Valentino Polka Dot Floranna

I actually saw this ex-designer fabric at the Fabric Godmother pop up shop at New Craft House and didn’t buy it! But then regretted it every minute since and bought it online, as per usual. From afar it looks like a pretty standard polka dot crepe but it is oh so soft and floaty and I knew it would make a classic dress I could wear for years to come.

Although I’m a fan of big circle skirts, I didn’t want this one to turn out too Minnie Mouse-esque so I decided to pair the Flora bodice with the Anna skirt, both By Hand London. The vibe I was going for is Reformation meets Rachel from Friends:

When I started on the bodice I was so sure I was going to add ruffles but wanted to wait until I attached the skirt. Once I attached the skirt I decided to keep it without because I really liked how understated it was and I think it could have looked a little too Flamenco.

Obviously because the fabric was so amazing I did actually take my time a bit with this one and I french seamed the whole thing. Thank god I did because when it’s windy (which is always on my balcony) you can see the insides. I bought a lining fabric initially but it just wasn’t the same quality as the crepe so I ended up lining the dress with the polka dot crepe as well, squeezing it all out of 3 metres. There’s a bit of a disclaimer here re 3 metres of fabric, I’m only 5’3” so I normally cut a foot off the length of the Anna dress anyway!

To line the skirt, I first made the whole outer Anna skirt then traced round the top of it and cut one lining piece, about 3 inches above the knee. Obviously then there was a bit poking through the slit so after I attached the skirt and lining to the bodice I snipped up to the top of the slit and fastened the sides to the inside of the slit. It gives enough coverage to protect my modesty but doesn’t feel bulky and allows the skirt to still be floaty.

I know I always say this but I actually think it’s my new favourite and it’s all the more satisfying when you make something you know you could never afford to buy in the shops. I picked up another ex-Valentino fabric at the pop up so I can’t wait to sew that one up too as I’m sure it will be equally dreamy to wear.

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