|Ooh yes, and new hair too!|
As the title suggests, I ordered this fabric intending it to become another Anna dress. Then the By Hand London ladies released the Flora pattern and I fell for it hard. I ordered it that day and crossed my fingers that it would arrive in time.
I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it and started thinking about what I could make from it – one of those rare occasions for me when I pick the pattern for the fabric instead of the other way around! It’s a smooth and silky lightweight cotton lawn with an fan print. There are a number of different colourways but I loved the grey-blue of this blue and orange one. It’s lovely to work with – light but not see through.
This is a really straightforward pattern with nothing too tricky so it would be a great first dress for a beginner. It does use an invisible zip but the instructions are pretty clear on inserting that.
I did my usual FBA and added 1” about the bust. I also lengthened the straps by 2” and the bodice length by ½” at the bottom. Looking at the wrinkles on the back, I perhaps lengthened a bit too much so I’ll leave that out for the next version. I increased the length of the skirt by cutting the longest length plus 1” – this meant that the front piece was too wide to fit on the folded fabric (you definitely need 60” wide for this). So I folded a piece out of the side seams (leaving the waist intact) so that I could fit it on the fabric – it’s a full skirt with extra pleats so it still works fine! I had enough fabric to cut the 2 back skirt pieces in a single layer so could use the full width. The bodice is lined and as I was a bit worried about the print showing through I used some white lawn I had in the stash.
As ever the By Hand London instructions are really clear. The only issue I had was getting confused between which version I was making when attaching and finishing the lining as the two are completely different - totally user error and not the fault of the pattern. I realised after I had overlocked the back and waist seams that I wasn’t supposed to catch the lining in there, but I decided not to unpick all that overlocking even though it would have given a neater finish on the inside (lazy me!)
The only problem with this dress is that it’s a bit too summery to wear quite yet. But I haven’t given up hope of some more sunny weather to come very soon! I was aiming for a Lizzy-esque barefoot pic (it's in no way because I was too lazy to dig out summery shoes to go with this dress!) but my pasty legs and back garden really aren't a patch on an Aussie beach!
If you want to make your own version (with 3m of fabric so it would work for an Anna or Emery too) you can buy a kit from Minerva here. It also includes an invisible zip and matching thread.