Tag Archives: Datura blouse

Farewell my friends and thank you, thank you – it’s been a blast x

Dear all lovely blog readers, generous commenters and all round warm hearted lovers of sewing.  This post has been a long time in the offing, attested by me not having posted for er…. quite a few months.

In a month’s time I will be closing my blog down.  I just haven’ got the time to write these days, nor photograph myself in all the things I continue to sew.   So I wanted a chance to say a massive thank you to you all, for the fun I have had over the years expressing myself …in the means of my wardrobe in daft & less daft scenarios.  I have loved sharing my sewing process & mistakes and learnings.  I have soaked up (& still soak up) everything I learn from others to make me a better sewster.  From the bottom of my heart thank you for all your support.

One last update.

The last 18 months have been a time of vast change:  moving house from the city to the beautiful Somerset countryside and leaving my employer of 15 years to work for a wonderful new company.  I work full time in four days sat at a PC all day (my hours will change soon) and this has squeezed my free time & energy meaning that I have had to prioritise.  Sadly for this ol’ blog, but not surprisingly, the last thing I fancy is yet more screen time!

A badger sett- no kidding this wood is festooned with them

I have a new relationship – with my surroundings.  I am besotted with the countryside & love being outside in my garden.  I am a yearning runner – I need to get out and about after being restrained for the first four days of my week.  There are millions of footpaths to explore & lambing time?  Oh simple pleasures, but such a novelty for a town mouse like me.  I take walks/ runs through the fields to check on their progress.

Sewing still gets a big chunk of my time.  I am truly addicted to sewing new things to wear- there is always a reason – whether it’s a holiday or a night out.  Or just a new look.  I am a sucker and over the next year will try to channel my sewing & design skills into a few cushions & a bit of patchwork for the cottage.  Don’t expect me to be making covers for my food processor though 😉  And when I say channel, it’s just to check myself that I am not becoming too obsessive & a serial sewer!  I am making much more ‘value’ clothing using more expensive fabrics so that I feel I am less of a consumer of fast fabrics/ sewing.  This summer I have invested in a few linens to make what I hope will be timeless classics….

I did patchwork!

I had wanted to write to tell you about some of my recent sewing adventures.  For example I bought myself a sewing holiday.  The Sew La Di Da Vintage Body Blueprint course.  Four days in Caroline’s studio creating a pattern that fits my body shape, developed ( using pattern cutting superpowers) into a dress design of my choice.  It is even more of a sewing holiday as the setting is Beautiful Lyme Regis, on the Dorset coast, which is a place worth visiting in its own right.   I cannot recommend this course enough.  We all come in different shapes & sizes & it’s amazing how even a customised toile in calico can make everyone look a million dollars.  Seeing everyone in their own beautifully fitting toile was a delight.

My day’s sewing


With the ace support during the course I wanted to make a basic ‘quick & easy’ perfect  dress – ‘A’ line skirt, sleeveless bodice with French darts.  Tick.  (And I whipped up one of these yesterday to wear to a Hen do -photo above) From this basic I designed something a bit more special.  Flared the skirt a bit more, adapted the bodice –  added a bias collar, ruched waistband, gathered bust darts.

All conjured up in beautiful cotton lawn.  Serious adoration.

I’ve also been pattern testing – most recently the Orsola dress for By Hand London.  I made the wrap skirt in red linen & it’s been a firm fave this summer.  So pretty.

I have made a maxi dress – for the daytime- this has always been a challenge for me as I don’t like covering myself up if the sun’s out, but recognised there is a time & a place for a longer skirt … on holiday for me.  This is the Named Kielo Wrap dress in a viscose.  Lovely to wear – in my case early evening when it’s still warm enough but once the sun’s gone down I’m grateful for a little more leg covering, but still so lovely & cool & floaty.  A gorgeous pattern.

I have also made the Deer and Doe Datura top in a silk from the Fabric Godmother.  With piping.

Since taking the photo I went back & stabilised the hem and resewed it.  Where its silk & has some bias in the hemline, it really benefitted from being secured by that double sided hemming tape (this disappears in the wash).

