Double-Collar Airelle - Deer & Doe (Minerva Make 3!)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Hi Guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break and you are all refreshed and ready to start stitching again!

I have had what you might call the minimum of breaks. I think I finished my last Christmas make on the 20th December, and was making this blouse on the 28th! It was a week, but it didn't feel like it! Here's to some more relaxed sewing...

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the indoors-at-night photos!When I went to take them on Sunday morning, I realised Mr.G had absconded with my camera. The Cheek! And no other daylight hours were available from that point! I do think the colours are fairly well represented, the main fabric is if anything, slightly creamier in reality. 

Oh well, onwards, and upwards - please excuse my ominous background shadow! Also, I had to bin most of the forward-facing photos as the flash was bouncing on my specs, lol. 

For this Month's make, I chose some of the lovely floral Cotton Lawn, and a contrasting Poplin. The Poplin is cream but is called 'Natural Seeded' I think. It had teeny irregular flecks in it - kind of like seeds I guess! this was my first time working with Lawn, and it was really wonderful to work with. I don't know why I was scared of it!

I decided to try the 'Airelle' blouse by the Independent French pattern company 'Deer & Doe', after seeing a few lovely versions pop up online (both Rachel and Clare have made beautiful versions, which you can find on their blogs). It is a loosely shaped blouse, with a Chelsea collar and a back yoke that comes over the shoulders and joins the front bodice, which is gathered.

I cut the 42 at the shoulders and neck, and graded out to the 44 at the bust, waist and hips. In the end I shaped it in more, as it was very loose. I could have easily gotten away with the 42 all over, and maybe less! I was hesitant to shape it in as much as I wanted to, as I needed to be able to pull it on over my head!

I ordered a contrast fabric for my collar and cuffs, but when it arrived, I wasn't sure that was the direction I wanted to go in. So as a twist, I decided to create a double collar, with the contrast collar peeking out from underneath a main fabric collar. My boyfriend may or may not have had a hand in the idea!

To create the contrast pattern piece, I expanded the original piece by 5mm at the lower edge, and to be sure there was enough peeking through, I sewed the lower edge with a 4/8" seam allowance instead of 5/8". So I think that makes it 8mm in total!

The trickiest part of the make was overlapping the collar pieces at the centre front, so that when you turn the facing over it meets perfectly. It is explained with a helpful picture in the pattern instructions! Also, trying to overlap 2 collars and trying to keep them in line with each other and not distort the neckline was fun! It might be helpful to run a line of basting stitches as a guide just inside the seam allowance, or popping a pin 5/8 down from the centre front as a guide. It might even help to pop a pin at the very centre of the front also, so you don't end up lining everything up slightly off to one side. sometimes when I look down I wonder if i sewed it slightly off, or if it's just my uneven shoulders! I of course did none of these things, but I will in the future! I did hand-stitch the top collar and bottom collar together at the inner edge to give a clean and even finish in the centre, and if I were to do it again I would consider doing it before I attached the collars to the blouse. Maybe.

I suck at gathering fabric, so my gathers at the yoke are really tiny pleats, and I had to create some teeny pleats along the top of the sleeve head to ease the sleeve in - although in the pattern it didn't mention needing to gather or ease. Granted, I didn't stay stitch anything, and I have a feeling I may have distorted the fabric on my overlocker. That's if my first neck facing is anything to go by! It was warped so badly I needed to re-cut it!

When I had set the sleeves in, I sort of remembered that I don't like oversized sleeves. Errrr, what a great pattern choice, eh? So I did some off-the-cuff pinning (excuse the pun) to get a more fitted silhouette. I traced the new line on my pattern piece before I trimmed the excess, and used it to copy the shape onto the other sleeve. I also forewent the cuffs, and turned and stitched the sleeve edges. I don't know why, I think it was just the mood I was in!

My last piece of advice would be to use a fine needle for sewing with this lawn. I used a 90/14, and you can definitely see holes when you rip back stitches. Luckily all of mine went further into the seam allowance!

All in all, I do really like the blouse, but I need something better to pair it up with than a black skirt! I do have one purple skirt that suits perfectly but it has a MASSIVE bow on one hip and the whole thing just looked a bit nutty together!

I fully intend making some plain swing skirts this year in lots of different colours to expand my wardrobe a bit, so perhaps I should start with purple! 

Pity I've already chosen my next three kits, eh! Yes - you're stuck with me for the next three months!

If you guys like my blouse, you can buy the kit with 2m of Cotton Lawn, 1/2m of the contrast Poplin, interfacing and matching threads for both fabrics :)

Till next time!

Emmie x


  1. really lovely emmie. the contrast collar is perfect!

  2. Beautiful! I love the double collar.

  3. Gorgeous Emmie, great job with the collar

  4. Oooh! I love it - so pretty :D The fit is divine!

  5. English Girl at Home2 January 2014 at 17:15

    Stunning! The collar looks great - I may have to copy the idea;)

  6. This is gorgeous! I love what you've done with the collar. I'll take your advice re sewing the neckline and collar, because Airelle is hoepfully going to be my next make. Lynne

  7. Thank you! The neckline tips came to me as I was typing! Wish I'd thought of it earlier!

  8. Thank you :) it so easy, but so effective!

  9. Thanks! There was a minute there where I thought it was a disaster!

  10. Thank you! The bf has good ideas!

  11. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing your next Minerva!

  12. Love your Airelle! I've sewn 3 Deer and Doe patterns so far and I love them!

  13. Cute blouse! I love the double-collar effect - and I can see you in this in a solid-colour combo too :)

  14. Lovely top! This pattern is on my (very long) list of things to make so it's always good to see slight variations - your double collar looks great!

  15. Oooh, this is so sassy, I really like it! Love the double collar you added, especially in the contrasting colour!

  16. Oh Emmie, this is adorable. You look so gorgeous in it! x

  17. Such a lovely top and I love the double collar. I need to look into Deer&Doe patterns now.

  18. This is such a lovely blouse, the fabric and detailing is perfect. I've been spending a lot of ime thinking about blouses, so this is a pattern I will have to think about. I love your blog so I've nominate you for a Liebster Award. Information is on my blog:


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