot of silk that called my name in Amsterdam wants to be this shirt when the weather brings us yellow flowers and shades of pink of trees again.