Introducing the refashioned Bellasola aka the Orsola Dress and the Belladone. So much love for the design of this dress, particularly the back ! but crikey was it a mission and a half to get the bodice to cooperate! The original dress used the Belladone bodice combined with a gathered skirt, which at the time I loved but with my closet navel gazing I’ve moved away from the fit and flare. But I loved this fabric so was loathe to part with it, especially given the low number of wears… enter a refashion!
While the back (I amazingly got absolutely no gapage at all!!) and skirt were fine, I fought the front bodice like none before. The fit was lovely around the neck, arms, side, and waist, but created a weird billowing pointy extra boob out to the side. At first I blamed this on myself and soldiered on making a total of 6 different bodices (incr/decr FBA, shift darts around) none of which worked. Next after sharing about my dilemma on instagram a few people shared very similar issues. Based on this/ time constraints/ sewing is supposed to be a fun hobby I decided it might actually not be me, so in the essence of time I threw in threw in the towel and turned to the Belladone bodice that I knew fit so well.
Based on my measurements I made a 10/14
Forward shoulder – 1 inch
FBA – 3cm (note this was on the Belladone front bodice)
Shortened bodice – 4.5 cm
Shortened skirt – 2 1/4 inches (initially 1/2″ which resulted in below knee length, but as I was refashioning this was the max length that would fit)
I really didn’t like these instructions… For example this pattern has a fully lined bodice, yet no mention of under-stitching?! In addition there are multiple facings, a waistband, and tie straps yet no interfacing?!
Changes I made to construction (a lot of these were based on instructions that produced a finish I liked from a similar Mcalls pattern):
Under-stitch the entire neckline, and as far up each armhole as I could manage
Add interfacing to all facings including the inside waistband and inside ties
Substitute stay-stitching with interfacing tape – this is more of a personal preference as I find it gives a better finish and further reduces accidental distortion of the fabric
Switch up the construction of the waistband around the tie hole (again personal preference). I sewed the front and back partially together then joined along the side instead of working top down, I found this gave a cleaner finish on the hole.
Overall very happy with the final results but it was painful road to get there. For more detailed info check out my blog post https://www.tinkeringandtailoring.com/bellasola-refashion-orsola-belladone/