Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Spring Tops Series - Deer and Doe Ondee

Of course our Spring Top series has to include our beloved Deer and Doe patterns. The 
Ondée (pronounced more simply than we had imagined, as just 'on-dee') knit top pattern has interested us for a while.

Here are a few versions from the blog-world that have inspired us:
The clincher for me was this yellow skirt I recently made, which has a higher waist than most other 'bottoms' in my wardrobe. Thus I found myself lacking in suitably short tops to wear with it. Could I really carry off a 'cropped' t-shirt? Well with just a few pattern pieces and a small amount of stash fabric I could give it a fairly low-risk try!

Five Ondées later.....

I suspected from the start I'd want to lengthen the Ondée, but for the sake of proper pattern reviewing I made a size 42 with no adjustments first. No-one really needs to see a photo of me wearing that, but the waist was short and snug, while the fit across the bust and shoulders was pretty good. 

So I made some pattern alterations: I added about 6cm/2.5" to the length, and straightened out the side seam from about halfway down, as you can see below. I lengthened the waistband to be only fractionally narrower than the hem, for a looser effect.

 Version two. In a light cream marled Japanese cotton jersey, leftovers in the stash from another project. I had to do a bit of piecing for the waistband but made a useful garment from scraps!

Fit: pretty good. But there was more in the stash and I was keen to keep refining. I felt the front was riding up just a bit compared to the back, meaning perhaps I could use a minor Full Bust Adjustment. I tried this dartless method from Maria Denmark.

Version three! In a stashed cotton/lycra jersey (from Crafty Mamas). 

I have a bit more length at the front but I feel like the shoulders are a wee bit too wide, which is probably exacerbated by the extra room I have now across the bust. So I went back to the original pattern and pivoted the top of the armhole back to size 38 (two sizes down) and also adjusted the shoulder slope down to the 38 mark, hoping this will work for my narrow, sloping shoulders.

Version four! With all these adjustments on board, I was ready to dive into some precious Japanese cotton interlock (out of stock but on reorder). 

Alas, from a fitting point of view it was completely different in the soft, stretchy interlock. I still love it though! And perhaps the slouchier look is better for long sleeves. The pattern is actually called a 'Sweatshirt' and would be great made up in a French Terry or similar. The loose style of the long sleeve reflects this intention of the design.

Version five! In my final 'goal' fabric, this awesome organic cotton/spandex by Art Gallery

I'm pretty happy. I've ended up with a bunch of wearable tops and another go-to pattern for knits, and learnt more about fit and different knit fabrics along the way.

How many Ondées does a girl need before her spring wardrobe is complete? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind....

PATTERN: Deer and Doe Ondée
SIZE: 38/42 mashup
ALTERATIONS: Added waist length and width and minor FBA as described above. NB this is not due to any shortcomings of the pattern, it was just me adjusting for personal taste and fit.
FABRIC: Cotton/lycra, cotton jersey & cotton interlock
CONSTRUCTION: All made on the overlocker but could easily be managed on a regular machine with a ballpoint needle and zigzag/stretch stitch. Arm and waist bands eliminate the need for hemming. I used a twin needle to sew down the neck, arm and waist bands on the 'Eyes' version but this is not necessary.
COMMENTS: The Ondée is classic Deer and Doe style, cute but not too fussy, and so lends itself to a lot of different fabrics and great wearability. The instructions are good and include some general information about sewing with knits. Ondée will suit many people in the cropped style, and if you prefer a bit of extra length and/or width this is a very simple adjustment. Any fabrics in the 'Knits' section or the French Terry & Fleece section of The Drapery online store (or here in person) would suit this pattern. Of course, bear in mind the different results you will get with variations in weight and drape. Together with the collar and long or short-sleeve variations, they make this a bit of a chameleon of a pattern, but in a good way!

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. YES! Okay, I love this post, because I can see the differences in fit between each version, and you explain it so well. I think they are all cute, mind you. That neckline and waistband is super cute and flattering on you, and I love them with your new skirt - the shorter top really gives great proportions. Also, the fabrics! The eyes and the clouds! So cute and totally Jane.

    1. Thanks Inder! I'm glad all the fitting information makes sense, and that you can see the subtle differences. The clouds were left over from some pyjamas I made for Clem. It's so good to use up stash fabrics isn't it?


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