A Datura to cheer me up

Happy Sunday all! I hope you’re all having a top weekend, wherever you may be. This weekend’s been a bit of an odd one. Chris and I have been out and about doing things – we’ve been cultured at an exhibition at the Science Museum, been to see Independence Day: Resurgence (it’s hilariously bad) and made some good in-roads into getting rid of some of the clutter in the flat. It should have been a fun weekend, but it’s been overshadowed by the EU referendum result. I know we’re not the only ones, but we’re both desperately disappointed at the prospect of leaving the EU and the fallout makes me uneasy for the future. As I write this, we’ve no effective PM or opposition and the Leave campaign seems to backtracking on all their pre-vote promises. I just hope that the coming weeks bring more stability and answers because I don’t feel it’s an understatement to say that my country is going into meltdown right now.

Anyway, you don’t come here for tinpot political comment. You come here for the clothes! My latest make the Deer & Doe Datura blouse, which has been sitting in my pattern stash since last year but it’s only now that I’ve got round to making it. Leigh over at Clueless Seamstress recently made her first version (and it’s ace) and it’s spurred me on to having a go myself – I need more tops for the summer, of course.

Datura front

Definitely a bit of excess around the hips there.

For a first attempt I went for View B with the Peter Pan collar as I thought it would be less of a fiddle than the triangle cut-out version. I used pink cotton for the bodice for a bit of colour (I am learning from Me Made May, see!) and blue Atelier Brunette cotton lawn for the body. You might recognise this from my Mimi blouse, and I’ve still got a little left to do something else – which is fab, cos I do love this stuff). I’m not sure I’d buy the pink cotton again. The wrong side is coated with a thin layer of shiny stuff which I wouldn’t want next to my skin, but it’s ok because the bodice is self-lined so it’s all facing inwards.

Datura collar

Close up on the collar – one of the things I like about this is how the Peter Pan collar mirrors the pattern on the body.

Speaking of the bodice, this was the most difficult part, but only because the instructions were so sparse when you get to attach the front to the back at the shoulders. The method has you pushing the front straps up the inside of the back straps, right sides together but it’s not very well explained in the booklet. I used this sewalong for clarity, but I soon realised I’d done it before on the Grace dress – I just hadn’t recognised it. I do like it though – it produces a very clean result, and when you pull it through, it’s particularly pleasing to see it just work.

Datura side

The envelope says that the Datura is an Advanced pattern, but I think it’s mostly due to the bodice construction – the rest of it is pretty straightforward. Even the hem is bias bound, so it’s easy-peasy.  It’s been for a reprint since I bought it, and looking at the website it’s been downgraded to a 3/5 for difficulty. I certainly had no problems beyond the shoulders. I needed to lower the darts by an inch or so, and I graded out a few sizes at the hips, which I probably didn’t need to do, with hindsight – it is a little baggy round the hips. The only other change I made was to omit the buttonholes on the back as I can get the top on without any bother.

Datura back

From the back. I might have had a nap on the sofa this afternoon, hence the creases… Ooops.

Although it is a little bit bigger around the hips than I would normally like, I do like this version. I’m pleased with the fit around the bust, shoulders and armholes, and it’s summery and light which will be great on warmer days. I can also throw a cardi over it, so it’ll take me into autumn too. I’m going to have a go at Version A next, and I’ve got the fabric (all stash – yay me!) ready to cut out. More on that one another time!


14 thoughts on “A Datura to cheer me up

  1. Hila says:

    Beautiful top. I love the contrast yoke. That pattern has been on my radar for a long time….must snap it at next sale. I was devasted on Friday. Looking at my kids in the morning I kept breaking down and crying – for their future. I am drowning my sorrows in sewing and dreaming of moving to Scotland.

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Thanks! It was definitely time to get a bit more colour into my makes!

