Thursday, 18 August 2016

Flora and ice creams

Some fabrics just demand to be bought, don't they? This fabric did that to me! It's I scream, you scream from the Boardwalk Delight collection, and I picked it up from The Village Haberdashery. Clearly I needed an ice cream dress. Because an ice cream dress is a complete necessity, and not at all frivolous in any way. Obviously. The only question then was what particular dress it should become.


With a fun print like this an Emery dress is usually my default choice but, as it's also a really summery print, I wanted something sleeveless. I've made a sleeveless Emery before, but ultimately I fancied trying something new. I've seen many versions of the By Hand London Flora dress that I liked, particularly the tank version, so I decided to give it a go.

Or at least give the bodice a go anyway! While I love the delightfully full skirt that Flora is intended to have, this fabric just wasn't wide enough, so I reverted to type used the gathered skirt and pockets from the Emery.


I made a toile of the bodice in a size 12, adding my standard inch to the length, and the general shape was really good, but the fit from the bust down was just slightly too tight for my liking. To some extent, fit is a matter of personal preference, and my preference is definitely to have a nicely fitted bodice but still to have room to breath and enjoy the odd slice of cake. I'm sure I'm not the only one!

As I only needed a tiny bit of extra ease, I decided not to mess with the pattern pieces and instead to sew the side seams with a slightly smaller seam allowance. We're talking 1.3 cm instead of 1.5, but even that little adjustment made all the difference.


I really enjoyed sewing this dress. The instructions are nice and clear so the whole process was a breeze, and it all seemed to go pretty quickly. I know some people wouldn't enjoy the hand sewing of the lining down the zip and around the waistline, but thankfully for me I enjoy hand sewing so it's all good!


The only problem that I had was with the pockets, and that was all to do with the fabric. I originally used the outer fabric for them, but realised pretty soon after sewing them that you could see the ice creams on the pockets through the background colour on the skirt. So the pockets were promptly unpicked, and replaced with pockets cut from the same white cotton lawn as I used for the bodice lining. Problem solved!


One thing I'm particularly pleased about with this dress is the fact that I realised that if I cut things right then I'd be able to get an ice cream on each shoulder strap (the photo above is from mid-construction, so excuse the unfinished centre back seam and any stray threads). Small things like that amuse me. It's not very noticeable when I'm wearing the dress, but I know they're there.


All in all, I'm really happy with how this dress turned out! I know it won't be one of my most worn dresses, purely because I think the print requires really warm weather to be appreciated, but that doesn't mean that I like it any less. And it'll be one of my top wardrobe choices for sunny days. There are still a couple of other summery projects on my sewing list, so I'd better hurry up and get sewing so I can actually wear them! I'm not the only one still sewing for summer am I?

12 comments:

  1. Linda (A Crafty Scrivener)18 August 2016 at 12:28

    That is Absolutely adorable and the detail of the ice creams on the straps is so understated but sweet!

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    1. Thank you! I do love the ice creams on the shoulders!

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  2. The dress is just lovely. I adore that fabric and it fits you so well. :) I also like hand sewing.

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    1. Thank you! Hand sewing seems to be one of those things that you either love or hate, doesn't it?

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  3. Looks like lots of different coloured cardigans or pullovers would go with this!

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    1. I thought the same thing - in my head that makes this a very practical fabric choice!

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  4. In answer to your first sentence - Yes! Yes, they most assuredly do, and I always feel it would be rude not to listen! And I can see why this fabric was calling to you, it's brilliant, and I love your dress.

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  5. This is so cool. What a fun dress, the Kim bodice suits you and is perfect for summer. love it.

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  6. Your dress is utterly adorable and so summery, I love it! I especially love that you positioned ice creams on the shoulder straps. It's little details like that which make me love being able to sew - most folk probably won't notice but it makes the item more fun or special to wear.

    I'm also a fan of handsewing as I love a flawless finish, so it doesn't bother me when a pattern calls for it. You're also not the only one still sewing summer dresses. I've just finished two and I'm about to start a third despite heading into September soon!

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  7. I love your dress. It's sweet, funny and screams summer, so it's perfect for the hot days we are having (at least here in Spain).
    I also have an ice-cream fabric in my "to do this summer" list and the flora is one of the patterns I am considering... not sure yet, but I can see it works really good!

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