Cardamome Deer & Doe Dresses

Cardamome Dress

My latest make is the Cardamome* dress from the Deer and Doe catalogue of patterns. (If you don’t know, I am a massive Deer and Doe fangirl). It’s certainly not new, having been released in 2015, but it’s new to me.

I took inspiration from the model photo and chose the most wonderful Atelier Brunette Stardust* double gauze in night, a deepest midnight blue. It’s delicate and soft with beautiful gold embroidered ovals. It’s not often I spend £20 a metre on fabric, but this is well worth the £££.

I made a toile as I didn’t want to risk wasting any of the ‘real’ fabric. It’s a good job as I needed to make more than my usual amount of adjustments. I cut a 42 and added a 1.25″ total full bust adjustment, pivoting the newly created bust dart into the gathers at the yoke. I also lengthened the bodice by 3/4″ and took out a 1/2″ swayback adjustment. The FBA and swayback adjustments are typical for me with most patterns and even more so when it comes to those designed for woven fabrics.

I followed the pattern instructions pretty closely except for the method used on the waist elastic. I drew on the stitching lines using a chalk pencil. It’s much easier to get a neat finish if there’s a line to follow. I hand wound a bobbin with shirring elastic and used this in place of bottom thread, with normal thread in the top of my machine. Making sure to stitch on the right side of the fabric, so the elastic is on the inside, I used a straight stitch and sewed along my chalk lines. The fabric gathers beautifully and can be shrunk even further with a bit of steam. I love the look of the shirred waist, plus it’s so comfortable to wear.

For the armholes, I cut a 2″ wide facing. I find a facing gives a much cleaner finish than using bias binding or turning and sewing. I hand stitched the facing to the inside using an overcast stitch. Since double gauze is 2 layers, I kept all the stitches on the inner layer, so nothing is visible from the outside.

I hand covered the buttons on the yoke since I couldn’t find any to match. A little tip: I used 505 temporary adhesive spray to keep the gold embroidery in the centre of the button.

I love the finished dress. It fits so well, it’s really comfortable and I can layer it up now the weather’s getting colder. My only gripe is the pockets. They’re just not quite big enough. My phone always feels like it’s about to fall out. Still, it’s an easy enough fix for the next version.

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