I am back with another Minerva project today: the Orchidée blouse from Deer&Doe, made in a lightweight cotton lawn from Minerva Crafts. I immediately loved everything about this print—the colors, the scale, how it was reminiscent of a paisley but not quite. There were several colorways to choose from and I really loved them all, but ultimately I settled on Royal Purple to try and diversity my color palette a little (is anybody else a little proud when they don’t default to pink? Just me . . ?).
I had originally intended to use this fabric for another version of the M7977 top, but once I saw the fabric requirements for the Orchidée Top I knew this lawn would be a perfect match. Luckily, I also had some white viscose voile left over from another Minerva project that I was able to use as a lining. The fabric requirements for Orchidée include enough to self-line the top, but since this is a lightweight fabric with a busy print, I really wanted to really make the print pop with a white lining instead.
As you can see, the fabric is indeed a great match, and despite being a more advanced project, it’s one of the more comfortable tops in my closet. For this pattern you want to pick something lightweight with a little bit of body to maintain the intended silhouette of the design, and cotton lawn does just that! It’s also breathable and soft—perfect for the warmer weather.
You’ve heard it before, but here’s a friendly reminder that it’s always a good idea to make a muslin before cutting into your final fabric. I knew I would need a small bust adjustment (SBA) since Deer&Doe drafts for a C/D cup and alas! I am but an A cup. After doing an SBA and my finishing first muslin, I realized that I also needed to remove some length from the neckline to prevent gaping. This is a near universal adjustment for me (also known as a hollow chest adjustment), but making the muslin ensured that I could remove the right amount and in the right place.
I’m happy with the result (no gaping!), but I unintentionally lost some length in the front waist (hello belly button). I have a dress version of the pattern already planned, and the last tweak I will make is to add that length back to the front waistband.
The bridal button band was a new-to-me technique—it wasn’t especially hard, but it was fiddly. I definitely recommend making at least one practice version. Of course, that wasn’t my *own* initial intention, but it quickly became necessary once I realized my loops were not large enough to accommodate my buttons. My second attempt was significantly better than my first, and I was ultimately grateful to have redone it. I also recommend using wonder tape or something similar to hold the rattail cord in place while you’re sewing. It makes the process so much easier, and it will be enclosed in the lining later anyway.
Speaking of buttons, I opted to use self-fabric button kit. If I’m honest, this choice was mostly out of laziness and not wanting to spend a bunch of time hunting down the *perfect* shank buttons. Since the fabric print is already pretty busy, I wanted to make sure I used the same motif for each button. They aren’t perfect, but I’m pleased with them! I used a Dritz kit to make them, which conveniently came with exactly 7 buttons. The first few attempts were frustrating, but once I understood the technique the rest came together really quickly.
Of course, I also had to make a matching mask. Having a growing matching mask collection in my wardrobe is perhaps the only joy of mask-wearing for me (that, and a small amount of added protection from seasonal allergies). I now have a mask template out at all times when I’m cutting fabric, and I try my best to remember to cut those pieces out at the same time I cut out the rest of my patterns.
All in all I’m pleased as punch with this make. It’s one of my new favorite pieces and I know it will get a ton of wear this summer. Thank you Minerva for the lovely fabric!
Disclosure: this fabric was gifted to me by Minerva in exchange for a post. I also have a professional freelance relationship with Deer&Doe. The Orchidée pattern was gifted to me with no expectation for a post.
- Fabric: Cotton lawn, gifted from Minerva.com
- Pattern: Orchidée Dress and Blouse from Deer&Doe
- Size: 38, View B
- 2″ SBA
- 1″ shortened neckline, tapered to armhole seam
- Total Cost: $19
- $0 for the fabric (approx. $50 USD to purchase)
- $0 for the pattern (approx. $13 USD to purchase)
- $6 for Dritz button kit
- $13 for rattail cord (cuz ya girl bought a variety pack)