Any event is an excuse for me to sew up something handmade – there’s nothing better than wearing a handmade garment at least for me! My cousin got married this past weekend at a beautiful venue in Elkton, Virginia – about 2 hours from where I live. Unfortunately, it was a little bit colder and rainier than expected, but I tried to channel the sunshine with my yellow dress and the sun came out shortly after the ceremony – it was such a beautiful evening.
The Belladone Dress is my first Deer and Doe paid pattern that I’ve made and I loved it! I was really worried about the fit, but ran out of time to be able to make a muslin beforehand. So after praying to the sewing gods, I jumped right in.
I made Version A as I was wearing it to a wedding and wanted something fun, but can see myself making Version B for a really pretty work dress in the future. The only fit issue I had was the back was a little bit baggy – I think next time I could take in the sides a little bit and it would resolve the issue.
Despite the back looking complicated, it was surprisingly a very quick sew and came together last Sunday morning very quickly.
I did make one mistake thinking oh I can just shorten this super long invisible zipper – but the back is already finished by the time you install the zipper so I had this super long zipper and no where to go with it – I made it work, but note to self: follow instructions for zipper length – don’t think you know more than the professionals!
I rarely pick out fabric + a pattern together but I was at Stitch Sew Shop a couple weeks ago and this stretch cotton sateen jumped right out at me. It was a perfect fit for this dress and was a very easy to sew with fabric as well. Instead of cutting bias tape from the fabric, I used premade bias tape that I bought from Bessie Pearl Textiles on Etsy.
I’ve been recently trying to focus more on my garment’s fit and while I measure to a sewing D cup (a 4 in difference between my full and upper bust), I have never done a FBA on anything. As I focus more on it and start to identify patterns that would benefit from that adjustment, I am also focusing on the bust size that the pattern is drafted for. My Bonn Shirt was super easy to fit as Itch to Stitch has a variety of bust sizes in her patterns. Deer and Doe draft to a C cup (as opposed to most companies that draft to a B cup) which I think helped with the fitting on this a lot. If you’re interested in learning more about different pattern companies drafting sizes, this article from the Curvy Sewing Collective is super helpful!
Belladone Dress Summary:
Size Made: 40
View: View A with cutout back
Fabric Used: Stretch Cotton Sateen from Stitch Sew Shop
Ease of Construction: A lot easier than expected!
Fit: It fit really well for not making a muslin – I think next time I would take in the bodice a smidge to eliminate some of the gaping in the back.