Have I ever talked about my deep and long standing love of wrap tops? No? Well, I fucking love them. They are the most flattering bodice type I’ve worn, and I’ve tried everything! If you’re a repeat reader, you know I love a low cut top. So when I saw the By Hand London Flora Dress, it was almost as if they were in my head. A plunging neckline! A full, pleated skirt!! Swoon.
Now, the Flora dress comes with an absolutely love skirt, but I was determined to use this border print fabric. The Flora skirt has a curved hem, and that just wasn’t going to work here. I knew I wanted to keep it pleated, so I opted to use the Butterick B5317 by Maggy London as a template. I’ve made it before, so it seemed like a good starting point. It ended up being a bit big, so I ended up doing a few gathers to make it fit the bodice. This caused a weird bunching effect on the skirt back pieces, so I unpicked the pleats a bit. Also, since the skirt has pleats all around, that meant I had to switch to a side zip. I hate side zips, but what can you do? Oh! The skirt pattern also features pockets, and obviously, I had to leave those in!
To compensate for the change, I just stitched the back and one side in the same manner as the Kim Dress. To get the border print where I wanted it on the dress, I had to ignore the grainline suggestions when cutting my pieces. Luckily, this didn’t totally screw me. Whew!! Other than those things, I made no changes. I do, however, think I should have moved the bottom bust dart over just a tiny bit. If after a few washes it’s not too tight, I will size down future bodices just a hair. Otherwise, I would change nothing.
I’m actually pretty excited to sew this with it’s intended skirt, probably in a black sateen? I will definitely be making this again, probably several times! Happy sewing 🙂