Tag Archives: Deer and Doe

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



Last frock of summer: Deer and Doe Robe Sureau

You are about to read a rare post from me in that I haven’t a whole load of words for a change.  I made this dress in the summer and have rather a backlog of projects to share, but with the advance of autumn (even if daytime temps are trying to tell us otherwise) I felt I had to bump this dress up the list, before it looked plain ridiculous.  I mean this dress epitomises summer wear – sleeveless fine cotton, relatively floaty & not much to it.

Sureau dress

The Deer and Doe Robe Sureau, so very kindly gifted to me by Roobeedoo when she knew I would gratefully receive outputs of her fine taste.


I had earmarked the long sleeved version for *sometime someplace yet to be decided*, having truly fallen for Roo’s tartan version.  Surely that must feature somehow in a badger wardrobe?  But to use some lawn I had purchased from Goldhawk Road (Classic Textiles) early in the summer with abundant iris it was one of those spontaneous decisions – make it sleeveless.


Unfortunately spontaneity resulted in a slight brain/ memory by-pass & I forgot to consider the usual adjustment I need to make – for gaping necklines.  This I did not realise until I had actually finished the dress, as zip insertion (a side zip) is near the end & whilst trying on the bodice as I sewed it,  there was no obvious cause for concern.  However, it is low cut & gaping when I wear it.  Yes you could call it super cool & breezy, but actually it’s too revealing for work in my view.  (And I have tried it at work & just felt always in need of hugging the neckline to my chest!)


All I need to do is to get into the shoulder seams and raise them a little as a retro adjustment.  But that means a bit of unpicking, taking out that bias bound sleeve edging.  But I will do it, sometime, promise.


I loved making the Robe Sureau.  I have a French version so the instructions are in French but the pictures explain it all- I didn’t need to read the words.

Sureau dress

It’s got a really cute gathered front placket, which is a bit hidden amongst the iris.


So next time I make it, I have just got to remember to make bodice adjustments, haven’t I?


[Sigh] these photos were taken quite a while ago now….when it really was summer (says she typing in her socks).

One for the office: pinstripe Chardon skirt

By now you now that I absolutely adore the Chardon skirt pattern by Deer and Doe.  I’ve made a denim one in red that I wear lots, and my cotton polka dot skirt was a weekly wear during the summer.  So my next evolution of this awesome high waisted skirt with box pleats had been in my imagination for a while: a version using wool blend suiting.  A version using pinstripe.  And what’s more a version that makes use of the pattern option with a contrast band at the hem.

I love taking pinstripes & bringing them to life for work.  I love making them into something slightly unconventional for office wear (remember my pinstripe meringue?)

Want to see more?


As it is my third skirt, I won’t recount details about construction.  I’ll just show you the pics.  You can always look at what I’ve written about my earlier versions if you want to know more.

chardon4So I had this suiting in my stash, I’d got a load of it from Ebay ages ago, but don’t know what it is, but it’s quality, I suspect it’s a wool blend.

I love the box pleats of this style.  I love its flirty flippiness.

chardon3I used the pinstripes horizontally at the hem…this is a design option that comes with the Chardon skirt.

chardon5I found some cute cotton in a coordinating pattern for the pockets (& let’s face it, you’d never omit pockets in a skirt like this – it’s part of the wearing fun!)


 One of the inside for a change.  I guess that means that I’m happy with its neat finish!

chardon7I’ve worn it to work & it’s the perfect weight for wearing with tights & boots.

chardon2And that’s my Eliza M Pussy Galore blouse I’m wearing it with too.  And oops the odd flash of my trashy slip!  Gosh I like a girly skirt & a bow blouse!!


Polka dot Chardon skirt

A big thank you to Lizzy, who was so thoughtful sending me some pretty & totally “me” polka dot fabric after I was unable to catch up with her & come to the epic London blogger meet. I felt it was opportune to whip me up another Chardon skirt with it, loving the look, feel & fit of my red denim skirt. I thought it could be a skirt that could blend into my summer work wardrobe too.

Chardon skirt

So, the details. The fabric is a border print light weight cotton. Not much to it in terms of weight, but equally there’s not much drape to it. It has a border print stripe that needed to be incorporated into the skirt, but I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to match a skirt pattern’s hem with a straight line? They are not usually drafted that way, they are usually drafted with a slight curve. So that took a little bit of engineering.

Chardon skirt

What I did was generally ignored the grainline arrows on the pattern & used the straight edge of the border to “best fit” along the bottom skirt pattern edges (making sure that the stripes would match on back & front pieces). With the Chardon, the skirt is wider at the hem than the waist, despite the fabric used to make the box pleats which means that cutting the hem from the line of the border stripe makes the side seams follow a line that creates a larger waist (think of it as a different kind of pivot if that helps?) Therefore I had to recut the side seams, from the original waist size on the pattern piece – effectively cutting a new line from the hem up to the waist.


