Yes, I am back already. Thanks to an impromptu photo shoot on a late-day outing after work on Thursday, I can show you my Aubépine dress, sooner than I was hoping. And with truly beautiful pictures to boot. The lighting conditions were simply ideal, with the late-aftertoon light skimming over us at the end of a gloriously sunny day, and in a beautiful natural setting. I owe my patient photographer a huge thank you for being so inspired and prolific with these pictures.
Aubépine Dress, by Deer and Doe – outer fabric in rayon, lining in cotton voile.
Aubépine is the first challenging dress I’ve managed to sew for myself since I had my daughter over two years ago. I did make a dress for my sister-in-law last summer, but I used a TNT pattern for this, so it was a no-brainer (plus I will confess, it does feel more exciting to have a new fancy dress for ME!). With Aubépine, things were completely different. New pattern, from a new-to-me indie designer (who publishes in both French and English, by the way!), with quite a few details that are more complicated than average – but also make this dress stand out in the crowd.
The rows of pintucks on the sleeves and bodice are what made me fall for this pattern in the first place. Tastefully cute, right? (what a pain they were to make right though, in this super slippery, slinky rayon fabric!).
The other design elements I really like are the scooped neckline and the care that was given in avoiding the maternity look that is often the bane of empire waistlines. This is achieved by having the waistline fall slightly lower than just below the bust, and discreet box pleats in the skirt that take away from the potentially ballooning effect of a gathered skirt.
Oh, and pockets, of course! I love me some pockets.
Eléonore Klein, the designer behind the Deer and Doe company, put a lot of thought into making this design a beautifully finished dress, with the full lining and the enclosed casing. I will definitely be sewing more from Deer and Doe – would love to make Réglisse for summer.
I substituted the tie at the waistline with an elastic, for a more streamlined look.
My only regret is that the dress is definitely too large – I made a size 36 based on my measurements, but even the 34 (smallest) size would have still been roomy. Thanks to the gathered waistline, however, which allowed me to tighten it up, I do feel it works, even though I know the fit could be better, and will definitely size down in the next one I make. I do really want to make this again – possibly in a floral print, and leaving out the pintucks, which would get lost in a busy print anyway.
This dress is definitely elegant, but can totally be worn when having fun with a toddler, as evidenced below:
Cath me if you can! Showing the tan-coloured lining in cotton voile.
Another highlight of that afternoon: our matching blue shoes.
I cannot express how supremely happy I am to be back to sewing – even in small increments, as was the case with the Aubépine dress.
I do have lots of work piled up for the weekend, BUT I did cut out the Anna dress by By Hand London yesterday night, and am hoping to manage at least a short sewing session some time before Monday – if only to cut into the fabric.
I hope you are all having a magnificent weekend, with floods of sunshine as is the case here!