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Tag Archives: By Hand London

Flora, Flora, Flora

9 Mar

Hola sewing folkaroos! It’s been a while. Life’s been crazy. Bought house, moved house, got dog, mini-breaks, christmas, new year, work blah blah I won’t bore you with my day to day life!

However, in amongst the mayhem I found some sneaky time to pattern test By Hand London‘s newest pattern, Flora! Have you seen her yet? I was delighted with the invite to test the pattern, and found the deadline very motivating to actually complete a garment in amongst everything else.

I went with Variation 1 – faux wrap bodice with pleated dipped hem circle skirt (otherwise known as a mullet skirt). I had next-door-to-zilch time to create this baby, so I lived live on the edge and proceeded without a muslin. The lovely Colette from Tessuti kindly donated the lovely floral viscose linen blend that I made Flora up in too.

ZoSews - Flora dress

I chose my skirt size based on waist measurements because hip didn’t really matter so much due to the voluminous nature of the beast, and bodice on bust size. I made size 10/14. I should have gone down at least a size because I would have preferred a tighter fit – she’s a bit loose. However because I was in such a mad rush and also decided to give you guys the best idea of the pattern fit out of the box by not making any changes, it is what it is. And I still loves ‘er.

ZoSews - Flora dress

The pattern says you need 160cm wide fabric. It’s not a lie let me tell you! I was working with 135cm and had to pinch out a whole lot of volume from the both front and back of the skirt – shown in photo below.

Cutting Flora Dress Skirt

See the sections pinched out?

I also tried to make her up with the longest size hem – I don’t like short thingys 🙂 – but it didn’t work for some reason, so I chopped all the excess back off and went back ‘on pattern’. Which means she’ll probably be more of a winter rather than summer number for me – teamed with tights and boots of course.

ZoSews - Flora dress

So what else can I tells ya?

  • Hemmed by hand – still can’t handle machine hemming – and it’s quite cathartic in front of the TV anyway.
  • Bodice is lined with a white cotton batiste.
  • I love invisible zips.
  • Next time I’ll go down a size and lengthen the waist.
  • I’d like to try the non-mullet version, and I’d also like to frankenpattern the bodice with a pencil skirt
  • From what I’ve been reading, many other testers were smarter than me and thought to french seam the skirt because you can see the inside of the mullet from the front – I wasn’t that tricksy and have simply overlocked to finish. I don’t think it looks terrible though.

ZoSews - Flora dress

Oh man I need a haircut… that fringe, gah…

ZoSews - Flora dress

So that’s Flora, give her a go!

And what’s a post mentioning a new fur-baby without a pic ‘ey? Meet George, my newest obsession 🙂 Don’t let those eyes fool you, he’s a savage monster ;p

George

Z xx

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Anna goes tropical

17 Nov

By now, pretty much the whole entire blogosphere has made the By Hand London Anna Dress. So yes, I am late to the party (or with this fabric should I be saying I’m late to the luau?), but I am still at the party! Woot!

By Hand London Anna Dress

I sewed along with the sewalong, but faltered at the last curve being late, late, late with photos.

Now she’s not a hard make, but if you’re not feeling confident, the sewalong had great tips and pics, making her even easier to sew up.

By Hand London Anna Dress

I made the maxi dress version with the boat neck, but got a little crazy and added a second split to the skirt. However craziness was dialled down when I reduced the height of the split – no-one needs to see that shiz.

By Hand London Anna Dress

I traced the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper in a 14 – it was way too big and I ended taking off about 6-7 cms off the side seams at the end. Make a toile people – it will save the unpicking!! And while I’m handing out hot tips – if you’re a tracer, GET AMONGST the Swedish tracing paper, it’s so much easier to work with than any other kind of paper.

By Hand London Anna Dress

I cut about 5cm off the hem, and my current hems are still huge! 8-10cms I reckon. I love that these BHL ladies design for us taller style people, this is the only pattern brand where I’ve ever had to shorten!

By Hand London Anna Dress

I overlocked most seams to finish them off, and hand blind stitched the splits and the skirt hem.

This lovely lady is made a tropical rayon from Spotlight that I nearly wet myself when I found amongst the fabric rolls because it was exactly what I was looking for for Anna – and I got the last 5 metres of it – HAH!

By Hand London Anna Dress

If you’re gonna get all technical like, the fit is probably not perfecto. For example, the waist seam is hitting me too high, but c’est la vie, I’ll fix it next time. On the other hand, my invisible zip insertion is divine – even if I do so say myself. What’s even more interesting is that I can’t remember the last time I actually hung out with an invisible zip. Needless to say, I was happy.

I can’t wait for some more Anna appropriate weather. However, I did wear her last week with boots and jacket, and I think she worked those boots 😉

Come at me – what are you working on right now?

Z xx

I am in Victoria. The blazer and the state*.

4 Aug

Every sewer and their dog seems to be talking about the rad By Hand London patterns and ladies. Sorry, I’m about to do it again too!

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

Some hideously long time ago I was asked if I would like a copy of the Victoria blazer. You can imagine my response went something like, “yes, yes, love one, please, send immediately, now”. Sorry ladies, it did take me a while to bring her to life, but I am there now and that’s what matters, right? Right. The recent sewalong was a good way to keep motivated 🙂

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

I made variation 1 out of a green linen and a watermelon coloured silk cotton blend, both from Clegs.  I LOVE this watermelon colour. I would wear it 24/7 if I could.

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

The pattern doesn’t ask for the sleeves to be lined. I planned on doing it anyway, until I realised I didn’t have enough delicious silk cotton. Which meant that for once, I pretty much did what I was told and stuck to the instructions as written. (Edit: I lie. I didn’t want thus didn’t include the pockets. Oh yep, I changed the cuffs as well, applying the silk then folding back.) I did finish the sleeve seams hong kong style, which is ‘off-pattern’ but a nice touch I think. Here’s a bad indoor pick of the finish…

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

The cuffs don’t have the opening/join on the outer side of the sleeve, I didn’t read the instructions there (naughty) and just threw (sewed) them on. I don’t mind, I finished them off with a cute little button each that the lovely Hannah from Sinbad & Sailor sent me too.

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

I think I went awry in cutting her out somewhere, because the front pieces were about 5cms longer than the back pieces. Obvs the back pieces had to be cut to fit with the front, but I think I would have preferred the longer length.  You live and learn 🙂

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

The front pieces and their funky darts look quite odd, and l thought they were going to throw me, but by actually reading the instructions and sticking to them, there was no throwing at all – in fact those weird looking front pieces were a piece of cake!

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

One other little note, I made tiny hand tacks at the top and bottom of the each lapel to make them stay back. I also ran a line of stitching around the underside of the lapels and collar (green on top, watermelon bobbin) to help it sit back properly.

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer
So there you go. Meet my dear Victoria, she may not come out to play properly until we get some sun. It’s flippin’ cold here at the moment.

Z xx

ZoSews - Victoria Blazer

*I live in Melbourne, which is in the state of Victoria, in the country of Australia. FYUI.