Completed Project: Deer and Doe Belladone
I finished my Deer and Doe Belladone dress! I started making it this time last week and spent most of Friday on it, tracing the pattern, making the toile, fitting it and cutting the fabric. I started to get the bodice sewn up the same day, but the rest I’ve been finishing off throughout the week in a couple of naptime slots and a few evenings.
The fabric is an African wax print I picked up in Fancy Fabrics on Goldhawk Road, at Rachel’s epic #NYLon2014 meet-up in May. I love the stars and the bright colours – I couldn’t resist the hot pink! The price was pretty good too: 6 yards for £15, and the fabric is 44″ wide. KERCHING! Plenty left over to make the whole family some matching clothes… 😉
I bought the hot pink bias binding at another (mini) sewing meet-up – this one in Leeds which is OMGAWESOME for fabric shopping (and shopping in general). I bought 10m of the stuff for £3, and used 8.5m of it for this dress! I plan to shop in Leeds more often from now on…and meet up with the Northern sewing posse! And perhaps return to Mrs Atha’s and eat some more of their delicious cake mmmmmmmmmm caaaaaaakkkee….
Anyway. The zip!!! Ah, the zip! This is my first exposed zip. I wanted to do it to make the back of the dress EVEN MORE EXCITING. I bought this at the Minerva Crafts sewing meet-up last weekend (which was FABULOUS), and it was one of those zip-on-a-roll-types (more new territory for me). You buy 50cm at a time and then cut it to your desired length. I was told to be careful not to slide the zipper too far up or down or I’d lose the pull, but without even thinking when I got it home I merrily pulled it right up to the top… and off the end. Oh, the japes I get up to in order to provide interesting reading content for you all! After rather a lot of fiddling about I managed to get the thing back on and after that I was very careful not to repeat my mistake.
So the main elements of this dress all came from socialising – the pattern from my dear friend Aileen, the fabric from the London meet-up, the binding from the Leeds meet-up and the zip from the Minerva meet-up! And the thread, specifically the pink thread, came from my Gran’s sewing stuff which I inherited last year, and it’s worth a photo simply because of its name:
Anyway, onto the construction! I must admit, I hardly followed the instructions at all. I came across a few criticisms of the instructions but I’m afraid I can neither agree nor disagree because I basically ignored them: the construction of this dress is simple to me. The cut-out back is totally straightforward and is assembled exactly how you’d think. The fact that the dress isn’t lined and that all the raw edges can be bound is what makes it simple. I bias bound everything in sight as I really wanted to feature the pink! I added flat piping at the waistband, I bound the edges of the pockets and the hem, and on the inside I bias bound the pocket bags and the waistband.
I take great pride in making my dresses look as nice as possible on the inside as well as on the outside. My seams are all turned and stitched on the inside because I couldn’t be bothered rethreading my overlocker (ha!), except for the centre back seam which is pinked because by the time I had sewn the invisible zip in (on?!) there wasn’t much choice! I bias bound the ends of the zip so that they wouldn’t rub against my skin.
I’m glad I’ve had my hair all cut off now – it helps show off the back of this dress!
I also love an excuse to wear these frankly RIDICULOUS shoes. Even if it was just for the photos.
I think I may wear this dress (and shoes!) to my sister-in-law’s hen do – the evening bit – as we’re off to a Take That tribute band party! I totally dissed Take That at the time: I was an Indie girl, and my heart will always belong to Jarvis. I didn’t really like boy bands, but I guess with age comes nostalgia and now I’m the ripe old age of 33(!!) I don’t mind admitting that Take That were a pretty good example of a pop group, and the song ‘Never Forget’ reminds me of uni nights out with the 6 other girls I lived with 🙂 So yeah, I think this dress is fun enough to wear to that! The shoes may cripple me though, so I’ll have to get drunk to numb the pain!