Deer&Doe: Arum Dress

August 31, 2015

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The day of a Deer&Doe release always feels kind of like Christmas morning. Today we were spoiled, as Eléonore released a full collection of three different patterns: the beginner-friendly Arum dress, the Fumeterre maxi-skirt and the forties-inspired Cardamome dress. Once again I was able to test de patterns, so I’m going to show you one per day, starting today with the Arum dress.

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When Eléonore first sent me the technical drawing, I had my fair share of doubts: this is not my usual silhouette and I hadn’t been very convinced by my last adventures with dresses without a waist seam (Coco, Françoise). I was also a bit afraid of how it would look at the bust, as Arum doesn’t have darts and I had never sewn something with kimono sleeves, so I didn’t really know how the result would end up.

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Still, knowing how much Eléonore cares about creating flattering shapes, I wasn’t too worried. The first thing to note is that, even though the front is in one piece, the back is made from three parts, creating princess seams that take in the dress at the waist.

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This shaping still allows the dress to be pulled on over the head without the need for a zipper, while creating a very nice silhouette from the back and the side.

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I also really like how the kimono sleeves look, I think they give a very casual and relaxed feel to the dress. They do create folds under the arms, but that’s how this kind of sleeves look like so it’s nothing that bothers me, and they do not restrict arm movements (as I would have thought at first because they are from the same pattern piece as the bodice).

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Arum is designed for complete beginners, but for more experiences sewists it is a welcome break from more complicated projects, because it is so easy to sew: no zipper or buttons, no gathers or pleats, and the neckline can be finished with a basic facing (which I chose to do on my version as I like this more than biais binding finishes).

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Size-wise, I made my now usual Deer&Doe mix: I traced a 38 at the bust, a 36.5 at the waist, and a 40 at the hips. As I am pretty tall and I don’t like short dresses I also traced the length of size 46, and I lenghtened the length of the bodice by 6/8th of an inch, by slashing and spreading along a line an inch above the waistline.

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I used a cotton/rayon chambray twill by Robert Kaufman, which was thinner that I expected (in a good way) and with less drape than a classic rayon. I used standard rayon on my first test version and it worked well, the result was less structured.

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Even though at first I wasn’t sure if I liked this dress, I have completely changed my mind since. The main reason is that my boyfriend LOVES it: he thinks it looks very “space age” (hence the robot necklace, which FYI comes from Modcloth but sadly is not available anymore) and he even said it was the best dress out of all the ones I have made (and not just the new Deer&Doe collection, ALL OF THEM). So I think I might do a couple others in different colors, as it’s a staple dress and it’s very easy to wear. I’m also thinking it would look nice with large-scale prints, and might give a 60s or 80s feel depending of the print. To be continued? Check in tomorrow for the pictures of my Fumeterre skirt!

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Space Age Dress
Arum – Deer&Doe
Size 36.5/38/40
Lengthened bodice by 6/8 inches
Length of the size 46 Cotton/rayon chambray twill from Fabric.com

Comments

  1. Beal

    - August 31, 2015

    It looks great on you! Thanks for the thorough review. 🙂

    • Camille

      - September 10, 2015

      Thanks!

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  3. Jen

    - September 3, 2015

    It does look space age! I like that. It’s not really my short of silhouette either but the shaping at the back might help convince me it could work. As I’m used to more fitted garments, I just think I’d end up trying to fit it to my body and it wouldn’t look right anymore. Thanks for sharing!

    • Camille

      - September 10, 2015

      Yes, I think it works much better in the back than shift dress patterns with double point darts, at least for me. I did grade between sizes to have it more fitted at the waist in the front but I think you’d want to avoid over fitting, this style is meant to be loose and relaxed.

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  5. Elise

    - September 7, 2015

    I just discovered your blog, and have to say I’m very happy it’s in English now. You are VERY good at doing reviews, one of the very best of the many I read. Thanks for that! That said, this dress is lovely and can’t wait to see the print versions. It’s good to know that you can move freely, because usually this style give the effect of bat wings (boo), but this dress looks great. It looks like you were right to trust the designers at deer&doe to make a flattering silhouette, so I’m off to check out their patterns.

    • Camille

      - September 10, 2015

      Oh wow thanks a lot! I try to always be honest and thorough, as these kind of reviews are the ones I enjoy the most as well. I’m glad it’s appreciated 🙂

  6. Noelle

    - September 10, 2015

    This dress is great! Love it in a casual chambray. I’ve had my doubts about finding a flattering shift, but this looks perfect.

    • Camille

      - December 13, 2015

      Thank you!

  7. Cath

    - September 20, 2015

    Just finished my first deer & doe pattern & ❤️ The fit. Debating this pattern, but am now convinced. The back three pieces will help shape things. I have loved the shift dress look, but some make look 10 pounds heavier. Lol off to buy the pattern & some chambray?

    • Camille

      - December 13, 2015

      Yes! That’s what I love about this pattern, the fit in the back makes it much more flattering than I would expect.

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