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.
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.
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.
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.
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!