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BY HAND LONDON'S FLORA DRESS





I was one of the lucky ladies to be asked to do some pattern testing for by Hand London's new Flora dress. Somehow this is the first pattern that I have sewn of theirs, and I have certainly been missing out. I love the feminine silhouettes of their designs. They all feel young and on trend with just the slightest touch of retro inspiration. I have plans to make up their Charlotte skirt really soon too.
The flora dress is a fun party dress with a box pleated waistline. One thing that I love about the cut of this dress is that it is a cross between a circle skirt and a pleated skirt so it's much more flatterning - and less boxy or full around the waistline - than a normal pleated skirt. It hugs the hips perfectly and swishes when you walk - all of things you want in a good party dress. I chose to do the higher neckline version although I also think that the wrap top option is pretty great too. I did make a couple of changes. Due to some pattern cutting error on my part, I ended up needing to scrap the back length. So in the end I just made the entire skirt knee length - I had to lengthen the front by a couple of inches too. I also added pockets. I love pockets in a dress, but I am wondering if I should have left them out. It does add a little bit of bulk to the hips which are otherwise very flat.
This beautiful fabric is from Mood NYC. I first spotted this fabric on a friend's instagram and couldn't get it out of my mind. It's very different than anything that I normally sew with so I had a few freak out moments about whether or not I had chosen wrong, but in the end I love it. It's a gorgeous soft linen with a beautiful drape. It's much more colorful than what I normally wear, but I love the color combo and the large scale of the print. I just feel so feminine when I wear this dress. It's so fun.
There have been so many amazing versions of this dress popping up around the internet. Check out By Hand London's pinterest account to keep track of them all. I am always amazed to see so many completely different versions of the same pattern. p.s. It was 40 degrees when I did this photoshoot and I also had to change clothes on a balcony, in a side alley, crossing my fingers that none of my neighbors were watching. I get a good laugh just thinking about it.