Can you believe it I have never made a toile before! I know madness I hear some of you say, but I just have never felt the need to until now.
I have been eying up the Belladone dress by Deer and Doe for ages, not really sure if it would suit me or not, but when I went to a local Indie shop and bought a funky dress took it home and showed the fam, no one really thought it suited me so back it went!
A little bit gutted as I really wanted a dress for the up and coming xmas season I thought right that’s it make one! Yes I should have done this before and not even bothered with the buying but there you go!
The problem was I didn’t really want your normal Xmas party dress, I wanted one that could be dressed up with heels and at the same time I could wear with a pair of snazzy trainers.
The Belladone seemed perfect for me! Yay an excuse to make it.
Then it came to the fabric choice, I really wanted to make this in a stretch fabric. The pattern is not for stretch fabric though so I was going off piste, being a rebel.
I had also been eying up the Lady McElroy Cobra Corsage fabric in all its different types and decided to go for it. I ordered the Scuba version which I decided would be perfect for this dress. A quirky fabric with a good sheen to it which could be dressed up and dressed down.
While I waited for it to be delivered I knew I wanted this dress to fit really well. A toile it was, I choose quite a stable ponte fabric which I knew was different to my Scuba but ultimately it was the stretch and fit I wanted to try out not the stability.
When I measured myself I was actually coming up for my waist slightly off the pattern sizing so I had to grade up by one size around the waist, this wasn’t too difficult, I just took the measurement between the different pattern sizes and then drew out from the bust to the waist.
This kind of went against what I knew when you were sewing with jersey/stretch when it is meant for a woven pattern but I didn’t want this to be too tight and as it was a toile I just thought go for the actual size and then take it from there.
The other adjustment I made, went against all my desires for dresses, I took out the pockets!!!
I know madness, I love a pocket, but in this dress with the evening dress style in mind I just didn’t think it suited, I drew up from the skirt being quite cautious with where I drew but with no real plan, I think next time I should cut out the pockets and use these as a template, this would be better.
Right with all the pieces cut out I started my sew.
OHHHHHH this was lovely, very easy when working with ponte.
No need for turning edge twice to sew, lovely, I used a nice zig zag stitch which gave the stitching a bit of detail and it was sewn up in no time at all. I used some stay tape around the back details just so this wouldn’t stretch.
I did have to add an extra pleat in the front as when I came to attaching the two they didn’t quite fit, I think this was down to where I had extended up to fill in the space from the pocket, but actually I quite like the extra pleat and will probably leave it in the final dress.
I was almost all sewn together and I decided to tack up the back to see if I needed the zip…… I didn’t and I popped it on over my head, yay!
This is where I needed a little help from one of my fabulous sewing gurus who teaches for us. It was too long in the body at the back, the front was fine, the darts were great but the back was bagging. Vanessa pinned me up around the waistband, a little bit of unpicking, re-sewing and I was almost there.
I did then find I had an extra bit of back flaps of fabric, ummmmm so then it was a lift of the shoulders slightly where I took out another 3 cms to take away the extra fabric. I also took the shoulder edges in slightly more as they were sticking out and we were there.
Hemming, I took and extra 4 cm off the bottom and next time I will take this out of the lengthen shorten line in the pattern but all in all I am really happy.
I think a lot of the adjustments I have made are to suit my body, not because I am changing it from woven to stretch.
The main differences are, no zip, and instead of bias facing all of the edges and openings I just hemmed, it was a quick sew and now I have a dress I can wear as well as prepping for my actual xmas dress.
I will be working on this over the next few weeks so check back for Part two of the Belladone in Jersey and scuba fabric.