Checking belladone

Belladone is a classic dress from Deer and Doe patterns. I’ve been admiring it for some time and this month I’ve tested it out for next month’s Minerva Crafts project.

No tanning spray was used – winter is here.

The design of this dress is retro and I love how you can add piping to it.

When I went through my plaid/check fabric stage, I bought this green check fabric so I used this to text out Belladone.

I found the perfect pre-made bias binding that I’ve used to pipe this dress as practice for next month’s dress.

Having a big stash does have its advantages. I tend to buy notions and fabrics in similar colours so when I eventually get to a project, I have everything I need. Having to shop for a specific project can be tiring and disappointing so this way I’m constantly happy.

On this test dress I made these adjustments

  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened the bust points on the front bodice
  • shortened the skirt length to 19″.
When I tried on the test dress I wasn’t happy with where the waistband sat. However I wore the dress the next day and decided the waistband placement works well on me.
If I lengthen the bodice, it might throw off the waistband position too much.
Prym zipperI added a gorgeous external lace zipper from Prym on the test dress. It blended into the dress and it looks really pretty to me. The pattern suggests an invisible zipper but I really love this girlie lace zipper.

The benefit of added an exposed zipper on this check fabric is you don’t have to match them across the seams.

The skirt pattern has a hem facing. I didn’t use this facing as a 2.5cm hem was easy enough to machine stitch.

I wore this over the weekend before the Arctic blast hit Sydney.

Yes there are still some fine tuning to do based on the pull marks on this dress. This fabric has no ease so in the next version, the fabric has more ease so I’ll include a FBA when I make this again out of non-stretch fabric.

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Clipped skirt

At the moment I’m trying to develop a couple of Steampunk pieces for a bit of variety. I keep collecting style prompts on my pinterest board.

Dawn specialises in Steampunk. She goes through lots of gear I’ve not considered before. I’ve been reading Dawn’s posts on military-inspired steampunkHer ‘clipped skirt’ image is what I thought was doable and wearable.

This skirt is a basic a-line skirt with a high waistline. When I looked closely at this image, I thought I could so a similar job with a few variations for my height.

Minerva Crafts UK has this fabric in stock (Beige/Black check polyester/wool blend suitingand it’s got the right feel and weight to it for this skirt style.


It didn’t take long to rough draft a high waistline to my basic a-line skirt pattern.

Below is the lining pattern and after I made up the lining in a woven fabric, I ended up taking out more width at the darts. I used the dart seams to sew the boning for a firmer waistline fit.

Initial skirt lining pieces

Below is a photo of the boning sewn onto the lining.

inside view

The metal zipper and back buckles are a cool feature. I would have liked to add more hardware onto this skirt but it would have looked too heavy on me.

Back view

Next up… the Equestrian tail coat blouse and then… the full steampunk reveal on Thursday.