Completed: A Stripey Belladone

29 Jul

Oh noes, you guys – I’m running out of fabric from the huge haul I bought at Mood in NYC. Can you believe it? I only have two pieces left! What happened! WHEN DO I GET TO RESTOCK?

Belladone Dress

I am happy to say that the striped cotton I bought finally found a home in a new dress. Yay!

Belladone Dress

I actually had different plans for this fabric, but then ElΓ©onore sent me the Belladone dress pattern and my plans immediately changed. Stripes are PERFECT for this dress – you have so many fun stripey placement options! And y’all know how much I love playing with stripe direction πŸ˜‰

Belladone Dress

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with how this dress turned out. Sometimes when I’m going crazy with my stripe (or plaid, for that matter) directions, I start to wonder if I’m going to end up with a giant clusterfuck in the end. Fortunately, I think this one turned out pretty perfect – there’s plenty of interest, but it won’t make you dizzy if you stare at it too long!

Belladone Dress

My Belladone is a size 34, with no alterations except a few tucks at the back to get it to lie flat (I’ll talk more about that in a minute). I went with the invisible bias trim – which is topstitched in white – as I didn’t want a bunch of contrast competing with the stripes. The upper back pieces are cut on the cross grain because I liked that stripe placement better, and the waistband is cut in four pieces on the bias, and then pieced together. I also interfaced the waistband because I was afraid the bias would distort over time – it’s pretty fitted. Otherwise, the dress is basically sewn straight out of the envelope -length and all!

Belladone Dress

I love this dress! Look, it has pockets!

Belladone Dress

And a cool back cut-out!

Belladone Dress

Belladone Dress

The stripes made some cool chevrons down the sides, ha.

Belladone Dress

This is a fairly simple pattern to make, but be warned that the back may take a little finessing to get a perfect fit. You want it to lie perfectly flat – no gaping! I’ve noticed that most reviews tend to not need any adjusting, so I think I may be a bit of a rarity in needing it – I also have a pretty small back (I wear a 30 band, fyi), so most stuff is big on me anyway.

Belladone Dress - Adjustments

I made a muslin of the bodice – zipper and all – and pinned out the excess at the upper back when I tried it on. Obviously, this is kind of difficult to do without assistance – but it’s totally doable, I mean, I did it. I just kind of eyeballed it, took the top off, pinned at my guesstimate, and tried it on. Over and over (ok, it was like twice, haha). A dressform would be helpful for this, but mine has a bigger back than I do sooo I had to do it the hard way. Anyway, once I pinned out my excess (and then sewed up tiny darts and tried it on a final time), I measured the amount I needed to take out.
(Also, I just realized I was drinking out of an American Pride coffee mug while working on a French pattern. lolz.)

Belladone Dress - Adjustments

To make the adjustment to your pattern (since you don’t want darts in that piece, you want it nice and smooth), just slash right up the middle of the piece and leave a little hinge. Overlap the edges by however much you need to take out (I think mine was 1/4″, not much) and then tape it down. Make sure the line is smooth and straight, and you’re done!

I also ended up overlapping the upper back pieces an additional 1/2″, as well as taking about 1/4″ out of the center back seam (along the zipper).

Belladone Dress

The back looks pretty good, though, yeah?
Ignore the lump at the waist of the zipper, I had a lot of bulk there, so the zipper doesn’t want to lie flat! Wah!

Belladone Dress

Stripessss!! πŸ˜€

Belladone Dress - Necklace from Chatter Blossom :)

Oh, and check out my new necklace! This is from ChatterBlossom, my newest sponsor! Jamie has some of the prettiest reclaimed vintage pieces I’ve come across (and enviable hair to boot, I mean, ugh, that’s EXACTLY what I wanted mine to do when I cut it short!!), and I love that she gives each of them a story. I picked a couple of pieces from her shop – and that was hard, there are soo many things in there that I need – and I am so happy with what I got. This necklace is Egyptian, circa 1880-1918. I’ve really gotten sucked into Egyptian history lately (the pyramids! Nefertiti! The Spinx! Aliens!! lol just kidding on that last one :P), so I’m really excited about this little treasure. Fair warning: I’ve worn this every day since I received it, and I don’t plan on taking it off. You’ll be seeing this necklace a lot, jsyk.

