A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Deer and Doe to review their newly released Orchidée dress and blouse.
It’s no secret, I am a huge fan of Deer & Doe and most of the garments in my wardrobe are from this pattern company.
So it was a no-brainer when I received a message in my inbox to review the Orchidée. When I first saw the pattern diagrams, I got excited because of the bridal button feature in the front. I have always wanted to try it and I’m so glad I gave this project a go, because it turned out so well! Deer & Doe was kind enough to sponsor an allowance for fabric and supplies, and I knew I just had to splurge on the perfect fabric for this project.
The Orchidée is a classy lined dress and blouse with deep-V, bridal button feature in the front and lots of gathers. It comes in two views. The dress version is midi length and has an invisible zipper closure on the side, whereas the blouse version I chose to make has the bridal button closure in the front with a ruffled peplum. Both views feature a statement puff sleeve, what’s not to love?
Since this is a lined bodice, the fabric the pattern calls for includes Batiste, Cotton Voile, Swiss Dots and Eyelet. I chose to make mine in this stunning white Cotton Anglaise which has detailed embroidered eyelets. The Cotton Anglaise is quite sheer, so I was quite happy that it was lined. I have always wanted a garment using this fabric and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out.
First things first, I got to planning the project in my sewing journal.
For this pattern you will need shank buttons, rat tail cord, elastic, iron-on seam tape (I ended up stay-stitching my necklines instead of using seam tape, because I couldn’t find any), and interfacing. The dress version calls for an invisible zipper.
The pattern comes in sizes 34 through 52. I usually wear a size 40 in Deer & Doe patterns, but at the time of measuring, I chose to go for the 42. While I think the fit is good, I wish I stuck to a size 40, because I would have liked the waist to be a bit more fitted. I also lost a bit of weight in the past couple of weeks, so that could also be attributing to the fit. I didn’t make a toile, I thought I would be brave and go for it, and I’m happy with the way it turned out.
The main sewing techniques you will learn when using this pattern include inserting a bodice lining, inserting a bridal button closure, and working with sheer and delicate fabrics. Others include lots and lots of gathering techniques (elastic cuffs on the sleeves, the folded peplum), and inserting inset puff sleeves. If you are making the dress version, you will be inserting a side invisible zipper.
I definitely want to have a go at the dress version in the future because I have never tried my hand at a side zipper before, especially with a lining. Based on these, I would say this is a pattern for the advanced sewist, but if you are an experienced beginner, and take your sweet time making a toile first, I definitely think it is possible to make this garment for yourself.
The pattern instructions are easy to follow and the diagrams are clear. I had no issues constructing this garment. I consider myself to be an advanced beginner or intermediate sewist, and because I took my time with this pattern I was successful in putting it together.
If you are up for the challenge to sew a lined garment, especially if you have been sewing for a while and would like to take your skills to the next level, then this is the project for you. Remember to play around with the skills on scrap fabric first, and to always test your needle and thread on the main fabric as well. I ended up using a size 70 needle, because the 80 created visible holes in the fabric. Oh, and try and find a non-slippery lining fabric. I used a very light-weight cotton type fabric which was very easy to work with.
Deer & Doe is known for their excellent pattern drafting and every single pattern I have I sewn from their line shows me that they know the human form very well. Their block fits me perfectly and I almost never make any pattern adjustments, so I know it is going to be a great fit for me. But again, if you are new to the skills I have outlined in my review, then I suggest you always make a toile to ensure the perfect fit.
Fabric and supplies kindly sponsored by Deer & Doe.
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