I have been procrastinating a bit over writing this post because it is out-of-order.
I stitched up two other dresses before this one but I am behind in my blogging so it makes my eye twitch to write this post first…however I am late to The Cat Lady party so here goes…
When I spotted Miss Crayola Creepy’s Cat Lady Sewing Challenge on Instagram I shared it with the WSBN and as is our style is became a Big Deal.
A picnic was planned and we spent several days sharing cat fabric image after cat fabric image with each other.
It took me a few days to decide on my final selection. I trawled the internet like a crazy cat woman because I wanted kitties but nothing too crazy. If I am going to spend time making an awesome dress then I need to be able to wear it out in normal situations…like to work!
In the end I settled on this Kokka fabric called Tossed Kitties. The cats are a small enough scale to not be in-your-face but still recognisable.
Plus it makes me think of this:
I went for the slightly less crazy Aqua and I was really pleased when it arrived because the light blue was actually much darker and more teal in real life. I love it!
Deer and Doe’s Belladone was my pattern of choice, selected for cuteness and lack for bodice/skirt seams.
This pattern has been on my to-sew list for a while. I pulled it out and traced it a few months ago, compared the bodice against another favourite pattern, decided it needed 4cms in length and then got distracted by another project.
So my pattern was all ready traced with a small sticky note attached reminding me about the 4cms. I just needed to decide where to add them! The bust darts are super high so 2cms went there and the other 2cms below. I find it a little bizarre that this bodice is so short when the Bleuet dress fitted me really well with almost zero alterations.
I did briefly consider sewing a muslin of just the bodice to test out my changes but…well I couldn’t be bothered so traced a second bodice piece, added my extra length and tissue fitted it to Scarlett.
Looks good to me!
My only other alteration was to add an extra 6cms to the skirt.
After I had cut everything out and started sewing I found a pretty big drafting error. My pattern is a bit older so I’m not sure if it’s been picked up and corrected.
The upper back bodice pieces square off at the side seam but the squared off section is 2cms wide. With a seam allowance of only 1.5cm this means that after stitching the side seam you would end up with 0.5cm raw edge poking out on each side. Not good :(
It made me kind of mad at first. Is this not the sort of thing that should be picked up during pattern testing? Lucky I had extra fabric to re-cut these small pieces after altering the pattern. It’s an easy fix to extend the angled edge to a point.
My grey bias tape was left over from one of those dresses that I haven’t yet blogged. I originally intended to use a dark blue but it wasn’t right with the teal. The grey bias strips were already cut and ready to be ironed into shape.
I mostly followed the instructions except that I attached all my front pieces together and then all my back pieces so that I could sew the side seams as a continuous line and adjust the fit.
I also saved attaching the neck binding until last so that after inserting the zipper I could adjust the fit there.
When it came to joining the back of the neck I came across the same drafting error of a 2cm squared off edge. This edge is too large for the bias to cover, it looks nothing like the image in the instructions, which has these edges finishing in points.
I was not going to recut the same piece for a third time so I trimmed the edges to points, adding a bit more scoop to the neck, then I pinned my overlap to test and tried it on
I found the under bodice pieces a bit gapey so I hid a small pleat under the overlap and I will adjust the pattern to take this out for next time.
I put in an invisible zipper and I’m not super happy with how the upper edge is finished. It looks fine from the outside but inside it looks messy and exposed at the top. It’s a bit tricky to line up the bottom of the V so I ended up putting my zip in a little low so I fixed that with a hook and eye. I’m still thinking about how I’ll do it better next time.
Even after the few hiccups and grumbles I have with this pattern I really love my dress and now that I have ironed out the issues I am definitely making a couple more. I’d love to use the bodice with a different skirt pattern and vice versa and maybe even make up the skirt just as a skirt.
Sandra took these fabulous photos at the Wellington Botanic Garden. We had a lovely picnic and everyone had a Cat Lady outfit, even our newest member Alison who was given almost no notice. She made a cute hat with cats on it.
This sounds pretty cool but wait…the cats are wearing hats.
Here are a few group photos taken by various kiddiewinks who tagged along.
Does anyone else own the Belladone? Does your pattern have the same drafting errors as my older pattern? I’m keen to find out.
Pattern – Deer & Doe Belladone, size 42
Next time I will remove 1cm from below the bust darts because it feels a tiny bit long now. I need to adjust the inner upper back bodice to remove the excess fabric. Outer upper bodice piece has already been adjusted at side seam but I need to adjust CB at neck as well.
Fabric – Kokka Japan Tossed Kitties in Aqua from Voodoo Rabbit
Other notions – Me-made bias, grey cotton from Spotlight