FLORA (AM) By Hand London – the muslin edition

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

I just love this shot… such a beautiful classic Aussie beach (plus a pretty dress)

Slightly behind schedule – life has a habit of getting in the way at the moment… By Hand London’s latest pattern – Flora.

Like any sane sewing blogger – when asked by the By Hand London gals if I was interested in pattern testing… I said YES, YES, YES… (rather in the vein of ‘When Harry Met Sally’.)

This is actually my ‘muslin’ Flora – made up from a stashed cotton sateen… I wasn’t going to blog her but I know you always want MOAR. So here is the Flora prelude to my final version.

By Hand London girls were rather fabulous and organised Tessuti Fabrics to provide some completely amazing fabric (cotton sateen with a satin finish) for my second version. I will photograph it this afternoon. While it’s the same mock-wrap version… it’s completely different due to the dramatic fabric provided by Tessuti. I’ve called it Flora Nightshade. I’ve also lined the skirt. Flora Nightshade is dead posh 🙂

This pattern comes with two bodice options and two skirt options. There is a modest high-neck bodice and (for the floozies like me) there a lower cut mock-wrap bodice. – The skirt is a massive indulgence in ‘oomph’ – so full-skirted addicts out there… Flora is your gal.

Anyways… here’s my Flora (AM) – as in daytime – version. She’s rather rough as guts on the inside (I pinked the skirt seams – errrr couldn’t be bothered to change my overlocker thread that night) but still very pretty and wearable… I couldn’t decide what pictures to use so prepare for a visual onslaught. Pick your favourite!

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

Note to self – holding up the front of a mullet skirt in no way helps the back from not getting wet…

I often think I should crop my pictures more as this is a sewing blog… it’s supposed to be all about the clothes. I just can’t make myself do it – sorry. They are part of my identity, my makes, my lifestyle.

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

Mullet hems – they do look so cool when you photograph them….

By Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

back view…

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

Back view… I do really love how the back armholes just come in a tiny bit… (also love a good bit of reflection in wet sand)

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

side view – mullet hem in all its glory

Pattern notes…

The pattern testing version came with just the high-low (aka mullet hem). Great news – the released pattern has a straight hem as well! In the words of the By Hand London girls… (check out the square neck version – it’s lovely and I’m tempted to make another…)

Fundamentally feminine and universally flattering with her cinched waist and voluminous pleated straight or dipped hem circle skirt, Flora is the definitive party dress. Choose from two entirely different bodice variations: a classic sleeveless faux-wrap style or the more demure tank bodice, with her high square neckline and simple shoulder straps.”

Back neckline
I found the back neckline gaped slightly – so rather than put in back neck darts I straightened up the centre back seam as it curved out a little at the top. I found this also helped the front sit better. I’m sure there is a million reasons why I should have done darts – but hey, this worked for me.

Wrap bodice
This version does gap a little. I did some research and found a slightly different solution which I will share on Floral Nightshade post.

Fabric Selection
The skirt is a fabric-munching monster – you will need a WIDE fabric, 150cm no less – also remember that the mullet option means you will see the underside of the fabric. I cut the skirt for this muslin on the crosswise grain.

BY Hand London Flora Dress - wrap bodice version

I did find the bodice gaps a little – I found a cure for that and I’ll write about it in my Tessuti Fabric’s Nightshade Flora post… coming soon…

Also see: Dolly Clackett | Gingermakes | Jolies Bobines | Diary of a Chainstitcher | A Stitching Odyssey | Dixie DIY | Nette | Lladybird

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last post – I’ve been giving myself some rest so I have not had a chance to reply – but thank you, every single one was much appreciated xo

48 thoughts on “FLORA (AM) By Hand London – the muslin edition

  1. A beautiful dress in a beautiful location! Living close to the ocean myself, I share your love of its natural beauty. Looking forward to your Nightshade version

  2. Please don’t ever crop that gorgeous seaside out of your photos! It’s balm for my landlocked eyes. And this version is just beautiful – that fabric is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the posh version!

  3. so pretty! I need to put this pattern on my summer sewing list! I love your photos – so much prettier than the boring porch and winter trees on my blog! Plus I can dream of summer looking at your scenery!

  4. Please don’t crop your photos, I love seeing your dresses in context (so to speak)! This is lovely, I’m having to make myself wait to buy this (although I may have bought the fabric…). I’ve never been one for a mullet hem but all the beautiful versions I’ve seen have thoroughly converted me. Can’t wait to see Nightshade!

  5. Gorgeous dress and pics! Maybe I should start going to the beach for photo sessions too? Somehow the north Atlantic doesn’t seem as tempting as the south Pacific…

  6. It’s a perfect beach dress. The only thing holding me back from this pattern is potential gap on the wrap bodice so I look forward to reading your next post.
    As for the backdrop. Well, you know my thoughts on the matter. Xx

  7. Nothing like those surfers in the background to give your amazing dress some context! I’m glad you’re feeling more like yourself and I’m very curious about the next version and the gapping solution…

  8. Pingback: FLORA Nightshade, By Hand London – the PM edition | Sew Busy Lizzy

  9. I gotta admit, this is the first BHL pattern that has really grabbed me. As in I would actually like to make it. I love a full skirt! It’s a gorgeous make Liz, looking forward to seeing the ‘real’ version!

  10. Lizzie I always love your posts, i’m so dreaming of the sea now. Worthing Beach is so not the same! Your Flora’s are both stunning and I also love your reflection in the sand. Great job lady!

  11. Please don’t crop your pictures! Part of the beauty of your blog is fab garments with gorgeous scenery, Maybe a muslin but this first dress is a stunner, the fabric perfect for the setting!

  12. Pingback: Flora and Flora // By hand London | Jolies bobines

  13. Crop your beach photos?? No! One of my favorite things about sewing blogs is seeing day-to-day life, weather, scenery, and so on in places all over the world. When I think about Australia, views of your beach and scenes from other bloggers’ locales are among the first images to come into my mind. Anyway, your dress is absolutely gorgeous 🙂

  14. I feel so jealous of your beach backdrop. But a stunning dress nonetheless. The fabric does not look like a sheet in the slightest. I would’ve never guessed.

  15. Your pictures are so beautiful, no cropping please! I personally like to see the garments ‘in action’ (even though I totally fail at photos that do that!) so your pictures are perfect, and who doesn’t want to see a bit of stunning scenery?! This is just lovely, the style really suits you. Great tip for taking in the back neckline too, I think I’ll try that on my next one

  16. this is beautiful! i love the fabric you used. and even though i come here for sewing, no need to crop those pics! we still have half a foot of unmelted snow… the beach is a welcome sight 🙂

  17. Pingback: Working for Flora | VickikateMakes

  18. I love your blog not just for your awesome makes but for your stunning pictures. Your backyard is so different from ol London here so keep those beach shots coming. Beautiful dress, just lovely.

  19. You’ve made this into a perfect beach dress, it flows so nicely in the breeze. Except for walking in the ocean, LOL. You don’t think about hiking up the longer back when you pull up a dress, do you?

  20. Gosh Lizzy, this dress is totally not my style but as the saying goes, you could sell snow to an Eskimo – LOL or in your case, sand to a crab? ^__^ Beautiful dress, and gorgeous photos – lucky girl being a BHL tester! 🙂

  21. Pingback: Holly Jumpsuit, By Hand London… my first two anyway! | Sew Busy Lizzy

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