Hi there,

I am Louise from Not Sew Simple - I'm really excited to be joining the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and looking forward to sharing some of my projects here!

For my first project I chose Deer and Doe's Belladone Dress Pattern. I am a huge Deer and Doe fan and I have made a couple of previous versions of Belladone. The dress has a fitted bodice and a pleated skirt - with pockets!

The pattern was re-released recently with an option to make the back without the cut out and I really love the new images. Deer and Doe have provided a tutorial here so if you already have the original pattern you can easily create the revised back piece.

I wanted to make a really easy to wear dress for winter, perfect for work or for going out so I chose this dark purple printed Stretch Cotton Fabric for the Belladone.

Minerva describe this print as 'swirl circles' but I think it looks like painted roses? Dark floral prints are really on trend this autumn and I love an abstract floral that isn't ditsy or pastel.

The fabric is a medium weight with enough body to really hold the pleats. It has a good amount of stretch for a woven which makes it easy to get a better fit and it is lovely to sew with.

As I was using a stretch cotton and I wanted to get a close fit I changed the order of construction so that I could sew the side seams last and take them in if I needed to. I ended up adjusting slightly above the waist.

I used cotton Stetch Bias Binding in purple to finish the arms and neckline. This has more give than regular cotton bias binding, so it works really well with the stretch cotton.

Add a cardigan and this is the perfect dress for winter.  I love these shades of purple and a little bit of stretch means more space for a few christmas treats!

Thank-you Minerva for providing the fabric!