The La Bella Donna, a Pattern for Every Season

by Koetiquemade
7 Materials
40 Minutes

The La Bella Donna…. The Beautiful Woman. One of Love notions most beloved patterns and its no wonder why. You’re gonna feel Beautiful if this figure flattering top. I have made this top so many times. I love the easy construction of it. It uses the same pattern piece for both the front and back and has a simple dolman sleeve to make it very beginner friendly. Check out the line drawings below for all the options.. Plus, there’s a girls pattern too! So you and your mini can match.

When Love Notions updated their size range for the La Bella Donna I was fortunate enough to be a tester for that. I made two long sleeve tunic versions and a short sleeve one for fun. I love them every bit as much as I did the original pattern before the update. Maybe even more. It’s the perfect transitional piece for your me-made wardrobe. Keep scrolling to see all the different ways I’ve made the La Bella Donna plus a couple tips.

I’ve made this pattern is various ways several times. The above one is made from a lovely DBP form Cali Fabrics. I was curious to see just how fast this project could be made once it was cut out. I made this long sleeve tunic version using my serger in 39 min flat. It was so fast that I made two more. This leaopard one is made with a lovely ribbed knit from Joann Fabrics. Now I just need it to stay cool enough here in the desert so I can wear these comfy long sleeve tunics longer.

Good thing I have a couple short sleeved ones to wear in warmer weather. I’ll probably make a couple more just because they are so simple. I still need to make one in the updated shirt length. This tunic length is so cute tho and super good at hiding the Covid 19lbs I’ve gained.

I love sewing and hacking this pattern! It’s very seldom that I actually just sew a pattern as is. I always like to change it up a bit. One of my favorite hacks is adding a sleeve flounce. I’ve added various length of flounces to my makes and it’s such a simple thing to do! These are three of the ways I added a flounce ruffle to the LBD sleeve. It’s a flounce for every season and occasion.

I wrote a whole blog post for Love Notions on how I achieved these two different looks. If you want to read more about how to add a simple flounce ruffle as well as how to lengthen it to a dress go here. Or I have another post here where I show you how to make a flounce ruffle to fit ANY pattern. The below looks were inspired by a Ready To Wear garment I saw on social media and fell in love with. I knew I could copy it using the LBD pattern. It’s really a great pattern to add your own flare to.

My Favorite LBD make of all time has to be My Spider Gwen Costume though. My husband, 3 boys and I all LOVE dressing up for Halloween. We do it every year and take a pic that becomes our Christmas card. I knew I could use the LBD to make a simple yet awesome Spider Gwen costume. I will probably eventually write a blog post on how I did it, but for now I’ll just share these pics.

Ok, now for a couple tips.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like reprinting and assembling my pdf patterns over and over. For this reason I need them to stay as intact as possible. The LBD uses the same pattern piece for both the front and back. The only difference is the neckline cutout. Here’s how I keep both necklines intact on the pattern.

First I put some packing tape over it to make it more stable. Then I make a one inch mark on the front neckline. Next, I cut the front neckline on either side of the mark leaving that one inch spot uncut.

Once I’ve cut out the back and I’m ready to cut out the front, I just fold up that part of the pattern. The packing tape helps to keep it from tearing over repeated use.

Another thing I do is write the size of the neck binding on the pattern as well. The LBD had a cowl neck and hooded option pattern pieces. The binding is just a simple rectangle so there isn’t a pattern piece to print. Measurements to make the binding are included in the instructions however I don’t want to have to refer back to the instructions every time I make it. Writing it on the pattern piece really saves me time from looking for it in the directions.

I hope you Love the La Bella Donna pattern as much as I do. It’s beginner friendly and as you can see, great for ALL seasons and occasions. Every me-made wardrobe needs a pattern like this. One you can hack and embellish to your liking. You can use code KOE10 to get 10% off this pattern or any other Love Notions pattern.

If you make the LBD make sure and hash tag "labelladonna" so I can see them and love them too!

Happy Sewing!


Suggested materials:
  • 2 yards knit fabric
  • Packing tape
  • Something to mark with
See all materials

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 1 comment
  • Roberta D Treichel Roberta D Treichel on Mar 28, 2022

    It is certainly a versatile pattern. i love your choices and individuality in adding ruffles. The paisley top is my favorite and I would love to know where you got that fabric?