Hanging out with Flora on the roof



So what have I been up to of late? Making the By Hand London Flora dress as part of the sew-along!

It seemed like an appropriate time of the season to make up this latest By Hand London pattern, named after Flora goddess of spring, as spring is certainly here in Brussels (well, it is in full swing in our house anyway, with all the doors open, lots of time spent on the terrace, and a general feeling of hysteria in the air.)

Before I even went near any fabric I carried out a small bust adjustment (SBA) on the variation 2 front bodice piece. Check out the BHL post on this or read my previous post on carrying out an SBA on a bodice with darts.

Then I made up a muslin in some fabric that was salvaged from a huge weird kafkan thing I got at the fleamarket for a mere 3 euros. It is a very wearable muslin and I'll post about it when I finish the matching shorts I am making with the leftover fabric!

But although the muslin fit me fine I decided that for 'the real deal' I would drasticly modify the bodice as the high neckline of variation 2 didn't really suit me, yet I wasn't keen on the wrap style in variation 1 either.

I re-drafted the neckline, made thin straps, lowered the back bodice, and redrafted the back dart into a princess seam which I sewed using a flat-felled seam. The fabric I used is a salmon cotton poplin with a raised textured ridge effect, and the dress is fully lined in a really nice pink cotton-silk blend.

I also took the time to really fit the garment by redoing the zip twice so that it was not too loose. I'm glad I decided to rip it up and start again as it does fit me perfectly now at the back.



This was definitely one of those projects that goes totally against the whole Wardrobe Architect idea. It is definitely not something I will wear very often. But then sewing doesn't always have to be practical and sensible. Sometimes you just need to hang out in your bedroom for a while and pretend it's couture week on the GBSB.

All in all I really really enjoyed making this, it was a good challenge! I'm entering this dress into the BHL Flora competition, the prize is a shiny overlocker! Such a brilliant prize, I would love to win one! :)

Here are some more shots of me larking around on the rooftops of Saint-Gilles!




"You saw my nice lining, right?"


  1. Such a piece of Belgian health and safety - get down off the roof, you maniac!!

    This is beautiful and you should wear it every day. Seriously. It's such a great colour on you. I cannot wait to see the Kaftan fabric (I hope there's a before pic).

    Oh, and I miss Saint Gilles *sniff sniff*

    1. haha! It was great fun on the roof! :)

      aw thanks, I would quite like to wear it every day, but I might just wear it to swoosh around the house...maybe it is a bit overdressed for popping down to the Parvis Saint Gilles :)

      I don't remember if I took a before pic of the Kaftan fabric...I still need to sew up the shorts, I've had them cut out for a few weeks now!

      Yeah Saint Gilles is pretty great, but so is Brighton! Last time I went there I loved it and didn't want to leave. The beach is just so cool!

  2. Beautiful dress, the colour is fantastic on you.

  3. Ooh, what a lovely dress! Just perfect for the spring!
    I'd looked at this before on their site but wasn't that enthused by the way they had made it up on the model. Now I definitely want to have a go at making one!

    1. Thanks! I wasn't taken with the Flora pattern straightaway either, but once I saw how different all the versions popping up online were I saw its potential! :)

  4. This is beautiful! And I love the adjustments to the pattern that you've made.

    1. Thank you! I'm pleased with the adjustments, felt really drastic but I think it was worth it!

  5. Gorgeous! Love the colour and it looks like a great fit, the zip-refitting was worth it! :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah I'm glad I didn't give in to the lazy part of my brain that said "oh just leave it as it is, it'll do!"

  6. This is gorgeous! I absolutely love the colour and the high-low hem. Also - "Sometimes you just need to hang out in your bedroom for a while and pretend it's couture week on the GBSB" - I am so glad I'm not the only person who does this!! ;)

    1. thank you! No, you are certainly not alone on that one :)