First Belladone Dress

I’m super pleased with this dress! I made this to wear to work, mostly, and I felt like a superhero telling people that I made it. It’s a very comfortable dress, but it ended up with a little more ease than I’d like. (More on that later.)

Belladone Front

(Sorry for the awful picture quality – it’s a camera phone at night. I’ll do better next time, when I actually have time to take photos!)

I’m glad I made the effort to sew together a muslin first! I totally misread my measurements, and also had to make a few adjustments to my pattern. It fits reasonably well now, though!

I’m totally in love with Deer & Doe’s pattern packaging and quality. The pattern paper is gorgeous, and the pattern instructions were incredibly easy to follow. The dress is a surprisingly quick sew, with a huge payoff from the cutout back.

Also, I’d like to try this in a lighter fabric – I think the skirt would drape beautifully. I’m super excited about this pattern, especially now that I have a muslin that ~mostly fits. Looking forward to stamping out tons more of these!

Fabric // Stretch cotton twill in coral from Fabric Outlet in SF

Pattern // Deer and Doe’s Belladone

Sizing // My size was all over the place: I cut the front bodice at a 40, the back at a 36, and the skirt at a 42. Once I made my first muslin, I realized that I actually wanted to cut a 36 all around, and do an FBA on the front bodice. This dress has a little more ease in it than I’d like because of this, but it’s a comfy dress! I think I’d like to take the dress in at the waist more dramatically.


Sway back (bunching at the small of my back)

Also, because my back is weird, I had to cut out a bunch of fabric in the back to make a sway back adjustment. This is the first time I’ve heard the term, and now I’m seeing the issue in all the ready-to-wear clothes I own! In the future, I know to cut the muslin down while the darts are still basted – I ended up with a wonky bottom seam in the end. :/

Belladone Back

Shoulder/back piece sizing

I also had to cut down the shoulder length a little, and fix the back flaps so they weren’t quite so big. I followed Lauren’s advice (on lladybird) to fix this, described near the end of the post.

I think the back pieces fit pretty well now, though! Ignore the bunching at the zipper, please :(.

Larger pockets

Who doesn’t need larger pockets? :) I wanted to make sure I could fit my giant phone comfortably tucked away in the pockets, so I increased the size on both the pocket facing and hip yoke pieces.

Skills learned: