Shirt dresses are a wardrobe staple for me. I have half a dozen in my closet that are in constant rotation. They are quick and easy to throw on but still look very put together. I’ve tried several different shirt dress patterns from various pattern companies so I was quite excited to sew up the Deer and Doe Bleuet Dress Pattern.

The Bleuet dress is slightly different from all the other shirtdress patterns I’ve tried. It is princess seamed all the way down the dress instead of the princess seams ending at the waist. It have a lovely pointed collar and can be either sleeveless or with little cap sleeves. It also uses a hem facing instead of a standard hem. I must say, I was a bit tempted to forego the hem facing since I didn’t really think it was necessary, but I am so glad I didn't! It looks quite lovely and adds an extra special touch to the dress.

Some floral print fabrics are very busy and almost overwhelming to the eye, but this print is everything I could hope for in a summer dress. The pink and blue flowers are so small and delicate but utterly charming. The Poplin Fabric has an amazing crisp feel to it but is still fairly lightweight. It was extremely easy to work with and presses beautifully. I would love to get my hands on more!

I used a bubblegum pink Fat Quarter of Fabric for part of the collar and the bow in the back. There was just enough fabric in the fat quarter to get the bow, one collar piece, and one collar stand. I had to cut the second collar piece and collar stand from the main fabric. So if you have a small piece of favorite fabric that is at least 18” by 21” you should have enough for the accents.

I cut a size 42 but used the length of the size 46. This is a simple way to add a couple of inches in length without having to slash and spread your pattern. Other than that, I did not need to make any pattern adjustments. The dress fits perfectly straight out of the envelope. Isn’t it amazing when that happens? I am always glad to get to the actual sewing rather than having to fiddle about with pattern adjustments.

I think my favorite part of this dress has to be the bow in the back. It is actually what made me want to sew it up in the first place. And I have not been disappointed: look at how cute it is! I am so glad I used the pink fabric since it just pops out from the rest of the dress. I will say though, having the bow in the back means I can’t wear a belt with this dress. Just something to keep in mind if you prefer to have more waist definition. I can’t decide which I would like better! The bow is amazing, but I love wearing belts. It’s a dilemma!

Sleeveless dresses and tops are my favorite style to sew for a couple of reasons. 1. I have yet to figure out how to sew sleeves in woven fabrics that don’t cramp my arm movement and cut into my underarm. 2. I love wearing cardigans. They are the best. And wearing a sleeveless dress or top under a cardigan means less bulk. Yay! Technically, Bleuet is designed to have hidden bias tape around the armholes, but I just love how it looks exposed. Maybe I will add the little cap sleeves on my next version.

I am quite impressed with the instructions. Deer and Doe patterns have done an excellent job with them. The diagrams are clear and easy to decipher while the actual instructions are simple enough to understand. Also, I think it is amazing that they include an instruction booklet in both English and French. It makes their patterns accessible to more people, and I am all about that!

~Emily