Deer & Doe Reglisse Dress (or, the Summer Seaside Dress)

Hi, everyone!  It’s finally summer here in NYC, so for my June Mood Sewing Network project, I wanted to make a dress fit for a vacation (even though I don’t have any trips planned, boo).  I feel like I’m ready to sail away on a yacht in this dress!  Well, maybe a dinghy… not sure if I’m quite posh enough for a yacht…

I used the Deer & Doe Reglisse dress pattern that I coveted the minute I saw.  It’s easy to put together, but I took my time with it since I’d never worked with fabric cut on the bias before.  I put out a call on Twitter for your favorite tips for sewing on the bias, and your advice was invaluable!  I used a longer stitch length (3mm) and placed strips of paper under the seams while I stitched.  The longer stitches keep your seams from popping when the bias flexes and relaxes, and the paper kept things from getting messy under the presser foot.  Then I let the dress hang on my dress form for 24 hours to let the bias sections of the skirt stretch out before trimming the hem even.

Please excuse my rumpled look– these photos were taken at the end of the day!

I picked out a lovely cotton voile from Mood Fabrics to keep the dress light and floaty on sticky days.  Originally, I wanted a lighter color, but when I laid eyes on this blue, I was hooked!  It has a lovely sheen, and I like the classic pairing of navy and cream.  I chose a shirting cotton for the contrasting collar and sleeves.  It’s a bit crisper and more opaque than the voile, which is just what I wanted.  I really loved working with voile– it’s easy to sew and press, and just feels so breathable and lovely.

The bodice is self-lined, and the skirt is lined with bemberg rayon.  I used a narrow rolled hem, which worked well, but man, does that take forever!  I felt like the hem was a mile long!  I’ve never worn or made a skirt this full before… well, not since elementary school, at least!  It’s really a change of pace for me, but I like it.  But girls– do you get used to feeling, um, insecure, on a breezy day?  It was just a little breezy when I wore this the first time, and I felt like I was seconds from a Marilyn moment the whole time!

Overall, I really like this dress, although it verges on the twee (if I haven’t crossed that line completely).  If I could change anything, though, it would be to find a way to make this without an elasticized waist.  The dress pulls over your head, so it’s really easy-wearing, but I hate how elastic waists look and feel so I’ll always wear this with a belt on top.  I definitely recommend the pattern!  If you’re thinking of making it, check out Ami’s cute version and tips for enclosing the seams (helpful if you don’t want to line it like I did).  Also, you should know that the dress is pretty short as-is.  I’m 5’6″, and the hem lands a few inches above my knee– doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I know lots of you guys prefer things to hit at the knee.

Ahoy, mateys!

Alright, I’m off on my imaginary seaside vacation!  Just give me one quick minute to load up on Dramamine and we’ll heave anchor!

119 responses

  1. It’s very cute! I’ve been putting this off until I figure out what to do with the sleeves, the little ones make my wide shoulders look even wider!

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    • Thanks! How do you feel about going sleeveless? That would look cute! If you wanted to add different sleeves, I would probably raise the armscye a bit– it’s pretty low (on me, at least), which could make your arm mobility poor with an actual sleeve.

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  2. Wonderful! I’m so glad to see you made it up. It’s really cute on you, but I think the color combo you chose keeps it far away from being twee. And I’m loving that neckline!

    (Sorry if you get this twice, I just got a message that told me my comment could not be posted.)

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  3. GORGEOUS!! I love your take on this, that is a stunning shade of blue and the belt is such a nice touch with the contrast collar and cuffs.
    I know exactly what you mean about breezy days! I think this one calls for some vintage style French knickers myself, just in-case! If you’re going to accidentally flash your pants, at least make them cute (and not to skimpy ) hehe!!
    Can’t believe you think this is twee though, mind you I think twee pretty much sums up my style so perhaps I’m not a good judge of this! Haha!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  4. omg! You look so ready for the yacht. I love your poses and that gather in the back of the skirt is awesome! I have one of the flattest butts on planet earth so this would be perfect for me! Love it! and dude, bemberg is the bomb!

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  5. this is adorable! i so regret not getting the reglisse, but i’ll probably get it next time i order from eleonore… i love your colour combination, it’s very chic! as for the breeziness… i usually go for longer skirt, and making sure i have underwear that i’m ok with (very) momentarily flashing

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  6. Your dress is gorgeous! Thanks for the bias sewing tips, I haven’t tried bias sewing yet, and all advice is welcome. Re the full skirt vs breezes – I wear lots of full skirts, it’s pretty breezy where I live, and I haven’t had a Marilyn moment. You’ll be grand!! 😉

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  7. Totally don’t think this is twee – it looks awesome! The angles of the neckline and sleeve details de-twee it completely. Thanks for the warning on the short hem!