Anyway, back to Belladone…

Belladone Dress
Belladone Dress

Even though my bias tape is invisible from the outside, I still wanted it to be pretty – so I used polka dot bias tape πŸ™‚ I used the bias tape left over from my Blue Lace Robson (and I still have more of this stuff, it’s like the gift that keeps on giving haha). I also faced the waistband with a piece of navy cotton sateen (also from that same lace coat, gah), since I didn’t want the interfacing all up in my biz. Unfortunately, the sateen is a bit heavy, which is why the zipper is lumpy at the waistline. Oh well, live and learn!
Oh god, ignore that rogue navy thread on the upper back btw.

Belladone Dress

I’m pretty happy with how this dress turned out – it’s fabulous on it’s own, and I think the navy stripes will also look good with different colors, such as yellow and kelly green. The dress is perfect for bike riding, even if it does give me a funny tan line πŸ˜‰ Ha! Worth it πŸ™‚


78 Responses to “Completed: A Stripey Belladone”

  1. Katherine Rhodes July 29, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Gorgeous! I love this dress. Glad you used this fabric for it. Do you think it would be ok at a beginner level, I think it is listed as an intermediate level, but i have read the Deer and Doe patterns have great instructions.

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      I think so, as long as you’re familiar with putting dress patterns together (and also have a good book/resource for if you get stuck!). It’s not a terribly complicated pattern πŸ™‚

  2. Kimmie July 29, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    You are the stripe master! I feel like I need to email this to my mother. She sewed when I was growing up and in middle school when buying clothes at shitty stores like Deb and Rave and 579 was all the rage, my mom would refuse to buy me things bc she said the mass manufacturers didn’t match the stripes/plaids properly…and she couldn’t look at them on me. At the time I thought it was way harsh but now it seems reasonable. That shits important

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Omg I love your mom already. I say the same thing all the time, and it drives my friends nuts (esp since it seems like everyone is wearing plaid button-ups these days.. with plaids that DON’T MATCH. Argh!).

  3. Dorien July 29, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I made the same dress for my sister this weekend, in a navy cotton with teal and orange polkadots and a floral border print. Now she’s cooking me a massive bbq feast next weekend-my sewing skills in exchange for her cooking skills-now that’s a deal.

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      Ohhh, sounds so pretty! And that sounds like a great trade-off!

  4. black label July 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    very cute…im working on a stripe at the moment too πŸ™‚

  5. June July 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I’m loving all the directional stripes! I hear you on the self-fitting – I do that, too, with the pinning out and trying on and taking off and repinning… Plus, there’s cursing when trying to see my own back in a mirror. I’ve even resorted to photographing my own back!

  6. zilredloh July 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    That back cutout details is the best. Yay for stripes! heh

    Your dress made me happy when I saw that peep of polka dot bias binding. πŸ™‚

  7. Jamie "ChatterBlossom" July 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    I really like the stripes! Stripes! *I only hear this with a zombie “brains” tone now*. Anyhoo, they look super cute with the cut of the dress, the back detail, the chevron side, and I even like how the little tip of one is centered in the middle of the waist detail! Cool beans!

    Also, I’m absolutely thrilled that you like your necklace! It looks kinda kick-ass with this dress, I must say. Also pretty happy that you enjoy my shorty hair! That was an all of a sudden decision cause I “felt” like pin curls. (which I had never even attempted until cutting off all my hair!) Recklessness FTW! πŸ˜‰

  8. MarrieB July 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    The stripes work so well with this pattern! I especially love what you did with the waistband!

  9. Sabs July 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Love. And I’m so jealous of your stripe placement. I can’t do that yet…

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      Sure you can! It just takes a little bit of planning before and during cutting πŸ™‚ It’s not too hard, though!

  10. Heather Lou July 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    This is adorable and is giving me ideas for the navy and white striped stretch cotton I got the last time I was i NYC…. though it feels too late in the season to keep cranking out summer dresses.

    Speaking of NYC…. I’m heading there mid September if you wanted to, you know, get crazy in the aisles of Mood with me.

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      I really want to start making fall dresses, but lbr – we are gonna have hot weather here until at LEAST November. So I might as well keep making summer stuff, because that’s all I’ll be wearing until then. Wah!

      And I WISH I could go to NYC and meet up with you! GOD!!! Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford to swing the cost of the plane ticket just right now. We should plan to go together in the spring, dude! Do it doooo it!