Scrappy picture drawn in the front of my notebook to explain. The shaded area is the original pattern piece. Im using the back as an example as the fold complicates it further. This is my quick method, but if you wanted to be careful you could redraft a whole new pattern piece using the same method, but applying it to paper as opposed to directly onto the fabric like lazy me.
1. Line up hem to border as best fit, taking care to match border stripes when cutting both front and back. Pin.
2. Cut hem then waist, extending waistline to fold.
3. Remove original pattern.
4. Measure the length of the waist and mark along where you’ve already cut. You will have cut a longer waist than you need.
5. Draw a new side seam line between the side edge of the hem you’ve already cut and the new marked waist measurement, and cut.
6. Pin the patterns edge to the waist edge to transfer markings for box pleats. To mark pocket placement you probably need to unpin and line up side edges of pattern pieces.

I hope this makes sense?

Chardon skirt

Apart from that I think it was plain sailing. Pockets were made using the same fabric this time, no elephant surprises! It all came together very quickly. That’s another joy of this pattern. I did make belt loops too, since I knew a belt would be a worthy accessory.

Chardon skirt

I have worn it once now, and it is a perfect little skirt. it did crease with the traumas of two bus journeys, but hey, can’t have it all ways. I had to wear it with tights ( nude) but being black I think it could be worn with other coloured tights too …seems to be the requirement this month!!

Yet again the ability to make the “bow” version has eluded me, therefore I can forsee more Chardons in the future to realise that dream….anyone else jumped on the Chardon waggon?

ps bus journeys involved going to Truro fabrics ! I have some hugely exciting fabric to show you. Yes, I was restrained, but only in my purse. NOT in the choice of print!

Deer and Doe Chardon Skirt: not grey but red!

Dear all,

Thank you so much for your comments to my last post on grey & the sometimes negative associations clothes & the things we make can have, & your kind comments – big hugs to you all 🙂  The dress’s fate is being considered & I’m feeling liberated by knowing that I have so many options!  Progress was made in that I deliberately chose not to wear it to work on Monday!  Anyway, thankfully I wrote about that dress with my sights already set on some cheerful making: a red denim skirt.  But no ordinary red denim skirt, but my first venture into the cute French Deer & Doe styling: the Chardon skirt, or if we are being cosmopolitan, the Jupe Chardon.

When Roobeedoo suggested that it looked like a Kelly skirt (which I must admit to have had a hankering for)… but without buttons… my little internet shopping finger twitched & clicked.  I mean, I can always alter for buttons later, right?  What I hadn’t appreciated when I ordered it was that it had two styles: the simple version with belt loops & single fabric, or a style with a contrast hem band plus….wait for it….a surprise bow belt behind you! This image below shows you the bow belt style, not the belt loop style.  Now I like the idea of the bow coming out at front, don’t you?

I’m sure that can be arranged ….

I’d made the mistake of ordering my fabric (red “sheen”  denim here from Ditto) before thinking this through, supposing that I had enough denim in my stash to make the contrast band.  I did not, so the single colour, single fabric skirt was plumped for.  Realistically it’s going to be possible to wear it with allsorts being of a single colour methinks.

chardon 5

So when the pattern arrived (or should I say “patterns” as I also ordered the blouse Datura too 😉 ) I was ecstatic to discover that there are now instructions in English as well as French.  Hurrah.  Although I could have exercised my school French & on-line translating I had thought.

Making this skirt was a dream – except that I foolishly inverted the box pleats to the wrong side which made them un-inverted box pleats= box pleats I guess.  The lines however call for the box pleats to be inverted so that the silhouette around your waist is not too pouffy – & with denim this really would be unacceptable – oodles of stiff fabric pleated around one’s waist.  Therefore there was some unpicking to properly invert the pleats & topstitch them.  (Nice thread matching thanks to Ditto!)

chardon 3

It’s got wonderful side seam pockets made out of elephant fabric :-), & I know I am not alone- side seam pockets mean that hands gravitate towards pockets whenever there is opportunity- am I right? 😉

chardon 6

I followed the instructions to the letter, even (but not using an invisible zip), hemming using bias.  Now I could have used some fancy pretty bias, but not having enough elephant fabric to do this meant that I kept it simple & used run of the mill shop bought solid red.  Too boring to photograph I’m afraid!  I had wondered if this was going to be a “young skirt” ie too short for a badger in her 40s, but I made it to the pattern & turned up a good inch hem (but remember I am a shortie).

chardon 2

What did I do extra to the pattern’s instructions?  Well whilst this was a simple skirt to make & the instructions are easy to follow (the box pleat mis-inversion was my error!) I felt that the waist needed extra steps.  It has no waistband, but is a waist hugging style.  It’s faced & so I understitched the facing, but also felt that the waist edge needed top stitching as with denim it was thick & I wasn’t confident that it would stay where I wanted it.  I’d made my belt loops with top stitched edges (OK, if we are being precise that is actually “edge stitching isn’t it?!) & so felt that it was an OK style diversion in keeping with denim.  What did I wish I’d done now I’ve worn it?  Well, being denim & denim’s tendency to fray, I should have finished the cut edges of the belt loops as I am still picking out bits threads from the fabric.

chardon 4It was catching the wind ….imagine the fun in a lighter fabric!

I’ve worn it a couple of times now & it’s flirty & girly & wait for it…..cheerful!

chardon 1

I can’t wait to make it with the contrast fabric & a bow ….& then the top …I will need to make all varieties of the Datura! With so many ideas buzzing around my head I need to sit down & get planning …watch this space!