Sureau II: The Pumpkin

2 mjI know what you’re thinking: “What has she been eating?!?”  But it’s not me, it’s this dress!  In it I feel immediately transformed into a member of a strict religious sect.  Hiding a pregnancy.1 Sureau Pattern Envelope

Deer & Doe Sureau with added collar

1 Sureau placket with self-covered shank buttonsThis version of Deer & Doe’s Sureau is a size smaller than the one I made before: 36 in the bodice and 38 in the skirt.  It fits very well.  To avoid the Maoist simplicity of the original pattern, I once again added cuffs to the sleeves and a collar but this time with pointed tips.  I also reinforced the back of the button placket with another layer so the shank buttons are sewn into proper buttonholes and don’t ‘sag’.  I think this was a good upgrade which adds a bit of couture to a basic design.  For the collar, I’d award myself the mark 3/5 as it doesn’t quite sit flat.  I’d have persevered and cut it again to perfection had I more fabric and if the design was more flattering.  But the only way I’m gonna wear this dress is if all my other clothes and dressing gown get burnt in a fire.

1 batikPart of the problem was that I had so little fabric and this dictated the length of the skirt.  Look how it cuts across the legs with the knees at their thickest.  The fabric is beautiful: a rust-coloured cotton batik with cream-gold and black.  It comes from a collection my mother acquired when living in Indonesia some years back and I’m very grateful that she entrusted me with it.  Earth tones don’t suit me generally but I thought with the remains of a summer tan and some reddish tints in my hair (Sun damage?  Chlorine?  Not sure.) that I might be able to get  away with it.

5 mjAfter these photos were taken, I changed back into my normal colours and felt a genuine sense of relief that I was myself again.  This might however work as a giveaway!  If you know of any pale, over-attractive blondes, redheads or dark-skinned girls with a 28″ waist approx who need to play it down with a bit of pumpkin frock, send them to me!

P.S.  Have you read the Colour Analysis posts on Fit and Flare blog?  Kate is a great help if you’re after some virtual research into what colours may suit you and why.

autumn leaves in Shortlands

15 thoughts on “Sureau II: The Pumpkin

  1. The fabric is really pretty, though, and I can see a nifty skirt from this. Your buttons are a thing of beauty. And your leafy photos are very flattering. It’s a noble experiment, and I thank you for going first.

  2. Well thank you kindly for the plug madam!

    What I like is the personalisation of the “Maoist” pattern, although the CF gathering is really nice. Putting a collar and cuffs on a garment is a great idea and one I will adopt. Possibly in a contrasting fabric. Have you tried the dress with tights and boots, and a darker jacket? A black or dark brown belt?

    I agree that this dress isn’t your best shape. It is neither here or there. I would like to see your waist and shapely torso. I think the skirt needs to go in a bit more at the waist and out a bit more at the hem, and shorter or longer would be better.

    On colour you can definitely wear orange Marianna but this one reads as greyed off, due to the pattern, and it looks like a warm brown (ouch!). So while this is absolutely a pretty and precious fabric maybe try a clearer, brighter true orange if you want to wear this colour. I hope this is helpful. I know people sometimes slag off their own creations but have a fit if anyone else does (not that I am slagging anyone off by the way).

    • No no no, I love criticism and helpful opinion: one of the reasons why I started this blog is because I wanted to learn more quickly through advice.

      Whatever anyone says here will never be as brutal as the stuff I get at home!

  3. I would think you CAN wear autumn colours and this is such a lovely fabric. Maybe a skirt with a grey/black top or what about putting a close fitting cardi on top? I cover up a multitude of sewing sins with a cardi.

  4. As a total orange addict (with the required waist measurement) I must say I would love this. I have some batik in a blue colourway and it is so intricate it makes my eyes go funny. I will make something nice with it one day but having it my stash makes me quite happy as it is. I love this print, I would wear it in heartbeat.

  5. This is definitely a beautiful print and you have made the pattern your own. There is something about that waistline though….. Somebody else has already said that you should try it with dark tights and boots and I think they could be right. Give it a go – you might be surprised.

  6. I agree on wearing it with cardigan (that what I do with unflattering dresses) or jacket and boots, it has such lovely autumn colours, will go nicely with autumn wear rather than summery sandals.. Love the buttons.. It’s a shame when you put so much effort and creativity into work and details are lovely, but overall look doesn’t feel comfortable – I know that feeling…

  7. Hi Marianna,
    I’m with the other enablers – I think that you could wear this dress if you styled it differently. Also, to lengthen skirts where I have run out of fabric, I have used a trim at the bottom. Yes, it was ruffled and it was for my 4 year old, but I think that you are keen enough to make it work on a grown-up dress!

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