Rock-a-birdy Bleuet

A month or two back, the lovely ladies of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) were debating – what will our next self-set sewalong challenge be? We put it to vote, and the winner was – making something using a Deer&Doe pattern!

And since we were using Deer&Doe patterns, we figured we may as well head to where the deer were for a photo shoot, so decided on a day trip to Staglands, a family animal park just outside of Wellington. (Not that any of us had been there before, but we figured that with a name like ‘Staglands’, the chance of there being deer there was quite high. Plus, we were somewhat curious as to what it was like!)

So last weekend, a few of us drove along a narrow, windy, steep, surrounded-by-native-bush road, being deafened by the sound of cicadas, until we reached Staglands tucked away in it’s valley. And oh my, was it worth the trip! We spent all afternoon there, and didn’t even get to see everything. It’s set up so well – lots of zones, lots of different animals to meet and feed and watch. Heaps of native bush, creeks and streams and bridges. And a Secret Garden with rabbits running around to pet!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And of course, some deer, too. 🙂

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But anyway, I guess you want to hear about what we made, right? Well, would you believe it – the four of us that turned up wearing Deer&Doe creations all made the same thing! The Bleuet dress. So we got to roam around the park in a pack of matching dresses. 😉

Quadruple Bleuets | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(From left-right: Nikki, me, Mel and Jen.)

Quadruple Bleuets | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made my Bleuet out of a stretch denim. (Admittedly, I would have preferred it not to be stretch, but that’s what I had to hand. And I’ve long been wanting a denim shirt dress, because I found these awesome swallow iron-on embroidered patches at a store a while back, and they’ve been needing me to make them a denim shirt dress for them to live on. So a denim Bleuet it was to be!)

Deer&Doe Bleuet dress

Deer&Doe – Bleuet dress pattern

Just because it was fun, I used the reverse side of the denim for contrast – on the collar (although I used the ‘outer’ side for the inside collar band, for contrast on the contrast, haha!), the bow, and the sleeve cuffs. The original plan was to use pearl snap fasteners, but I’m trying to be very good and not buy more stuff when I have so much already, so I went digging through my stash and unearthed enough red snap fasteners to use down the front. So, red fasteners it became!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I figure it’s got a bit of a ‘rockabilly’ look to it, what with shirt dress, denim, swallows, and red. Don’t ya think?

And because all dresses should have pockets, I added pockets to the centre side panels. Nice, deep ones, good for carrying things.

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My little sis’ made a Bleuet too – we spent all of Saturday sewing together, getting them finished in time for the outing. I used some of the scraps of her (covered with birds) Bleuet for the pocket lining in mine – check it out! More birds!!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Changes I made:

  • Lengthened the skirt by 15.5cm
  • Added pockets to the centre side panels (I’ve written a tutorial on how I did this in case anyone is interested in how to do this)
  • Did a super-dodgy small bust adjustment (SBA) by shaving 1cm off the bust curve of the side front (don’t try this at home, kids!)
  • Only put interfacing on one side of the collar and collar stand (I figured with a heavy fabric, it didn’t need more than that)

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This was my first experience sewing up a Deer&Doe pattern, and I must admit it was a bit mixed. Things I loved – the packaging and booklet are super cute, the language is friendly and engaging, the design is adorable (seriously – that bow is just so cute!!), and the pattern paper is nice and thick, really easy to trace and work with. Oh, and the bow is not only super-cute, but also made in a rather fun and easy way. 🙂

Exploring Staglands | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Things I didn’t love to much – the instructions were a bit odd at times. They don’t include cutting the interfacing in the cutting layout, so you have to hunt through the instructions to figure out what bits you need to cut – not so good when you want to do all the prep in one go as it’s very easy to miss things. Also, I felt they ask for too much interfacing – usually only one side of the collar and collar stand gets interfaced (if I remember correctly anyway – I’m now doubting all others I’ve made in the past, oops!), rather than both. I don’t feel that the sleeve cuff needs interfacing either, since it’s essentially folded in four and is therefore quite sturdy and strong. Also, the instructions for attaching the collar and stand are just plain weird – not clear at all, and what they seem to be asking you to do is a heck of a lot harder than it needs to be, with lots of room for having to unpick and resew things due to things not 100% lining up. (Same with attaching the sleeve cuff, for that matter).

So yeah. The pattern itself I like, but I do feel that the instructions made it harder than it needed to be.

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though. The sleeve cuffs are a little bit tighter than I would have liked (I’ll extend the sleeve cuff width by about 3cm next time so they’re not so constricting), and I’m not 100% certain I like it the length I’ve ended up with, but still I am rather fond of it and I suspect it’s going to be getting a lot of wear, especially in weekends. 🙂

Oh, and we got to meet, and feed, lots of animals!

Rock-a-Birdy Bleuet (with a sheep) | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My Little Guy (and my Bigger Guy) both came along too and really enjoyed themselves. Such a fun day all around! 🙂

Meeting Deer | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Stag | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

26 responses to “Rock-a-birdy Bleuet

  1. I love that you all turned up in the same dresses, but how different they look! Looks like you all had a great day out too.

  2. really cute dress (well, dresses, i kind of like all of them).. and what a nice day you had! great pictures

  3. The swallows are such a fabulous detail. I love snap fasteners too (probably helped with a speedy finish). I have not been won over by the Blue but your version is great.

  4. Ya’ll look great in your dresses. Yet another pattern that I thought I didn’t need until I saw a few more versions.

  5. Really lovely dress! The red poppers and swallows really make it and it all works so well together. I love the photo taken from behind the four of you so you can see all the bows on the back!

  6. All 4 commentators have said it all… except yes, bring on that info on doing pockets!


  7. Bunny!!!!!!!!! Wow, what a fun day! I love that you guys all chose the same pattern– so fun! 🙂

  8. Oh, there’s your reverse denim bow, love it! I like the pics of all of you together, all your bluets are so different. And, no better outing than small furry creature day!

  9. I love that you all turned up with variations of the same dress! How great minds think alike! Love the dress(es) and jelly that I was climbing up a big mountain over meandering round Staglands with you ladies! love that place!
    did you make up up to the old village???
    Laura xx

  10. What a cute dress! I love the swallows and the reverse denim bow!!

  11. So much fun that you all chose the same dress! Is yours embroidered? I just love it! And looks like a really fun day!

    • Aw, thank you! 🙂 Mine is kind-of embroidered. They’re iron-on embroidered patches, I don’t (yet!?) have the skills to do that sort of thing myself! (Or maybe it’s patience I lack….?!? Heh, probably. 😉

  12. I love everything about this dress. I love the contrast bow (and I despise bows as a rule) and the swallows and the red snaps. It’s just the perfect rockabilly shirt dress. Love it!

  13. Och, I love it! Especially the swallows – I’ve been wanting some patches like that so I can make a cardigan and put them on the shoulders. And great idea with the pockets

    So gutted that I couldn’t come – and that it was all to do with my stupidity in not realising that it was >1 hour away and we had to pack the house.

    • Was a shame you couldn’t be there. 😦 I never got to find out what you made to wear for it?!?
      I got the birds from calico jacks on Cuba st – was a while ago, but they might still have them. 🙂

  14. The embroidery birds are awesome! They really finish off the dress perfectly.

  15. All your dresses are so lovely!! But oh my goodness, that pic of you holding the bunny is just ADORABLE!!! I totally melted into piles of gushiness at all your sweet animal photos – gratuitous cuteness FTW!!! 😀

  16. Love your dress Kate – those swallow motifs make it!

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