  11. Helen July 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Love what you did with the stripes, the waistband in particular looks really cute. I had to do the same back adjustment as you, I had to take small darts out of the lower back bodice pieces too as I had gaping all around the cut out section on my muslin. I have a smaller back than front too so I guess that is why.

    Anyway I am cutting out my second Belladone tonight!

    • Lea August 13, 2015 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Helen,

      I am also having problem with the lower back pieces. But I can’t seem to find the solution anywhere to the gaping. I was thinking that putting darts would fix the problem but I don’t know where to put them. Where did you placed the darts on the lower back section exactly?


  12. ShanniLoves July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    This dress is just awesome… then you had to turn around, now I must have it!

  13. Mary McCauley July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Just love this pattern and I love the way the stripes match. You took your time – put some thought into it and it shows! Standing O!

  14. craftsanctuary July 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Awesome! I think my favorite part is the stripey triangle bit on the waistband in the front πŸ™‚
    I’ve been wondering how this fabulous cutout detail would be altered on us narrow-backed girls (I’m a 30 band, too). Thanks for the info!

  15. Claire July 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Dang, you nailed it! Your Belladone rocks! I faced a lot of challenges with this dress (it doesn’t work very well if you have a long torso), specially with the back and the top panels gaping. So thank you so much for sharing how to solve that, this is really helpful. I will have to try again…

  16. gingermakes July 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Fab! This is such a fun pattern, isn’t it? I think it just *might* be my favorite dress pattern of all time! I love it in stripes– super cute!

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      I think your lace version is what made me decide I needed the pattern, so thank you for that! πŸ™‚

  17. Scruffy badger July 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Unbelievably cute! The stripes are toooooo scrummy for this beautiful dress. Love it

  18. Joanne July 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I am so jealous of your Belladone. I’ve made 2 so far and they don’t look this good. Thanks a lot for your advice on that upper back piece because that was one of the last kinks for me to get out.

  19. Mads (lifeinamadshouse) July 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    The stripe directions look so cool!

  20. misscrayolacreepy July 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Lladybird Lauren = stripe master!

    Do a Mood refill in LA please.

    • LLADYBIRD July 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      LA is on my to-visit list! Just gotta find an affordable plane ticket (or get more $ so the ones available *are* affordable to me, ha). I would love to meet up with youuuuu!

  21. Haylee July 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Cute!! I am really loving those stripes, especially how you played with them in the back and made them horizontal. So cute!! And I also love that you did polka-dotted bias tape. I’ve been on a mixing patterns kick lately so I very much appreciated this gorgeous dress.

    Also side note but I totally have that problem with my dress form too. It’s a bit too big and it drives me crazy!! Because then I just have to keep trying things on over and over and it’s the most annoying thing. Have you ever considered getting a customized dress form? I’ve been considering it lately and even though they’re a pretty penny they sure would make my life 10x easier. But then there’s the issue with weight gain/weight loss. What if I all a sudden gain 20 lbs and then I’m just left with this dress form?? Ugh! Decisions, decisions.

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      I’ve thought about the customized form, but it makes me hesitate because I wonder if they just adjust the boobs and butt with a standard frame… which still doesn’t solve the issue. I put a padding kit on mine, which helps, but again… big frame. Ha. The whole weight gain/loss thing definitely makes me have second thoughts – been there, done that! Which, btw, here’s a tip from me to you – don’t take hormonal birth control, it’ll make you gain 30 lbs πŸ˜‰ lol I sound like a mom.

  22. Sarah W. July 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Adorable! And it looks comfy too.

  23. sewingonpins July 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Aw, what a cute dress! I love the stipey fabric, and I love the polkadot bias tape finish on the inside. πŸ˜€

  24. goodbyevalentino July 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    A perfect dress indeed!

  25. Rejoice For The Day July 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    These Deer and Doe pattens seem great. I love this dress, the stripes, the back, the fit, everything!!

  26. Michelle July 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Seriously, you are an amazing seamstress! I love the dress and the stripes but I am more in awe of the structure. I am just starting to get into apparel sewing so I aspire to be you! How much time did you spend on that dress. I have no frame of reference and I’m just curious.

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      Ooh, good question. I worked on this off and on over the course of a week… maybe about 6 hours, give or take? That’s including the muslin and fitting adjustments. I should time myself next time, now I’m curious!

