This was my first post on the Monthly Stitch although I have been following the blog collective for a while now. I entered The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month during Dresses Week at the last minute. I had planned on entering some of my NYC Travel Wardrobe pieces into the contest, but had put it off (of course). This was also my first entry into any sort of sewing contest and I was so happy when I won! I couldn’t believe it in fact!
This project was fabric inspired. I was walking through Joanns and saw it and it practically screamed, “I am a Belladone dress.” So I bought it brought it home and promptly got nervous about sewing it up. The Belladone was my first Deer and Doe pattern and I was worried about fit. So eventually I muslined it and I LOVED the fit. So, I cut my fabric that same day and my dress was done a few days later.
I really love this dress. I knew that I would love the Belladone, there are so many wonderful versions around the internet. I am not sure what took me so long to sew it, but I see many more in my future. I particularly love how the cut out in the back perfectly frames my tattoo. I like when I can show it off. It is my only tattoo and sometimes I get sad that I can never see it and that so many of my clothes cover it up. I have been considering getting a new one in a spot where I could constantly stare lovingly at it. Maybe someday.
Anyways, back to the dress. I wanted to keep this streamlined so I folded my bias tape under, but next time I think I will go for a contrasting bias tape and a more funky look. This dress was frantically sewed in the days before my trip to NYC, If I had given myself more time I would have hand sewn the hem facing, but a simply sewed it on my machine. I had never sewn a hem facing before and felt like it was a nice detail. It gave it a clean finish. I would love to make a winter version with a nice lining sewn in.
This dress was the perfect addition to my handmade travel wardrobe, I felt chic and playful in NYC. I enjoyed being colorful in a sea of neutrals. I wore the dress on the day that we rode the Staten Island Ferry, where you can view the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty from the boat. It was tons of fun until I remembered I get sea sick. I enjoyed looking at the Statue of Liberty much more from land at Battery Park. One of the great things about the heavyweight of the fabric was that it stayed put on the windy boat. It was also super easy to sew.
The whole sewing process was pretty easy actually. The instructions where simple and clear. I thought that the cutout in the back would be challenging, but it was really quite simple. I love things that will look difficult to the untrained eye, but are really quite simple to do. It is a great wow factor. The one thing that I might try to change would be to find a way to create a closure at the top of the cutout. It doesn’t separate there so it makes it a little awkward to get on and off. I could see it putting stress on a more delicate fabric.
Indie Pattern Used – Deer and Doe Belladone
Fabric and Notions – Cotton bottomweight fabric with a slight stretch from Joann’s, Coats and Clark zipper, white thread
Pattern Alterations and Design Changes – I surprisingly sewed a straight size 44 with no alterations. There are a few things I would change for a future version. I would lower the bust darts and possibly size down at the waist if I was sewing another stretch cotton. Although I think this size would work great for a cotton with no stretch at all.
Wearing my Belladone in NYC. I am at Battery Park in this photo. Can you see the Statue Of Liberty in the background. I had taken the Staten Island Ferry right before this which would have been great if I didn’t get totally seasick. I enjoyed looking at Miss Liberty much more from solid land… In the shade with a beer.