Sweet Lemon (Deer & Doe Cardamome)

Thank you to Hart's Fabric for providing the materials for this post. 
They have a bunch of new rayons in stock that are perfect for this dress!

I haven't seen very many versions of the Deer and Doe Cardamome, and I'm not sure why, it's so lovely! It's an earlier pattern of theirs, from a few years ago, I think--the oldest #ddcardamome hashtag was from august 2015. If you didn't recognize it at first glance, it's because I've taken inspiration from every other pattern coming out of France at the moment (see here, here, here) and added a bunch of ruffles to it! I love a ruffle, and I think it works so nicely with the shape of this dress's yoke. This style of ruffle is also super trendy right now--actually, I don't think it would be crazy for Deer & Doe to add a ruffle pattern piece and re-release this pattern with all new photos...

I made the sleeveless version, since the added ruffle provides some shoulder coverage, but other than the ruffle, I didn't make any major design changes. Although you can't really tell from the outside unless you're looking closely, I didn't do the elastic waist the way they have you do it--it's supposed to be shirred but messing around with elastic thread seemed like a pain so I just sewed a casing to the interior and used regular elastic. It's a little bulkier than shirring but I think people are more likely to have 1" elastic than elastic thread in their stashes! The bottom seam of the casing is sewed into the waist line seam, then after the bodice is attached, the skirt seam allowance, bodice seam allowance, and casing (just a rectangular strip) are all presed up, the other side of the casing is finished (I pressed mine under but you could also just serge it), and it's topstitched to the bodice, leaving a gap to insert your elastic. Since I just used a rectangular strip, not a real facing, it doesn't fit in perfectly but this whole area is just getting gathered anyway so if there are a few little tucks and imperfections it doesn't much matter.

The only slight issue with my ruffle hack is that I didn't think about the fact that the front yoke is lower than the back yoke. Since my ruffle is a simple gathered rectangle, the difference in the yokes means that the ruffle is longer in front than in the back. It's not particularly noticeable, but it's something to keep in mind if you want to do this same style and your front and back to be a bit more balanced.

I feel like I discussed how much I appreciate Deer & Doe's drafting at length when I made my Luzerne Trench, but it's worth saying again--the drafting is really high quality in these patterns! Everything fits together just as it should and there's no weird fit issues out of the packet--the arm hole fit especially is nice. I'm slightly short-waisted and I will say that this dress is short waisted on me, I can't tell if that is by design or not. I personally love where it hits but if you are busty and don't do an FBA, expect an empire waist. I suggest holding the pattern pieces up to your body to make sure you like where the waistline will fall! I would suggest that you disregard the instruction order slightly, and construct the whole yoke/collar buttonholes in one go before you add it to the dress. Trying to wrangle a whole dress under the buttonhole foot was a pain and there's not reason you couldn't get them over with at the start. Also, don't tell anyone I told you this, but if you're adding even a smallish ruffle to the yoke seam, and you fabric has some give, I would just staystitch your dress bodice seams, clip into your curves aggressively, and work at the seam until you can sew the concave and convex curves together, instead of pressing the yoke seam allowances up and topstitching. If there are any weird gathers in your seams keep them on the dress side and they will be hidden under the ruffle. I don't think I'm alone in saying that even the most challenging of curves is more fun than trying to do precision topstitching over a bunch of unattached layers and ruffles and all very close to your face. This isn't best practices, but it's a bit nicer to do!

Although I had a few frustrated moments during construction (a side effect of making up the instructions myself) I'm totally in love with the final result--it's my favorite thing I've made recently. I think the sweet silhouette with the cute lemon stripe rayon gives it the perfect balance of preppy, sweet, and easy to wear. Now I just have to think of another fabric to make it in! I love it in stripes but how romantic would it be in this floral or one of the new Rifle Paper Co. Amalfi rayons or lawns? Swoon!


ps: ruffles over your shoulders means sun protection for summer picnics! :)

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  1. I'm loving this ruffle hack. I'm more on the tomboy side and even I'm considering a few ruffled pieces. They're definitely having a moment. And so much yes to D&D patterns; they're drafted so meticulously and fit really well right out of the package. I recently made a Luzerne and am so in love with it. Lovely dress and fabric choice.

  2. Sorry, but I think this is my least favorite thing you have even made. I think it looks juvenile. I can't imagine where one could possible wear it. It lacks the sophistication that many of your garments possess. (Ie your coral pink coat with bow).
    And it does look short waisted.



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