Deer & Doe Bleuet

I present, my first make from Deer & Doe patterns: the Bleuet dress.


I had been eyeing up this pattern for a while. Although, I’m sad to say, I’m not a big fan of many of the versions I’ve seen, I still loved the style and details (Jo asked me why I decided to make it when I haven’t seen any versions I love. My answer was “I figured I could make it better). Weirdly, I’ve loved almost every version of the Belladone, but actually dislike the pattern itself.


After making it up, I’m not sure how I feel about this dress.


  • Cute as hell
  • Look at that bow in the princess seam!
  • Details that I love: sleeves and collar (with a stand)
  • I like linen! And it was only $3/m, crazy talk.
  • My first collar stand went pretty well.


  • The fit is not great. I awesomely didn’t make a muslin, and so the waist sits too high (about 2″) and the hips are too flared (I measured the pieces and determined I needed more). Consequently it’s not as flattering as I’d like, because it’s missing the narrowest part of my waist.
  • The construction.. ugh. When I tried it on half-way through, it was going to be too small over the bust – so instead of folding the placket over twice, I folded once – leaving an overlocked edge exposed (inside). If I left it at that, it would be too big above the chest, so I took more of a wedge there…. messy.
  • The pattern instructions are sparce. Whether that’s how they started off (I think so) or because they’re translated I’m not sure. They’re fine, and you could easily get away with not using them at all, but one of my favourite things about indie patterns (particularly Sewaholic and Papercut patterns) is the attention to detail in the instructions, ensuring a nice inside to the garment.
  • Despite being careful to put a button over the breast point, it still gapes a bit, so I’ll always have to wear a slip (I need to make one – currently I just have op-shop polyester numbers) and even then it’s a bit dodgy.
  • I did horizontal buttonholes because I figured that way they wouldn’t have any chance of popping open. It’s true, but the placket wasn’t wide enough so the buttonholes go off the edge of the interfacing…

You can see the dodgily tapered button placket on the left.

Despite the issues, it is wearable and looks quite nice on, so I will continue to wear it (can you tell I’m in a negative mood as I write this? Goodness knows why, just one of those days). I’m just not sure I’ll make this pattern up again.

ImageThis is in response to Mr. Guy telling me to straighten my posture. Mega-gape.


Pattern: Bleuet (blueberry) by Deer & Doe Patterns

Fabric: navy textured linen, $3/m from The Fabric Warehouse pop-up sale, $6

Notions: 15 buttons, $1.20 each. Thread and interfacing, stash. Total = $18

Total: $24


My question to you: why do you choose to sew with indie patterns (if at all)? Is it because of the designs, the instructions, certain fits (like those drafted to pear shapes), supporting small businesses, or a sense of loyalty to the sewing community and mistrust of The Big Four?

PS what the hang is with wordpress’s spellcheck? It doesn’t know the words “waist”, “sew”, and “pear”. Wut


11 thoughts on “Deer & Doe Bleuet

  1. It looks awesome! I love the color and it looks like it would be comfortable – is it big enough to sew down the front placket to eliminate the gaping? I do that to most of my button downs, so gaping isn’t an issue! I love the Indie patterns because of their initiative and commitment to the sewing world, though I do sew from ‘big 4’ patterns as well. I have found fit better with Indie patterns, and their instructions, particularly sew alongs, brilliant.

    • It might actually be big enough to do that, I should check. And I could always have the stitching stop just above the waist so I could undo that button to get it on and off.

      The sewalongs are an excellent part of the indie pattern service. There are a couple of designers that I’ve emailed and NEVER heard back from, which doesn’t help with my thoughts of them, but ah well. Part of the better fit from indies is probably not having crazy, crazy ease built into the designs – so they’re much more “beginner friendly”. I also agree that the instructions can be mind boggling at times and indies are usually a bit more thorough (although D&D’s instructions are very brief, and Papercut’s are good but there are some things that definitely need a lot more explaining – I totally screwed up a welt pocket last night because the instructions weren’t clear, glad I tried it on scrap fabric first!)

  2. Lovely, Sophie-Lee! The indigo color of this linen looks absolutely smashing on you. And $3/m? What a steal! However, that completely sucks that it gave you such fitting issues. Despite how much I love them, I always seem to have fit issues with shirt dresses. Invariably, they will gape at my bust, no matter the FBA I use, and be way too big through everywhere else. Such a headache!

