Brighton Belladone – my new favourite dress from my new favourite pattern maker

P1210468I have a new favourite pattern company. I suspected I was falling for Deer and Doe when I was making my Reglisse. Everything was so straight forward and I loved the results. I bought Belladone at the same time – well if you have to pay postage you may as well buy more to save, if that makes sense?  Anyway, after seeing Sonja from Ginger Makes’ lace Belladone I knew I had done the right thing in getting this pattern and it rocketed to the top of my ‘to make’ queue.

It was not until the Brighton meet up and swap  however that I found the right fabric.  I almost didn’t pick this floral cotton that Zora brought.  It didn’t immediately jump out at me but the seeds of an idea began to grow in my tiny brain and at the last minute Zora and  Stevie convinced me to take it. I’m so glad I did, thank you both.  I chucked it straight in the wash when I got home. With the label still on, which disintegrated and left little brown fibres all over everything so it all had to be washed again – duh.

The pattern was a little daunting at first, mainly because there were so many pieces. However the instructions are so clear that it came together really easily. Like my Reglisse I cut a 36 at the shoulders and upper back grading to a 38 everywhere else.  I think I could have possibly gone down a size at the shoulders and back but it still fits brilliantly. This dress is drafted for a C cup, which means no faffing around with FBAs (not that I usually bother, but I know I should) and it fits almost perfectly straight out of the packet.  I did add a couple of inches to the length after my Reglisse turned out so short. This is just a personal preference and I’m glad I did.  It now comes to just below my knees and I am only 5ft 2 inches tall.  Oh, and I couldn’t be bothered with skirt facings so I just did a narrow machined hem.
Time for some pics:

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P1210486No, I have not finally mastered the invisible zip. The instructions call for basting the back together before you insert the zip. I did this and was pleased to find that the fabric had enough stretch to enable me to get into it with minimal wriggling, so I stitched it up without adding the zip.

P1210493I am not completely happy with the binding at the neck and I could have done with pinching out maybe an inch from the front neckline as well as narrowing the shoulders but it doesn’t bother me enough to stop me loving this dress.

Speaking of binding, let me tell you how not to approach the bias binding on a project like this.  I made my own binding from a bit of the dark blue shiney stuff I got from Claire at the swap.  It took me a while to decide whether the background on this print was very dark blue or black and I’m still not sure but I’m glad I went with the blue.  Anyway after cutting the strips and stitching them together I could not for the life of me find my bias binding maker so I had to make do without. Then after I had added the binding to the neck I decided that it also needed binding on the back pieces to make the cut out section stand out. The correct time to add binding to these pieces is right at the beginning, after making darts but before stitching anything together. It is not a good idea to decide to add it after the whole bodice has been stitched together and the bias binding has been put around the neckline. I was not about to take it all apart again so I added the binding on the back pieces afterwards, but before adding the skirt pieces.  I have just about managed to make it look tidy but there was some very creative swearing involved.

It was all totally worth it though. I think the pink floral would have been a bit too girly for me without the contrasting binding. Now it feels just right.  And all the materials I used were either from the swap or stuff I already had, so I’m counting it as a freebie.  I can’t explain how much I love this dress.  I love the fit, the cut out at the back, the ease with which it goes together, the fabric and all the compliments I have had while wearing it. And I loved sewing and wearing both the Deer and Doe patterns I have made so far.  I also have Bleuet and I am seriously tempted by the Chardon skirt after seeing Scruffy Badgers’ here  and here.  Luckily it just so happens that The Curious Kiwi and  Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes have designated June Indie Patterns Month.  Pop over and sign up to join in the fun if you are planning on sewing anything from an independent pattern designer this month. It think it might be the excuse I need to get a couple more Deer and Doe patterns.

Anyway, as I had so much fun doing my last photos, I think it’s time for a dance.  This time I have mostly been listening to Transvision Vamp :

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56 thoughts on “Brighton Belladone – my new favourite dress from my new favourite pattern maker

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! I can promise you that me dancing in real life is far from adorable and often results in a trip to A&E for all participants. It also means I spill my beer, which is not acceptable so I mostly dance in private. But not in the Tina Turner sense, obviously, or I would starve. I would love to see your take on this pattern, you definitely have to get it.

      Reply
  1. Leila

    Great dress! I love that back. It’s so very cool. I’m like you- I wouldn’t have gone for the floral print but it looks great on you! Maybe I need to go for more florals.

    Reply
  2. Zoe

    Ahh this dress went on my to do list yesterday, I love the detail on the back, and I love your version…good top tip about adding the binding. LOVE these dancing pics!

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! I’ll be looking out for yours. I think I may make the dancing pics a regular thing, then if I don’t get round to making anything I’ll be forced to dance naked – maybe that will motivate me to sew more….?

