I’ve come to the decision that this is to be the Summer of Dresses. I’ve been up to lots of dressmaking and have several more dress patterns I’ve been dying to try. Couple that with the fact that dresses are perfection for summer heat, and you’ve got the Summer of Dresses. It’s official. Okay it’s totally not, but it can be official in my own little world, no?
I haven’t exactly worked out all the details yet, but my rough plans are to sew and wear lots of dresses and feature them here on le blog. If any of you lovely dressmakers out there would like to join in, that would be fab!
First up in my Summer of Dresses lineup is the Réglisse Dress from Deer and Doe Patterns! I adore Deer and Doe. I absolutely love the styles of French sewing pattern designs. (No surprise. If you know me, you know I’m a bit of a Francophile.) They are so different from what most people wear and have gorgeous feminine elements and shapes. If you have never sewn anything from Deer and Doe, I highly recommend them! They even have a fantastic FREE pattern, the Plantain Tee, which is one of the very first things I ever sewed for myself. You can download the PDF for that one here (you’ll need to create an account with Deer and Doe) and then you’ll be hooked.
The Réglisse is a sweet, ultra-feminine style dress that has a lovely vintage vibe. I bought the pattern about six months ago; I had been searching for something like it and once I came across the Réglisse Dress, it was true love I tell you. In fact, I almost exclusively use PDF patterns because of cost and convenience, but the Réglisse was my very first purchase of a paper pattern AND I ordered it all the way from France. That’s how much I had to have it.
The instructions for the pattern come in both French and English, and they are extremely clear and easy to follow. The Réglisse is rated an intermediate pattern, and I would agree with that simply because it has lots of pattern pieces and techniques, including shoulder yokes, bust darts, and of course the darling bow neck collar. BUT there are no closures, so if you’re intimidated by zippers or buttons, this might be a good intermediate pattern to try. It’s simply a matter of following all the instructions.
I didn’t make many changes at all to the pattern. Some added length to the skirt was a must because I like my dresses and skirts to fall below the knee. Initially, I tried to change the sleeves up because I was worried they wouldn’t have the coverage I like. I cut a sleeve pattern from another dress and tried to sub it in, but that didn’t work very well at all. The Réglisse has pretty large openings for the sleeves, and the cap sleeve pattern is really the best fit for the silhouette of the dress. Once I’d made it, I realized that the shoulders are wider than most bodices so even though the sleeves are quite petite, it actually gave me enough coverage. I may try to add more fabric in the underarm area next time I make this dress, just to lend a bit more coverage there.
I sewed my Réglisse in a lovely gray clip dot fabric by Michael Miller Fabrics I bought from fabric.com. It looks like they no longer have the gray, but it comes in black or white, both of which would be lovely for the Réglisse! The fabric was perfect for a light summer dress. It’s so floaty and feminine!
Love my little eye-patch wearing, Gogurt-eating assistant! Here you can kind of see the sleeve issues I was talking about. I wore a Down East Wonder Tee underneath and it gave me a bit more coverage without showing too much.
I’m going to get a lot of wear out of this dress this summer. Yesterday was quite warm and I wore it all day and loved it. Plus I think with tights and a cardigan it’ll be just perfect in winter as well, so the Réglisse Dress is an absolute triumph in my book. C’est magnifique!