Bonjour! Comment allez-vous? Bien? Bien! Haha, je ne parle pas francais!!
Aaaaand that’s about the extent of my French. Thanks, 7 years of grammar and middle school French language studies!
If you haven’t realized by now, I made another pattern from French indie sewing company, Deer and Doe! I’m a sucker for easy makes but needed something different – something that forced me to use fabric other than knits. Everyone, rencontrent Arum! [translation: meet Arum… I think…]:
OH YEAH I forgot to mention I am no longer a blonde! The decision was made to go back to “the dark side” after I: a) decided to start growing my hair out, and b) saw my bank account. Monthly dye jobs are expensive, yo! So this isn’t exactly my natural color (there’s a long story of weirdness and dyeing and re-dyeing that I won’t go into here), but it should fade over time and so far my mini-roots seem to be blending in well enough. The things we women do for beauty, I tell you!
But let’s take a moment of silence to remember the platinum pixie and say goodbye……
OK back to the dress!
I made a size 38 on top, grading to a 40 in the hips. The instructions have you use a 5/8″ seam allowance throughout. I was a rebel and switched things up on the side seams and made them 3/8″ seam allowances instead. Well, not so much a rebel as someone who didn’t want her sleeves to squeeze her massive biceps… *cough cough.*
Speaking of sleeves, Arum doesn’t have set-in-sleeves. They are “kimono-style” instead, which makes for easier and faster sleeves! The kimono sleeves also allow for your armpits to breathe easier. There’s nothing worse than sporting sweaty pit stains everywhere you go!
The pattern has only 4 pieces if you don’t use the facings (otherwise, it’s a whopping 6 pieces… oh boy!). The front is all one piece with no darts or shaping. However, there’s shaping in the back, which is where I need it most. There’s princess seams that help the dress hug your curves better. The Arum calls for woven fabrics, so they tend to be a little stiffer and don’t stretch and flex with your body as much as knits.
I’m impressed the ladies at Deer and Doe came up with a pattern that looks flattering yet still allows for you to pull it on over your head without any closures. Yep, you heard me… NO ZIPPERS OR BUTTONS NEEDED! Praise the lawd!
A fun design element is the option to add a little breast pocket. Do you see it? Isn’t it CUTE?! I don’t know what I would put in there… maybe cat treats? Random coins I found on the street? Pocky?
The fabric is a low-quality quilting cotton I picked up at WalMart for $1 per yard. I thought the design was cute, and in a moment of impulse-buying, I picked up about 3 or 4 yards of this. Which means this dress cost less than $4 to make! Take THAT, H&M and Forever 21 with your cheapie clothes!
The fabric is a bit stiff, though and while I was making this I was afraid it would look too stiff and resemble scrubs. During this photo-shoot, I still wasn’t completely confident this dress would make it in frequent rotation since it felt a bit stiff and I wasn’t sure if it was flattering. I’m happy to see after reviewing these photos that it doesn’t look too bad at all! Plus I’m hoping the fabric will get softer with wear and washing.
I also played around with the idea of layering and accessorizing with this dress…
…layering with a drapey RTW vest and accessorizing with chickens! I invited Chickie von Poopenstein (AKA von P) to join me. Actually, she decided to photobomb me while hoping for treats. Darn, I should have used my pocket for chicken treats!
…. “To find some chicken treats that her stupid mama forgot to bring outside with her!”
Anyhoo, here’s some detail shots of Ms. Arum!
I’m proud of the top-stitching on that pocket. I don’t even have or use a top-stitching foot, so I took it slow and made sure it stayed even. Don’t worry about the fact that I didn’t even TRY to pattern-match the design…
I’m relieved the neckline came out flat with no puckers. At first I was going to use the neckline facings but decided against it, mostly because I was too lazy to worry about finding and cutting interfacing. Hey, I made this during Christmas break – I was allowed to be a little lazy! Instead, I used store-bought bias tape.
I’d like to make more of these and look forward to shopping for woven fabrics more frequently. Most of the wovens in my stash are 2 yards or less of quilting cotton and very few fashion apparel wovens. I’m curious what this dress would look like in a drapier rayon… or maybe even try a knit fabric? Oh, the possibilities!
Has anyone else out there purchased or sewed the Arum yet? How about other Deer and Doe patterns? The only D&D pattern I have left to make from my stash is the Cardamome Dress. I have to admit, I’m a little hesitant because of that shirred waistline (elastic thread has let me down before…) but it’s just SO DARN CUTE! It’s gonna happen, folks. It’s gonna happen.