  27. Megan July 29, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    I am so in love with this pattern. The stripes make it extra awesome!

  28. busylizzieinbrizzy July 29, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Oh I really really want this pattern and seeing yours has convinced me I need to jump online and just buy it! Summer is around the corner for us now and I need to start planning!

  29. Katja July 30, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    This is another perfect dress! You are awesome… and you get me into buying new patterns far too often πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      Whatever, buying patterns is good for you πŸ˜› haha!

  30. Funkbunny July 30, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    This is a great version. Love the stripes I had the same issues with my narrow back and did pretty similar adjustments to you. I’m planning a tiger print version next! I kind of started my zip a little way down from the top which seemed to take care of the lumps and bumps. you can see it here if you are interested!

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Tiger print?! I gotta see that!! Your Belladone looks so pretty, btw! I love how smooth and perfect the back is.

  31. sewbusylizzy July 30, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    Looks fab. You are the Princess of Stripe/Plaid I reckon.
    I love the back on this dress but I think I’m not over my By Hand London Anna Dress obsession yet….

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      I’m going to excuse this, because that Anna pattern was obviously MADE for you.

  32. sewamysew July 30, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    I just picked up this pattern so was eager to read how you went. Thanks for all the info, it turned out really well.

  33. The Amazing Taracat July 30, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    This is so cool and I am in awe of your stripe matching! I definitely need to make another one of these soon.

  34. Trisha July 30, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Super pretty! I am getting a headache thinking about the logistics of matching up those stripes in the cutting steps. You have such Skillz (yes, that needed to be capitalized AND misspelled for emphasis).

    • LLADYBIRD July 30, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      It actually wasn’t too bad! Having the waistband cut on the bias helps with not having to match shit haha πŸ™‚

  35. Blue Sunday July 30, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Love this dress. Thank you for the tip on how to adjust your pattern when you don’t have someone to help! I find myself putting off projects or not doing them at all because I don’t have someone to fit me. I’ll try this method. Hopefully it will work for me as well as it works for you!

  36. diaryofamadmama July 30, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Oh my goodness! I absolutely love your dress! Well done! The back is just adorable and I love dresses with pockets! Super cute!

  37. wllw July 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Awesome effort! Love it πŸ™‚ x

  38. Becca August 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    OMG, I love this so much! That pattern is totally perfect for playing around with stripes. I’m totally crushing on your shoes right now, too. Everything you post makes me want to buy the pattern you used. Stop making everything looks so dang good! My birthday is this month and all I want is a bunch of patterns from my ridiculously long pattern wish list.

  39. Thimble & Cork August 2, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Oh man, I’m such a fan of the Belladone dress and this may be my very favorite yet! That fabric is so fun and perfect for the lines of this dress! You did a great job on the fit of it. I’m in awe of you and your mad skills!

  40. Carolyn August 2, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Love it!!! Why do I always swoon over your dresses? Oh right, they’re fabulous! The stripes work so perfectly with the cut of this dress, and I especially like the bias-cut waistband. Super cute and summery, congrats! : )

  41. rachelinred August 3, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    I love this pattern, so far I made two, and I’m in love with both of them. I like your striped version, especially the chevron waistband. Super cute!

  42. Sarah Sew Love August 4, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    Hiya Lladybird. Pretty and interesting dress. I like how you changed up the stripes. πŸ™‚ adding to the list now hehe

  43. Tropical Threads August 4, 2013 at 5:32 am #

    Beautiful dress, and I love the effects you’ve created with the stripes. I’ve just recently made a few gingham dresses, so the effort pattern-matching takes is fresh in my memory!

  44. Alaskapsych August 15, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it is exciting to see how you’ve grown technically. I just wanted to say that I just purchased the Bernina 350 and am going to pick it up this morning. I’m so excited!

  45. Emily - Belgian Seams March 17, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks so much for this post, Lauren! It was really useful for me, you can see my own stripey Belladone here:

  46. Laura June 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    This is super helpful! I’m just in the process of making a muslin for this, and I’m using your tips for getting the back to fit. Thank you!

    Also, it was confusing to see you with brown hair – I’m so used to the blue!

