Here is my finished Belladone. I'm pretty pleased with it, although the fabric - a medium weight cotton from the op shop - does have a tendency to crease. After all the adjustments I made at the social sewing last week, the fit is pretty good. It is not super-fitted around the body, but I wanted it to be comfortable (which it is), and it means that can wear along sleeved top underneath in the winter. My invisible zip went in without a hitch (thanks to Jo for answering my question on this one!), although looking at these pictures it might be a bit lower than it is supposed to be. Never mind! I was originally going to add some length to the skirt but I like it as is.
Things I really like about this pattern:
1. The back cutout. It was tricky to get this to fit right for my abnormally small back but I really love it. It's bra-friendly and just adds nice detail.
2. The pockets. I used polka dot cotton for the lining for a little bit of interest, and they are the perfect size.
3. The bias finished armholes and neck. I made my own binding - 2.5cm total width, so 0.75cm finished so it's thinned than other versions that I've seen but i think it's OK. If I make this dress again (I'm thinking about it!) I might use thicker binding.
4. The faced hem. I think I could have done a better job of pressing my hem before these pics but the facing makes it really easy to finish the curved hem. I catch stitched mine in place when I was watching the tennis last night. Murray - you are on fire!
5. The nice instruction booklet. It doesn't explain every step (for example it just says " add binding to the neck and armholes" but the diagrams are great.
6. The little peats in the front skirt.
I feel as if I learnt so much during the process of making this dress: how to sew bias binding on neatly (I used my clear embriodery foot which helped see what I was doing), how to make pattern adustments, working with a hem facing, and sewing on the bias.
Things to do differently next time? I think I should probably have chosen a fabric that didn't crease so badly, but I really wanted to make it in the red, and perhaps I should have used a thinner fabric for the hem facing as it is a bit bulky.
And I thought it would be interesting to look at the cost breakdown - totally copying Christy with this one.
Pattern: Belladone by Deer and Doe, $18 including shipping
Fabric: 2m of op-shopped red cotton, $2. Brown and white polka dot cotton scraps - free from the op shop (the guy threw them in when I bought some other stuff!)
Thread and zip : from op-shopped stash, 50c
Total = $20.50
Finally a big thanks to my neighbour Bea, a budding 12 year old photographer who took these great pics!