      I’m genuinely worried about what happens next. It seems that we’ve been sold a lie and promises made by the Leave campaign can’t/won’t be kept. What’s really angering me at the moment is that Boris et al seem to be concentrating on their leadership bids rather than telling us what they’re going to do about Brexit and providing some reassurance.

  2. Leigh says:

    It looks great, I love the colour combination. And thanks for the mention, glad I spurred you on.

    I’m so upset about the EU referendum and the resulting shitstorm. There was a 7 stages of Brexit guilt thing on the i website and I seem to be stuck on 6 (looking into Irish citizenship).

    • Jo Laycock says:

      I’m somewhere between 3 and 6 in that I’m dreading speaking to my parents (dad voted out, not sure about mum) and I’ve already googled whether I’d get Scottish citizenship in the event of them ceding on account of having a Scottish granny. She lived in Carlisle for most of her life but it was a glimmer of hope!

      Thanks re the blouse – feels like we’re having a bit of a Deer and Doe love in at the moment!

  3. Naomi says:

    Commiserations re Brexit. I do also think it’s a shame as the decision seems to have been motivated by xenophobia which we don’t need any more of in this world. I hope that you feel more settled and in the meantime, beautiful job on your top. Xx

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Thanks Naomi.

      There are so many stories coming out now about thugs chanting racist slogans at anyone who isn’t white. It’s like the out vote has legitimised blatant racism. That’s not the country I recognise and it makes me sad and angry in equal measure.

  4. Caroline says:

    A lovely little top. I have this pattern in my stash and I think its about time it got made this summer too!
    The coral and blue colours work really well together and bonus points for using your stash fabric.
    I am equally disappointed with the EU result. Lets hope the petition for a re-vote raises concerns in parliament and we get another chance? Although I’m not getting my hopes up….

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Thanks! I’ve been looking for an excuse to use that blue stuff for a while!

      I’m not getting my hopes up for another vote either – I don’t think the mood’s there in parliament since they’re all wrapped up in their own party turmoil right now. I don’t think my nerves could take another vote anyway – imagine if it went the wrong way again?! 😕

  5. Lesley says:

    If it’s any consolation we’re pretty lost up here in Scotland too. Having just lived through the upheaval of one independence referendum we’re now facing another. Goodness knows what will happen us. I feel like sewing a big EU flag into a dress

    • Jo Laycock says:

      At least Nicola Sturgeon sounds like she has a plan! I think another independence referendum was always going to be on the cards after a leave vote – esp if staying in the Union was dependent on EU membership. The terms have changed now so it seems like she’s taking her chance while she can. Like the idea of an EU flag dress – sounds like a good Sewing Bee challenge!

      • Lesley says:

        I think it’s taken us a lot by surprise up here. None of my friends had thought the Leave campaign had any traction – we clearly had no understanding of just how disaffected people in England are right now. It’s sad to see – I mean there’s some ruddy poor people in Glasgow and yet they voted to stay. Goodness knows. At least we have sewing as a retreat from the crazy world

  6. Lynsey says:

    Starting on a positive vibe, your top is fab, the colours look great on you and the fit at the top is all spot on, this top has just made it a few steps higher on my sewing wish list.
    Im very much with you on the EU problems, we are a small (by size) country and that’s without losing Scotland! The so called leaders of our country are able to duck out as soon as things don’t go their way or do a complete u-turn and we are left with a future of uncertainty and a country that is no longer united. It never should have got this far.
    My plan for the near future is to bury my head in sewing and blogs.

    • Jo Laycock says:

      Give it a go! It’s a really nice pattern and quite satisfying to see!

      I think all I want to see at the moment is some sort of plan. If we’ve got to leave the EU because the vote deemed it so I think we’re at least entitled to know what’s going to happen. No-one from the leave campaign is actually communicating at the moment apart from to retract their promises. I think I might have less of a feeling of uncertainty if they showed some balls and talked to the people. Instead we’re left with a power vacuum as they squabble over who gets to lead.

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