Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sophia / Belladone in a vlisco print

My first Sophia was successful enough so I decided to make another one after work out of some of my favorite fabric, but with a slightly fuller skirt (for bike ride-ability). Vlisco wax prints are stiffer than the soft chambray I used before, so the bodice is slightly more structured which turned out better. The wacky print hides the angled darts, but the fit and shoulder strap shaping is just so cool, it doesn't matter. 

I cut the bodice with the adjustments from my "wearable" muslin; shorter shoulder straps (slightly wider at the armpits for better bra coverage) adjusted side seams, 1/4 seam allowance at center bust, slight angling in on the back zipper seam to pull it flat at the top against my back AND.... a 2" swayback. So guess which one I messed up?

I mixed up the swayback adjustment and cut the angle the wrong way! So dumb. Instead of re-cutting the back pieces, I decided to just shorten the entire bodice and add different skirt with a waistband. The Belladone is perfect for this situation! The skirt has great pockets and a nicely fitted back skirt. (I've yet to make an actual Belladone dress, my first attempt was before I knew about FBAs so it fit very, very badly, except for the cool skirt.)
The waistband is cut perpendicular to the rest of the fabric, and I added a lining waistband on the inside, along with bias bound seams for total interior neatness. The dress fits well, the angled bodice darts and straps are cool and offer full bra coverage. The underbust area is slightly looser than a princess seamed bodice would allow, but it's comfortable and hangs well.

Fitted back pic:

Mirror selfie to show excellent bra coverage!

A note on the fabric - I LOVE this print. I wanted it for the red "eyes" but it also has a very slight glossy pattern visible from certain angles. It is amazing. I had been hoarding it until the "perfect" thing came along, which meant I wasn't wearing it! It took a lot of my nerve to cut into it, but I decided it was better to enjoy wearing it than to keep looking at it in my stash. I chose these patterns partly because it took a relatively small amount of yardage (~3.25 yards), allowing me to continue hoarding the remainder.

Overall, I'm very happy with how this turned out! It's my new favorite dress and I can definitely ride a bike in it. :) 

Sophia By Hand London Bodice
Size US14, 2" shortened overall, 1/2" shortened straps, widened slightly at base of armseye for bra coverage, side seams curved in 1/2" from armscye to waist, Center seam sewn with 1/4" seam allowance.
Belladone Deer & Doe Skirt
Size 44 waist to 46 after pockets, + 5" overall length.

3.25 yards, Vlisco Wax print (sold out)
.5 yards Ambiance rayon lining from Hart's 

Dog action shot.


  1. looks great on you - nice save by making the waistband!

    1. Thanks! I love it... yeah, I really messed that up. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's very comfortable too. Now I just need to make a nice little black top...

  3. I'm about to sew my Sophia Dress now, so have been googling some finished versions to see any info... looks great and that fabric is very cute! I love red anything!

    1. Hello! Thanks! I hope I'll see your version soon! Are you making the sheath or the gored version? I'm happy with mine... just be sure to spend as much time on the bust darts as you need. They are slightly pointy, which doesn't bother me, but I've seen lots of criticism about it. Also, beware in the sheath version, the skirt is designed for wide hips and a flat derriere but it's not hard to change.