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!
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