New Collection - The Bella Fit and Flare Dress
|Jalie 3460 - Bella fit and flare dress|
(in a drapey polyester knit)
How it all started
Last October, we received this email:
This is my heartfelt plea for you to expand your ballroom dancing section to include dresses suitable for competition and exam use. Like so many young dancers' mums (I'm actually a grandmother), I'm struggling to find suitable patterns for juvenile (under 12s) and junior (12+) dancers.At first, we thought we could never, e-v-e-r fit a ballroom dress pattern onto a pattern sheet. We were not sure we wanted to launch a two-sheet pattern but because we were absolutely stunned by the price of ready-to-wear ballroom dresses out there ($300+ for a very basic dress), we thought it would make many mom (and grandmothers) happy with a pattern.
|Jalie 3460 - Juvenile ballroom dance dress with bishop sleeve|
(stretch crushed velvet dress, stretch lace sleeve and lightweight knit leotard)
The pattern includes a leotard that is attached to the dress at the armholes (this way, there is no pulling at the neck if the fit on the leo is a little short and less layers at the neckline). Needless to say that it was not difficult convincing our little model to wear a "princess dress" and twirl for the photo shoot :)
|Jalie 3460 - Bella fit and flare dance dress with attached leotard|
Stretch lace over polyester knit leotard - Many stretch laces available at FunkiFabrics
Love at first twirlKnowing Dawn sews at lightning speed, I asked her if she was willing to test the pattern (with a regular sleeve, without the leotard), just to see how it would fit on her tall and slim twins.
The response was, let's say, pretty positive :)
There was too much begging, I had to make another one [...] The dress is amazing. Bella is asking me to wash it so she can wear it again. :) Both of the twins have been wearing it in the evenings and twirling in it. Obviously a winner.We were so focused on the original request that it hadn't even crossed our minds to make it as an everyday, fun little dress too! We decided to add a cap sleeve and voilà! The Bella dress was born!
- Two lengths: knee and ankle
- Princess seams - great for fitting, color blocking (or mixing a bold print for the center front panel with solid side panels) or adding pockets!
- Three sleeves: long, cap or bishop sleeve
- Optional leotard (I plan on hacking that piece to make a fitted slip under a lace dress like this Boohoo Ivy Dress!)
- Scoop neck (higher in the front, lower in the back)
- I tried the dress backwards and guess what?! I love it even more! Thanks to the generous stretch of the fabric (60% in the length and width), it fits perfectly both ways!!! Here is our model, wearing the dress backwards:
|Jalie 3460 Bella Dress - Backwards for a lower front neckline|
This dress is perfect for twirling, and we mean it! The skirt is a full circle and the great thing about it is that the flare starts lower than the waist. This means no wardrobe malfunction when twirling too much. You will only be showing a lot of leg :)
|Jalie 3460 - Bella Dress - Full-circle skirt hem finished with horsehair braid|
Éléonore wore a prototype last Christmas in glitter velvet with a lighter knit sleeve. Jeanne finished the hem with horsehair braid for a special touch. It really gives more oomph to the circle skirt and it is almost easier to sew than a regular hem!
|Jalie 3460 Bella Dress - In stretch velvet with polyester knit sleeve and leotard|
We love it when specialized patterns like this one turn out to be so versatile!