We are pleased to have a guest author this month, Leah Bandstra. Leah is a Bolt regular and sewist (and knitter) extraordinaire! We’ve been lucky enough to have Leah help us with some store samples at various times and now she’s here to chime in about her experiences with one of the new to Bolt Deer and Doe patterns, the Datura. Enjoy!
I am always eager to try patterns from independent designers, so I was thrilled to see several patterns from the French line Deer and Doe at Bolt last month. Deer and Doe really walks the line between fancy and wearable, leaving lots of room to be creative with fabric choices and details.
I chose to start with the Datura Blouse, because it seemed like the most practical for my everyday life. The gently curved yoke was just calling out for a contrasting fabric, so I chose two different cotton voiles from Anna Maria Horner. Bolt has a great supply of solid voiles, and the print is a piece that I had been saving for the perfect project. The pattern suggests something lightweight and drapey, and the voile fits the bill perfectly. A rayon, silk, or linen would be so nice, as well.
The crewneck version only requires four pattern pieces, so everything came together very quickly. The yoke construction was unlike any method I had ever used, but it is really clever and fun to execute. I read the directions carefully and used the drawing for reference, and everything went smoothly. I would call this an intermediate pattern, although an adventurous beginner would probably be fine. The only thing that wasn’t clearly explained comes at the very end. The pattern suggests using bias tape as hem facing, but they don’t offer an explanation of how to do that. I just looked it up online, and it was easy!
My bust measurement put me squarely in the size 40 range, and I am really pleased with the fit. I was concerned that the arms would be tight, but it does not seem to be a problem at all. I only had about ¾ yard of the print (54” wide), and I used up pretty much all of it. The yoke required about ¾ yards of the solid (also 54”), but the bias tape ate up quite a bit of fabric.
I really enjoyed sewing this top, and I am looking forward to making several more to live in this summer. It is light and breezy, but still looks pulled together. After so much success, I can’t wait to try out more Deer and Doe designs.
Thanks to Pinky Gonzalez for the photos.