Made by Me!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Using the stash - Deer and Doe Belladone finished!

I couldn't resist a quick make in between continuing with my Starlet jacket and the Belladone from Deer and Doe was the perfect choice. As I mentioned in my previous post I was only allowing myself to make my new pattern from fabric I already owned as a way of cutting down the stash - and I also managed to find a zip and binding - bonus! Stash depletion had to be done as its getting a wee bit out of hand. And there's more stuffed behind the sofa too....
The fabric is a Japanese cotton from Nani Iro. I bought it around about 2 years ago now and had it in mind for the Gretchen Hersch Craftsy course for 'the bombshell dress'. I stalled on making it for so long because if I am honest I have no where to wear such a dress and after umming and erring over it I put it to the back of the stash and moved on. Its a lovely feeling soft cotton but weird because it consists as two layers which you can see but cant pull apart as it is lightly tacked together. It prevents it from being too thin which is useful so I didn't bother to line it. It was however a slippery customer and distorted really easily so it wasn't always a pleasure to sew with. Anyway.....here is the dress.... 
I wasn't sure whether it was the best use of this fabric and hovered for ages before cutting it out but I actually really like the way it turned out. Do you feel like you have such a strong idea of what something will look like when you start a project that it doesn't faze you to cut into the fabric or do you cut and hope! Maybe with some epic fails along the way! I am more of the latter in general but I quickly seem to gain confidence in what it will look like. The thing that worked well with this fabric was the way it was cut out. The floral patterns were all in a group mainly on each side near the selvage edges so I positioned the pieces over the most patterned areas so I got a really floral section of fabric on the main body of the dress.
As for the pattern this is the first time that I have sewn up a Deer and Doe pattern. I have to say it was really straight forward and easy to put together. Even easier because I didn't have to translate it from French to English with my poor French vocab skills. The pattern labelled itself as an intermediate pattern but I really didn't feel there was too much on there that wasn't achievable for a confident beginner. Once you have mastered darts the rest is straightforward enough. The thing I did notice is the slight lack of pattern notations on the pieces - no grainlines on most and few notches. It didn't faze me but I thought it strange not to have them clearly labelled. The other thing was that the pattern asks you to do a facing on the hem, which is a lovely addition and not something I have actually come across before, but it didn't have a sealed in waistband, just open seams on the inside. I cut out another waistband section for the inside of the dress as I think its important to think about how it looks inside as well as out. I think this improved it and added some structure and support to the dress as the fabric is liable to twist a bit. The only change I made was to lengthen it ever so slightly as I cant stand wearing things when I feel they are too short.
Overall I would say give it a go as it was a pleasure to make and I think its pretty on as well. The back has a nice detail and so even though it feels like a simple dress there is so much you could do with that bit to add a bit of whoomph. Maybe different colours, multi-coloured binding, different fabrics, different colour waistband etc.... I also think that it would be really cute with a full skirt which would make it feel a bit more vintage.
I will definitely come back to sew this pattern again. 

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