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Completed Project: Deer and Doe Belladone

June 20, 2014

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.

Deer & Doe Belladone!

Deer & Doe Belladone!

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.

Belladone dress with exposed zip

Belladone dress with exposed zip

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:

Frivolous Pink vintage thread

Frivolous Pink vintage thread

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.

Bias bound pocket bags and inner waistband

Bias bound pocket bags and inner 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.

The back, from the inside

The upper back, from the inside

I’m glad I’ve had my hair all cut off now – it helps show off the back of this dress!

The back!

The back!

I also love an excuse to wear these frankly RIDICULOUS shoes.  Even if it was just for the photos.

Side view

Side view

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!

Yay Belladone!

Yay Belladone!

Front view again!

Bizarre facial expression…but pretty dress!


  1. June 20, 2014 2:08 pm

    This dress is amazing! And it looks so awesome with those cute little shoes haha (also, 10m of fabric for £3? how have I never been to this place before?!)

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 2:22 pm

      10m of bias binding!!! 🙂

      • June 20, 2014 3:54 pm

        ohhhhhh hahahaa that makes more sense 😉

  2. Vita permalink
    June 20, 2014 2:16 pm

    Damn girl you look amazing! All that running 😉

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 2:23 pm

      Why thank you! 🙂

  3. June 20, 2014 2:33 pm

    How cute are you?! I love the shocking pink bias. And the fab zipper of course. And you hair looks great, too.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 2:36 pm

      Thanks so much Liza Jane! I’m pleased with my new hair style, don’t regret it at all! And I love the dress. This is the first Belladone of many… 😉

  4. June 20, 2014 4:31 pm

    I love this dress! I really like the hot pink binding. The fit is amazing! And thumbs up for cutting your hair – it looks great!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 4:52 pm

      Thank you! I could never have put my hair up as elegantly as you do, so this is the easier option! 😉

  5. June 20, 2014 4:46 pm

    I love this dress and the pops of pink are perfect! Love your shoes, too 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 4:53 pm

      Thanks lovely! I’m digging the pink!

  6. June 20, 2014 5:29 pm

    This is GORGEOUS!! I love the fabric, pink bias tape and the visible zip. I wish I’d thought of a visible zip for my last Belladone. Enjoy the hen night!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2014 5:45 pm

      Thanks Lynne! I love your latest Belladone, too.

  7. June 20, 2014 5:38 pm

    Perfect! I love your dress.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:53 am


  8. June 20, 2014 5:48 pm

    Fab dress – love the wax print and the pink is perfect with it. And let me know if you’re ever looking for a northern fabric shopping buddy!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:54 am

      Ooh ok, will do!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:54 am

      Are you on twitter?

  9. June 20, 2014 7:20 pm

    What a gorgeous print! Your Belladone looks absolutely amazing. Perfect for a night out on the town for a hen party.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:57 am

      Thank you. I love the print too, especially those particular colours.

  10. June 20, 2014 7:26 pm

    Loving the zingy brightness of this on you. Looks great and fab shoes.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:58 am

      Thank you! There’s a lot of love for the crazy shoes!

  11. June 20, 2014 8:20 pm

    Wow, I NEED a Beladone dress! I love the back! The pink is amazing!! And your shoes… OMG!!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 9:59 am

      You do need a Belladone, it’s true!

  12. June 20, 2014 9:00 pm

    This dress looks fab, you look stunning and those shoes are awe inspiring!! Good job!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 10:00 am

      Thanks so much!

  13. June 20, 2014 10:43 pm


    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 10:00 am

      Thank you 🙂

  14. June 20, 2014 10:57 pm

    This looks fantastic – including the inside! The pink details are lovely.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 4:51 pm

      Thanks! It’s a fab pattern.

  15. June 21, 2014 1:23 am

    What a fun dress! I love everything about it and especially that zipper – it is so pretty! I’m even digging the shoes. Great job for sure! 😉 This might be one of my favorites of yours.

    • June 21, 2014 1:25 am

      PS – From where did you get your custom labels made? It’s the perfect finishing touch.

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        June 21, 2014 4:53 pm

        From I think!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 4:52 pm

      Excellent, thanks! You’re right, it definitely feels like a fun dress. Perfect for a hen party!

  16. June 21, 2014 8:56 am

    I’m so jealous of your skill! I’m trying to get back into sewing after too many years away but I’m taking baby steps – it may be a while before I tackle anything as lovely as your dress. Killer shoes too!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 4:55 pm

      Hope you do get back into it! It’s such a fun and rewarding skill and pastime.

  17. June 21, 2014 12:23 pm

    This is too adorable- the piping- the exposed zip in PINK – just too sweet!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 4:58 pm

      The hot pink zip was a fortuitous match, I’m pleased with how it looks!

  18. June 21, 2014 6:43 pm

    This is one of my favourite dresses ever!


    I love the hot pink and you look fab with short hair btw.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 7:09 pm

      High praise indeed! Thank you very much!

  19. June 21, 2014 8:16 pm

    Beautiful colours! And those shoes are spectacular! Love the zipper too.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 21, 2014 8:23 pm

      The zipper is great isn’t it? You can get different colours. Some are on rolls which you cut to your desired length and some are pre-cut. I was lucky to find pink that matched so well!

  20. June 21, 2014 11:46 pm

    It looks amazing Louise!! I remember you buying that tape too!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 22, 2014 7:20 am

      Thanks! The bias tape was a good bargain, and it was a lovely day spent in good company!

  21. June 22, 2014 12:33 am

    This is ridiculously cool Louise! Love the hot pink detailing, especially the exposed zip. Must made the Belladone soon, such a sweet design and SO flattering!!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 22, 2014 7:21 am

      Thanks Marie. It is a fab pattern – you must try it!

  22. June 22, 2014 8:19 am

    Stunning dress. A perfect example of why sewing your own clothes is a fabulously satisfying thing to do – the freedom to picture something in your head and the make it, happy in the knowledge no one else will have one like it. And you look gorgeous in it, too. 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 22, 2014 8:36 am

      Thank you Janet. That is one of the best things about sewing, you’re right! Although you never know…perhaps I will inspire another sewist out there to make the same thing! But copying someone is one of the highest forms of flattery, so they say! 🙂

  23. June 22, 2014 9:22 pm

    Ah, this is so fun. love the dress and the shoes are so great with it! you look so good with the shorther hair!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 23, 2014 1:37 pm

      Thanks Annika! 🙂

  24. June 23, 2014 1:06 pm

    Absolutely divine! I’ve had my eye on some fabric very similar to this, but couldn’t envisage what I would use it for and now you’ve given me a million ideas showing it in a dress! xx

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 23, 2014 1:36 pm

      Glad I could help!

  25. June 23, 2014 1:56 pm

    Eeegads I love it. Such excellent happy fabrics. I like that Leeds played a part in it’s success too 🙂
    Mmmmm let me know if you go back for more cake!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 23, 2014 1:58 pm

      Of course! 😊

  26. June 23, 2014 6:21 pm

    Where do I start?! I’m amazed you found the exact (it looks exact from the photos) shade of pink fro so many different places. This dress is such a cheerful one and I’m pleased you showed the inside – I love seeing how others finish the inside. Oh, and the zip is awesome.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 24, 2014 7:20 am

      It is the exact same pink, miraculous I know! I chanced the colour match when I bought the binding, but I had a swatch of fabric with me when I got the zip. I love the zip, I’d like to make more clothes with exposed zips now!

  27. nishi permalink
    June 24, 2014 3:26 am

    Wow! This is such a gorgeous dress! I made a Belladone aaages ago & haven’t worn it much, but you’ve inspired me to dig it out because you look so fabulous in yours! That fabric is to die for & I LOVE the “frivolous” pink bias binding!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 24, 2014 7:22 am

      Yes, definitely dig it out! I would like to make more Belladones although I don’t think I’ll be able to make another one as exciting as this one!

  28. June 24, 2014 8:20 pm

    Wow, this dress looks amazing. The exposed zip is genius (aren’t they pretty?) and I love that you’ve made the inside look as good as the outside.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 24, 2014 8:26 pm

      Thanks Sam. I definitely want more of those zips!

  29. June 27, 2014 1:47 am

    Awesome job – it looks fabulous – I love the pink detailing 🙂 Such a pretty zip too

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 27, 2014 7:18 am

      Thank you! I really like the zip, too.


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