Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sewing the Flora Dress ... the latest pattern from By Hand London

Last week By Hand London released their fifth pattern, the flora dress


As you can probably tell I am a huge fan of their patterns (see posts on the Anna dress and Georgia dress). 






The flora dress comes with two variations, a sleeveless wrap bodice with pleated straight circle skirt or tank square fitted bodice with dipped hem pleated circle skirt. 



I decided to make variation 2 with the tank bodice and dipped hem skirt. I specifically bought some grey floral lace effect fabric from Fabrics galore and flesh coloured polyester lining. I've not worked with this sort of fabric before for a complete dress and I wanted to challenge myself with this new pattern.


I had to be careful with cutting the fabric as it moved around quite a bit.


With the fabric being semi-transparent, I cut lining for the whole dress. I also lengthened the front pattern piece, as I wanted to cut it to length once I had constructed the dress, as I didn't want it to be too short (ultimately I wanted it to finish just above the knee). Once I had tried it for fit, I ended up only needing to cut it a couple of inches longer than the original pattern piece (not the several inches I had added on for good measure!).


To stop the should straps stretching over time, I sewed a matching lining fabric piece between the two lace-effect pieces.


Darts were added to both the lining and main fabric for front and back bodice pieces.



The assembled straps were secured in place with a stay stitch in between the front bodice fabric and lining pieces (right sides together) before the neck and arm holes were sewn together. I had to reinforce these with understitching.



I added a scalloped detail trim to the shoulder pieces from fabric left over.



Each strap was then secured in place with a stay stitch between the corresponding back bodice fabric and lining pieces (right sides together) before the neck and arm holes were sewn together. It is worthwhile checking to make sure your pieces of fabric will be in the right position once it has all been sewn together at this stage!


Next I sewed the side seams together of the bodice before attaching the bodice to the skirt, matching the darts with the seams.


For the lining, because some will be visible if you have opted for the dipped hem skirt, I would suggest french seams for a clean finish! Finally I added the long invisible zip to the back. I also reduced the distance of the back neck bodice between the shoulder straps to avoid it gapping slightly. 




I think the dipped hem design of this dress is very glamourous. In different fabrics it would be perfect for both parties and weddings etc. Another great pattern from By Hand London! 

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