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Laura’s Passiflore Dress

Laura took the Lady McElroy cotton lawn from this month Luxury box and turned it into a beautiful Deer and Doe Passiflore Dress

Is it summer yet?

It may only be January, but I’m already thinking about my warm weather makes. Don’t get me wrong, I love snuggling up in a big cosy jumper in winter, but I don’t really sew these much. I much prefer sewing up a cute summer dress.

The luxury fabric this month is obviously an absolute stunner. The Lady McElroy cotton lawn is probably my favourite base. It has such a great handle, beautifully soft like butter to the touch, and looks almost silky when it catches the light just right.

I had a few patterns that came to mind, and eventually decided on the Passiflore Dress from Deer and Doe. I love their designs, and I knew that this was going to be a perfect match with the fabric. Unfortunately, the sizing on most of their patterns is quite limited. My bust and waist fall into the largest size, but my hips are 1 size outside. From looking at the finished garment measurements, I decided that there was sufficient ease in this area. I look forward to seeing the rest of their patterns released in their new size block.

I didn’t have quite enough to make the long version of the dress, so I went with the short dress version paired with the short sleeves. Which now that I have made it, I prefer that it’s short.

Cutting out was a mission! Not the fabric, which was very well-behaved, just that there are a lot of pieces. I was a bit daft and accidentally cut the back piece upside down as I forgot that I flipped the fabric the other way. You can tell if you look close enough as the little bits of writing are the wrong way, but if someone is checking out my back like that, then kindly take a few steps back please and thank you!

Making the dress itself was, in a word, faffy. The construction is almost like a coat. This should have been expected as Deer and Doe state the skill level as 4/5, advanced/expert. Me being me, I didn’t notice this when I decided on it.

The instructions are very clear; however, it does assume knowledge in several places. Luckily, I already had experience with making notched collars in the method described (from the Closet Core Sienna Jacket) otherwise I think that I would have struggled. I have seen reviews from other sewists saying the same about the sleeve placket on the long sleeve version.

Other simple things like doing some gathering stitches to help ease the sleeve in are not included in the instructions but make your life a lot easier.

The finishing, as expected with Deer and Doe is excellent. Most internal seams are enclosed thanks to the burrito method for the yoke. Be warned… there is a LOT of hand sewing involved. I cheated a bit for attaching the inner front piece and sewed a line of top stitching instead with my machine.

In a time crunch, I didn’t toile, and thankfully the fit on me is pretty spot on. The gentle shaping on the bust from the princess seams sit very nicely, and the fit around the top and shoulders feels really good. I don’t feel any gaping at all which is almost a miracle with this style of dress. Even the length (which I was worried was going to be too short) is perfect.

I did intend to use that sparkly Ethel and Joan belt buckle from the January box, but unfortunately, I found the belt itself too short, and a little bit wide (for the buckle). For these photos I have teamed with a skinny belt, however I intend to fashion a new belt from the leftover scraps.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, choosing the right buttons is very important. I chose these cute gold foil buttons from Ethel and Joan, intending to match the belt buckle! I like that the base is clear, so you just see little shimmers of gold.

Wearing this dress makes me feel so chic. It’s too cold for bare legs in the UK at the moment (unless you’re super brave!), but I love how it looks with tights and boots. The model photos for the pattern also style this as a jacket, which I’m looking forward to doing too.

It works with the fabric so well and I’m so pleased how it came out – definitely worth the faff!