Thursday, 24 October 2013

Deer and Doe Belladone - finally!

I was in love the minute I saw this pattern-it was the first indie company pattern that I bought.  In fact, I was sure that I was fated to make 12 of them.  But although I bought it right away I suffered from panic that I wasn't ready to make the dress...and mess up my fabric.

Feeling a bit more confident lately!  Besides if I want to make 12, I have to start somewhere : )  This was definitely not up at the top of my to-do list last week but all of a sudden I had an unquenchable need to start cutting.

Wrinkly - after a full day of work plus wine club...hence the oddly dramatic photos!  During normal wear with my arms down I don't think the neck gaped like that. 

I made a size 38, although my waist at 27 is slightly larger than that.  I thought I could let the seams out a little at the waist if need be.  My fabric is a rose twill, with irregular white spots and just a touch of stretch, that I got from MacCulloch & Wallace a few months ago.  It's very nice and stable.  I got the bias tape at the same time, and it was supposed to be cream silk, but it's very white.  Oh well, I used it anyway. The size actually feels quite loose on, but comfortable.  

Overall the instructions were very clear, but this is the first time I've used so much bias tape so I got very grumpy about a few things.  Possibly experienced sewists wouldn't have this problem - I stopped the bias tape at the end of the straight edge, instead of curving it to the entire end of the piece.  I vaguely assumed it would be covered by the seams.  Nope!  SOOOO...all these loose ends hanging out.  I see that most sewing bloggers didn't use visible bias tape on the back, so they avoided this problem entirely. I saved all these loose ends til I finished the dress to decide what to do.  In fact I dithered for days.  ARG! stupid loose ends!!

I also used seam tape on allll the seams, which means the dress took about 100% longer to make.  But it's so pretty inside : )

My fix for the bias tape was to open up the side seams and add little additional bits.  At the neck I just couldn't come up with anything so I just zigzagged the raw edge. 

Also, do I not know how to do pleats?  Am I doing my pleats inside out?  Pleats make me feel pregnant because of something in how they stick out and nobody else's Belladones do that.  I have checked everyone else's pleats and they seem to pleat toward the outside.  Opinions?  Help!

When I got to the zipper I had to pause for a few hours, which made me realise that somehow I've entered a zipper-panic state.  Every time I put in a zip I'm pretty sure it's the worst one I've *ever* done.  How to remedy this?  I need remedial zipper classes!  But I think I'm going to tutorial my way through the invisible zip foot and start using that instead.  I didn't have an invisible zip for this one so I went ahead, and it is...wearable.  I can't see the back, hah!  So I don't have to look at my bad zips.  But yeah, the zip is pretty bad.

Doing the facing for the bottom was cool, I like that finish.  For my next Belladone I will probably raise the hem another 2 inches, but I couldn't be bothered for this one.  Yeah, already planning more!  

I loved wearing this dress!  I'm excited to fix my mistakes the next time around. 


  1. ooh it's lovely! The inside looks so beautiful too!

  2. Wow, it looks great! I also suffer from the same panic that I'm not ready to tackle a "challenging" pattern yet, so then I hold onto it forever and ever, and when I finally sew it, I always think, "thank wasn't SO bad..".

  3. I will be making this dress very soon so it's really useful to read your review. I guess in the meantime you must have mastered zippers.If not there is a useful free zipper class on Craftsy

    1. Hi Sewing Princess,
      The zip in my second Belladone went much more smoothly! Good luck with making yours, I'm glad my experiences help : )