Friday, 22 July 2016

Deer and Doe Arum in Japanese cotton

I was planning to make this in April but two things went wrong: my patterns didn't arrive (Deer and Doe sent replacements!  But they came a day too late) and my fabric didn't arrive (I miscalculated...) 

The fabric is Japanese cotton from Miss Matabi on Etsy.  It's soft, but medium weight, not at all transparent, and has a lovely soft feel. 

As an aside, every single one of my recent projects involves stripe matching!!  Bad planning! 

I made a size 38 which usually fits very well from Deer and Doe.  (I'm still 33.5-27-37). I tried to match my stripes at the side seams, but when it came to the back seam I think I matched the wrong least my pocket is invisible and my shoulder chevrons look pretty nice.

This dress summarises a lot of my sewing development.  It looks ok.  It fits ok.  (I did have to decrease the seam allowance from the armpit to the end of the sleeve to fit my massive biceps.)  It doesn't make me want to run around and make 12 more Arums.  It is somehow...too boring.  Or something.  I think I need my dresses to have more pieces and be more complicated. 

The Arum is exactly what it advertises: it's very easy.  It can be adjusted using the back seams, to take in or let out for your figure.  I did use the facings because I didn't have enough fabric left to make bias bindings, and I do still hate them.  I vigorously understitched and then I hand sewed them down at all seams and they don't flop outwards.  

I do count this dress as a success, and the fabric is really fabulous.  I have a few more projects that I'm working on while I'm in Seattle just because they have been in my head since Ukraine and all exploded into about two days of marathon cutting (and stripe matching)...but not all very practical.  After that I'll be moving to Arizona and I'll be there for awhile.  Anyone sewing near Flagstaff? 

My brother took the photos which is why I have semi-awkward sibling relationship looks on my face. 


  1. while it might be simple it is a great silhouette for that fabric, I think it looks really good on you. nice color for you. And had to laugh at your last sentence - about the photos, know just what you mean.

    1. Thanks for your comment Beth! I adore the fabric and I'm curious to see whether this ends up being a staple in my wardrobe...could go either way.

  2. Hi, I'm curious, did this become a staple in your wardrobe?? Also, how easy is it to get on and off without a zip? I have some lovely quilting cotton I'm trying desperately to find a pattern for but am worried it will be unforgiving and I'll rip the seams taking it off!

    1. Hi Annab!

      This didn't become a staple in my wardrobe because, just as you thought, the sleeves make it hard to get on - but I have kept it (at least - I pass on a lot of stuff.) I'm planning to cut it sleeveless to fix the problem. The neckhole is fine, just the sleeves make it feel claustrophobic.

      If you wanted a zip, it would be really easy to put an invisible zip into the side seam. You could start it just above the armpit and extend it down about 45 cm. I've seen that in some RTW and the zip doesn't bother me or change the lie of the sleeve.

    2. Hi, great idea, and thanks for replying! x

    3. Actually if it has a back seam I might put a short exposed (or invisible) zip in the back instead. Do you think this would work? I've never put a side zip in before but I'm sure I could find a you tube tutorial!

    4. I think that there is not a center back seam - the back is cut on the fold because there are back princess seams for shaping.

      As for a side zip, it's actually sort of easier than a center back invisible zip because you can sew the sleeve above and below the zip prior to installing it, and it's not on a spot that requires precision matching of any visible seams. Good luck!