I 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:
No, 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.
I 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 :