First of all, if you love the movie Before Sunset , watch this.
Flora became my midsummer dress this year. I was a bit daunted by the task of making her, as it would be my first fitted bodice ever. Being of quite a tall, broad and small chested (and quite happily so) build, I was dreading the alterations I had to make. Never having had to make a proper toile previously, I thought it was going to be pretty boring. I was quite fun though, not having to care so much about the fine details. I still made the error of thinking that after having made one, I could proceed to make the alterations I needed to the pattern and start on the dress. Ha! I ended up having to pretty much take the whole bodice apart and make more alterations.
So, what alterations did I make? A rather significant SBA, I lengthened the bodice by about 1.5″, and the skirt by about 4-5″. I was convinced I was going to have to make allowances for a broad back, but I actually had to make it narrower across the shoulder blades. For someone who’s always been asked ‘are you a swimmer’, and whether I play tennis, that came as a bit of a surprise. I also decided to combine the faux wrap bodice version with the dipped hem skirt, which I absolutely love.
I never managed to figure out how to prevent the neckline from gaping, but after some useful advise from Oh She Dabbles, I cheated with some elastic..
The fabric was a Walthamstow find. It’s a lovely thin cotton which feels a bit like silk. Unfortunately it wrinkles like a bastard, but you can’t have it all. For the lining I chose an unbleached cotton fabric from IKEA. A pretty crap choice, as it’t not very comfortable. It also pokes through quite a bit, making me wish it was dark blue instead.
I wish I had taken some photo’s of the dress at midsummer, but I was having way too much fun to bother…
The silhouette of the Flora dress is beautiful, and I think it works quite well on me. I wouldn’t say it makes me look petite or anything, it just makes me feel less of a giant and bit more feminine. I have never worn as many dresses as since I started sewing. Nice change.
- Pattern: By Hand London’s Flora dress £14
- Main fabric: £5/m from ‘The guys outside Sainsbury’s’ at Walthamstow market £15
- Lining fabric: £2/m unbleached cotton from IKEA £2
- Bias binding for the hem: £3
- Thread: £3
Time: Lost count..