When Theresa from Grammies Dolls put the call out for testers for Bella's School Day Blouse & Skirt, my metaphorical hand shot up! I knew right away from the line drawings that these two garments were going to be beauties!
Bella's School Day Skirt
This skirt pattern comes in sizes 1 - 16. It has a double layered circle skirt and can be finished off with ribbon or any trim you so desire.
The PDF pattern even comes with directions to make your own lace! I didn't feel that ambitious, but as my tulle was rather busy on its own it didn't need it. Yes..... I did finish with bobble trim..... because, well, I couldn't resist some bobble!
This pattern would suit an adventurous beginner sewer. The biggest challenge being to neatly hem the circle skirts.
You could choose not to layer with organza or tulle and instead use a matching or contrasting fabric.
This adorable skirt has maximum twirl factor, although my little lady hasn't mastered twirling on demand! In fact, I consider myself very lucky to even get any semi nice photos..... as those of you with toddlers know.... it's a challenge to get those beautiful photos..... kind of like trying to strap an octopus into a car-seat..... but much harder!!
If you would like to find out more or purchase the pattern, please click HERE
Bella's School Day Blouse
Some patterns just leap out at me and I can't resist making more than one! This blouse is one of those patterns. It has a real retro vibe about it, but change the options and you can have several very different looks!
The blouse, like her sister the skirt, has a circle skirt, only attached to the bodice. The blouse has the option of long sleeves with flounces - like mine - or short sleeves & flounces. Or just flounce flutter sleeves or completely sleeves. All beautiful and give such different looks. There is also the option to add a collar.
The long flounce sleeves and the full circle skirt really spoke to me, full of fun and whimsy.
While the directions suggest cutting the circle skirt as two pieces - which would be necessary if you chose a directional fabric or needed to preserve fabric. However, I think it gives a nice finish to cut the full circle.
I adore this blouse in super bright colours and I'll be keeping a look out for some more perfect brights to make more of these blouses for Spring. Oh and do you like these super sweet bubble shorts? These are the fully lined Berry Bubble Shorts, pattern by Mummykins & Me .
This test version is the original version and it didn't include the placket in the skirt. If you are sewing in knit fabric, you could leave the placket off. HOWEVER, this blouse without the skirt placket was very difficult to put on. Even if I didn't have a wriggly 2 year old, it would still have been very hard.
So take two..... the final version! And again, in a soft floral it has a different look again. But perfect for trimming in pretty cotton lace.
Like the skirt, this pattern comes including sizes 1 - 16 girls and has the wonderful option of layered pattern pieces! This makes blending sizes a breeze. I made a size 2T with 3 length for my lean toddler.
With the placket, getting this blouse on and off is very easy - even when dressing wriggly octopi........ I mean...... toddlers!
This blouse is the perfect garment to show off some bling buttons.... and of course me, the button loving lady, couldn't resist adding these! If your not up to putting in buttonholes, then snaps would also work (although, I do strongly suggest using buttons.)
My Hacked Bella!
Myself and a couple of the other testers felt that this blouse would look rather lovely buttoning all the way down.... so I indulged and I'm rather pleased with the look!
The original pattern does suggest adding an optional layer of organza or tulle to the skirt and I really love the look when sewing something a little bit special.... and with Michael Millers flower fairy fabric it makes for a special blouse indeed.
With a size 3 length I choose to add 4 buttons - although I think I would add 5 next time. I also choose to leave a front split in my organza to keep the layers separate.
We found a soccer ball at the reserve while taking photos..... a lucky find indeed, as I wouldn't have taken any decent photos if we didn't play kick!
We had the delight of also coming across this family of Australian Wood Ducks .
A highlight of my weekend I reckon!
I loved the other blouses with the bubble shorts, so paired this top with the Rose Bubble Shorts by Bella Sunshine designs.
In purple corduroy, trimmed in cotton crochet lace these shorts are a statement on their own!
So just before I finish off, the only amendment you need to make if your choosing to make a button down Bella Blouse is cut 3 instead of two pieces for the circle skirt. Cut one back semi-circle piece as you usually would, then rather than cutting another mirrored piece, cut two quarter circles. HOWEVER, you will need to add on another 1 1/4 inch to continue your button down placket. Add this extra width to where the join would have been if you were creating your semi-circle piece. Add iron-on interfacing - 1" wide and the length of your skirt 1/4" in from the edge. Fold over 1/4 inch, then another 1". Baste this fold top & bottom. Attach as would in the original pattern, only adding extra buttons in at the end. Viola, you now have a button down Bella Blouse!
I loved testing both the Bella patterns. They have truly been a joy to sew and not just because I find all sewing a joy, but because they have that flair and fun that I love discovering in new patterns. The opportunity to be as creative as I like with them, while still remaining stylish and fun for my daughter.
Get Bella's School Day Blouse HERE