By Hand London’s Flora Dress

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Look who finally got a new camera with a functional auto focus lens and a remote! Yeah, no more cell phone photos, thank goodness! This means I can now show you cool new clothes!! More exclamation!!!!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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The Goal: I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for By Hand London‘s new Flora pattern. I love that BHL makes versatile designs that could make for easy sun dresses and casual wear (think the Anna dress) but at the same time they can make the coolest, chic-est party dresses ever! So party style was what I went for with this version.

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The Pattern: Their newest pattern has two bodice options (fully lined), I went with the classic cross over. In addition to being circular, the skirt has pleats in front and back to make a cool cascade effect. The hi-lo hem means people might see the interior of the skirt so keep that in mind. I did French seams to keep the insides pretty.

The Fabric: Knowing I want to make a party dress I got this lovely shantung from Mood. It’s light weight and crisp and I thought navy would make a good alternative to plain old black.

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I lined the back of the bodice in some leftover poly lining fabric but didn’t have enough so I cut self fabric for the front lining.

The bottom binding is leftover silk/rayon from my wedding dress, in fact.

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(I finally bought a legit invisible zipper foot, it was so cheap, why did it take me so long? My zip turned out great!)

The Changes: I cut a straight UK size 10 and made literally no fit changes. Ok, I admit that I don’t often need to make changes to patterns but this one fit so well out of the envelope that I was like, whoa! Look, no back gape at all, hits perfectly at my waist, darts are good. No gaping in front, either (although it is tacked down in a couple spots just to be safe). The skirt is full so no issues there but dang, this is a well cut bodice.

The only thing I did was hack off the hem allowance and cover the edge with bias binding. I think the white contrast looks so cool with the dark fabric, it really highlights the curvy hi-lo hem. I thought about adding binding to the neck or sleeves but decided to keep it simple. Just the white at the bottom makes it more modern and is less distracting than if it was all over, right?

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The Result: Another winner! My Elisalex dress has been my go-to casual cocktail party dress so this is a nice addition when I want to step it up a notch. I might make another one in a cotton lawn or something light for a nice summer dress.

  • This is super cute! Love the white binding!

  • Sew Exhausted

    Love the binding! What a neat touch. Another super pattern from the BHL gals! Yours looks great!

  • I love how you’ve used the binding to highlight the lovely hemline! Gorgeous!

  • Love it! I don’t think this pattern is for me, but, as always, all these beautiful versions popping up are making me reconsider! You did fabulously with this – the white binding is perfect!

  • It looks great – I really like the binding on the hemline!

  • I have always been on the fence with the high-low hemline, but this one really is great. I love the classic approach you took with your fabric choice… nice combination of contemporary and classic!

  • SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com

    The hem is fabulous, sparkle against the blue, totally right to just keep it to the hem thou it would overpower it otherwise. Beautiful.

  • That fabric is absolutely gorgeous! The dress looks amazing.

  • lulumiss

    Hem perfection, such a cool and modern choice. Good job girlie!

  • Thanks! I think by not having much in the “girls” department it’s easier to wear a neckline like this, that’s why I liked that this pattern had two bodice versions so those with more up top have an alternative option that’s just as pretty.

    As for the cross over style I think if you tack the overlap in the right place you won’t be showing off too much, if ya know what I mean.

  • Thanks! Yeah, I wanted something kind of classically sophisticated. I like the high low on this skirt because the extra pleats and full skirt make this ripple effect if you look straight on from the front, which I thought was cool. But not everyone loves the hi-low so I’m glad they included an even hem version as well.

  • Amanda Adams

    Dixie- this looks seriously awesome! I really love the bias binding hem- it pops. And I think doing the neck and armholes would be super distracting- this is amazeballs as it is!

  • blacklabel

    Gorgeous. Love the think white strip on the edge. Yum.

  • Such a great party dress! I love your contrast hem!

  • Beautiful! The contrast hem makes it!

  • Love your version! That white contrast hem is da best!

  • rhgarza

    Dixie!!! I absolutely adore this. It looks amazing on you.

  • oh, i am loving this dress!! beautiful 🙂

  • www.tresbienensemble.com

    I love what you did with the contrast at the hem. It looks great. I may have to borrow your idea when I make mine!

  • I luuuuuurve the contrasting binding on the hem, really makes the cascading hem stand out. Beautiful feature, stunning dress! xx

  • lisa g

    great dress! navy has been one of my favorite colors lately, and the white binding is a perfect detail.

  • I know I am totally late to the party but this post popped up when I was researching a good pattern grading book. Thank you for this link. I was looking for a cheaper version of Photoshop but was dreading trying to learn a new program.

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  • Nothy Lane

    Beautiful. I love the cut of this dress. I know the pattern gives two bodice alternatives and I think that makes this pattern a great purchase. You can do so much with the variations. And the white binging is great on the hem.

  • Sew Charleston

    Love the white trim! So classy!

  • House Of Pinheiro

    Beautifully made… You look beautiful

  • Birgit Van Goethem

    I love your version! I think the white trim just adds that little extra that makes it a great dress!

  • Suzanne

    White binding is the bomb. I like your version with the high-low hem.

  • Amy

    So true, this is a really great up-or-down dress. You are so pretty!

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