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Announcing the official Flora Dress Sewalong!

It may only be but ten days since the end of the Georgia Dress Sewalong, but ever since the release of our new Flora Dress pattern, all we've been able to think about is the forthcoming sewalong! We've been dreaming about all the fabrics we could use, all the little extras we could include, who would get to keep which variation, how much we want to see all of your creations... So this is it guys, no rest for the wicked, the official Flora Dress Sewalong will commence on Wednesday 2nd April! Read on for all you need to know...

Hell yeah, I’m in! Tell me more…

The first post will be going up on WEDNESDAY 2nd APRIL, so if you haven’t already, you still have time to get your pattern and supplies. We’ll be publishing two-three posts per week, aiming to have our Flora's finished by the beginning of May. The Flora Dress is such a breeze to make, with endless scope for your own interpretation. As well as going over some stylistic adjustments (such as turning your Flora Dress into a Flora Playsuit!), we'll be delving deep into the world of pattern adjustment too, showing you how to alter the Flora Dress for both fuller and slimmer figures, giving you the tools to create a made to measure dress that fits and flatters.

How do I get involved?

Really all you need to do to get involved is just sewalong with us! Obviously, we love nothing more than seeing your By Hand London creations out in the wild, so if you’d like to share your progress with us and the rest of the world – sharing is caring after all – please feel free to post on your blogs, show some love on our Facebook pagetweet us or Instagram @byhandlondon using the hashtags #byhandlondon, #florasewalong and/or #floradress or upload your pictures to our Flickr pool.

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 – Choosing the right fabrics and notions for your Flora Dress
  • #2 – Finding your size, tracing the pattern
  • #3 – Pattern alteration - FBA's (Full Bust Adjustments), SBA's (Small Bust Adjustments), and fixing gapey backs
  • #4 – Cutting your fabric, staystitching and stabilising
  • #5 – Assembling the bodice - Variation 1
  • #6 – Assembling the bodice - Variation 2
  • #7 – Bonus - how to make the faux-wrap bodice into a real wrap top!
  • #8 – Assembling the skirt, plus how to create a waistband to make the Flora Skirt!
  • #9 – Joining the skirt to the bodice, inserting the zipper
  • #10 – Hems and finishing touches
  • #11 – Round-up party!

*If there is anything we haven’t covered here that you would like us to include, please let us know as soon as possible!*

I can't wait. What do I need?

  • The Flora Dress pattern.
  • Fabric. Please check the fabric requirements on the back of your pattern folder or on our product page for advice on how much fabric to buy. The world of fabrics is your oyster with the Flora Dress! Pretty much all wovens will work a treat (and even some stable knits such as ponte and double knit), especially: cotton lawn and quilting cottons, cotton voile, cotton poplin, cotton twill, seersucker, upholstery cottons, cotton silk, brocade, jacquard, taffeta, dupion silk, silk satin, silk crepe, silk habotai, wool crepe, wool tweed, eyelet lace, embroidered tulle, rayon etc. For the lining, we recommend 100% cotton lawn or voile. We have specified on the pattern that you'll need a wide 60"/150cm width fabric in order to fit the full (and pleated!) circle skirt onto the fabric as per our layplans. However, if you have your heart set on a fabric that happens to be narrower, say 45"/115cm width, don't worry! As long as it does not have a directional print, it will all be fine - we'll be showing you how to fold the fabric horizontally so you can fit the skirt panels on. Bear in mind though, that you will probably need more yardage. Please make sure you pre-wash your fabric before cutting! Nothing worse than spending all that time making something beautiful only for it to shrink in the wash… Been there, folks. Never again. 
  • A couple of spools of matching thread – it’s always a good idea to get this when you get your fabric (or bring a swatch of your fabric with you) to get a good colour match. You may need two colours if you choose to fully line your dress and the shell and lining fabrics differ in colour.
  • A 22 inch invisible zipper.
  • 2 metres of 1/4" wide twill tape to stabilise the neckline of Variation 1 (faux-wrap).
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, tracing paper, pens & pencils, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

We cannot wait to get started - we've already splurged on some seriously scrummy fabrics, divvied up who gets which variation and tried not to lose our minds over the boredom that is tracing the pattern pieces...! You can jump on board right now and grab the official Flora Dress Sewalong badge to tell the world that you'll be sewing a Flora along with us - simply save the image below to your computer and attach the link to the image in blog layout. Clicking on it will swiftly take you and your readers to all posts in the sewalong. 

Comments on this post (4)

  • Apr 07, 2014


    If there isn’t a lot to ask, could you include a part for how we could alter the bodice for longer og shorter bodice so that the waistline actually goes around the waist for us that has a longer/shorter upper body? =)

    Thak you so much! Can’t wait!

    — Sophie

  • Apr 02, 2014

    Fingers crossed my pattern arrives today! Need to choose which fabric to use! X

    — Marilla

  • Mar 26, 2014

    Purchased my pattern at the knitting and embroidery show, can’t wait to make it! If the first one goes well ( this is my first attempt at dressmaking) I’ll be remaking in a different fabric for my friend’s wedding, exciting :) xx

    — Claire

  • Mar 20, 2014

    Can’t wait! I’m waiting for the pattern to arrive and I’ve already bought some fabric….denim with printed polka dots! I’ve chosen denim because is basically reversible so I don’t need to line the skirt – I’m looking at you Flora with dipped hem! The weight isn’t too heavy so fingers crossed its gonna be alright! xox Carly

    — Carlotta

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