Archive for Deer and Doe

Gathered Plantain Dress

This dress was inspired by two things: a favorite non-maternity dress I made a few years ago (and wear all the time – even now!), and this dress made by the fabulous Megan Nielsen. I wanted something comfortable, expandable and that still felt like me.


I started with the plantain top by Deer & Doe and used a sz 38 with a little extra room added to the bust. I shortened the bodice and added a slight curve to the front. The skirt is just a gathered rectangle that is a bit higher in the front so it matches the curve in the bodice. I made the skirt panels as wide as I could and then gathered them by sewing them on to some 3/8″ elastic I had handy. The fabric is heavy and has a lot of stretch, so I hoped this would keep the waist from stretching out of shape. The dress has short sleeves and I finished the neck with a narrow band and the skirt with a double needle hem.


The fabric is a really soft bamboo jersey from Stonemountain. I love this fabric for the softness, recovery and drape. In fact my favorite pair of Watson bikinis are made out of scraps from a previous project and I was hoping to make some more. Sadly, there were not enough scraps left from this dress…


I wore this to my baby shower a couple weeks ago (thanks to my awesome sisters for throwing it!) and am very happy to have this dress in my closet now. It’s nice to have something that fits my current proportions – amazing how good that feels. I expect it will be with me to the end now that there are just 2 more months to go! I’m linking up with Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic – check it out.

Bump-Friendly Plantain Dress

Hello! Here’s my first go at a maternity dress. My goal was pretty simple: something that fits! I was hoping to manage something comfortable, that felt like my style and would continue to fit for a bit longer. Also I wanted to shop my stash, sew something easy and make it between naps.

grey ponte plantain dress front

I dug out this grey ponte knit that I bought at Stonemountain over the summer. It’s a poly-rayon blend, and has excellent recovery. So glad I scooped up a couple yards. And to keep things simple I decided to revisit a favorite knit pattern for the top – Deer & Doe’s Plantain.

grey ponte plantain dress side

I quickly sketched out a wide trapeze skirt starting at the bust. I went for a hem that angles down at the sides thinking that as my bump continues to grow it would look intentionally shorter in front. I second guessed this a few times while sewing but looking at the pictures now I think it turned out pretty close to what I imagined. Simple bands for the neck and sleeves and a twin needle hem. I did manage to misjudge my bust measurement. It’s a bit unsettling to have measurements change to quickly. So glad there was enough seam allowance!

grey ponte plantain dress belly

Here I am looking rather pleased with my bump and new dress. Not sure why I’m so smug but at 5 1/2 months along I am feeling well and enjoying being pregnant, so there’s that!

I’m joining Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic Monthly Linkup for December. Check it out!

Pajama Party!

The Sewcialists have declared July lingerie sewing month and I’m more than happy to participate. I’ve been busy making pajamas and loungewear for several months now. Despite this I haven’t managed a single blog picture! So I enlisted the help of my Mom (who has also been sewing up PJs like crazy) to document all of our pajama sewing.


Up first… I’m wearing True Bias Hudson pants and a knit Scout tee. My Hudsons are in a poly sweater knit. For this version I stuck close to the pattern. Love it! Mom is also in a Scout tee and her bottoms are Butterick B5829 View E. This is her perfect combo so all of her sets are B5829 and Scout. These are in a rayon jersey.


Mom is in True Camo cotton knit featuring a wheat print. These prints are kind of a cross between nature photography and camo, aren’t they? Anyway, they make awesome pajamas! I’m in another pair of Hudsons – this time in a cotton terry. I left out the drawstring but otherwise stuck with the pattern. Paired with my favorite Plantain muscle tee.


I’m in another pair of Hudsons but this time I mixed it up with a rayon. I used the woven variation that Kelly posted. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner’s Sinister Swarm. The first time I saw this fabric I thought “must be pajamas…” Mom’s are a rayon knit. And I think we both scored our fabric on sale from Stonemountain.


Our final pairs. Mom is sporting Anna Maria Horner now. And this time my Hudsons are a size smaller and made without cuffs or drawstring. Recognize the fabric? Same sweater knit as the contrast color in the first pair. And worn with a Plantain tee.


So what can we conclude from our pajama party? First, it’s great to sew your own lounge wear. Obviously don’t be shy about prints or colors. And once you find your perfect pajama pattern you may not want to stray! What about you? Do you make your own pajamas?

Mom – Butterick B5829 View E sz S, Grainline Scout Tee sz 0
Me – True Bias Hudson pants sz 6 waist graded to sz 10 hips (light grey pair is sz 4 graded to sz 8), front crotch shortened ~1″, woven pair are sz 10 waist graded to sz 14

Botanical Belladone

Wow! I can’t believe I finally made a Belladone dress. This pattern caught my eye ages ago, and then my Mom bought the pattern for me at Christmas (thanks Mom!). Since I imagined it as a summer dress I waited. And checked out lots of Belladone inspiration. You can find my favorites on my Belladone pinterest board.

botanical belladone front

The fabric is from IKEA. I totally loved the botanical print and it’s a nice medium weight cotton. And less than $5 a yard which is perfect for a wearable muslin.

botanical belladone pocket

The sewing wasn’t too hard and the instructions were more than sufficient though definitely not hand-holding! I’m glad I waited until I had some experience with dresses to try this. And lots of bias tape practice. This is my first time doing an exposed zip. I hand-picked it which is definitely my preferred way to do a zip. So precise. I like the way it turned out and will probably do this again soon. This was also my first time using a hem facing and it made hemming the dress very easy. I am not usually very excited about hemming (last step, why can’t I wear it yet, who knew the hem was so long…) but this was pretty fast and looks very nice.

botanical belladone back

I graded between sizes using a 36 at the shoulders, 38 at the bust and 40 at the waist and hip. I was hoping to avoid any gaping around the back detail and was mostly successful. It looks ok in the pictures and is comfortable to wear, but I will fold maybe 1/4″ out of each of the top back pieces and take a tiny amount out of the front neckline.

botanical belladone detail

I’m looking forward to making another Belladone. I always feel like I perfect the fit on the third version. Only I’m not sure how many of these dresses I need at one time so it may be a little while before I do another. Perhaps when the perfect fabric finds me…

Linking up to Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic in a Week – check it out!

