Candy Stripes and Everything Nice: A Springtime Flora

I’ll just come out and say it: By Hand London’s Flora Dress pattern is one of my all-time favorites, and has quickly reached my “short list” of TNTs. There are so many things about this dress that I love, as I discussed the last time I made it – the wrap top, the full skirt, she’s got it all!

When I was binge-shopping for fabric online right before Lent (yes, I confess…), I bought an interesting polyester candy-stripe fabric that I had originally intended for a Sewaholic Gabriola skirt, but it just didn’t seem right when I got the fabric in person. But then along came Flora, and I knew immediately that this was the right dress for the job!

I then proceeded to procrastinate forever, because I hadn’t worked with stripes much. When I did end up starting, it was a bit rocky – the polyester was not very forgiving, so simple things like easing stay tape onto the neckline became a major job that required lots of unpicking. Oh, and I noticed that the darker dyes seem to have splattered somehow during the printing process, leaving little black spots scattered across the lighter stripes, one of which ended up right at one of the bust points – UGH.

Then there was the issue of how to orient the stripes. Since they are so bold in this fabric, I figured that stripes all going in one direction might be a bit much, so I decided to break them up by cutting the skirt “normally,” the front bodice on the bias, and the back bodice with the stripes running vertically. This was actually my first striped project (I completed it before all the other stripey projects I’ve been making lately), so that also meant less stripe matching. Win!

So, after all that pain and effort…here she is!

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As you can see, I went with the crossover variation. I also did the hi-lo hem, but I lengthened the front a bit, so it’s not as noticeable. Oh, and look at those back stripes matching at the zipper!

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I did end up lining the whole thing, since the fabric is pretty sheer. This was a major pain when it came to installing the zipper, since I wanted the skirt to hang free at the hem. I ended up attaching both the fashion fabric and lining to the zipper, and then when I closed the rest of the back seam, I just sewed into the fashion fabric. The lining I left open for a few inches, and then sewed the back seam separately to the hem. Sorry, I should’ve taken pictures, but I just wanted to get it done…

…so I could twirl in the park on a sunny day!

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I wore this dress to the big spring recital for the advanced students at the ballet school, which was held at the Boston Opera House. A beautiful evening for a beautiful dress!

I’m entering this lovely lady into week four of Project Sewn, since this week is “signature style” week. It combines so many things that I love – stripe matching, swishy skirts, a wrap top, and a whimsical yet chic look. I’ll also be entering it in the Sewing Indie Month Dressed to the Nines contest. Oh, and last but not least, I’ll be wearing it to one of my best friend’s weddings in June!

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11 thoughts on “Candy Stripes and Everything Nice: A Springtime Flora

  1. You really highlighted the bold stripes of this fabric so well – I love the finished look. Glad you have so many upcoming occasions to wear it to! 🙂

  2. You look really happy in this dress and that is a sure sign of a dress that suits you! Good luck on Project Sewn, you’ve been doing really well so far!

    I’m currently making a dress that would go in two contests, but I’m not sure about entering both. Maybe I should ask the organisers? Double the chances, aye?

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