    Also, I definitely sew with indie patterns, because of the designs. They always feel much more current than the Big 4 offerings. The only downside is that, for a handful of the companies, they don’t actually cover my size. For Deer & Doe, I’d have to grade one size up, which hasn’t kept me from buying the patterns (so cute, all of them!), but has kept me from actually using them yet. All that grading, plus fitting something like the Bluet, makes me queasy. So, I tend to reach for patterns from companies like Colette or Blue Ginger Doll, as I’m happily ensconced within their size ranges. And though I rarely follow them anymore, I do prefer the exhaustive nature of indie pattern instructions. So much better than the often-befuddling Simplicity diagrams!

    • Yeah $3/m in NZ is virtually unheard of, particularly for quality fabric. And yes, what is up with shirt dresses?? I’m not even busty, and they tend to gape. I am still looking out for my dream shirtwaist pattern though because I loooove them so much.

      I was going to mention the sizing issue in the post – I know a few people who can’t use any indie patterns because they don’t go big enough, and the alterations would be too hard. Some (like Megan Neilson) are crazy small. As you know, I’m trying to buy less patterns and use TNT patterns that I know fit… but then different patterns keep popping up that I want! A mix of both is probably best, I think I’ve exhaused my need for more Gertie skirts for the time being.

  3. I have this dress too! I actually made it one size too small šŸ˜¦ It was a decision made out of vanity… Next time I will do better. I still love this pattern and I’ll probably give it a try again for summer. It is the first shirt dress I have ever worn that doesn’t look horrid on me. And I like the indies because 1. they’re indies and 2. their designs are usually more up-to-date and more specific towards a certain style.

    • “Because they’re indies” – I think that’s a large part of the reason why I buy them. Some patterns I could probably figure out, but I’m okay spending $10 on it because I like supporting small businesses

  4. Lovely work!! I’m still trying to figure out how the Deer and Doe sloper works…I’m currently sewing the Pavot Jacket, and I had to lower the bust point almost an inch to prevent gaping (and that was after two muslins….and the coat isn’t finished yet, so who knows if it will prevent gaping in the coating I’m using! Fingers crossed…). If you haven’t sewn it yet, I highly recommend their Chardon Skirt pattern – no fussy fitting issues, it’s super cute, and pretty easy! And usable for all seasons – I made a flannel one for winter, and will make floral cotton ones come spring.

    I definitely use indie patterns for style, but also for fit and instructions. Sewaholic fits me like a glove, so I love knowing that whatever I make from her will turn out great with practically no alterations. The other indie companies require some changes – a lot are intended for hourglass figures, which I do NOT have! – but I’m starting to get the hang of this whole fitting thing. Sewaholic also has great instructions – I’ve learned a lot sewing those up. Great question!

    • I’m not sure how it works either! I’m almost finished the Pavot (put aside because the construction, again, wasn’t so flash – there’s something about these patterns…) and the waist is 2″ too hight. Not sure about the bust but I think it’s a bit high as well. Which is odd because their model is 5’10”, but maybe she’s high-waisted with crazy long legs.

      I haven’t bought the Chardon because I was worried about the bulk on my hips… which probably wouldn’t actually be a problem (gathers are worse, but I keep doing them!!) and now I just don’t want to spend more money on patterns.

      Sewaholic also fits me pretty well, which I love. And yeah I definitely don’t have an hourglass shape – small bust and shoulders means I’m an Uber Pear.

  5. Nice. I love the bow in the back too! What a great detail… I confess I sew more of the Big 4 (because I own a TON) then I do Indie patterns although I have started building up my collection of the latter. My favorites right now are Sewaholic patterns because they are made for pear shaped women like me- But I have 3 or 4 Jamie Christina patterns as well as 2 of the Lolita patterns. I love the Anna dress from the BHL girls. I think I like the Indie patterns though because they are unique and fresh, and I feel that so much more has gone in to the creation of them. The Big 4 seems to rehash a ton of their designs or add a little change and call it a whole new pattern. But I suppose they HAVE to so they can stay in business! I also only buy the Big 4 when they are on sale for 99 cents to $1.99. I am willing to invest more in an Indie designers pattern- because most care enough to get to “know” you via social media and I want to support them!

  6. Pingback: The never ending (linen) story: La Sylphide blouse |

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