Holly Jumpsuit not! It’s a Holly Dress! By Hand London

Yes, I liked the bodice so much I was curious about how Holly would look as a dress. So here it is…

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit - as a dress made in rayon. Excuse creases, this fabric is beautiful but delights in being ironed... frequently.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit – as a dress made in rayon. This fabric is beautiful but delights in being ironed… frequently. Taken in the bush reserve behind my home.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit - as a dress. Back view.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit – as a dress. Back view.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit - as a dress. Side view. Taken earlier in the day while checking out rockpools with the kids.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit – as a dress. Side view.
Taken earlier in the day while checking out rockpools with the kids & watching for the seasonal whale traffic going by.

I had planned a maxi. Decided the floral would be a little too overwhelming. Considered the quarter-circle skirt using the By Hand London app but having not drafted one before, there only being one side seam (the bodice has two, I like balance, yes a bit OCD) – and no back-up fabric…Β I decided to use the bias-cut skirt of Vogue 1351 (made previously here) as it was in my pattern pile – an easy option. I opted for a simple skirt to match the simple bodice, I felt gathers or pleats would not be a good match or balance. I also felt too much fabric in the skirt would create too much strain on the narrow straps – while this is rayon, it’s not a really flimsy rayon.

The skirt was a little wider so I shaved off some of the sides. SoNotTechnicalLizzy. It worked. Making this & adding a skirt was very easy, not rocket science at all. In fact it’s easier than making the jumpsuit. Less fabric, less seams. The skirt need not be bias cut either.

I also machined the straps, rather than hand stitching as I did with Holly the First and Holly the Second. I was curious to see how the straps differed. While hand sewing takes longer – I do prefer the straps slip-stitched to the bodice and along the edges to finish them.


Sorry these pictures were snapped on my iPhone while racing out the door for the school run and work, hence not the best quality.

I used my roll-hem foot – which gives the skirt hem a nice fluted effect.

Holly Dress - By Hand london

I love a rolled hem.

I also turned the edges of the cowl under as I attached the straps as this completely hid the little hem of the cowl neckline when I wear it.

By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit - as a dress. Bodice & strap detail.

The top edge of the bodice where it meets the strap.

Pattern: By Hand London, Holly Jumpsuit & Vogue 1351

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

57 thoughts on “Holly Jumpsuit not! It’s a Holly Dress! By Hand London

    • We have whales passing by along the coast from July to October. It’s a lovely time of the year to just gaze at the water. Lots of people pull over in their cats at lookouts & watch. They are amazing creatures.

      • They are amazing. I hope to one day go whale watching, though so far haven’t managed it.

        Monterey is the closest for us, but it’s know to be miserably choppy and cold so I give that a pass. I tried to join an excursion on vacation in Hawaii twice, but both days they cancelled due to weather. My third opportunity was on a recent trip to Victoria but we ran out of time. One day!

        Thanks for sharing your local experiences.

  1. Beautiful dress! Now that I see you have done a rolled hem, can you answer a question for me? I have trouble with this when going over a seam. Should I be rolling my hem before pieces go together or how do you deal with this area of the garment? I have tried to find this online but have not been successful.

      • Thank you so much! It is comforting to know now that it is a tricky process and that I haven’t missed something. What a great source of information–thank you for the link! The blouse I am working on at the moment will require a blind hem. My machine does a wonderful job with this, but I have been so unhappy at the side seams.

        • I still struggle a little with the side seams. I have stopped on a few seams… very ‘patiently’ ironed, rolled and hemmed the seam section after sewing the rest of the non-seam hem. The stitch line isn’t continuous but it’s barely noticeable and still very neat.

    • one thing i do at the seams is run a line of stitching to baste the seam allowances down and snip the seam allowance below the stitching to keep down the bulk. it doesn’t always work but it does increase my odds of getting it done in one pass!

  2. I love this! It’s very you. The skirt style goes exactly right with the cowl neck and spaghetti straps! And it is much more wearable than a jumpsuit … I just always wonder with a jumpsuit – how does one go to the loo??

    • Rolled hems are so tricky – sometimes they are perfect and then other days – DISASTER. Having a hem foot does help enormously! I think I might invest in one that has slightly wide hem, 4mm. This one is tiny and very fiddly.

  3. This is GORGEOUS! I have to admit that I’m just not a jumpsuit or romper kind of girl but I LOVE cowl necks and as soon as I saw that bodice I new it would make a gorgeous dress. I will definitely be putting this on my sewing list.

  4. Love the dress! I had the exact fabric, but made a completely different dress from it. I then had to scrap it, but I think that was due to my beginning seamstress skills and it fraying too much in the wash… Anyway, mine was a completely different style, but the fabric looks fab in yours! (Also, first comment from a fellow Aussie – I adore your blog!)

    • Awww thank you Rachel! I nearly made this into a frilly dress and decided not to. I put the fabric away and then wondered why I had bought it… then suddenly I knew exactly what to do with it!

  5. Genius! I am falling for that cowl……and have also seen the trousers made as separates which looked amazing too….so many possibilities!!

    • me too – I know some people gets sick of seeing lots of the same makes – I personally find it fascinating. However that’s what makes the world interesting, different people and different opinions.

    • They are fiddly. I have a Bernina one – the narrower one. They generally come in two widths (or the Bernina does) the narrowest is for silks and fine fabrics. I am thinking about getting the wider one – which is about a 4mm hem I think. I imagine it would be easier for slightly heavier fabrics. If you do get one – watch some YouTube videos or read the Diary of a Chainstitcher post on how to use it as a starting point. Good luck!

  6. Aaaah rayon I love thee but I hate that it always needs ironing. Feels amazing to wear though so kinda worth it πŸ™‚
    I love this bodice as a dress, so very suited to you and your style πŸ™‚

    • HI Charlene, I’m so sorry it’s taken me a while to reply – life has been chaotic. I’ve got about 1 inch of ease in the bust and nearly 2 in the hip… perhaps a little less. The pattern was changed slightly post testing to allow more room through the butt/hips. Hope this helps!

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