Minerva Blogger Network: Belladone dress with heart cut-out

Pattern: Deer and Doe's Belladone dress.
Size: size 38 at the shoulders, 40 at the waist and 42 at the hips.
Alterations: transformed the back using this tutorial from the Deer and Doe blog.
Fabric: cotton poplin from Minerva Crafts (can be found in this kit).

Ugh, this post was supposed to go live last Friday... I mean, I had the perfect dress for Valentine's day, right?
But that's one thing I have yet to learn after three years of blogging: write posts ahead of time, when you can, because life will get in the way just when you really want to post something.

Anyways, it's not Valentine's day anymore, but I don't love this dress any less!
I've actually wanted to make this variation of Belladone ever since it appeared on the Deer and Doe blog last year, and since we recently translated that post for the English blog, Valentine's day was the perfect excuse to finally try it.

I don't think I need to spend many words on Belladone, I made it three times before (1, 2 and 3) and it's still one of my favorite patterns ever. I could happily live with a wardrobe full of just Bleuets and Belladones, seriously. Anyway, more details on construction are here.

Another thing I love about this dress is the two rows of lace on the skirt. I never think about trims for my handmade clothes, but they can add such a beautiful little touch!

What else? Oh, yes! I wanted the cut out to stand out against my skin in these photos, but I didn't have any top with a back neckline low enough, so I just wore a knit bolero backwards, which worked for the photos but would be incredibly uncomfortable for real life. So, I'm on the lookout for a top, a t-shirt, or even better a leotard with long sleeves and a low (but bra-friendly) back; so far, I only came across dance wear tops, that leave the back completely bare. If you guys know of any (European) shop that has what I'm looking for, I'd really appreciate your help! :)


Modello: Abito Belladone di Deer and Doe
Taglia: taglia 38 per spalle e petto, 40 per la vita e 42 per i fianchi.
Modifiche: trasformato il corpino dietro utilizzando questo tutorial.
Tessuto: popeline di cotone di Minerva Crafts (potete trovarlo in questo kit).

Mannaggia, questo post doveva essere pubblicato venerdì scorso... Cioè, avevo il vestito perfetto per S.Valentino, no?
Questa è una lezione che ancora non ho imparato dopo 3 anni di blog: scrivi i post in anticipo, sei hai tempo, perché a volte la vita si mette in mezzo proprio al momento in cui vuoi assolutamente pubblicare qualcosa. 

Ad ogni modo, non è più S. Valentino, ma amo comunque moltissimo quest'abito!
Volevo provare questa variazione dell'abito Belladone da quando è apparsa sul blog di Deer and Doe l'anno scorso, e mi è tornata in mente di recente quando abbiamo tradotto il post per la versione inglese del blog, perciò S.Valentino era la scusa perfetta per metterla in pratica.

Non ho più molto da dire sul modello Belladone, avendolo già fatto altre 3 volte (12 e 3), se non che è ancora tra i miei modelli preferiti. Sarei felicissima se nel mio armadio ci fossero solo Bleuet e Belladone, davvero. Ad ogni modo, potete trovare più dettagli sull'abito qui.

Un'altra cosa che amo di quest'abito sono le due righe di pizzo in fondo alla gonna. Non penso mai alle passamanerie quando cucio, ma a volte anche facendone un uso molto discreto, fanno proprio la differenza.

Cos'altro? Ah, sì! Per queste foto volevo che il dettaglio cut-out sulla schiena risaltasse contro la pelle, ma non avendo maglie abbastanza scollate, ho indossato un bolero al contrario, cosa che ha funzionato per la foto, ma sarebbe scomodissima per la vita vera. Sono alla disperata ricerca di una maglia, o ancor meglio un body, a maniche lunghe e con la schiena scollata (ma non troppo, che non si veda il reggiseno). Ho trovato solo articoli per danza, con la schiena completamente scoperta e che quindi non fanno per me. Mi sapete aiutare? Grazie! :)

Mod print Belladone + I'm on holiday

Pattern: Belladone dress by Deer and Doe.
Size: size 38 at the shoulder and bust, size 40 at the waist and size 44 at the hips (I wanted the skirt to be very flared).

