Monday 8 June 2015

Heart backed Belladone dress

It was my birthday at the weekend and I wanted a new dress to celebrate in.  This Belladone has been a concept in my head for a while now, I wear my first version all the time and really wanted another.  But a combination of the spring/summer colours and light, floaty fabrics that I was envisioning meant that I have put it off until now.  However, it was the perfect birthday dress, especially as the weather has finally got it's act together and finally temperatures have reached above freezing.

The gorgeous vintage stripey fabric was another reclaimed length of fabric from my granny's house and is made from something lovely.  It's obviously a natural fiber and I'm going to pray that it's a seriously high quality cotton lawn, because if its the silk/cotton blend I'm more convinced that it is, I'm not sure that the sewing gods will forgive me as I obviously shoved it in the washing machine before I started cutting it.  It survived fine though!  It's a really fine fabric though and as I didn't want to be wandering round in a see-through dress, I lined it.  The lining is a cotton sheet that I bought in a charity shop ages ago.  I had already used it as a Halloween costume so some creative pattern placement was needed to be able to avoid the head/arm holes and fake blood spatters!  I have no idea where the pink fabric I used for binding and the waistband came from but it was a perfect match so I'm seeing it as a stash win!

At work one of the nurses keeps commenting on how girly I am and I think I'm doing some reverse rebelling and its actually making me more girly!  This combination of floral and pink fabrics started to scream "hearts" at me and so I upped the girly factor by creating a heart back Belladone instead of the usual crossover back!

I followed the tutorial on the deer and doe blog for the heart back.  The tutorial was great and really straightforward but if I made it again I would slightly change the shape of the heart, I want a more pronounced point at the top.  I made some changes to the pattern; obviously the back, I added 3cm to bodice and graded up a size between the bust and waist.

Realistically the main fabric is too floaty for a Belladone but the crisp cotton sheet lining gives it an appropriate amount of body for the shape of the dress and I really love the final result, even if my boyfriend described me as looking "like Little Bo Peep!".  It was perfect for a sunny birthday in the park and garden, however, my back is clearly not used to being exposed to the sun as I now have a burnt heart shaped patch on my back!

Here are a couple of me holding court/being bossy on the day. The dress held up really well to rounders, copious Pimms drinking and food and I'm sure I was dancing in it at some point.

Birthdays are great!  This dress feels like a fitting entry for the Sew Sweetness Dress Up Party.  Anyone else entering?  Marie made a lovely Belladone for one of the Dress up Party reviews, so I feel like I'm in very good company.


  1. How clever, I didn't know the heart shaped back was an option for this pattern. I was gifted the pattern and really want to make it soon, this is a cute idea

    1. I really love this pattern and the hack is super easy. Good luck with your version.