Today I’m sharing what once was a Belinda Bellville dress and is now a much more wearable-and comfortable- elastic waist skirt. I love vintage patterns and lucked out finding this Vogue Designer Original Belinda Bellville design very close to my size, in a 16. I love this so much now that it’s been refashioned! And I really like the combo I’m wearing in the images here. This is a pieced grey rib knit tank I made a few years ago plus one of my fave necklaces from Club Monaco.
I did make the dress but it had a ton of issues and wasn’t very comfortable. It was a bit tight at the waist which surprised me since this is a size larger than me based on the given measurements. I really love the bias cut top with the seaming but the back zipper was a real issue. The blouse is meant to billow at the waist so my zipper just wouldn’t lay flat. I really should have made a muslin. Live and learn. The skirt is fab so I hardly mind at all.
I will make the full dress again but it will need quite a few modifications. First off having a blousy look that is so fitted at the waist seems a bit unnecessary. Next time I would just leave out some of the shaping and add an inserted elastic waistband casing. Then the zipper would not be needed and would make the fabric drape a bit better. I love the ties at the neck but I unfortunately ran a bit short of fabric. I messed up one of my bias pieces and it never looked quite right, but because I was out of yardage I couldn’t recut another bias strip. Next time 3 meters would be better- I only had 2.5.
I may try making this in a knit, I think a jersey would look fantastic!
images of blouse front during construction and design sketch
Because my final make wasn’t quite right I decided to cut it apart and see if I could make a simple skirt. I love the overlapped panels and high slit. It looks fantastic so I just cut at the waist, serged my edges and made a casing, inserting 1 1/4″ elastic. So easy and quick and now so much more wearable. I don’t really wear dresses often so this will get a ton more wear as a skirt.
All the Details:
Rayon Quartz Dobby, Out of Stock
- 2.5 meters at 56″ wide
Vogue Designer Original 2129
4EverInVogue on Etsy
Loose-fitting, sleeveless, pullover dress with blouson bodice and A-line skirt, seven inches below mid-knee or evening length has slightly oval neckline with narrow bias self binding extending into self-tie ends, center-back zipper closing, slightly extended shoulders, side front neckline slit, left front shoulder yoke, asymmetrical bodice front stitched seam (to give tuck effect) gathered waistline, front wrap effect skirt with high side hemline vent. Purchased belt or self belt with purchased buckle. Topstitching and edge-stitch trim.1979 Belinda Bellville – Misses’ Dress.
I made the shorter length version on the left.
I haven’t been doing much as much sewing as I’d like lately. I’ve been really focused on a new large scale hibiscus flower embroidery pattern I’m designing that I am just loving. I can’t wait to share it with you all! Hopefully I’l be releasing it in the next week or so. I’m finalizing my samples now.
This weekend I lucked out and got tickets to see Anna Sui and Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki at NSU Art Museum! It was a fantastic talk that went into the history of their fashion stories as well as a bit of the business side of retail. The talk had been postponed after the Anna Sui retrospective show I attended earlier last year due to Covid.
The World of Anna Sui, held at NSU Art Museum last year, showcased looks ranging from the exuberant Carnaby Street schoolgirl outfits to the cowgirl and cheerleader. Among her earliest influences was Polish-born Barbara Hulanicki who worked as a fashion illustrator before launching the influential fashion label BIBA in the early 1960s and her Mod London boutique BIBA in 1964. BIBA’s influence was global, including the young Anna Sui growing up in Michigan.NSU Art Museum
A huge bonus was we also got to view the new exhibit Confrontation: Keith Haring & Pierre Alechinksy. The museum is so beautiful. If you’re in the Ft. Lauderdale area be sure to check it out!
I will make this up again as a dress when I find the perfect fabric. Until then, Happy Sewing!