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The Deer & Doe Cardamome Dress by Gabby

Hello everyone!

It’s Spriiiing!! The sun is actually out and he might stay around for a while (fingers crossed) so I am full of all the joys as it really my favourite time of the year! Yay! It’s also a great time because I get to hide away the dark winter wardrobe and get out my cotton summery clothes so this latest make, the Deer and Doe Cardamome dress, is finished just in time!

When I got asked to do this review I had just sent off my 3 makes wish list for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and I had a really hard time deciding between this dress and another, pair of shorts, from Deer and Doe, so it was perfect timing as I got to choose both. I’m so pleased I did as the Cardamome dress is a lovely pattern and a dress that will get a lot of wear - in fact I have already worn it twice since making it last week!

This is my first foray into using Deer and Doe Sewing Patterns but I have wanted to try their gorgeous designs for a while, in fact I have a couple in my stash that I will get around to making… one day! The Cardamome dress has been one that I instantly fell for as it’s such a unique silhouette with great details and the chance to really put your stamp on. It’s also a good one to challenge yourself as a sewer - there are a few techniques that aren’t quite ‘beginner friendly’ which makes it a really interesting make. I have to say, the more I sew, the more I like to test myself and try and make things that teach me new techniques as much as possible. Of course I also love a quick simple sew… I guess it just depends on my mood!!

This pattern is brilliant - it’s beautifully laid out, has great illustrations and, like all of their patterns, the packaging is modern, chic and clean. The front cover is a detailed line drawing and I have to say, the geek in me, really loves their fonts, logo and whole aesthetic - it really stands out.

You get the option of a long sleeve or sleeveless and that’s always a hard choice for me as I really do love a long sleeve and pretty much always choose it. I think it gives a garment more wearability and I get cold easily but I had a good look around the internet at lots of lovely versions of this dress and preferred all the sleeveless versions, I personally think that it just suits the details more that way so my mind was made up and I went against the grain with a sleeveless version. I’m so pleased I did, I absolutely love it this way.

The instructions, I think, are translated from French and are mostly thorough and helpful but I have to admit that I found it frustrating at times… The sections where I needed the most explanation were the ones with the least! Luckily with google and common sense I worked it all out but I think these head scratching moments could be avoided by a little extra help from the instructions.

There was no mention of interfacing the collar until the second last step, not even on the pattern pieces, so I didn’t know to even cut it out and had already put all my tools away by this point. That’s why I should always read through the instructions completely at the beginning of the make … bad Gabby!

Apart from those few moments though it went together without a hitch - I’m so pleased I added piping to the yoke seams as it’s my favourite part.

I used my truly brilliant piping foot and the pre made piping to make this lovely detail which really ties it all together.

The trickiest bit of this pattern is the ‘smocking’, which I always assumed was shirring from the pictures and I loaded a bobbin full of hand wound elastic thread for, but actually it’s a new technique for me where you lay the elastic thread along the waist of the bodice and zig zag stitch over it, pulling it so it’s nice a stretchy. Actually I really enjoyed this bit and got into the swing of it pretty quickly and it gives a great effect to the dress.

I didn’t make any alterations on the pattern and it fits really nicely. The collar is a little tight around my neck so I had to sew on the top Impex matt smartie button further in to give me some breathing room but to be honest I like the ‘top button undone’ casual look on me more anyway! I have just noticed in the pictures that the bottom one had undone itself too - now that’s a whole new look that I’m not as onboard with!!

This daisy plaid print Viscose Fabric is gorgeous. It’s so so soft and I think the delicate daisies look so pretty against the navy blue background. The ‘stem plaid’ is a really unique touch that stops it being super ditsy which I love. It sewed and pressed up like a dream and really behaved itself during the elastic smocking and button holes which I find sometimes viscose can be a bit naughty here. In fact it did a great impression of being a cotton that I was convinced it was a cotton lawn until I just checked the website for it’s name!! There is the slightest transparency to it so I will be wearing a vest and slip with this dress but I do with all my dresses anyway so that’s no problem for me!

All and all I love this dress I made it in a day and will get many many days in the sun wearing it so I am very happy bunny! Huge thanks to Minerva Crafts for supplying all the lovely materials and for supporting this make.

Now, get your hats on and enjoy the sun!

Hip hip hip horraaay!

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