Bruyère, mon amour!

I fell in love with the Bruyère Shirt pattern the instant I saw it. The pleats, the tunic length, the flat collar, the waistband... *sigh*. I knew I had to have it!

And just as I suspected, I love it! It's the perfect garment for fall. Somehow this pattern manages to be feminine, casual, chic, tailored, and comfortable all at once!

I graded from size 34 at the bust to 36 at the waist, and back to 34 at the hips. This is the same size I used for my Belladone, which fit me really well. I think this pattern has a little more ease built in though, because the waist is a bit loose. On my next version I'll just do a straight 34. I also think I'll do a small SBA and shorten the sleeves a bit.

Where to start with this fabric? Well, I love wearing it, but it sure was a pain in the ass to sew. I bought it during Form & Fabric's going-out-of-business sale and the tag said "Italian cotton shirting". What I didn't realize until I got home was that it was actually a double gauze (score!). And when I pre-washed it it got super soft, but also very, very fiddly. This stuff shifted around like crazy - it was like I'd cut it on the bias. And the fraying, oh the fraying. Ugh. But the happy ending is that I have a super cute shirt that's so cozy I feel like I'm wearing a blanket! So all fabric woes are forgiven and forgotten.

One night when I was moaning about how long it was taking me to finish this shirt my husband made a good point - it's kind of like taking the trickiest parts of a button-up shirt and a dress and combining them. Which is true. Not only do you have to sew the collar, cuffs, placket, yokes, and buttonholes of a shirt, but you also have the darts, pleats, facing, and waistband of a dress. No wonder Deer & Doe rated this pattern as "advanced". No one thing is particularly difficult, there's just a lot going on.

If you've used a D&D pattern before you'll know their instructions aren't very detailed. The one bit I got confused about was where the collar, placket, and facing all meet. It was a new method to me, so I looked up the Bruyère sew-along to make sure I was doing it right. The sew-along's in French, but there are tons of pictures, so it's not too hard to follow along. The method is actually really clever, and I love how neatly the placket and collar ended up joining together!

The pattern recommends using French seams for an "impeccable finish". I did French seam the sleeves so they would look nice when rolled up, but I just serged all the others. I also ignored the button placement guide. Instead I tried the shirt on and placed a pin where I wanted the top button to go. Then I placed another pin in the center of the waistband and spaced out evenly from there. So I ended up using 7 buttons instead of 10.

The pattern didn't call for any interfacing in the button placket. Next time I'll definitely add some, because my placket wants to stretch out around the buttonholes. I'm sure it's exaggerated by my floppy fabric, and it probably wouldn't be a problem in something sturdier, but I think it's a good idea to add it anyway.

I also had a lot of trouble getting the cuff plackets to look nice due to misbehaving fabric and a different kind of placket than I'm used to. But I think I'll usually wear it with the sleeves rolled up anyway, so I'm not too worried about it.

I also made the leggings a while ago using Sewloft's free pattern. I had some issues with the fit, so I ended up drafting my own pattern (including slanted knee panels!) for my next pair - I'm planning on releasing it as a free pattern soon! For this pair I used a "jegging knit" from JoAnn that's quite thick and really comfortable. It is starting to pill a bit though.

I definitely want to make another Bruyère or two this winter! Maybe in chambray, or flannel? Or should I use the printed silk I won in the Anima contest? What do you think?

<3 Lindsay

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