Friday, September 28, 2012

Polka dots Belladone dress


I wrote so much about Deer and Doe lately, that it seems only fair to finally show you my first make from one of these wonderful patterns. I was so excited when I received them all in the mail (yes, I splurged), that I didn't know where to start.
By the way, how awesome it was for once to pay very small shipping fees and receive my patterns in two days, instead of waiting for them for 10 to 20 days, like I do when I have to buy them from the US or the UK? Yay for geographical vicinity.
Anyway, I decided to tackle Belladone first, mainly because I've had the perfect fabric for it in my stash for a while. This polka dot print was a present from my mother (who definitely knows my taste in fabrics) and it's a heavy weight cotton with a slight stretch (which is not recommended in the pattern, but worked just fine anyway). For contrast, I used hot pink bias tape (after a long moment of indecision between hot pink and aqua), which makes a color combo I adore, although probably not for everyone's taste.

The pattern per se was a pleasure to work with: super cute packaging, everything is in a nice big envelope (slightly bigger than Megan Nielsen's patterns) and it's printed on sturdy, recycled paper. I trace almost all my patterns anyway, but working with high quality paper makes the task so much nicer. I can fold the pieces without being afraid to destroy them or to find a crumpled mess when I take them out of the envelope.
I cut a size 38 in the shoulders, grading up to a size 40 at the waist and a 44 in the hips. The result? Perfect fit. Seriously, no modification at all and it fits like a glove. You can see in the detail photo below that the bust darts are a bit higher than the apex of my bust, but frankly, I don't care. This bodice is so perfectly shaped to my torso that I don't mean to change anything.
You're free do disagree, but I find this dress incredibly flattering on me. The little pleats on the skirt create just the right amount of volume, the pockets are adorable and need I say anything on the peekaboo at the back? I can't say how happy I was  that the pattern includes a hem facing, which makes the curved hem so incredibly easy and fast to sew.

The instruction booklet is written in French (as I wrote, there is an English translation coming soon), but it's full of illustrations to help you. Although I won't lie, I'm fluent in French (much like Roobeedoo, I'm very good at reading and less so at speaking and writing), so I didn't have any problem to follow the written instructions.
If you're an absolute beginner and you don't speak French, maybe it's a good idea to wait for the English instructions, and even then, you might want to have a sewing book (or the Internet) to refer to, since some steps are not fully explained (for example attaching the bias tape). If instead you're quite experienced and don't need too much guidance to construct a garment, the illustrations and a little Google Translate (I'm a trained translator, so it pains me to write this) should be enough. 


Finally, a little thing that made me smile: the type of pocket of this dress is called in French "poches à l'italienne", basically "Italian pockets", and I realized I have no idea how they're called neither in Italian nor in English... Can you help me out?

If you want to see more Deer and Doe makes, you can check the Flickr group and the Addicts' blog.

65 comments:

  1. Wow, I love this! Your fabric and bias are perfect. I'd love to sew some Doe and Deer patterns, but my French is limited to pastry names (croissant, macaron...), so I'll have to wait until they're released in English. Keep sewing them--I can't wait to see more!

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  2. That is one beautiful dress. I love the polka dots. Very Kate Spade. My patterns just arrived, and I can't wait to make the Bleuet dress.

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  3. I don't know either how to call "Poches à l'italiennes" in english or italian, but it reminds me of some funny thing about seams : in french we have the "coutures anglaises" and the translation in english is "french seams"...maybe the pockets will be from another nationality too !!! :-)

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  4. Polka dots AND pink? Hello dream dress! This is super flattering on you and I really love the feature at the back. The Belladone is high on my wish list and I am thinking I may take a stab at it with some help from my friend who speaks/reads French. Super lovely!

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  5. Love your dress. The polka dot fabric is great. Your mother and you have great taste :) and the pink bias tape goes really well with the fabric too and makes a nice contrast. congrats on a stunning dress!

