Crazy Cat Lady Belladone

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope everyone had a safe, festive weekend filled with autumnal fun. My husband and I did manage to make it to a Halloween party on Friday night, but, alas, no pictures were taken. I ended up wearing my Daenerys dress – it was so nice to get to wear it again! My husband wore a partial set of his plate armor, aiming for a “Game of Thrones-ish” look. Cuz, y’know, every man owns his own set of plate armor. The best part of this is that those were costume pieces we just happened to have on hand last minute. We’re clearly too geeky for our own good :P. Oof.

Moving on! I’m super excited to share today’s make with you – it just might be my new all-time favorite! This is my creation for Erin’s Cat Lady Sewing Challenge (extended to November 9th). I had actually bought the fabric and pattern for this dress over the summer, before the challenge was even announced, so I knew I had better get my bum in gear to get this done in time! (Funny fabric shopping story – I shamelessly copied Ping when we were browsing the stock at Grey’s Fabric one Crafty Foxes Sewing night. She even got the same binding fabric. For binding. Great minds think alike? :P)

The pattern is another Deer and Doe pattern – this time, the Belladone dress. And if I was scared of the Reglisse, I was petrified of this pattern, with all the binding details and the back cutout. And yes, it was a little tricky to figure out how to get the binding the way I wanted it, but really, it was so much easier than I thought it would be! I’m now a total Deer and Doe convert – I’m absolutely in love with this dress!!

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Isn’t it fun?? I really love the contrasting bias binding, as you can tell, and I added it everywhere I could! I wasn’t quite sure how best to apply it, though – the pattern wasn’t clear about the seam allowance for the armholes and the neck. Is it supposed to be 1/4″ or 5/8″? I used a 5/8″ seam allowance for the armholes. However, this caused some funkiness with the back:

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Oops! I’m guessing it was supposed to be 1/4″, which is what I used for the neckline. Also, for the back, I trimmed 1/4″ off of the cutout section, since the pattern has you turning under 1/4″ twice for a hem (so, 1/2″ total), and I just needed 1/4″ to add the bias tape. I should note that I used 1/2″ bias tape (that I made myself!), and attached it like a reverse facing. In other words, I sewed it to the wrong side of the garment, pressed it to the right side, and top-stitched. This created 1/2″ borders around the back, neck, armholes, pockets, and hem.

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At the waistband, I added flat piping. I decided that it would look best to have that be 1/4″ instead of 1/2″ – larger just looked too big. So I cut 1 3/4″ bias strips, pressed them in half, and applied them using this method.

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One last fitting note and then I promise I’m done! I thought I should note here that, so far, I’ve found I need to lower the bust point on all of my Deer and Doe makes. I did this with the Regisse as well. It’s an easy alteration that can be done straight to the tissue – I literally just tape the darts out, hold the tissue pattern up to my chest, and mark where my bust point falls. Then I cut out the darts and reposition them until they point to the right place. It’s a quick fix, but it makes a huge difference fit-wise! (And also note, although Deer and Doe patterns are technically designed for a C cup, I didn’t need a SBA, and I’m a B cup. Just FYI!)

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I can’t wait to wear this out and about and show off my crazy cat lady pride :).

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9 thoughts on “Crazy Cat Lady Belladone

  1. Fabulous Belladone! I really like your piping colour choice with that cool cst fabric. When I sewed my Belladone, I noted the bust points also pointed…..not to my bust. But when I looked at pics of the dress, it looks like the points do end very high up on everyone’s bust so I wonder if that was the look Deer and Doe were going for. Because my bust is small, it just didn’t look right so I lowered them as well.

  2. Pingback: A Year in Review: Hits and Misses | Dressing the Role

  3. Love your version! Adding that bias binding is totally worth it!
    Let me tell I was also very puzzled about the armhole seam allowance. I used 5/8 and ended up with a lot of bulk. Next time I’ll reduce to 1/2 inch

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