How good is it to wear a dress again ladies?  After a few weeks of lock down and in comfy clothes this was the best project to sew. I wore my new Sureau dress for my daily walk last week, that swishy fabric and floaty style gave me a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I urge you to make a more dressier style dress over Easter and make yourself smile too!

This review is of the beautiful Sureau dress pattern by Deer And Doe in soft to touch and slightly stretchy floral printed chambray (unfortunetly now sold out at Minerva, but there do have similar designs). When I selected this project, I had in mind to make it for our family Easter get together. But due to the current climate, I gave myself the excuse to get dressed up anyway and take my new dress out for a walk last week. Why save such a lovely dress? I immediately felt uplifted and had that sewing buzz, that I made it myself.  I might be only video calling my family this Easter time but I will be wearing this dress again for those special moments.

The Sureau dress has all the charm of French pattern company Deer And Doe and it’s my third pattern from them for Minerva in the last six months. I wanted to make this pattern as it looked just a great wardrobe staple for Spring. I loved the little floral sprig fabric too as it would need little pattern matching and was the perfect weight for a Spring day. The pattern has two options for the dress sleeves; long or sleeveless and the pattern comes with great easy to follow English and French instructions and all measurement are in metric and imperial.

The dress has a casual but very finished style with it’s little gathered sleeves, gathered front detail and gathered skirt. The pattern does say it requires a 16” side zip but I used a stretch fabric and I didn’t need to insert one. This makes the pattern perfect for beginners or those wanting a quick project.

I used just under 2,5 metres of floral printed chambray for the project and cut a size 40. The fabric prewashed great and didn’t loose any of it’s colour in the wash. I also ironed it with a hot iron as I worked and the fabric was fine with the heat too. The fabric also comes in a lighter blue colourway, which would be perfect for Summer as a sleeveless version.

One of the great features of Deer And Doe patterns is they design patterns for woven fabrics that are quick to make like a jersey project and fit fantastically well too. On the Sureau they skip the interfacing on the facings which I thought the neckline would never fall right and it’s just fine. They have the cut just right so there is very little adjustment.

I loved the sleeve and skirt length, the pattern drawing does look like full length sleeves but on me and other sewists they are ¾! The dress only took me two evenings to make and honestly at the moment, making a dress was the best feeling.

So, finally I want to share how lovely the back is with all those lovely skirt gathers. The dress reminded me of an 80’s Laura Ashley dress. It was relaxed but I could wear it with my pearls and heels too. This is the type of versatile dress you will want to make again and again. So chic and so wearable too.


Pattern; Sureau Dress By Deer And Doe

Fabric; Floral Chambray 2.5m

Time to sew; 4 hours

Level; Easy / Immediate (zip may be taken out if you use stretchy fabric)

Needle used; Standard 80 (but make sure it’s a new one!)

Changes to pattern; I didn’t add the faux buttons to the front placket

What would I change if I stitched it again?; I would make a size smaller, as the fabric had a slight stretch I think the dress would look more fitted. I couldn’t take any in on the bodice or I would have lost the placket on the front.

Thank-you Minerva, I needed this beautiful fabric and stylish dress as a project this month. It was a joy to stitch and took my mind off everything else for a few hours each night. I am looking forward to many more wears from this dress in the months to come.

Samantha writes a creative craft blog and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events in the Midlands and beyond!