Details: Deer & Doe Belladone dress, graded from sz 36 at shoulder to 38 at bust to 40 at waist, exposed zip

Jungle Muscle Tee

This top started with the fabric. A silky viscose knit from France with a digital jungle print that I spotted at Stonemountain and Daughter last year. It was a bit pricey at over $20 a yard (yikes!) so I waited and was rewarded when I found it at 50% in January. Bit risky I know. I figured I’d save it for summer sewing though I did cut into it for a pair of Cloth Habit Lady Shorts…

Jungle Muscle Tee

As soon as warm weather hit I started thinking about the jungle knit. And when I saw a scoop neck muscle tee at Madewell I knew what to make. Last summer I made a few muscle tees based on the Plantain pattern. And wore them a ton. But also wondered about a more flattering neckline…

Jungle Muscle Tee

I pulled out the muscle tee pattern and added the scoop neck from the Plantain. Which means I used the Plantain without sleeves, with a slightly raised scoop neck, the waist/hip curve straightened out, and the whole top shortened. I used bands to finish the neck and armscyes.

Jungle Muscle Tee

And a double needle hem. My husband made a short video of this step if you want to check it out:

Perhaps my favorite thing about this top is the pattern placement. I didn’t have a lot of fabric to work with and wanted to hoard all the scraps. So outside of choosing to put the more varied print on the front there wasn’t much room to make choices. But gosh, I’m so pleased with the way it turned out! And now I want more jungle prints. And palm prints. And basically any sort of tropical leafy fabrics…

Jungle Muscle Tee

Linking up with Gray All Day for Sew it Chic in a Week. Go check it out.

Details: Deer & Doe Plantain, sz 38, finished with narrow sleeve bands and almost completely straightened out the original plantain waist/hip curve, brought the neck in ~1/2″ all around, shortened at least 2″

Plantain at the Beach

Remember back to Me-Made-May? I discovered two gaps in my handmade wardrobe: very casual clothes and business clothes. So here’s some proof that I’ve filled in the first gap with a couple of Plantain muscle tees.


This is similar to the last one I made but I straightened out the sides a little more. This is made from a 100% cotton knit and is pretty much what I had in mind when I first hacked this pattern. The knit is from Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley and is really soft and light – just right for a summer tank.


This top is perfect for all kinds of adventures, including a day on the Sonoma Coast at Stump Beach in Salt Point State Park.

Details: Deer and Doe Plantain, sz 38, finished with narrow sleeve bands and almost completely straightened out the original plantain waist/hip curve

Anthropologie Inspired Plantain Dress

Another pattern hack! This one was inspired by a dress I saw at Anthropologie. What struck me most was the clever layering of lightweight knits to create an opaque dress. The tiers of light fabric give it nice movement and I also liked the combination of different stripes.

Tiered Plantain Dress

I used the Plantain Tee by Deer and Doe as the base. I got the idea to slash and spread the pattern from FaSewLa’s post about her swingy Plantain tee. And referenced Grainline’s tutorial for instructions. I added about 3 inches of width to the front and back pattern pieces and extended both down by about 12 inches.

Tiered Plantain Dress

I cut two dresses out and attached them at the neck and arm scye so the right side of the bottom layer faces the wrong side of the top layer. The top and bottom layers are hemmed separately which allows the layers to move separately. Both layers are made of lightweight rayon knits. And, yes – they are transparent and clingy on their own but really great together!

Details: Plantain sz 36, slashed and spread to add 6 inches each to front & back, lengthened ~12 inches

The Muscle Tee

A few of my favorite summer patterns, Deer and Doe’s Plantain and Colette’s Mabel. Perfect together.

Plantain top and Mabel skirt

I’ve been in the mood for a muscle tee lately. And it seemed like a fun and simple thing to make. Starting with the Plantain I simply left off the sleeves and used bands to finish the arm holes. I also straightened out the curve through the waist to make it a little boxier.

Cotton lycra isn’t my favorite for a tee but I couldn’t resist this print. And I have been wearing it a lot – I think it may go with everything in my closet.

Plantain top

Also, a shout out to Colette Patterns for the Mabel skirt pattern. So simple and so satisfying. Initially I was concerned that a knit skirt would be a bit lumpy. But with the right ponte knit that doesn’t seem to be a problem. This ponte has a good deal of polyester and lycra with great recovery. I would like to make several more – the only difficulty has been finding ponte of the right thickness and recovery. Any suggestions?

This is the short skirt version though I lengthened it a few inches. I also graded between a S for the waistband and a M for the skirt. I was impressed that the pattern measurements were spot on – that never seems to happen.

Details: Deer and Doe Plantain, sz 38, sleeve bands instead of sleeves and straightened out the curve. Colette Mabel sz S waistband graded to a M for the skirt, ~3 inches length added.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Deer and Doe recently released a free t-shirt pattern – the Plantain. I’ve admired their patterns, especially Belladone, but wondered about sizing and fit. So I jumped at the chance to try one of their patterns for free.

I’ve already made four Plantains! Here’s number three. My favorite so far… and there will be more!


Details: size 36, graded to 38 at the bust
EDIT: I almost forgot, I also shortened it an inch or two and brought the neckline in 1/2″ all around.