BHL Flora – A Kinder Surprise Egg Dress, if you will…

Alright, I’m giving up! Rational fabric shopping just isn’t for me. I’m trying. But HOW was I supposed to walk away from this?! Particularly when the boyfriend was encouraging me to purchase?!… I see, you agree. No chance.

So, without further ado; may I introduce you to – the By Hand London Flora Dress with altered Sewaholic Cambie Dress Skirt.


I made this dress for a tiny garden party last weekend. No pictures though, sorry, I forgot (but you can take a look at my new mirror, which is equally entertaining, I imagine).


We had quite humid weather recently and that dress was just refreshingly cool for that summer afternoon!


Surely I don’t have to tell anyone about the By Hand London Flora Dress anymore. That design is a stunner!


I made my first version of the Flora Dress about 4 months (!!!) ago – the actual plan was to making a muslin with some (actually quite nice) fabric I got on sale. And when it turned out pretty well and the social media love for it was quite flattering, too, I was like: “Wha… wearable muslin. Brilliant. Might go out Easter Egg Hunting in it. Job done!”

Turned out, I was wrong. About the Hunt as well as about the part of the muslin being wearable (only the Instagram love was generously accepted; after all, you guys couldn’t see where the bust darts where going… and at the time I still knew too little about how it should actually fit).

To be frank; wherever those darts in my muslin where pointing to … my apex (fancy new word I learned there) was nowhere near there. The bodice was somewhat pulling over the chest, leaving me with a slightly gaping neckline. SO… I made my judgement: An FBA is what is needed!

*** Just to amaze you and me a little:  up to this point I had NOT read any of the fantastic Flora Dress Sew Along post the BHL girls pulled together. Why would I? After all, I was that kid that put her Kinder Surprise eggs together without even glimpsing at what it was supposed to become. Surely, I could work out a pattern adjustment all by myself! This is not work where I have to be efficient, this is my hobby, I just go and DO STUFF***

Although, not really, because (and I love myself a little for this) I invested in a Craftsy Class “Adjust the Bust” (and there is more to adore than just the catching title). That was an actually helpful class with a lot of useful tips on fitting bodices and tops of various styles. Not quite cheap, but worth the money. Loved the math and step-by-step guide to define what adjustments have to be done under what circumstances for what styles.

After working through various parts of the class, I had to give in on the thought that, yes, I had been wrong again. About the FBA. The wrongest wrong. Shocker…. (… dots of suspense)…. I needed an SBA. I never thought of this – mainly because I was always neglecting  the idea of my bust being anywhere close to the letter A (although I am aware that this is different from bra sizes… but be assured: I re-measured that again, too 😉 ). This is why I love sewing! You just have to face the truth or you might as well give up on the hobby all together.

And then I did something mysteriously wonderful: I read the sew along, too.  It was all there! I could have known! It’s once more obvious: By Hand London just rocks! Not only do they make the brilliant styles and patterns, they also fully equip you with the knowledge you need to adjust their design to your body.


Up to now I hardly ever bothered with adjustments (although I made an FBA for the Elisalex dress and did all I could to get rid of the gaping neckline on my Cambie dress… reworking that now, too, according to the Craftsy lesson). But now, time is up. Let’s DO STUFF properly.

So I adjusted the pattern (spectacular…):

Foto 05.08.14 19 03 17

Was considering reducing the armhole a little – glad now I didn’t, would have turned out too tight, I imagine now. All of a sudden – couldn’t believe my eyes – it fitted. Perfectly! Who’s the proudest girl in town? That one:



And since I was in such a flow, I also set about altering a skirt pattern. I was very much inspired by Katie’s great skirt on her Anna Dress pattern hack. Gorgeous, isn’t it!!!

The closest to a basic skirt pattern I had for a similar pocket look, was the Cambie Dress A view version. I took in about 4 cm in the hip, narrowed the pocket,  dropped the opening a bit and brought the pockets  more to the center (thus moving the dart to the lining of the pocket… which I thought was awfully clever of me!).

Foto 05.08.14 19 00 38  Foto 05.08.14 18 59 00

Also, I added more fabric at the front so I could gather the part between the pockets. And that was that.

Foto 05.08.14 19 01 14  Foto 05.08.14 19 01 30

I did what I had never done before; I decided to fully line it in cream white – so that the white flowers would glow even more – beside the Crepe the Chine just screamed for lining, really.


Invisible zipper: a lot of cursing – no invisible zipper foot. Too clumsy for hand stitching! I managed, but it was painful. There is a tiny crease at the back of the skirt where the zipper ends. But at that point I really couldn’t be bothered. I’m still fine with it. Particularly because I have no clue about how I would have been able to change it.

You know what they say: Love it, change it or leave it. I opted for love.

You might have guessed; yes, I’m in love with this dress. ALTHOUGH I usually love to cover up my shoulders a bit more. But for a summer dress… you just need straps, don’t you?

Plus I’m in love with the skirt, too. This is definitely a style I’m going to try for a dress with more structured fabric, too… most likely, again, in crazy, blinding colours. Why break with traditions.

Also, I might make a habit out of reading sewing instructions…

And with that – I’ve talked too much – good bye!


Remember to love the honesty that comes with sewing, everyone!!

4 thoughts on “BHL Flora – A Kinder Surprise Egg Dress, if you will…

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