Monday, 2 June 2014

Flora Goes Aquatic

When I saw the new By Hand London release, Flora, I really wanted to make the crossover version. I'm a bit big in the bust, so I made a muslin for the bodice. It didn't fit. I made adjustments. It still didn't fit. More adjustments - still wouldn't fit.

I gave up and made the other version.

Here it is - the aquatic Flora:


The square neckline was much less taxing, and surprisingly flattering on. If I made it again, I would probably do a small full bust adjustment - the waist is a little high at the front - but other that that I'm pretty pleased with the dress and how it fits.


And I especially love how it shows off the fabric. I used a cotton from the Ikea range of Trendig fabrics, which comes pre-cut in 5m chunks. I think it's 100% cotton, but there seems to be some natural stretch on the weft of the fabric. It's also narrower than recommended for the Flora dress - due to the wide skirt, 60"/150cm widths are ideal; this fabric is only 45"/112cm wide. I got round this by adding a seam to the center front. I also had to practice my pattern matching skillz, which you can see in full effect in these twirling photos:




Construction was pretty straight forward - I used french seams throughout, and lined the bodice with the same fabric as the outer. I hand picked the zip into the center back seam, and added this little detail:


- a little ribbon knotted into the zip pull so I can pull it up and down easier! Handy if there isn't a husband or boyfriend around to help you (that's what they're for, isn't it?)

As usual, despite the dress being relatively easy to make I went a bit over the top on the inside, and turned a quick project into a longer project. 

First, the hem - I decided to make a 2" hem to add weight, but because the hem is curved it won't lie flat. I ran a gathering stitch 3/8" from the edge, then gathered it up until it was flat against the body of the skirt:


Then I finished it with bias tape:


Next the skirt lining - the pattern doesn't call for it, but I always add one without fail. To keep the skirt 'puffed out' I added a gathered frill:





And that's everything! 


Welcome to my new home!...Actually, it's the Geffrye Museum of the Home, in Shoreditch, Set in a series of 18th century almshouses, you get to walk through a series of room settings from the 17th century to the modern day. It has a beautiful garden, a great shop and cafe, and it's FREE!!! Everyone should visit.

See you soon!

14 comments:

  1. WOW!!! What a great dress! I really love the fabric! I'll never forget the eyeball fabric you used from IKEA; unfortunately, they don't carry the all of the same items in the US and I couldn't copycat you!!! Nice work!

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  2. Sew Little Time2 June 2014 11:30

    love it! great fabric!

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  3. pootleandmake.wordpress.com2 June 2014 13:30

    Wow lovely dress. Gorgeous fabric too, I love the circle pattern and fish motifs. The Geffrye Museum is on my to see list.

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  4. Gorgeous, darling! You really suit those colours too. I love Ikea fabric. Shame they dont post out otherwise I'd use it all the time!

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  5. Emily Ribbons2 June 2014 20:10

    I never thought of putting a ruffle on the lining like that! I'm having issues with the wrap as well, I gave up and made a skirt. I'll have to give the tank bodice a go, it looks great

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  6. ozzyblackbeard2 June 2014 21:07

    What a gorgeous dress, and so twirly! And I love the fabric too. Lynne

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  7. Elaine O'Connor2 June 2014 21:17

    Hmmm I might be nicking that frilled lining idea! This fabric is beautiful and works perfectly with the pattern! I made the tank bodice right off so I haven't experimented with the wrap yet.

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  8. Christy Soberanis2 June 2014 22:57

    I absolutely adore everything about your dress. Love, love, love it!!!

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  9. Yay! You finished your Flora and it looks great. Such a bummer Geffrye was closed the day we hung out. The garden is so pretty, and I bet the inside is just as lovely. Do you think you'll attempt the crossover again?

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  10. I'll definitely try it again - it will not defeat me!

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  11. Can't wait to see what it looks like when you kick Flora's bum!

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  12. I love all your extra details like the frill on the lining! Plus your pattern matching is insane! It looks like the 'fish' are swimming around your skirt as you spin!

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  13. That fabric is fantastic! I love this dress on you. It might actually be my favorite version that I've seen!

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  14. Oooh clever work with the zip pull! Lovely dress m'dear

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