My favorite this summer has been a pair of 1980s cropped wideleg trousers.  Sadly no photo to show, but this is the original!

Betty Jackson wideleg cropped trousers in a lovely indigo soft chambray.

I have also been compulsively sewing Grainline Scout Tees for the summer.  They must be one of the best wardrobe builders & perfect for showcasing cute fabrics.

Croft Mill bumble bees 

Cotton and Steel from the Village Haberdashery (a few years in my stash)

Liberty Lawn from Sewbox (I got this at the Knitting & Stitching Show when I actually met Susan, the lovely owner 🙂 )

I’ve been playing with my firm favorite: ric rac.  On a Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt in yellow polka dot poplin.

And was obsessed with the latest Papercut collection, having fallen hardest for the Kochi Kimono jacket via MisforMake.

I used a textured linen from Minerva Fabrics. This is teal (but I’d say more blue than teal).  I have only just finished this so will be test driving it this summer.


Merlin & I are super content in our little cottage in the country.

I shall be making the odd appearance on Instagram (@scruffybadgerti ) and will think about using my facebook page a bit more.  No promises though!

In the meantime, all I can wish you all is for much happiness and successful sewing!

I am eternally grateful for the friends I have made through blogging that I can share more than just my love of sewing with.

Big hugs xxx



Blouse Datura- lazy version

I have to start off by saying that I love the Datura blouse by Deer & Doe.  It’s got all the ingredients of a perfect make:

  • Interesting new detail (the cut out zigga zigga ah neck)
  • It’s yoked- front & back ( a personal fave – huge opportunity for contrast fabrics)
  • There’s a peter pan collar version
  • It’s got the most awesome back that I can see being tailor made for refashion of a men’s shirt
  • It’s got a shirt shaped hem so can look good tucked out but is equally a good tucker-inner
  • And it’s sleeveless – I do like sleeveless tops
  • And you know what?  The yoke is lined & if you are diligent & follow the instructions you get the nicest neatest finish inside as well as out.

Datura blouse

Let’s start with fabric.  It’s yellow stripe shirting bought in Goldhawk Road & I cannot commend this fabric enough – it is so lovely to sew!  Crisp & light.  Easy to iron, performs well,  Wearing it is also a joy since it can be mixed up with florals as well as plain separates.

Datura Blouse

How about the Datura blouse  itself?  Well, as I state above it is a fantastic pattern, with clear instructions & a good fit.  The neckline detail drew me to it, I have to admit, being fascinated.  “Just how is that cut out neckline achieved?”

Datura blouse

Well, it’s achieved by some clever pattern cutting, a lined yoke & a bias neck finish to hold it all in place & “join up” the triangle pieces at the top of the yoke.

Blouse Datura

I have to say that lined yokes and lined bodices must be my favourite way to finish edges.  It’s always so professional, neat & tidy.

But as you can tell from my title here I was not diligent but shamefully lazy.  Whilst my yoke lining looks awesome nearly everywhere it lets not just itself down but me down as well in the way I breezed through without reading the (English) instructions carefully.  I have no excuse.  I ran before I could walk.  There was a step I should have taken but before I knew it I’d overlocked the raw edges & finished it all off & then *realised* what I should have done.  Oh heck, thought I.  Shall I unpick that nicely finished overlocked edge?  I am bashful when I say that I was in *one of those moods* & just wanted to finish it.  Speed & the smell of the finish line won the day.

Blouse Datura- lazySee that up there? It should be a nice neat self enclosed yoke, not a neatly finished overlocked seam.  What was I thinking?  Clearly I wasn’t.  I was on auto, cruising, no loo stops here.

Datura Blouse backCheck out that back – the lower back could so easily be derived from the front of a man’s shirt (& I have one in mind – thanks Dad!)

Datura blouse

Despite all that I love this top.

Datura blouse

It’s got a nice vibe about it.  I’ve worn it both to work & with various casual combos too.  So it has passed the test, easily.  Next time I promise I will pay more attention & get the finish inside that it clearly deserves.  I am thinking a refashion of one of my Dad’s chambray shirts & some contrast for the yoke.  Oh and the Peter Pan collar, of course!!!