Deer&Doe: A Blue Belladone

Deer & Doe Belladone 1


My goodness, what a crazy January it’s been. You know, the kind where you look up and by some magical occurence it’s practically the end of Febuary? Ha!

I was seduced by the Belladone at January’s Social Sewing (thanks to Helen’s rockin’ red robe, and Amanda’s polka-dot version), and decided to drop all my existing sewing plans to knock it up. For a such a nice easy and simple pattern I screwed up numerous times – chalk it down to my non-sewing life being overly demanding at the moment and having less brain capacity for sewing as a result.

Deer & Doe Belladone 2

My finest Belladone moments:
– Toiling in non-stretch calico and sewing with stretch cotton. DUH. I had to deal with major gape-age at the back and due to the pattern design, the centreback seam had to take the fallout.
 – I thought I was being smart when I decided to add facings to the back to clean up the zip finish. That totally backfired when I realised I had to take in the centre back seam.
 – I initially raised the neckline. I then decided, AFTER hand sewing on the silk chiffon bias binding that it was too high, and had to rip that off, cut it back down and hand sew the binding on again.
 – Sewing with silk chiffon. The baddest boy of the fabric world (and probably why I always want it). I proceed to promise myself I will never sew with silk chiffon ever again. Also, Chiffon was NOT destined to be bias binding.
 – Realise the next-in-line in my sewing queue demands a silk chiffon ruffle.  *head-desk*.

Belladone muslin zip finish
The zip finishing on my toile, as per Deer & Doe instructions. Hmm.
Deer & Doe Belladone 8
Avec Facing. Much nicer. (and the scene of the centre-back seam crime)
Deer & Doe Belladone 6
My favourite kind of seam finishing!
Deer & Doe Belladone 7
Killer seam matching and pretty pockets on the inside

Somewhere in amongst all that I got so frustrated at my lack of progress I started and finished sewing an entirely different project (appearing soon at a blog post near you).

The one thing that I do really love about this dress is the combo of fabrics – the blue stretch cotton sateen (shiny side to the inside) I bought in Buenos Aires last year, and some digitally printed silk chiffon from Tessuti which I used at the back and at the waist-band pieces for contrast. The silk kinda reminds me of that short-lived fashion craze of the galaxy print. From looking at the back of me in these photos though it looks like I may need to fix up some of that chiffon binding. 

Deer & Doe Belladone 5

I cut a straight size 44 – which of course meant I needed to take it in at the waist, a usual thing I have to do when I’m too lazy to grade between sizes when I’m tracing it off. Silly really, because it takes twice as long to adjust a calico pattern than it does to make the changes at the tracing stage. Proof that shortcuts at the start end up making the journey longer?

Deer & Doe Belladone 4

I haven’t heard anything specifically, but Deer & Doe clearly draft for a C cup, because the bodice darts of this dress fit me really well. No pooching or excess fabric at my arm – impressive! I won’t say perfectly though, because I was taught that bust darts should always point towards your bust point (just a politically correct way of saying nipple) but finish an inch or so before the actual point. I know this kind of theory can be a grey area and not everyone adheres to it – but these darts are a little odd. The dart coming from the side seam goes up and across my bust point, and points to my armpit rather than my bust point. Ok, so my boobs doesn’t sit as high as they did prior to gravity and I becoming mortal enemies, but hey. The dart coming from the waist band stops bang on my bust point. A google image search for ‘belladone robe’ shows this occurs on most everyone whose made it, so I know it’s not just my physiology that’s a factor. Yeah, I could have adjusted this… but I wanted a new dress, and I wanted it NOW.

That’s really my only quibble though,, so it’s not that bad really. I took the chance to clean up the insides with some petersham ribbon at the waistband.

