Belladone Dress

I have been coveting the patterns by French Indie Patternmaker Deer & Doe for ages now. Here in Australia you can do one of two things to get them; one, find a bricks and mortar store, of which there is one that I know of that sells them; or two, order online and wait patiently for them to arrive.  Well I am not the patient sort, when I decide to made something I want to make it now!! Luckily the aforementioned store is in Brisbane, Sew Gorgeous, so I recently made an effort to get there and picked up the Belladone and Bluet.


I started by making a muslin and it fitted really well first up, most unusual for me! Normally I have to do an FBA on almost everything.

Construction-wise I followed the instructions, the dress came together well and the instructions were easy to follow.  I didn’t understand the point of the hem facing and chose to omit it. BTW – I know this dress looks long compared to others out there on the interwebs – I didn’t alter the length, but I am only 5’2″.


For the bias binding I used my binding foot. This is the first time I have been successful with it. The trick is to make sure you cut the binding super even, the strips must be exact width to get the right result. This was an amazing timesaver as it feeds the binding onto your fabric, folding and stitching at the same time. Genius!

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Trying out the binding foot

A post shared by Liz Alexandre (@_busylizzie) on

I used the Colette Patterns method of making bias, although next time I think I would cut the strips first and then them join together. The Colette method results in a lot of joins close together and this does not work well with the bias foot as the joins get stuck in the feeder. It is best to have as long a strip as possible to avoid joins showing on the neck or armhole.


Things I liked about this pattern:

  • the fit is really good and seems true to size
  • the back detail is nothing short of awesome
  • the packaging is lovely and I really like the sturdy paper they come on
  • for a dress it really does not use that much fabric, under 2m and you have a cute dress

What I changed this time:

  • lowered the neckline
  • overlapped the back slightly more to improve the fit
  • omitted the hem facing
  • added additional piping for the waistband and pockets
  • narrowed the width of the shoulders slightly – they are quite wide, almost to the point of being a cap
  • put in a lapped zipper instead of an invisible zip. I prefer them as they are stronger and more reliable.

Things I don’t like or would change:

  • that I can’t buy these patterns online, really annoying!
  • I may need to do a small FBA to avoid the slight gaping I have at the neckline


Pattern – Belladone by Deer & Doe
Fabric – 1.5m of cotton dress fabric from my stash
Notions –  16″ lapped zipper, thread, self-made bias

44 thoughts on “Belladone Dress

  1. I am officially in love! This pattern and that fabric were made for each other. The pink bias binding is just the icing on the cake. Amazing job!!!

  2. Great print – the dress looks fab on you! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile. I know they ship patterns to Ireland, so I’m sure they’d ship to aus – they have so many lovely items.

      1. Ahh, I understand that. As its getting cooler here i have my eye on the sureau dress… watch this space!

  3. Ooo!! Your dress is gorgeous, I love the fabric. I’m going to save this post because you have a lot of great info in it. I just need to stop procrastinating on this pattern!

  4. Lovely dress Lizzie. The colours are amazing on you. How blue do your eyes look? I’m the more patient type and ordered online (no shops near me sell them). I’m keen to make their latest dress release, but lots of non-selfish sewing to do first.

  5. This is absolutely smashing, Liz! Loving the pink piping around the waist band- creates rad definition! And I seee what you mean about the length- I think I need to add about 4 inches to mine to feel decent 😉

  6. I am glad to read all the other comments as they are exactly my opinion too. And I have learnt something from this post – I didn’t know about the ‘Sew Gorgeous’ shop at Paddington.

  7. The dress looks great Liz! and that fabric is specatular!
    I just wanted to let you know I do have all the Deer & Doe patterns online for sale with $2.50 postage anywhere in Australia!

    1. Thanks Jaye, the fabric is another Spotlight gem – they are out there! Thanks for the update on the Deer & Doe too. Hope all is well, we’ll have to catch up soon, and of course let me know if you need me 🙂

  8. Just wanted to add another comment about how fantastic this dress and fabric go together, how brilliant you look and how inspired I am! Thanks for brightening my day. Now off to do something for me…

  9. Absolutely beautiful dress/ beautiful fabric and piping.. You did a fantastic job with this one..
    Love both patterns, Look forward to seeing you make the other one..

  10. In love with your Belladone version! I am working on mine for Frocktober, as well. Is it all right if I pinch a photo of yours and include it with a link to your site when I post my Belladone? I’m comprising a collage of Belladones, there are just so many fab versions.

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