I am a little bit in love with Liberty’s new print Wild Flowers and although I was a bit worried at first that the print would look a little too busy for a dress, I decided to give it a go with By Hand London’s Flora pattern.
The pattern is relatively easy to follow and I absolutely love the professional finish that the lining gives the bodice. I decided to use plain white for my Flora lining as Wild Flowers A can look a little see-through and I was worried some of the detail might have been lost in the fabric if I lined it with a patterned lining. I didn’t line the skirt – as it is a full circle and not tight to the skin, it doesn’t look see-through without lining.
I didn’t use the skirt pattern from By Hand London as I opted for a straight skirt not the dropped hem that comes with the pattern so I used my skirt pieces from the Sew Over It Betty dress instead. The size 8 for both were very similar so the bodice and skirt fit together well, although I would say By Hand’s bodice came up a little bigger so I ended up taking it in at the sides a couple more centimetres.
As it was a one directional pattern I also had to cut the skirt into 4 pieces rather than 3 (usually 1 piece for the front and 2 for the back.) I didn’t know at the time whether I was being pernickety or smart but either way I think it does create a nicer effect having the pattern run smoothly from top to bottom.
I toyed with the idea of taking the neckline down a little but after I had under stitched it I thought it would be neater to leave it as it was. Although this neckline does suit the dress, I would possibly take it down a centimetre or two if I were to make another as I think it came up a little higher than intended when I was altering the straps.
I also used the hemming technique mentioned in both the Sew Over It Betty Dress pattern and the Flora pattern. By sewing a line 1cm from the edge of the fabric then folding up and up again, it really did make it easier to hem the full circle and it paid off spending a bit more time on it.
I’m definitely already thinking about my next Flora and I think it would look good short or long, high neck or lower, and possibly next time with thinner straps. Lots of possibilities!