Thursday, 17 July 2014

Introducing EllaBella Mark 1&2

So I've noticed round the tinterwebs a lot of people naming their dresses.  So I decided to name mine - introducing EllaBella.

I really liked various versions of the Deer and Doe Belladone, but looking more closely at it I thought I might have some issues and also the pattern is £14 and it has to be said I'm cheap. So I looked through the many many patterns I already have, found Simplicity 2473 (now OOP I think) and new I could hack it to what I wanted.
The first problem I had with the original Belladone was, I didn't think I would get it over my head (yes, I have a big head).  The second issue was that it was sleeveless, I didn't have bingo wings as such, but I am happier if I have some sort of sleeve.  So I thought I should make a muslin (not a usual habit of mine) just to make sure the fit was right with my alterations.  So I used this fabric from Ikea that has been hanging around in my stash for several years, it was 1.9m for the princely sum of £3.98.  I added 4cm to the length of the bodice (as well as a big head, I also have a long back), I lowered the front neckline by 5cm, took a huge scoop out of the back and drafted a separate back neck piece, which is in two parts and fastened with a button.  The back aperture is probably a little too deep and a fraction too wide, but as long as I can manoeuvre by bra strap so that it doesn't show, I'm ok.  Here it is from the back:

I made some bias binding from some of the left over fabric to bind the bodice back and the sleeve hems.  I also added pockets to the side front of the skirt (I've got to have pockets).  I have also finally mastered the invisible zip.  It has been my bete noire for ages, but I recently undertook pattern testing for By My Goth Patterns (I hope to be able to blog about this soon, once the pattern is released) and Parnuuna's instructions for inserting an invisible zip were so good I have overcome my fear of the invisible zip.

This is who the EllaBella is named after, our beautiful girl Ella, who would have been 14 years old the day I made Mark 1 of this dress.  Sadly Ella died at the end of March, we now have another dog to keep Hagrid company, her nickname if Pocket Rocket and she will feature in this blog if we can get her to stand still long enough to be photographed.

So on to Mark 2: 

The dotty fabric I got at John Lewis (I do not need any more fabric and I really shouldn't go anywhere near the fabric department, but I never learn) it was a remnant 1.5m of 1.15 wide, half price because it has a very small flaw. I did just want to use the dotty fabric, but no pattern how I tried the pattern pieces I just did not have enough material.  So I then had to go out and find a coordinating fabric (easier said than done) and bought another half metre of fabric.  I then decide which pattern pieces I wanted to cut from each fabric.  I eventually decided to go with a contrasting waistband, sleeve and back neck facing.

I didn't have a coordinating invisible zip in my stash, so rather than spend any more money, I used a vintage metal zip I already had and a lovely big bright button at the neck.
Here is a close up of this very grown up fabric, I think it's called Hoppy Dot, who wouldn't love giant polka dots with bunny rabbits.


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