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  6. This is adorable! I might have to break down and buy this pattern

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  7. asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.ukSeptember 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    This dress is absolute perfection Anna! You're totally right, the bodice (in fact all of it) suits you just so and it's extremely flattering! Your fabric choice is spot on too! I love this pattern and really want to try it, but I'm not supposed to be buying anything new right now :o(

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  8. Oh, so so so so cute. I LOVE the pink bias tape - a great graphic punch to your B&W print. So yummy!

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  9. This is lovely! A pattern with hem facing - brilliant!!

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  10. fabulous..i'm a sucker for polka dots, but that's not the only reason why i think your new dress is fabulous :) now you need pink tights hehe

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  11. I love your dress!
    I've read a dozen times that rotating darts is easy, but I wouldn't change them either, the fit is so good. I've only ever seen that type of pocket refered to as a slash or angled hip pocket. Italian pocket sounds much better.

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  12. It's precious! The fit is great!

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  13. Oh my gosh!! The dress is perfection!! Good call with the hot pink bias binding - it really adds that special "something". Your absolutely right - the dress is ridiculously flattering! Yay!!

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  14. Fantastic choice. This dress is gorgeous (love the hot pink bias) and it fits you perfectly.

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  15. You've made another gorgeous dress. It looks so perfect on you. That pink bias tape adds the right amount of pop. Gorgeous!

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  16. I love everything about this dress. This is my favorite Deer & Doe design and I love the fabric/trim you chose. The fit is gorgeous. Beautiful job!

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  17. slash pockets? I love seeing this in a print. I ordered Bleuet and Belladone last night :)
    I am thinking of making up Bleuet in some dark orange cotton with light blue collar and cuffs, and Belladone I have some navy cotton/linen that would be cute with coloured tape. Though now I want to track down a print for it too :)
    Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Gorgeous dress and - YES - so flattering on you! I can't take my eyes of you!

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  19. Looks gorgeous on you, the fit really is perfect! After seeing the result, maybe I do have to buy the pattern even though I don't know when I should wear it..maybe I can make it my birthday dress

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  20. I think I will wear it plenty with a cardigan, but then again I live in dresses. And I'm definitely ready for the first "special occasion" I'll have. I really think this pattern is worth buying, it's such a unique design.

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  21. Thank you for your comment! Your plans seem lovely, I'm very curious to see!

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  22. Thank you! yes, it's quite easy to rotate a dart and I've even tried it before, but why mess with perfection?

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  23. Thanks, Mokosha. I think you're right about the tights, such a pity they're not too easy to find here!

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  24. I was so impressed by the hem facing, now I want it for every pattern!

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  25. Thanks, Marie! Well, Christmas is approaching awfully fast, so... :)

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  26. Thank you! eheh, I think it's my mum who passed me my fabric addiction, it's in our genes! :)

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  27. YES! I thought the same thing the other day, because French seams are "English seams" in Italian as well (cuciture all'inglese). So funny!

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  28. I can't wait to tackle Bleuet too, I just haven't found the perfect fabric for it yet...

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  29. Thank you! And there are an Airelle blouse and a Sureau dress coming soon!

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  30. Wonderful dress, great choice of fabric and the contrasting pink tape.

    Great to hear that beside sewing we have another thing in common - I'm a translator too. :)

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  31. you look so gorgeous ! this dress is so flattering on you !
    Je n'en doutais pas que cette robe t'irait, mais à ce point !

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  32. It is a very lovely dress in great fabric and colors. You are so good at sewing up the latest pattern releases. It makes it a fun treat whenever your blog pops up in the reader - I always know its going to be a good one!

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  33. As I said, you are simply stunning in your dress ! :D I can't wait to see your other D&D creations !

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  34. Oh it's gorgeous and a perfect fit. It's such a flattering and pretty design.
    I'm very interested to hear that the grading of sizes worked well. Can you make the Bleuet dress next please?! As our shapes are pretty similarly, I can just make the same size as you! x

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  35. gorgeous! I'm obsessed with polka dots lately, and this dress just looks amazing on you! love the pink trim

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  36. I'm in love with the back!

