My first flora dress.

Hi guys,

Summer is almost here, and it feels SO GOOD. To celebrate the fact that England is finally enjoying some sun I thought I’d make a new dress to match the new weather. If you don’t already know, I won all By Hand London dressmaking patterns so I thought the new weather was a perfect excuse to crack on with a dress. After much deliberation and scouring of instagram for some inspiration, I settled on making a Flora dress, this decision was mainly down to Kate Eva, as she has made so many versions of this dress and all of these are absolutely amazing.

So, I proceeded to pop down to fabric land in search for the perfect fabric, in the end I settled for a lightweight navy cotton with tiny white spots, and also got some navy viscose for the lining. The fabric was super cheap and everything in total cost under a tenner (what a bargain?!), I didn’t want anything too expensive as I knew that there were bound to be fitting issues with the bodice, as I’m only 5ft” and always need an FBA.

These are the fabrics I picked up from Fabric Land.

After pre-washing the fabric it was onto the cutting stage, before I did that though, I knew I had to do an FBA of 1 inch to my pattern, and I followed this tutorial done by Elisalex of BHL herself. After that, I also took off 1 inch of the bodice length, in order to cater for my small size, I only took 1 inch off as I know my torso isn’t actually that abnormally different from the 5ft5 model the BHL patterns are all based on, but I still knew that there would be a difference. So top tip to all those shorties out there, measure your torso length and compare it to the model length as you might not be that different after all! Also, instead of doing the skirt pattern that comes with the flora dress I opted for a half circle skirt. I used the BHL circle skirt calculator in order to avoid working out the measurments myself. I had a little problem when I put it together as a the skirt waist size I put in wasn’t quite big enough for the bodice, so next time I think i’ll cut the circle skirt after I’ve constructed and measured the skirt, but I still managed to use the skirt I cut out as I adjusted it via a change in seam allowances.

The construction was mainly plain sailing (apart from the skirt issue) and I was really happy with how the zip turned out as it was my first try! So, after all that I let it hang for 24 hours, then I hemmed it and put it on for a trip into Brighton town. The fit turned out to be a lot better than I had hoped, with only a little gaping issue at the front and one strap a little too long (how does that happen? are my shoulders different heights?).

here’s me looking (and feeling) very lovely in the Lanes.

here’ a few closer up pictures, can you see the gapey neck? Other than that I still think it looks cute.

Here are some close-ups, and look at that zip insertion!

Anyway, over all I think it turned out pretty well as I am quite inexperienced when I comes to sewing zips and fitted bodices, what do you think? I think that this is going to be one of many flora dresses that’ll end up in my wardrobe.

Ciao for now and happy sewing


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