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  8. You read my mind! I’m also planning a navy and white sailor inspired dress for my next project. It’s just so classic. The Reglisse is my favorite new pattern from Deer & Doe and I love that you went with a nautical look for it. SO CUTE!!

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  9. I always get self-conscious wearing full skirts in the city I live in. It can get pretty windy, and having to hold down my skirt all the time is a PITA. So, I always sew half-circle skirts, as they don’t look as “twee”, like you say, and still work appropriate. I do have to hold my skirt while going down stairs though; I had a FULL ON Marilyn Monroe moment once LOL.

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  10. Looks awesome! I have this pattern and I adore it, but haven’t made it up yet because I wasn’t sure if I needed a sba. I think you have done the, before- do you think they are needed for b cups in this pattern?

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  11. I love this so much, this pattern just screams seaside and nautical doesn’t it. I already have my second one planned, I’m using a boat print ikea duvet that my friend gave me. I know what you mean about the skirt though. I daren’t wear mine on the beach until the weather calms down, and I always wear it with a slip around town.

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  12. Ahoy me hearties! Looks super cute and I love the navy & the white.
    I’m with you, I’ve been put off this pattern because I dislike elastic waists but it looks great with a belt.
    Thumbs up. Great job!

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  13. Lovely Sonja! I’m a bit wary of going a bit twee with my sewing too but this isn’t at all and the shape of the skirt really suits you. Feminine but cool at the same time!
    I share the elasticated waist dislike…I hate how they feel!

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  14. So cute! I don’t think it’s quite twee, but I lean that way myself sometimes so what do I know. I love this pattern, and you really chose the perfect fabrics for it. It must be so comfortable as a summer dress!

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  15. Ooh, I adore this dress and the classic colours you’ve used. It looks like the most perfect summer dress, that is not twee, but you could wear to work even if you were feeling smart and girly. Total hit for me,…I think that pattern is on my wish list now

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  16. Oh come on now!!! If this isn’t just the cutest, most summery little dress I’ve ever seen, then I don’t know what is!! (please read that with your best Southern drawl… thx) Seriously. Nautical looks always scream summer to me, and in a floaty voile… sigh. I’d live in this dress. Totally classic.

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  17. You look so cute in this dress! Very pretty. The nautical look is such a classic. I’m not sure I could pull this dress off but you certainly can! With my height I think I might look a bit strange but you look darling. I’m the same as you with elasticated waists – can’t stand them and always wear a belt to cover it up 🙂

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  18. Yarrrr! Tis a bonny sea frock to be sure! Okay, somehow that turned into a Scottish pirate, but hey- let’s roll with it.
    This is super fab and has dodged the twee bullet for sure!

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  19. I’ve fallen for the Datura blouse from Deer & Doe. Where did you buy your pattern?

    I really like the look of bias-cut dresses and the belt definitely makes this dress. Did you use a rolled hem foot? I’ve just started using mine and it’s kind of miraculous.

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    • Thanks, Sarah! I ordered the Datura blouse directly from D&D, but I bought this pattern from Grey’s Fabric in Boston. They don’t list these patterns in their online shop, but I sent Sarah an email and she set up a PayPal purchase for me.

      I don’t have a rolled hem foot, but I hear they’re nice! I’ll have to look into one!

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  20. I love the way this looks in a dark navy! I was thinking about inserting elastic into the waistline seam allowance on the inside of this dress so it wouldn’t look as obvious on the outside, but I really like the way you’ve styled it with the belt! (Belts, man… I always forget about them.) You look totally ready for summer!

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  21. You are too cute in this dress! It looks lovely, I get what you are saying about the elastic waist, I always feel frumpy with an elastic waist. How difficult are circle skirts to hem evenly? I am doing one now and it is soooo crooked, the fabric has dropped all weirdly. Commandeering help this weekend 🙂 I definitely don’t think you have crossed into twee, it looks lovely

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    • They’re a pain in the butt to hem, aren’t they? The side seams drooped like crazy, and the rayon lining dropped way lower than the voile (probably because it’s heavier, I guess). I stood on a chair and had my sister pin it for me, but it’s definitely not perfectly even (didn’t help that I accidentally chopped a huge hole in the lining and cut two small ones in the actual skirt, so I kept having to even things out).

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