I managed to get some photos taken last Monday on a particularly blustery day so prepare yourselves for a run of posts with the same backdrop!
I’ve been wanting to make the Bruyere from French pattern company Deer & Doe for a while. I couldn’t find a UK stockist so I bought it directly from them and it came very promptly.
The Bruyere is a semi-fitted shirt that has a waistband with a pleated lower shirt section. It can be made with or without sleeves. It has a convertible collar (i.e. it doesn’t have a traditional collar stand) which makes construction a bit easier and faster. I like that it combines the tailoring/structure of a shirt with the length of a tunic, making it suitable to wear with leggings.
I used some fairly plain cotton chambray that I had in my stash. It has a thin pinstripe that runs through the fabric. I didn’t have very much fabric but enough to cut the waistband so that the stripe ran horizontally for a bit of interest. I tried to cut the yoke in the same way but couldn’t make it fit with the fabric I had.
This is my second experience with a Deer & Doe pattern; I’ve made the Datura before (pre-blog). The Bruyere is rated as intermediate and while I think a confident beginner would be able to complete the sewing no problem, although I did find parts of the instructions a bit lacking.
Front yoke – there were no instructions for how to finish the lower edge of the front yoke. I decided to use some bias tape to try and minimise bulk at the centre front and armsyce seams. I should have just overlocked it though I think, as it has made the front button band very thick where the yoke joins, and typically I ended up with a button just at this exact spot!
The picture on the front shows a sleeveless version but there are no instructions for this. I used bias binding to finish the armholes which I sewed on at the 5/8” SA (more on this below).
If you were new to shirtmaking it doesn’t instruct which side to sew the buttonholes / buttons on. The way to remember is that “women are always right” (of course!) – so as you put our shirt on, the right-hand-side of the shirt goes over the left, i.e. the buttonholes should be on the right front (as you are wearing it).
Things I changed:
I used a sew-in interfacing for the collar which I glue basted in place.
I find it challenging to sew a collar on with a 5/8” seam allowance in one go – I find it best to put your line of stay-stitching just inside the SA (at around 1/2” in this case) and clip to this line to make it easier to sew the collar in place.
Things I liked:
The instructions for the rolled hem give a really nice finish, and is a great way of finishing a curved hem. I’ve already used this technique again.
- Unique design that I haven’t seen elsewhere – in particular the fitted waist, the curved hem and the the inverted box pleats on the front and back skirts.
It is a shame that they don’t give you any finished garment measurements at all. Since I generally find Indie pattern companies to be truer to size than the Big 4 (Vogue, McCalls, Butterick and Simplicity/New Look) I took the time to measure the waistband pattern piece to check the final measurement. I made a size 44 based and the fit is spot on and the bust and waist darts finish in exactly the right place.
I really love the style of the shirt and I’m sure it will get a lot of wear. If I make another sleeveless version I might look at re-shaping the armhole based on a pattern that is designed to be sleeveless (e.g. Grainline Alder) just to improve up the fit in this area so it isn’t so low. I’ve leave you with an awkward looking photo showing the low armhole (and the horisontal stripe waistband)…
Total cost: £30.50
1.5m of chambray: guess at £15
Bruyere pattern from Deer & Doe: approx. £12 (inc. postage)
Coordinating thread for topstitching: £1.70
Interfacing: from my stash