A Sewing Pattern for Every Season!
Every handmade wardrobe needs a pattern suitable for every season. One you can hack and embellish to your liking. A pattern I love that fits that bill is The La Bella Donna… or The Beautiful Woman. This is one of Love Notions most beloved sewing patterns and it's no wonder why. You're gonna feel Beautiful in this 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.
I fell in love with this pattern all over again shortly after they updated the size range. I immediately 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 handmademade wardrobe. Keep scrolling to see all the different ways I've made the La Bella Donna plus a couple tips.
The Long Sleeve Tunic
I've made this pattern in 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 leopard one is made with a lovely ribbed knit from Joann Fabrics. Now I just need it to cool down here in the desert so I can wear these comfy long sleeve tunics.
The Short Sleeve Tunic
Good thing I have a couple short sleeved ones to wear until the weather changes. 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.
Sleeve Hacking- Flounce Ruffle
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 lengths 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
Inspired by Ready to Wear
I wrote a whole blog post for Love Notions on how I achieved these different looks. If you want to read more about how to add a simple flounce ruffle as well as how to lengthen this pattern 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 Ready To Wear garments 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!
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.
Some Quick but Helpful Tips
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 over that part of the necline on 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. If you make the LBD make sure and tag and so I can see them and love them too!
- La Bella Donna Pattern (https://www.lovenotions.com/product/ladies-la-bella-donna-top-tunic?af)
- 1.5-2 yards knit fabric
- Twin Needle
- Something to write with
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