We all know there is nothing more important than comfort during the winter months, which is why a long sleeve knit dress has been on our design wish list for a some time now. But in the spirit of Deer&Doe, we took this idea and elevated it. We wanted something with an organic vibe . . . a silhouette that followed the natural curves of the body and felt great to wear no matter the occasion.
The result is a design we loved so much, we couldn’t help ourselves but create not one, not two . . . but four variations! Each version has an extra special detail so it works as a standout piece on its own, but together functions as a comprehensive and super stylish wardrobe builder. These are far from basic knit blocks, and we’re very proud to offer them all together in one pattern.
Version A (the dress): A loving nod to the 90s, the Orage dress features a cut-out bodice, mock neckline, long sleeves, and a curved hem. The half-circle skirt gives this dress a beautiful drape, and we bet you won’t be able to resist twirling in it!
Version B (the top): Featuring a square neckline, 3/4 sleeves, and longer bodice length, this a great everyday top that’s perfect for tucking in. We took extra care to make sure the square neckline has a scooped and feminine vibe, with curved corners to echo the curves of the pattern (which coincidentally, also make it easier to sew! 😉).
Version C (the crop top): With a cropped length, crew neckline, and shorter sleeves . . . this top really is a staple! We paired it with just about everything at the photoshoot, and its vibe totally changed depending on what it was styled with. Make it chic or casual with the Genêt shorts/pants, feminine with the Circée skirt, or sporty with a contrast rib knit and matching sleeve bands. You can also pair it with the Orage skirt (below) for a versatile faux dress!
Version D (the skirt): Finished with an elastic waistband (that we promise stays in place and looks flat!), this stand-alone skirt variation is perfect for dancing at your next party or impressing your colleagues as you swish past their desk. The unique hem sits higher at the sides to create elegant and feminine waves we can’t get enough of.
If you’re wondering whether you can mix and match views . . . the answer is yes! The three neckline and sleeve options are all interchangeable for an endless variety of styles.
Since this is a form-fitting pattern, you should try to stick with the same types of fabrics you’d choose for a bodysuit. Look for something with a minimum stretch percentage of 60% and great recovery so the bodice doesn’t start bagging (most cotton knits, like t-shirt jersey, won’t be stretchy enough!). That said, if you’re planning on making the skirt variation, cotton-spandex is okay since this view is less constraining and recovery isn’t quite as important.
Our favorite fabrics for Orage, hands down, are beautiful fluid knits like rayon, lyocell, and bamboo. You can also use a Milano knit fabric, but choose only the thinnest and stretchiest varieties for the reasons listed above.
If you are new to sewing knits, don’t worry! There’s no reason you can’t tackle Orage—with or without a serger. All views can be sewn entirely on a sewing machine using a zig zag or stretch stitch, and the skirt and crop top are especially good for beginners. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we started seeing finished versions within hours after launch! 😲 And whether you are just starting with knits or are a seasoned pro, this pattern features a variety of edge finishes that will help you level up your knit sewing skills: sleeve and neck bands, clean finished binding on the cutout top, and wrapped binding on the square neckline.
So . . . which variation will you be making first?