  47. jennystitched June 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    I love this! I think I need a few Belladones in my life now


  1. Fail #3: the Belladone dress | The Belmont Sewing Club - August 1, 2013

    […] Today I will talk about a very frustrating project, the Belladone dress. In fact, as I am writing this post, I am very frustrated (by other topics), so it’s time for me to exorcize this frustration, especially since Lladybird just wrote a post about it. […]

  2. Belladone Dress by Deer and Doe | sewcharleston - September 8, 2013

    […] lladybird has a great post on how she made the back of her Belladone lay flat. She made her dress with very strategically cut stripes and it is AMAZING! […]

  3. Completed: A Belladone for Bicycling | LLADYBIRD - September 9, 2013

    […] this ain’t my first Belladone rodeo. That stripey dress is actually 100% the reason why I decided to make my bicycle dress with the […]

  4. 2013: A Year in Review | LLADYBIRD - December 30, 2013

    […] Stripey Belladone dress Such a simple dress, but it really is the perfect Saturday dress! I probably wore this shit once a week at the height of the summer because it was just SO easy and comfortable! The cutout design at the back and the simple stripes make this dress ideal – I can ~jazz it up~ with some fun shoes and accessories or a belt, but it also looks good enough on it’s own! […]

  5. Reveal: #SewDollyClackett entry | Zoe Livana Handmade - April 16, 2014

    […] dart (let me know if you’d like a little tutorial on how I did this). For the back, I used this tutorial over at Lladybird’s blog to reduce the gaping at the top of the bodice back, and I also […]

  6. Me-Made-May ’14: Week 5 Round-Up | LLADYBIRD - May 30, 2014

    […] Thursday Dress: Belladone Shoes: Sam Edelman Necklace: […]

  7. Deer and Doe Belladone – Inspiration! | Thread Carefully - June 16, 2014

    […] stripy Belladone (Lladybird) – I love how Lauren has played around with the stripe placement on this dress to […]

  8. Belladone in nightshade… | not sew simple - September 21, 2014

    […] I ended up taking a small dart shape out of the shoulder pieces as described by Lauren at Lladybird here to make sure they lie flat. I also moved the bust darts down about an inch and shortened them […]

  9. Silk Belladone | The Monthly Stitch - June 7, 2015

    […] bodice. My last Belladone tended to gape a bit so I made the easy alteration detailed by Lauren here. Basically you just slash up the middle of the pattern piece and overlap by however much you need […]

  10. Belladone Dress Deer and Doe - :: Sewing Princess :: - October 26, 2015

    […] I still have a bit left at the bottom. Not having a sewing buddy calls for a lot of guessing. To fix the Belladone back gaping you basically need to take out the extra fabric and redesign the back as explained on Lladybird […]

  11. A very poor show for a handmade “outfit” / Um “conjunto” feito por mim | The occasional crafter - January 25, 2016

    […] fitting pattern. The fit in the back opening could be improved (as well as my zipper insertion), but this would involve more pattern tweaking than what I’m comfortable with. I really liked the fabric I used, maybe a less busy print would be nicer, as most dress features […]

  12. Zoe Livana Handmade | Reveal: #SewDollyClackett entry - May 6, 2016

    […] dart (let me know if you’d like a little tutorial on how I did this). For the back, I used this tutorial over at Lladybird’s blog to reduce the gaping at the top of the bodice back, and I also […]

  13. Reveal: #SewDollyClackett entry – Zoe Livana Handmade - May 31, 2017

    […] dart (let me know if you’d like a little tutorial on how I did this). For the back, I used this tutorial over at Lladybird’s blog to reduce the gaping at the top of the bodice back, and I also […]

  14. Completed: My Maid of Honor Dress | LLADYBIRD - August 18, 2017

    […] things I did was take a little 1/4″ wedge out of the neckline so it fit closer to my body (using this method), and I also shortened the skirt by about […]

  15. Date-night Belladone – Stitch Doctor - February 25, 2019

    […] in the future I would probably make a muslin and alter those pieces a la Lladybird’s tutorial here. As it is I kind of just pulled the pieces together and had some extra overlap that I trimmed […]

  16. A Panda Belladone – The Bold Stitcher - May 27, 2019

    […] removing a small 1/4″ wedge from the top back panels, using the same method as Lauren over at Lladybird. […]

  17. Completed: Rayon Crepe Magnolia Dress | LLADYBIRD - February 4, 2020

    […] my narrow back – Removed a 1/2″ wedge from the front neckline because it was gaping (same as this method, except obviously on the front. Also, oh my god I miss that dresssss) – Reduced the upper […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: