Navy Sureau Dress

I present my first attempt at Deer & Doe’s Sureau Dress:

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By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I heart a floral print…

Mad Men Inspired Dress

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However, what I really lack are plain staples that can be worn for a variety of occasions. When I saw the Sureau Dress pattern by Deer and Doe a while back, I knew that it would be the kind of dress that could be made up as one of those staples. I like the fact that it’s not too fussy but also has the potential to be quite cute and feminine. I was slightly apprehensive about ordering from Paris, but the shipping costs were really reasonable and it arrived pretty quicky too.

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Pretty packaging!

 

Before I traced the pattern and cut my fabric, I decided to check out Paunnet’s really helpful sew-along posts just so I had an idea of what I was up against.

Sureau Sew-along

If you’re thinking about sewing the dress, I’d recommend having a look at those before you begin. It really made the process a lot quicker for me and meant that this dress only took me a few hours to complete. It definitely helps that my measurements matched up pretty perfectly (I cut a 44) and it looked so straight forward that I decided to skip the muslin and just go for it.

Navy Sureau Dress

I used a navy cotton that I bought from Edinburgh Fabrics, which cost a mere fiver a metre. I bought 3 metres in total (and actually only ended up using about 2.5m). To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that I like it because it’s quite stiff but I’m hoping that a few washes might help to soften it slightly. Having said that, it’s the first time that I’ve bought a fabric from Edinburgh Fabrics that I’ve been unsure about. They have such an amazing range and the staff are really helpful and knowledgeable; it’s definitely one of my favourite places for fabric in Edinburgh.

Putting the dress together was really straightforward. The trickiest part was gathering the bust, mainly because I’d never done that before. It was quite hard to get them to look identical and actually I’ve noticed that since then it’s a nightmare to iron them properly. However, I think they look pretty good and that the wonkiness… ahem… adds character? Meh.

Navy Sureau Dress

 The skirt doesn’t look as full here but it was pretty windy today despite it being gloriously sunny.

Everything else was pretty straight forward. I don’t think I’ve ever put a side zip in before but obviously the logistics are the same. The length of the skirt was pretty perfect as it was and the facings were easy to insert. I’m used to lining my dresses so initially I scoffed at using facings; however, they took hardly any time to cut and insert so I’ll probably do that again in future.

Actually, I say the bust gathers were the trickiest but in fact I think picking the buttons was harder! I’m so rubbish at that sort of thing and spent a good 30 minutes eyeing up rows and rows of buttons looking for some kind of divine inspiration. In the end I went for these and think they give the dress a more vintagey feel.

Navy Sureau Dress

 The gold leaf buttons are from Hobbycraft and they cost me £4 for two packs of 2.

They are shank buttons so they were a teeny bit more time consuming to attach (I had to make sure they could withstand my washing machine) but still fairly straightforward.

Navy Sureau Dress

 
I felt so awkward getting my husband to take these pics today! Gahh. Hopefully I’ll get used to it.

 

Overall, I’m really pleased with this dress. I think that I’d maybe adjust the neckline slightly next time because it gapes a little. Perhaps I need to add in a couple of darts?  However, I don’t think it’s that noticeable and it certainly won’t stop me from wearing the dress. It’s perfect with a pair of leggings & pumps and so, so comfy! I think next time I’d like to sew the pattern in a fabric with a bit more drape. I’d love to hear your recommendations and/or ideas.

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On a side note: until now, I’ve been taking most of my pics inside despite the fact that the beach is pretty much my back garden… as in, if I threw a stone from my bedroom window, I could definitely get it to land on sand. Silly girl. It’s been glorious the last couple of days so I’ve been taking advantage of it to go for lovely long walks…

Portobello Beach

Navy Sureau Dress

Still not quite warm enough for pretty dresses that require bare legs but lovely nonetheless.

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