My first Belladone



I finished this dress a couple of weeks ago.  I made it from the Belladone pattern by Deer and Doe.  It’s a pretty simple design- a fitted bodice with a back cutout and an A-line skirt.


When I first saw the pattern online I dismissed it pretty quickly. I didn’t like the color of the made up version on the model AT ALL.  It’s some kind of gross avocado green number.  But after blogging around, I ran across so many lovely versions of it that I decided it was worth a shot after all.

I made it from a sturdy grey recycled cotton for the body, and a red kona cotton for the waistband and bias facing, that I bought at  my local quilt/yarn/cutesy craft shop. My mom taught me how to sew years ago, but due to my relatively recent return to the world of sewing, I can still be a bit of a noob.  At the time that I made this dress, I was primarily frequenting fabric stores that didn’t specialize in apparel fabrics- the kinds of quilt stores I was used to going to with my mother.  So what I really wanted to make this dress out of  (I now realize that what I wanted was suiting)  was not available at this store, and I had no idea where to get it. I settled on this sturdy cotton, which I thought was sort of close.  I’ve since discovered the wonderful world of apparel fabric in Boston, which has been a vast improvement in terms of selection.

Nevertheless, I’m quite happy with the way it turned out:


It’s turned into my go-to summer dress.  I’ve been wearing it constantly, both to the office and on the weekends. The fabric is pretty sturdy, so I’m not afraid to just throw it in the washing machine.  I really love the peekaboo affect in the back:


And of course, I love that it has these cute diagonal pockets:


It was really a breeze to sew- the pattern was very straightforward and it came together in a couple of weekday evenings and a Saturday morning.  I wanted to finish it in time to wear on a picnic that day, so I had a deadline to motivate me.

The only trouble I had was with a bit of gaping in the back. My impatient boyfriend was on hand to help with the fit, but he could only be prevailed upon to repin it so many times…..  And frankly, both of us were at a loss as to where to take things in to stop the gaping.  In the future, I’m really hoping to improve my skills at fitting (and by skills I mean um…letting out the seam allowance to squeeze into patterns where I’ve willfully ignored the size chart).   Also you can tell from the back shots that I didn’t line up the waistband very well in the back.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to do that with a zipper.

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