I'm here today with my first version of the By Hand London Flora dress - it's no secret that I love a good BHL pattern!
The skirt drafted for this pattern is a beautiful thing to behold. With two box pleats in the back and two knife pleats in the front, there is so much fabric tied up in there to create a swirly, twirling loveliness! It seems to hold itself away from my body without the need of a petticoat, achieving in one fell swoop what I've been trying to do with gathering for a year now.
The fabric is a red cotton floral which I picked up at Abakhan in Chester. As priced, it came to just over £10 for two metres, but in reality I paid less than that as the staff were nice enough to give me a student discount.
Once sewn up, I thought the waistline looked a little frumpy. I like the look of short bodices and hate if they sit anywhere below my natural waistline. As a consequence, I ended up unpicking the zip and the skirt to chop a few inches off the bodice. One day I'll learn to make a toile... I just don't have the patience! However, once everything was reattached I liked the result a lot better than the original, so the extra work was worthwhile.
Aside from the waistline issues, I didn't come across any other problems with this dress. Next time I would probably hem a little longer, just to be on the safe side, but the current length is fine as long as I wear tights!
I have some fabric lined up for my second version of the Flora, it's just the decision to either stick with the square neckline, or go with the faux wrap version instead. Any thoughts?
Overall, I'm really happy with my new dress and am looking forward to autumn when my handmade dresses see the most use, worn with thick, cosy tights.
Two more posts to come in my summer sewing documentation! Tomorrow is another BHL pattern, the Elisalex, so check back then!
Thank you for reading,