Monday, 27 January 2014

Plantain Challenge: Deer and Doe

I think Deer and Doe are my favourite indie pattern company.  I love others but I have had the most success with Deer and Doe. The fit and the aesthetic suits me so when they launched their free Plantain pattern I downloaded it tout de suite. 
Along with the pattern came a challenge so I thought I would set a challenge to myself and see if I could make some thick polar style fleece work in this style and prettify some of its less attractive manmade qualities.  I am usually a natural fibres obsessive so this sort of fabric is an anathema, but it was a weird ebay buy and I was curious to see how it sewed, plus I could not deny it was warm and I am perpetually cold.
I had a scrap of Liberty needle cord from Leila, large enough to make the elbow pads, cut a couple of shoulder plackets and trim the edges of a front pocket. I traced the pocket shape off an old hoody top.  A little scrap went a long way.  I like plackets and they are easier to sew than they look, especially on a shoulder where the top section finishes the neck and the bottom edges are sewn into the armhole.  The wooden buttons are decorative (no buttonhole required) and sewn through the layers. 
It is a cuddly soft top to wear, great for working from home days and pilates classes or wearing with PJ pants in the evening and an easy, quick make.  I made a size 36 but the limited stretch in the fleece made for a close fit so ¼" seams throughout.  I used the highest neckline and reduced the neck trim rectangle by 1" in total.  The length and neckline are flattering and work for my height; 5' 5".  I might go shorter for a jersey version. 

Fleece is a beast to sew.  Thick and bulky.  It wears out on pins, needles, scissors and the machine.  I cut it using a rotary cutter and old scissors.  I got through several 80 ballpoint needles until I realised that I needed a 90 and the overlocker/serger was not a success.  Instead I lowered the foot pressure on my machine to 1 (out of 7) and used a small shallow zig zag stitch.  On the plus side, no edges need neatening and the stitches bury in the fluff.
I always find photographing myself in clothes tricky, our house is small with no open blank wall space so I squeezed into our bedroom and tried the timer feature on my new camera.  I noticed I was photo bombed in this pic by the softie my daughter made for her dad.  In another pic you might possibly spot our cat Mindy and a big piece of Liberty lawn waiting to go in a box under the bed. C'est la vie.  The Deer and Doe 'Plantain' challenge is on until the end of January. 
sib blog

15 comments:

  1. It looks so cozy and stylish too!

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  2. It seems like a great pattern and your top looks so warm and snuggly. Love the addition of the Liberty print. I saw your "in progress" picture on IG when I was posting mine. Yours is all finished up and my skirt is cut, but I'm yet to sew a single stitch!
    PS I bought the Craftsy knits class yesterday for £12.50, bargain :o)

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  3. Very comfy and cozy! Love how you always add those extra little details to whatever you make to make it all yours and special!

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  4. Looks lovely, I'm off to download the pattern, I think I'll lengthen the sleeves too ... If I ever get around to making it!

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  5. Love it a fleece one sounds nice and cuddly I feel the cold downloaded the pattern last night. Not sure I can make one before the end of the week bit you never know!!

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  6. Sounds like quite adventure looks great - cute pics too!

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  7. Pretty! I've never had a problem with fleece, but that looks quite thick, I've normally had pretty thin stuff

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  8. The top looks great on you. Love the Liberty especially the elbow patches. That last photo of yourself is a great picture. Nice clear light and shows up your beautiful blue eyes.

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  9. It is so you to add Liberty print elbow patches to a functional fleece, love it.

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  10. It looks so cozy Kerry - I'm not sure that I'd ever be able to take it off! Love the Liberty touches on it x

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  11. It looks lovely and cosy and the touches of Liberty make it very 'you'.

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  12. It's very feminine which fleeces often aren't. Beautiful, especially the Liberty touches.

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