Here is my Airelle “Dragibus” blouse from the French pattern company Deer & Doe ! Splashes of color in anticipation of spring! As usual, all pictures are at the end of the article.

 

The pattern

Deer & Doe’s Airelle is a blouse with front and back waist darts, shoulder yoke in which the front is gathered, ¾ sleeves with cuffs and a collar.

Blouse Airelle – Deer & Doe

The strength of this blouse pattern is that it can easily be adapted to a casual, classic or dressy style.

The pattern is printed on thick paper: I like that ! I hate pattern papers that tear too easily.
The instruction booklet is well presented and illustrations are clear.

I think it’s only offered in French at the time. If you need help with the translation you can use my French-English sewing lexicon or just leave a comment !

Drawings of possible variations from the blouse are shown at the end of the booklet. This is a very good idea. However, for beginners, it would be nice to go a bit further and indicate the main changes from the reference pattern. But if you have already sewn a couple of garments, you’ll easily spot what you have to do to sew the other views.

 

Sizes

The pattern is available in French sizes 34 to 46 (that’s 4-16 US sizing).
As Colette patterns, Deer & Doe patterns are designed for C cups… and that suits me fine!

Incidentally, one thing I’d love to find on French patterns envelopes is the measurements of the finished garment per size. This is what allows me to pick my size correctly with U.S. patterns… I know that I can measure everything flat …. But well… Lazy inside !

I used the size 42.
For reference my French bra size is 95C (= 36C US) with a bust measurment that “fluctuates” from 98 to 100cm (I’m at the limit between C and D cups). Based on this measurment I should have used a size 44.
But on the blog article dedicated to the Airelle Blouse #Les patrons# La blouse Airelle Eléonore (Deer & Doe’s designer) specifies that the blouse is “very slightly fitted but not too close to the body”.
So I decided to go ahead with the size 42, without doing a muslin, I cut my fabric… And … Suspense … Everything is almost perfect !

Good surprises with this size : I didn’t have to do a sway back adjustment or shorten the bodice (which I do veeeeeery often). It’s perfect at the bust.
Note to self relative to the size : Beyond size 42 shoulders will be too wide (about 0.5 cm already in excess at the shoulder seam). So for other more fitted patterns from D&D start from a size 40-42 and do a FBA. + Neckline problem to fix (see below).

 

Fabrics

The main fabric is a fine printed poplin called “dragibus”. The coordinating fabric, used for bias binding at the neckline and flat piping, is a half cotton- half linen in purplish gray.
Both were purchased from Etoffes des héros.

popeline dragibus

popelin dragibus

metis gris violacé

half cotton- half linen in purplish gray

 

Design changes

Only two small things:

Flat piping
In the ad pictures of the pattern, what immediately attracted my eye is the piping at the shoulder yoke seams. I loved this detail! So although the instructions were note given in the booklet, I decided to add flat piping at the front and back yoke seams.
I also made a tutorial on sewing flat piping for those who want to add this detail (for this pattern or any other one), with specific instructions for the Airelle blouse.

No collar
I didn’t sew the collar. I finished the neckline with bias binding. Having previously removed the seam allowance at the neckline (front + shoulder yoke pieces). I sewed the bias binding by hand… Overall the result is ok, but I’ve messed up in a few places where the thread shows. And the thread doesn’t really match the fabric…

I have a problem with the neckline : it doesn’t lay flat at the sides (see pictures below). Is it because the fabric for my bias binding is heavier than my main fabric? Is the size wrong? Is this due to a shoulder problem?  I shall investigate !

Conclusion

This is an easy blouse pattern… Well, I must say that, in my opinion, the collar is the most difficult part and I didn’t sew that !

I especially like the shoulder yoke it will easily allow to change the look of this blouse, with color blocking or changing the direction of a plaid, for example.

Otherwise, Petite Chérie (8 years old DD) fell in love with the dragibus fabric and asked for a dragibus blouse for herself… I’ll go rummage through my Ottobre patterns for her …. But not before sewing my Origami coat from Lalimaya !

 

Pictures

There are 14 of them ! First the details pics and then the pics of me wearing the blouse. Petite Chérie (8 years old) took the pictures of me wearing my dragibus blouse, she’s making progress, isn’t she ?

Detail of flat piping and front neckline – You can see where I messed up the hand sewing at the neckline ^  ^

airelle deer and doe

Detail of flat piping and front neckline… Again

Détail col Airelle - Deer&Doe

Neckline detail, hand-sewn bias – Deer & Doe – At the center you can see the wrong side of the back-shoulder yoke seam.

Airelle Deer&Doe - detail manche

Airelle Deer&Doe – Sleeve detail

Back piping detail (bottom) and bias binding at the neckline (top) – It’s on the right side, but the flash washed out the colors.

 

Front

Back !

 

Airelle Deer & Doe

Airelle blouse – Front

Blouse airelle deer and doe

Front.

I look so very friendly in this picture oO – You can see my neckline problem there.

Back with my * beep * in the foreground… It is so elegant … This is mainly to get an overview of piping at the upper back … Not really showing there actually.

Profile… Not a weird posture !

Another very natural pose !

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