When Indie Dress week was announced, I knew this was the dress I wanted to feature. The worst allergy season in local history combined with a cold virus to conspire against me, but with a couple of inhalers, a lot of tissues, and plenty of caffeine, I persevered. I ended up with a dress I adore.
This is the By Hand London Flora Dress. I’m really loving everything I’ve made so far from By Hand London patterns. I fear I’m at risk for turning into one of those bloggers, saying “it’s a great pattern because it fits me with so few adjustment.” Because everyone’s body is a different size and shape, those kind of endorsements really aren’t worth much (I remind myself). I will say though, that I could go to store after store after store looking for a dress that makes me feel like a million $$$ (or as the day progresses, even like a $50) and end my day feeling sad, frustrated, chubby and dress-less (and on occasion I totally have). By Hand London patterns are quickly becoming my go-to patterns to combat everything I’ve ever hated about trying to dress myself. This dress definitely makes me feel like a million $$$.
Despite my growing confidence in By Hand London sizing and drafting, I’m still a realist. That wrap bodice is pretty, but has way too much potential to expose my “assets” for me to even want to go down that road. For this dress I used the more modest bodice. I didn’t end up altering the bodice pieces at all, though I wonder if I should have done a small FBA. The skirt was lengthened to meet my personal preference for below-the-knee skirts. This did entail cutting the skirt pieces on the cross grain. I invented my own method of constructing and lining the skirt (maybe not invented in the strictest sense, but puzzled out on my own and documented on my own, rather lengthy, blog post if you want to know more about construction).
My favorite thing about this dress is the way the fabrics ended up pairing. Both are out of my stash. The outer fabric is wool charcoal grey pinstripe suiting, the kind often used for really basic men’s suits. In fact, I think my Dad actually has a suit out of very similar fabric. The lining is a red and gold polyester satin brocade. I’m so proud of myself for managing to capture this shiny red fabric in photographs–maybe there’s hope for my photography skills yet.
So there you are. Suiting and satin combined with a dream of an Indie Pattern to make the kind of dress ready-to-wear will never be able to offer me…no fitting rooms required.