An almost there Bruyere…

I seem to be making some bad choices lately when it comes to matching fabric to pattern…

I’ve really liked the Bruyère pattern from Deer & Doe since it was released last year, and I decided I wanted a plaid flannel version when I was planning my sewing for this winter. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any plaid cotton (or wool) flannel in Wellington that I liked. Then I saw this plaid double gauze on Miss Matatabi, and snaffled it up.

Its so lovely and soft, its gorgeous fabric. Unfortunately it was a bit of a beast to work with! It frayed a lot, and the asymmetrical plaid was so hard to try to match up! And in hindsight, it was too thick for this shirt. There are 5 layers at the button bands, 6 at the top where the facing/collar are sewn in. Its really stiff at the front neckline! 

It wasn’t until I was playing with the scraps after I finished it that I realised that the two layers of gauze pull apart really easily. If I had pulled the backing off the button band, facing and collar pieces, it would have been much easier to sew. Shame I didn’t figure that out at the beginning!

I raised the waistline by an inch, because it was a bit blousy on my muslin (yes, I made a muslin! And I traced my pattern pieces! I don’t know what’s come over me), but I think it might be a bit much. In the picture below, my hands are at my natural waist, so I think maybe 1/2 an inch would have been a better amount to raise it. 


When I asked Monsieur what he thought of the finished shirt he said he thought it looked like a maternity Swanndri…though he quickly added that it looked very well made! Unfortunately, I think he’s kinda right. Especially when I saw the photos of the side view…

Not so flattering… 

I also had a bit of trouble with the pattern matching. The bodice is all matched up nicely, but I totally failed with the side seams of the skirt, and its a bit off along the front of the skirt too. The back and yoke matched up best!

Its not all bad though, I really like the pattern! I think I’ll have another go at making it in a lightweight cotton for summer. And the sleeves are the perfect length! I struggled a bit getting the sleeve plackets sewn (another place that would have benefitted from a single layer of gauze), but I’m happy with the way they’ve turned out.


I tried some new things with the construction, all of the seams are flat felled and I faced the waistband so its all lovely and neat inside.

Shame I didn’t use white thread in the bobbin, then it would be super tidy!

I’m a bit sad to say that this shirt probably won’t get a ton of wear, simply because it feels so stiff and ungainly at the neckline. And because the maternity bush shirt look isn’t quite what I’m going for… Though it would probably look pretty cute under a cropped sweater, maybe I should experiment with that..? 

21 thoughts on “An almost there Bruyere…

  1. fabulous plaid matching, its really lovely. pity you are not happy with the collar….. if you find it too stiff maybe you could launder and see if it softens, or take off collar altogether and make some detachable navy or cream silk ones? i think it looks great – although getting past – the maternity comment is another thing……………………….

  2. I gotta be honest, it’s not a pattern that floats my boat…. I’m hugely impressed by the pattern matching though and your workmanship. I agree a lighter floatier fabric would help with the way it sits. And I love the idea of the cropped sweater – get to it knitter lady, untangling threads has a great cropped cable pattern.

  3. I’m impressed at how beautifully this is made. What if you were to shorten it to just below the 8th button? That would remove the ‘maternity look’, wouldn’t it?

  4. A “maternity Swanndri”? What’s that??
    I think your top looks great, but I can sympathise that up close, some aspect of it might bug you. Looking at the side pic, I wonder if you could use wee bit more length over the bust? See how the white lines angle up a bit at the front? That would let the waistband sit flat against you and just a bit lower, and then maybe the skirt part would hang straight down instead of angling out, giving that maternity flair. Assuming, that is, that you want to remake the pattern ever! I think it’s cute and very wearable as is though. 🙂

    1. A Swanndri is an iconic piece of Kiwi outdoor-wear, its a plaid wool pop-over shirt, usually waterproof. Often worn with stubbies (short shorts) and red tops (wellington boots). Not quite the look I was after! I think you’re right about the front, I should bite the bullet and try an FBA…

  5. Such a bummer that you don’t love it. The fabric is really gorgeous! I think you might be bit happier if you lowered the waistband back down like you suggested. And I agree with Gillian, above, that you may need an FBA too.

  6. Honestly, I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself. This is quite pretty and curse those asymetric plaids! Have another go and take it easy on the high end finishing techniques! Thats something I’m guilty of, I make the best charity shop donations!

  7. I don’t think it looks as bad as you think it does – maybe you just need some time away from it after the challenge of sewing it. I can’t see any plaid matching issues and it looks really soft and comfortable. It might be one of things you pull out of the wardrobe in six months time and change your mind about it.

  8. Don’t give up on it, you’ve done a great job overall and the colour suits you. It would look good under a sweater and it will soften after a few washes and drape better. When shirts like this get old and worn in they make good sleepwear, but you gotta wear enough before that happens!

  9. What about a belt? Would that help with the waist at all? I find a nice wide belt hides a multitude of sins, including the blousey maternity look.

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