Bye Bye Birdie Bruyere
Posted on Saturday the 28th July 2018 by Wanderstitch
Sarah from Wanderstitch here again, bringing you what could well be my most favourite Minerva Make to date!
This is a very weather-appropriate light and breezy sleeveless shirt - the Bruyere by Deer and Doe made from the ever-popular Bye Bye Birdie fabric from Atelier Brunette. The fabric has cute little origami birds all over it, it's 100% cotton and the perfect weight for summer garments.
Ever since I first saw the Bruyere sewing pattern, I knew I'd have to make it. It was winter at the time, and it took me literally MONTHS to find the right fabric for it, but it was worth the wait because I totally love my long sleeved version. The logical progression was to make the sleeveless version, and thankfully it didn't take me anywhere near as long to choose this fabric!
I've already worked with this same fabric (on a shirt for the husband) a few years back when I first started sewing. It's a really lightweight cotton - lighter than a lawn, I'd say more like a voile. Quite sheer if you hold it up to the light, but not so much that it would be indecent for a dress. Just don't wear your fluorescent pants underneath it. If black isn't your colour it does come in other shades - I do quite like the mustard version, so I might give that colour a try next.
My long sleeve Bruyere was actually a fairly quick sew - so as the sleeveless one doesn't require the sleeves (obvs) I anticipated it to be even quicker. And it was. This might in part be due to the fact that the Bruyere has a flat collar (so no collar stand - they always take me ages!), and all the seams are straight lines - no curves! Also, I didn't interface either the collar or the placket (and neither needed it) so this sped things up a bit too.
What I really REALLY love about this pattern, is that you can French seam the whole thing, which makes the insides look so neat. While the instructions provided give you a really professional finish to the garment, I ignored the directions for the hem and instead used half-inch bias tape - I can always get a much neater finish with this. Narrow hems, or curved hems especially, just seem to be impossible for my chubby, clumsy fingers. So I cheat :) (But in a good way!)
I used the same process on the armholes, too - getting a clean join on the tape (and at the correct point, too) is something that takes a little practice but I've definitely improved and it's getting neater.
I like to wear my shirts buttoned right to the top, so I altered the button placement to put the first button right at the top edge of the placket. I'm not a fan of the 'open collar' look, but even in the summer the Bruyere is still wearable because the collar isn't *too* tight - you've got a bit of breathing room around the neck.
This shirt is actually a fairly quick sew, despite there being a lot of panels to sew and a lot of pleats/darts - or perhaps I was just enjoying the French seams so much I didn't notice the time go by :)
You could totally make this pattern from a whole range of fabrics - cotton poplin, lawn, or voile. I'm not sure that using a drapier fabric such as rayon or silk is going to work well though - as the garment is close fitting, I'd worry about the strength of the seams on a silk version (I feel like they might strain and distort, especially at the waistband) and the nice pleat details would look all droopy. You want something that will hold a press, to make sure those pleats stay crisp.
The Bruyere is a really good length - pretty much tunic length - and it works well with both jeans and leggings. If you're feeling creative, you could also lengthen it into a dress! I know I will definitely be making many more of these, it's earned itself 'wardrobe staple' status already!
If you're looking for a summer make to see you through this rare British heatwave, this is definitely one to consider! Or, use the cotton lawn to make a super lightweight summer dress. Quick, before it rains!
I hope this post has given you some inspiration... I'll be back next month with a gorgeous Liberty men's shirt!
Sarah // Wanderstitch