February is flying like crazy and I still haven’t found time to finish my Trello tutorial! I really hope I can do that soon… In the meantime I took out my camera tripod last weekend to snap a few pictures of the Belladone dress I made last Fall.
This dress means a lot to me because it is actually the bridesmaid dress I made for Eléonore’s wedding! The constraints were as follows: Deer&Doe pattern, burgundy fabric. Pretty straightforward, right? I spent a long time agonizing over the pattern choice (Centaurée? Réglisse? Aubépine?) and brainstorming with the other girls (it’s not easy to get four ladies to agree when you’re trying to each use a different pattern!) and I finally settled on the Belladone dress.
For the fabric though I went a bit out of the box: we said burgundy, but warm colors look really bad on me (I’m a “Cool Summer”, you see) so I bargained to be able to use a colder color. A dozen swatches later, I got this lovely raspberry cotton twill. The color on my pictures is true to life, so it’s really different from what is shown on the shop website, and I love it… but it is a real pain when it comes to wrinkles!
I was a bit afraid that the Belladone would be too serious for a wedding compared to more flowy, less structured patterns, so I decided to add matching lace (this one). Lace all-over was a bit too much, and would have prevented me from wearing it again that much. I considered doing the upper-back pieces in lace only, but I wasn’t digging the look of semi see-through parts over opaque parts on this pattern (you can see what it looks like on this version for instance).
I chose instead to do those pieces in both twill and lace and treat both layers as one. To do so I cut the lace parts by placing them over the selvedge, hemmed the twill parts and then basted them together two-by-two at the neckline and armholes.
Even though I currently have four Belladone dresses in my closet (a blue one with striped binding that I made a few years ago, a burgundy one that Mag gave me and a floral one gifted to me by Eléonore herself), it seems like I still haven’t mastered the fit. I have a long bust, so I took on the habit of lengthening the bust of all my Deer&Doe patterns by 2 centimeters above the waist. I think it works pretty well from the front, where I think the proportions are more flattering than they were on my blue Belladone.
However from the back it looks pretty messy on the pictures: the bust is too long and there is a lot of extra fabric. Eléonore kindly suggested that I should add only 1cm and not 2 and that it might work better for me.
I’m keeping this in mind for the next one. Next one? When do you reach the point where you realize that you have enough dresses made from the same pattern? I’m just asking because now there is also the closed-back version, and I still haven’t made it, so…
Belladone – Deer&Doe
Lengthened by 2cm at the bust
Cotton twill from Fabric.com
Lace from Fabric.com
Love the colour. It is absolutely stunning and I think your subtle use of the matching lace elevates the look the perfect amount. Beautiful work.
Thanks, that is really nice of you to say!
fabulours colour, it looks great on you too. I love the lace above the open back detail ;o)
Thanks a lot!
it looks amazing!
love the little lace piece!
i’ve recently made my second belladone as well, it’s just such a great pattern!
I know right! I love this pattern, it is classic yet with a twist, and so flattering…
This is fabulous. I love the colour and the way you overlaid the lace. I don’t think one can have too many of this dress:)
Re fitting – I sometimes have the same problem. I got round it by lengthening my front bodice pieces by half an inch and doing a sway back adjustment on the back – that took care of the length without compromising the side seams. I think most women with a defined waist need to do a swayback allowance – I never used to, as I thought it was really for sway backs – but whe I finally tried it – wow, the difference.
This is great advice, thank you so much! I definitely have a sway back, that’s even something I went to the doctors for as a kid, but for some reason it never occurs to me that I should adjust for that while making dresses. I’ll make sure to try that on my next one!
I really love the colour you chose for this and the lace pieces at the back. Beautiful for a wedding!
Thank you Victoria 🙂
Awesome version of this dress! I have been meaning to make this for soo long. love the lace back detail 🙂
Thanks! You definitely should, it’s a great dress, and surprisingly quick to make 🙂
Very elegant dress! I love the lace on the back and the color looks beautiful on you!
Thank you! 🙂
It is really pretty, the lace trim is beautiful.
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