      Reply
  3. macstabby

    Love it! The first thing I noticed was how crisp the bias binding makes the details on the back look. And I’m always a fan of skipping a zip if it can be done, so well done!

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! Yep, if I can avoid doing a zip I will. I think it’s always worth basting the back shut and seeing if I can wriggle into it. You’d be surprised how many dresses you can do this with.

      Reply
  4. Kacie

    Oh my gosh this is gorgeous! The fabric, the contrast binding, the pattern – all come together to make one perfect dress. I really love that you added the binding to the cutout…sorry it was a source of frustration, but it was worth it…it looks fantastic!

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thankyou! I have had it before but I’m happy to accept it again, I love any opportunity to talk about myself 🙂 And anything that spreads the word about cool blogs is a good idea in my book. I’ll head on over now and have a look at your questions.

      Reply
  5. ClaireE

    I bet you’re glad you were talked in to getting that print – it looks fabulous! This might have to be my next buy from Deer & Doe.

    Reply
  6. Katy

    I love it! The bias binding was definitely worth the hassle 🙂 I too may have to buy this pattern now – I love the cut out at the back.

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you. It’s actually a really dark blue, but it looks black in the photos. I couldn’t work out if the background of the print was black or blue, but I went with the blue binding in the end because I have so much of the fabric I made it from. I’m really glad I did, it had a really nice feel to it.

      Reply
  7. Maryall

    It looks great, I was sure it would come this way, eve since you mentioned the Belladone pattern! It is on my to-do list as well, as soon as I can get my hands on it, and on the Bleuet dress as well 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I know, it was inevitable 🙂 I’m a little nervous of the Bleuet as it says it’s advanced, and I’ve never done a shirt dress before. I have some great fabric though so I may just bite the bullet and dive in. Or I could wait and see how you get on first…..:)

      Reply
  8. Marie

    Oooooh, Jo! I lurve this with all my heart! I’ve got the pattern and can’t wait to make it up myself now! Thanks for the virtual kick up the backside ;o)

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I’m really happy with how it turned out so I am mentally blanking out all the frustrating bits. Anyway, if it’s worth having it’s worth putting a bit of effort in, isn’t it.

      Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you! I was amazed how well the back detail came out, its all down to the design of the pattern and it helped having such clear instructions. And the back detail really makes the dress, doesn’t it.

      Reply
      1. Gjeometry

        I’ve just given your blogpost link to another sewing blogger who also just made the Belladone so she can check out your wonderful version (hope you don’t mind).

      2. Gjeometry

        Update: I just bought the Belladone pattern and am currently sewing it up!! I am collecting pics and blogs of those who have already made it to make a ‘collage’ to add to my blogpost, once it’s sewn.

  9. tania@sewitanyway

    Love this dress- the back cutout is such a nice style! And the binding does really make the lines strong and stand out.
    And I just re-scrolled down the page quickly… I think you should totally make your dancing pics into a gif… 🙂

    Reply
  10. Joanne

    I love this pattern. I have two versions already. Yours looks great on you. I really love the contrast across the pockets. I might have to do that on my next version.

    Reply
  11. zora read

    I love it Jo, I could not envisage how that fabric would look made up, You look awesome. The dress is great, I am singing along to Transvision Vamp with you in my head, and I just love the way you photograph.

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you, I’m so glad you persuaded me to take it. You can’t beat a bit of Transvision Vamp when you want to jump around and make a tit out of yourself, can you. As a teenager I wanted to be Wendy James. Unfortunately I looked more like Sid James.

      Reply
  12. Kat H

    Oh I love love love this version of the dress! The contrast binding on the back really makes that detail pop. 🙂

    (Also, those are awesome dance photos. Go you!)

    Reply
  13. busylizzieinbrissie

    I love it, you have now convinced me to spend lots of money on Deer & Doe patterns, I like the yellow reglisse too. Hmmm, just when I was trying to save money. Your binding details looked wonderful 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you! And sorry if I make you spend money. Maybe you can think of it as an investment. If you make a few versions it only works out a few pounds/dollars per make. Do I sound convincing yet?

      Reply
  14. Miss Demeanour

    This is absolutely spiffing doll! I’m loving the live action shots. It shows that the dress is both gorgeous but practical for the necessary leaping about that life involves 🙂

    xxx

    Reply
    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thank you! I know what you mean, I have so many things on my list I’m considering taking a sickie from work to try and catch up 🙂 And I’m itching to start my Miz Mozelle after seeing yours.

      Reply
  15. Helen

    Gorgeous dress and the bias binding looks fine to me! I love the back cut out detail on this dress and the more of them I see, the more I really love this pattern. I have yet to buy any Deer and Doe patterns, but am fancying the Datura – and as you say, if you’re paying the postage you may as well get 2… the Belladone might just be the second one for me!

    Gotta love a bit of Transvision Vamp! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Deer and Doe Belladone – Inspiration! | Thread Carefully

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