Alterations: I converted the front neckline in a deep V-neck. It's roughly as deep as the V in the back.

Fabric: A cotton blend with some stretch, purchased locally.
When this post goes live, I'll be happily driving to the Riviera where I'll spend the next ten days. YAY holiday! I'm so happy that I'll be able to kick back in the sun (wearing my Bombshell swimsuit and maillot, of course), get a little tan and catch up with reading blogs and replying to comments. Sorry I've been so absent, lately.

Anyways, the 15th August is a festivity here (called Ferragosto), and the night before my boyfriend and I will attend, as per tradition, a big party at a friend's place. "Place" is an euphemism because these guys have a huge villa on the hills with a gorgeous view of the coast. All the guests are pretty much all affluent people, so this country girl was faced with the biggest dilemma of all: "What am I going to wear?"

Obviously, I reached for my trusted Belladone pattern... This is my third version (here are 1 and 2), and it won't be the last. I just adore this dress and it came together so fast (about 6 hours from cutting to wearing it).
To make this version a bit more summer and evening friendly, I decided to lower the neckline quite a bit and make it into a V, which is always flattering and it goes well w
ith the V in the back. Alas, the fabric I chose had a flaw, which I didn't notice until after cutting it, but luckily it just looks like a shadow in the back. Not too noticeable I think, especially at night time and after a few glasses of Prosecco.

Do you have any styling suggestions?
I think I'll wear these sandals, which are cute but comfortable (since we'll be a. drunk, b. up all night and c. dancing in a club by the beach). I'll put my hair up in a bun, add some earrings and maybe a bracelet and instead of this bright lip color (which, with the drinking and eating, might become a mess), dark smokey eyes and a nude lip.



I wish you all a good week and I'll leave you with the sweetest video you've ever seen.
Why? Because a couple days ago I had a close encounter with a baby deer in the very spot where I shot these photos and it was hands down the most tender moment in my life, so I have to share the love. Cuteness overload!

Emerald Belladone dress + a little surprise


First things first: I have a new camera! I was becoming more and more frustrated with my old camera and I finally saved up enough to allow myself to splurge for a new toy.
This new little thing (and the tripod I bought with it) are going to make my blogging life a lot easier: first of all, the camera has a flip screen, which is going to help me so much (goodbye, dozens of photos where I'm out of frame!). And then, it is qualitatively better than my old one. I'm not going to throw in technical features, because I'm quite ignorant about them, but it's generally easier for a noob like me to get a good quality picture.


That being said, my first run with my new toy didn't go as well as I was hoping it to, I still need to get used to it. My brother trolling me from the window (UGH!) and my neighbor sneaking up on me with her dogs didn't help this photo shoot either, but that's ok.


The moral of the story is that I don't feel this dress looks as good in these photos as it deserves to. I especially wanted to use a different background to avoid the green overdose effect, but I was very limited in my choice.
Oh, I love this dress soo much!
I've already raved about this pattern by Deer and Doe and about how incredible the fit is on me. I couldn't resist making a second version, especially when I saw this emerald green gabardine at the fabric store. I've been told my super pale complexion looks good in jewel tones, and so far I'd say it's true (see another example).

Now I should find a long sleeved t-shirt with a low back, to preserve the peek-a-boo effect.

This gabardine is as beautiful to see and wear as it is unpleasant to sew. It doesn't want to be pressed and won't lie flat for anything in the world. To solve this problem, I started topstitching. Every seam is topstitched and I went a little crazy with the waistband, using it as a decoration.
This time, I used bias tape as facing, because I didn't want any contrast on the outside of the dress.


Lastly, the little surprise mentioned in the title. One of the features of my new and improved camera is that it makes videos!
I couldn't resist, so I did a little experiment with it today. It's just a tiny little clip, but I had so much fun making it, I definitely want to keep experimenting. First thing to do: use a wider lens. My 50mm lens just doesn't work for this kind of project.

So, if you want to see how the dress moves (and my very ungraceful walk - sorry!-) here it is:


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.