Belladone Opposites

Remember the contest I talked about early this year?

I also picked up the Deer and Doe pattern Belladone, which I am in love with!

(Granted, I fall in love with a lot of patterns…)

But seriously, I’ve made 2.5 of these in the first quarter of the year…

The ice blue one is version 2, and the green skirt is version 1, but I am combining them for this post, along with the bonus of the skirt I made from the same pattern (Version 2.5). Because they’re all done, with almost no changes between the versions, so why not? And though I know I should make some more adjustments, I didn’t pause in between making these.

The Belladone is one of those patterns that I’ve seen around for so many years, and yet I haven’t gotten my hands on it mostly due to the shipping from France thing. And I don’t have many paper patterns from indie companies (read: none), so I couldn’t really see buying the paper patterns. But so many people have made fantastic versions, and I wanted to join the legion!

I made the cutaway back version for both dress options, and I had to make one (rather large) adjustment, which I assume has to do with my broad rounded back. I had to sew a huge dart from just underneath the overlay to the armscye. And now the back lies smoothly against mine! The hem was also “very long” on me, meaning at knee length, but I prefer my skirts to be a bit higher, so I went back and hemmed each version a couple inches.

Version 2 (which was finished first) is made from an ice blue cotton with neon slubs woven in (that aren’t visible from more than one foot away), and is fully lined. Granted, that means its mostly interlined for the bodice, and then actually lined for the skirt. Version 1 has a chambray bodice (woot for scraps!), and what I think is a cotton/poly lawn (woot for scraps part 2!). And then I made a skirt version out of the same wax print cotton that I made my Uganda dress out of a few years ago. I had just barely enough to make it happen, but it’s infinitely more wearable than the dress is, which is a great thing!

I made up Versions 2 and 3 for my this big conference in Seattle, since I don’t have much of what you might call “business casual” and then decided to alter them. The skirt only got hemmed a bit higher, but the ice blue dress got a stencil treatment. I laser cut a stencil with a vaguely floral geometric design, and I used silver Jacquard Lumiere paint to put it on the waistband. The design is not terribly visible, even though I used a Micron pen to outline it a bit, but I like the small amount of definition it gives to the dress.

Because Version 2 was fully lined, I didn’t need to bias bind the neck or armscyes, but when I finally finished Version 1, I had to bias bind them, which I did in a lovely green, and I’m considering stenciling the waistband with a gold fabric paint. We’ll see what happens in a couple weeks.

These are wonderful dresses/skirts though. They worked well for the transition from winter to summer, and so far are doing well for actual summer too! Wait until I show you my hack of this! It’s going to be awesome (judging by the wearable muslin, at least)!


The Shirtdress that I’ve Dreamed About

This post might also have an accurate subtitle of “Spot the Mosquito Bites!”

front side

I love early summer, because it still gets cool at night, but I do not enjoy the mosquitoes that come with it. Especially since we’ve had a really rainy spring so far, which spells a very mosquito ridden summer.

I’m going to be miserable, i can just feel it.
back side

This is my new shirtdress, and I love it and want five to ten more. Both the fabric and the pattern conspire to make this some amazing level of secret pajamas.

The fabric is Robert Kaufmann chambray, which I believe is rayon cotton blend. It’s lightweight, but has a large amount of body to it. I got it on sale last year for about 3 or 4 dollars a yard,  and I’ll definitely buy the bolt if I find  it for that price again.


The buttons and bias tape are from my vintage stash, and the buttons are probably from my grandmother, which  makes  them a little more special..


The pattern is s Sew Over It’s Vintage Shirtdress.  It’s so so lovely. As in, the design fits me perfectly (in my eyes)  right out of the package. I thought I’d have to use a size 12 at the bust and a 10 at the waist, but I decided to just stick with the 1o all around.

front other side

I used some goldenrod quilting cotton for the pockets, to match the buttons, and I kinda  french seamed them, at least to the skirt seams. I also used  bias tape to finish almost all off the seams. I missed the lower part of the skirt seams though.

This is my new  favorite  garment. As in, wear it every week favorite garment.

And I can’t wait to make more!