MINERVA MAKES #5: LADY MCELROY VISCOSE CREPE JERSEY & DEER AND DOE SIROCCO PLAYSUIT

For my fifth #MinervaMake, I had been thinking up a little summer outfit (hey, anything that helps me get through these dreary lockdown days…!). I was daydreaming of an outfit that would be comfortable for wandering around a museum in when paired with a pair of sandals, but also cute enough for heading to an alfresco bar afterwards for a glass of wine. The Deer and Doe Sirocco playsuit and this gifted Lady McElroy fabric from Minerva are just a dream come true together — it came together exactly as I hoped it would and I am head-over-heels in love with my finished garment. Head over to Minerva to see my blog post or scroll down for more details and photos!

I have written previously about my appreciation of Lady McElroy fabrics and I have quite a few in my stash, which I stare at lovingly and meticulously plan what to make with them. So when Minerva gifted me two metres of this fantastic Lady McElroy Viscose Crepe jersey, I was delighted! The print is delicate china plates on a moody dark navy background; each china plate has a different design, so I treated it as a ‘one-way’ directional print when cutting out, so none of my plates would end up upside down. This viscose jersey feels soft against my skin and the drape is just amazing – I was seriously considering making a swishy dress, just to show off this drape! The crepe texture gives a slight crinkle effect and I am already eyeing up the other Lady McElroy Viscose Crepe jerseys, I am that sold on this substrate. Most importantly, it has great stretch and recovery; this was the deciding factor when I chose the pattern.

Deer & Doe Sirocco is one of the most popular indie patterns and for good reason! It is a chic jumpsuit and playsuit/romper pattern, with a wrap neckline and pleats at the nipped-in waist. The best part? Sirocco is made up in stretch knit fabrics with good recovery — all the lines of a tailored, elegant garment in fabrics that mean it feels like wearing pyjamas AND no invisible zip? Consider me sold! I knew that the Lady McElroy jersey had enough recovery to work well with this pattern, so immediately set to work.

Construction was really quick – I think it took about four evenings in total (one evening to cut out, one to do the bodice, one to do the shorts and then the final evening was just hemming). This was my first ever Deer & Doe pattern and I found the instructions to be clear and easy to follow. Nothing about this garment construction was particularly tricky, but I did deviate from the instructions when sewing in the sleeves, which I set in flat and then joined all the side seams together at once. I used my overlocker for all the seams and only used my sewing machine with a walking foot for the topstitching. The viscose crepe jersey was also easy to sew; perhaps not as stable as ponte, but heaps better than slippery satin. I didn’t make any fitting adjustments and sewed up a straight 40, but I think next time I will shorten the bodice a smidgen. Despite that minor adjustment I will make in the future, I think the fit is pretty fantastic and it is so comfy.

Again, I just can’t praise the Deer and Doe Sirocco playsuit enough! It is chic and tailored, but comfortable (hello secret pyjamas!). The pockets are roomy and the pleats at the waist may just be my favourite detail. I can’t wait to make my next Sirocco — I am thinking I will go for the jumpsuit, but I imagine I will make many more! 


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Hi, I'm Rose - a novice sewist with a love for beautiful fabrics, vintage silhouettes and skirts with pockets!

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