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  37. your absolutely amazing anna! i love the fabric and all :-) *wink!

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  38. this is soooo adorable! love the polka dot and pink binding combo!

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  39. gorgeous! the fit is really good. It has a bit of a 60's feel to it, The back cut out is a really cool design :-)

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  40. I can only echo everyone else's comments and say that this is absolutely stunning! I agree that the fit looks fantastic and the details on this dress make it really interesting. Your hot pink binding makes it a lot of fun too!

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  41. I am in love with this dress!! It looks amazing on you and how can you go wrong with polka dots!

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  42. I WANT THIS DRESS! CAN I HAVE IT?!?!?!

    OK, just kidding... but only kind of. This is my favorite of her patterns, and I LOVE the fabric and binding combo! It's so, so cute!

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  43. This is beautiful! I reaaally want to buy a Deer and Doe pattern but my French is terrible...how long until they are translated into English?

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  44. Wonderfull dress ! The fabric is perfect ! I've found your blog on the Deer and Doe addict. Your creations are gorgeous :)

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  45. I love it. The bodice bit is great on you. Perfect fit I would say. The dart seems fine o me. I thought the opening at the back would be much bigger, but It's rather subtle. Those pockets seem to be tasche aperte alla francese. Ora non posso cucire altri vestiti...ne ho gia' 2 in cantiere...ma questo lo metto sulla lista per la primavera! Le finiture interne sono perfette, complimenti. Davvero brava. http://www.edym.com/it/tessile/dc_it/03dp/digitpat/cll/cartamodelli_tasche_aperte_alla_francese.htm

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  46. Beautiful! ! ! I'm working on the Poppy Jacket right now but this is next on my wish list. Thanks so much for introducing me (and many others!) to this great line of patterns.

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  47. Wow! I wasn't interested in this pattern the first time I saw it, but your version is stunning! I would never have thought of making a dress out of that fabric and the the pink edging is poppingly perfect! :D

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  48. Well that's a bit lovely!!! :)

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  49. Wow girl, you did a great job! You know how I know this? Because you clean finished the waistband on the inside. Yes and yes! This totally makes up the bust darts that are slightly higher than they should be (because of the busy pattern, you can barely notice, by the way).

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  50. Love it. The bodice fits so well! and the hot pink is just magnificent!! xxx

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  51. justine / sew country chickOctober 1, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    I agree that this pattern is very flattering on you indeed!

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  52. That dress is gorgeous! I love the colour combo of the polka dot and the hot pink trim. The cut is great, so much potential for customisation. I can't wait for the patterns to come out in English!

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  53. I was impatient to see a version less casual and your version has conviced me that this dress is awsome ! Very very nice !

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  54. Love it! I purchased the pattern but I have to wait till the new week starts before it will arrive... Can you give me an idea of the amount of fabric needed?

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  55. The fabric requirements are 1m60 for fabric 150cm wide, or 2m30 for fabric 115cm wide. Happy sewing! :)

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  56. this is amazing! ive been sick, but am getting very excited reading your blog!
    can you please detail a touch about how and why you copy your patterns?
    and thanks to you, i have two megan nielsen and one deer and doe patterns awaiting me.
    (gotta get more deer and doe!)

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  57. Thank you!

    I wrote a bit on how I trace my patterns here:http://paunnet.blogspot.it/2012/11/sureau-sew-along-tracing-pattern.html. Let me know if there's something else you'd like me to cover!
    In the meantime, I can recommend you this other post by Sunni: http://www.afashionablestitch.com/2013/shop_talk/how-to-trace-sewing-patterns/

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  58. Gorgeous dress. I'm sewing my own and I'm at the part where you bind the neck and arm openings but my first attempt ended disastrously with horribly puckered bias binding on the really curved bits. How did you get yours looking so good? Any tips would be very much appreciated.

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  59. If you get puckers on the bias binding, it might mean that you're pulling it too much. Try to ease it into the curve without stretching it!

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  60. Hi. I finally got around to ripping the binding off and resewing it. The dress looks great now. Thank you for the help.

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