Belladone Deer & Doe Dresses My Wardrobe Quilting cotton

A Panda Belladone

I only discovered Deer and Doe patterns fairly recently, and I can’t get enough of them. My most recent make is the Belladone pattern, released in 2012. Certainly not new, but a new one for me.

The panda print quilting cotton I used has been lingering in my stash for years. I promised myself I would stop buying new fabric and ‘shop my stash’ this year. I bought this with no plan on what I would make, I just loved it. Unfortunately, that often means I find it too difficult to ever cut into. So it lingers in the stash for a few years, totally wasted.

Since the Belladone is designed for woven fabrics, I had to make a few tweaks to get the fit just right. It’s still not perfect but it’s definitely wearable, and more importantly, pretty comfortable.

I cut a 42, tapering the skirt out from the waist to a 44 at the hem. The other adjustments I made included:

  • a 1.5″ full bust adjustment.
  • removing a small 1/4″ wedge from the top back panels, using the same method as Lauren over at Lladybird.
  • cutting a wider waistband as the bodice felt slightly too short.

The fit of the bodice is so close to being perfect, but there’s still a bit of a weird fit around the waist at the back. I’ll be working to fix that in the next version.

Pockets! Every dress needs pockets. And these are totally useable too! I added pale pink bias binding to match the flowers in the pattern. It’s not a colour I would normally use, but it matched the flowers perfectly.

I finished the neck, armholes and back panels with the same pink bias binding as the pockets. I trimmed all the seams by 1/4″ before adding the binding.

The zipper is lapped and hand picked. I think the finish at the top could be cleaner and I may move the zip to a side seam next time.

Check out that pattern matching on the centre back seam! It took a while to get right but was well worth it.

I’m really pleased how this turned out. It was one of those projects that I didn’t like at all while I was making it. Now it’s finished though, I love it. Plus everything I used was already in my stash. I’d call this one a win!

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  • Andrea
    16 August 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Sarah, Wow! This is just gorgeous. Your stitch work on that bias trim is masterful <3 I like the handpicked zip at the center back because it shows off the handwork and makes it look couture/vintage. I found you through searching #V9357 and your version of that dress was so wonderful I wanted to see your other stuff! I love your makes, I'm now a big fan of yours! xoxo, Andrea @duchessofcloth on IG

    • boldstitcher
      16 August 2019 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much! I was really pleased with how this turned out. The handpicked zipper is my absolute favourite method and you’ll be seeing lots more

  • Andrea
    16 August 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Ooh! I meant to ask… I don’t see any stitch in the ditch on your bias edges. How did you secure them down on the inside? What do your insides look like? Thanks! -Andrea

    • boldstitcher
      16 August 2019 at 6:46 pm

      Good eye! I sewed the bias onto the edge then turned it to the inside and hand stitched it down. It takes a lot longer but I find the hand sewing really relaxing. Take a look at my instagram for a close up of the inside!