All in all, I don’t mind this dress. I like it a whole lot more when I catch the back of it on a reflective surface – it reminds me how funky this dress is :)

Deer & Doe Belladone 3

The Stats:
00:35  Pattern Preparation (tracing/draft changes)
04:20  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
01:35  Fabric Preparation (cutting/interfacing)
10:45  Sewing
17:15  hours

Fabric Utilisation = 1.8m + 0.5m
Stash total now = 96.2m (Goal = 50m)


Epic Stash Enrichment Outing

fabric haul

I hadn’t bought fabric since the start of October last year, people. And like all diets of the strictest kind, you’re likely to break your rules at some point and binge on the very thing you sought to restrict.

That breaking point for me was on Saturday just gone past – with 11 of my favourite sewing enthusiasts, Social Sewing went on the road! We had visitors from multiple states – Suzy (SuzyBeeSews) from South Australia, Amanda (Bimble and Pimble) from the ACT and Kirsty (RocketSews) from Tasmania. There’s already evidence floating around that the Sydney Sewing Girls had their own massive fabric binge on the very same day – good minds eh! Our day started early, and we covered 8 shops and trekked all over Melbourne stopping for lunch somewhere in the middle and then topping it off with dinner at Rockwell & Sons (the restaurant co-owned by Belle’s (Bella’s Collectanea) husband. I skipped out on that though as I had a hot-date with my beau.

Thankfully I had plenty of advance notice this fabric shopping expedition of most epic proportions, so by extension I had ample chance to strengthen my fabric-grabbing reflexes. I think I did myself proud. The other ladies did too – Lara (Thornberry) walked out of one fabric shop with a whopping FOUR BAGS of fabric! And check out the boot of 1 of the three cars it took to get us all around town here.

Shall we look what came home with me?

Some floral/lace printed knit (not pictured) and minty green marle knit from the remnant bin at Rathdowne Remnants, destined to be a Papercut Undercover Hood for winter this year:

Mint Marle knit from Rathdown Remnants

Some super-sturdy and strong silk twill in a pinky red (I thought it was some really soft cotton twill when I picked it up!) from The Fabric Store (50% off, whooo!) which will hopefully become some Patrones shorts before the end of summer (thanks to the Curious Kiwi for posting about this issue so I could ‘discover’ this pattern!):

Silk Twill from The Fabric Store

Also from The Fabric Store, some oyster coloured silk satin for lining, plus some delicious baby blue silk/cotton voile bought specifically to underline the eyelet fabric on the right (bought previously) to become a Mad Men/potential SewcieTea dress:

Oyster Silk Satin and Duck Egg silk cotton voile from The Fabric Store

LIBERTY! We all love liberty. This is a bit unusual in that it’s a little warm, fuzzy and certainly not lightweight – it’s almost flannelette like. I lurve the colours and I scored some bright red silk habutai to line it with – no pattern ideas as yet, but definitely a autumnal dress (both from The Cloth Shop):

Liberty Love and Red Habutai from The Cloth Shop

And finally fabric-wise – my ultimate score for the day – some painted and embroidered silk dupion, also from The Cloth Shop. A long time friend is getting married at the end of the year, so I’m thinking of whipping this up for that. The print is giant, so it will need to be a fairly simple dress pattern to let the fabric shine. A big circle skirt and a crinoline are floating around in my imagination…

Embroidered Silk Dupion The Cloth Shop

I also had a rather exciting moment, because I finally found a shop that sells petersham ribbon – The Button Shop. And it’s within walking distance from my house – gah! I’ve been looking everywhere online and found nothing (Ribbons Galore used to sell them but have stopped stocking it) – of course, it was right under my nose to begin with. So I bought quite a bit of that, plus some simple and small mother of pearl buttons to be put on a button up shirt (there’s also some lace trim from the Alannah Hill Outlet in Brunswick in there):

petersham ribbon The Button Shop

Everyone’s been asking me… so how many meters does that add to your stash, Mel? Well, unfortunately for me the number don’t lie. Looks like I’m back on that fabric diet (until New York and Baltimore in September) if I’m EVER going to get down to 50m:

Stash total prior to Saturday = 79.8m 
New additions to stash = 18.7m
Current stash total = 98.5m

Le sigh. Anyway, here’s a sneak peak of what’s currently being sewn up!

sneak peak