The Lifesaving Hummingbird Dress

And I’m back! :-)

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Please go ahead and admire my beautiful Office Wedge Shoes that are ridiculously high. I LOVE THEM!

Admittedly I made this dress a while ago but haven’t had the chance to blog it due to computer issues. However, I have got quite a lot of things to blog about in the next couple of months and I will not let this computer beat me!

I’ve been a bit behind with trying all the new independent sewing patterns to be honest. Well, actually I’m not behind in buying them but I am in making them up (I spend way too much time looking at patterns, then looking at my fabric collection and then back again, imagining all the possibilities!).

So I finally tried the Deer & Doe Belladonne Dress. Point 1: Why I like it? Because it translates to Deadly Nightshade, which is purple in colour like my fabric. Plus a little fact; Atropine is made from Deadly Nightshade and that’s a drug we use in hospital to save people’s lives in a cardiac arrest. So, here comes my life saving dress! (Seriously, I should not be allowed to make puns…)

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Size Made Up: I can’t remember! I think I made a 46? Anyway I do remember mocking up the bodice and altering the waistline by dropping it down a couple of inches. I also altered the bust by dropping the bust dart down a few more cm. However, I then messed up the back, I think I may have added extra to the shoulder pieces, so when it came to construction, it was too baggy. In fact you can still see a little bagginess in the photo. I also took out a little at the shoulders too.

Materials: A lovely lilac cotton sateen from Ditto Fabrics that I bought earlier this year on a lovely day trip to Brighton with my friend Charlotte. I love the lovely hummingbirds all over the fabric. I flatlined with a fairly ordinary white cotton.

Instructions were pretty straightforward despite having the original French instructions and not having the later English ones. Good revision for my basic French skills :-) This pattern is pretty easy to put together and very straightforward. The diagrams are easy to understand.


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Cripes – I didn’t realise it looked so creased from the back!! 

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Inside I just serged/overlocked the seams for a quick seam finish. 

Things I liked about the Pattern?

I like the packaging, instructions are pretty clear and I like the design of the dress, I can wear it to the office for work.

Things I disliked about the pattern?

I think I dropped the waist down too far, I’m still learning where the best waist placement is on me! At 5 foot 10, I know I pretty much always need to alter this but I don’t always feel that I get it right! (I’m not sure if that’s because for years I have been used to a much higher waist placement from RTW clothing or not.) I’m also still not entirely convinced that this dress isn’t too young for me. I’m 32, but still, I am wondering!!?? When do you know?? With a Cardigan on, the dress is fine though, so, ‘job’s a good un’ in my books anyway.

Would I use it again or recommend it to others?

One of my colleagues has requested, no scratch that – demanded – I make her the same dress for her. So I guess i’ll be making it again sometime soon then!

And finally, I couldn’t resist, my temporary little flatmate who had to sit through the photography proceedings when all she really wanted to do was to sleep…. Can you tell she doesn’t look impressed?

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About Freya

I love to sew! I'm a little obsessed in fact! - I'm a compulsive fabric hoarder and purchaser of notions and patterns. I sew up my little creations using a Bernina 350PE and a Janome 9200D overlocker in my very cosy little sewing room in London. I appreciate all of your lovely thoughtful comments and opinions! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read what I write.
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6 Responses to The Lifesaving Hummingbird Dress

  1. Lovely! ‘First day of school’ dress? Go S4CS Tour de Fashion Force! <3

  2. Mairead says:

    Really pleased I found this. I bought the same fabric in the summer, in cream, and have been wondering what to do with it. I’ve also had my eye on this pattern for a while but hadn’t thought of using them together. I think I might have to copy you. It’s a gorgeous dress and it looks great on you and I don’t think it’s too young, or at least I hope not because I’m 33 and now fully intending to make one for myself!

    • Freya says:

      Thank you Mairead! I didn’t realise that there was a cream version of the same fabric, I’d love to see what the fabric looks like and what it looks when you’ve finished. Do you have a blog/flickr?

  3. Stephanie says:

    Lovely dress! Love the fabric too :)

  4. Pingback: Jumping on the Anna Bandwagon… | Handmade by Freya

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