My Prairie Dress: The Deer and Doe Sureau Dress

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There’s been a lot of talk about personal style and capsule wardrobes in the last few years. But is seems like most of us are still floundering around, trying to find our personal style, and feeling quite defeated in the end when most of our wardrobe feels dull, uninspired, uncomfortable, or contrived. That’s me! I probably fall into the “dull” category most of the time, with my plain tees and skinny jeans. About the only interesting thing I normally wear are my cowgirl boots. And cowgirl boots have been an integral part of my wardrobe for….about thirteen years. I just love them. So, this got me thinking. Maybe the fact that I like cowgirl boots so much could help me find my “personal style”. Maybe they could be the inspiration or the starting point. Make things that go with my boots and I will probably wear them!

IMG_6709When I saw this beautiful small floral Hokkoh linen lawn on the Drygoods Design website, I had to get it. It spoke to me. And when it arrived in the mail a couple days later, I kid you not, I cried. Never have I felt a linen like this. it feels similar to a Liberty Cotton Lawn, but, dare I say, better? Silky, soft, buttery, strong, rich, fine. And this print is perfection. I swear I have been subconsciously dreaming of and yearning after this exact fabric for years. So, I did what I had to and bought all of it. I don’t know if you can get this fabric any where else. I have looked quite desperately, and been unsuccessful. If they had this in some other similar prints, I would make an entire wardrobe from it (and probably curtains, cushions, and bedding).

IMG_6717The Deer and Doe Sureau Dress is something I had been wanting to make for a while. But I knew there were a few modifications I wanted to make before diving in.

First of all, I knew I would need to lengthen the bodice, as I am blessed with a long torso (and short legs…). I lengthened it by 1″, which sits perfectly on my natural waistline. Next, I know I love a full skirt that I can move and dance in, so I made the skirt panels about twice as wide. This was pretty easy to do, as the panels are only very slightly curved rectangles. This also meant I didn’t waste much fabric. I just made the panels as big as I could to use up all the fabric (the fabric was 44″ wide).  Then, I lengthened the skirt by about four inches, because I love the look of a just-below-the-knee or midi-length skirt with cowgirl boots. And lastly, I made the sleeves shorter by cutting along the lengthen or shorten line on the pattern. This turned out to be the perfect sleeve length, and gives the dress a very 1940’s look.

After wearing this dress for a couple days, I also realized I needed to take in the fabric slightly under the bust. There was just a little too much fabric there, so I took in the darts a little more, ending them just below my bust.

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I have named this my “Prairie Dress”. The little floral print, the pattern, and the boots make me think of being out on the prairie, with big open skies, the dry wind whipping through my hair, geese flying overhead, and the scents of homemade dinner wafting through the nearby farmhouse window.

I like to include my measurements and the size I made in my posts to help out others who might be of a similar size.

Height: 5′ 4″

Bust: 31.5″

Waist: 26″

Hip: 38″ (I’m pear shaped)

I also have a long torso and short legs.

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