Tuesday, March 03, 2015

By Hand London: Be Still My Heart!

I've quite recently fallen in love with By Hand London.
See all their available patterns here.

I love their style. These ladies know how to design sewing patterns!
Over the last two months, I've sewn two of their dress patterns. And one of them I've sewn twice!
I wanted to share with you all how much I dig their stuff.

My favourite things about it:
  • that back! Those pleats!
  • I love the snug fit through the bodice and extreme tulip of the skirt.
  • This was my first time working with a much heavier cotton fabric; I think it worked well with the dress.
 My mods:
  • had to cut off over 10" of skirt length
  • this required me to nip in a bit at the bottom edge to keep the original spirit of the skirt shape, instead of getting a more flared A-line

For next time:
  • I need to learn FBA! I think that's what I need. You can't see it in the pic above, but it gapes something awful at the sleeve edge.
  • of course, cut about 10" less for the skirt length!
  • and add pockets! By Hand London has a tutorial for adding pockets here.

My favourite things about it:
  • I love the hi-lo skirt. Very flowy and fun.
  • There's something about this dress that provokes my creative brain. It seems to have endless, attractive ways to modify it.
 My mods:
  • I think I accidentally cut the front for the longer option. That's fine! It hits perfectly at my knee.
  • Still struggling with adjusting for my bust, but the faux wrap front allowed me a bit more wiggle room in my adjustments. I totally cheated and hand stitched down the extra gaping fabric towards the waist. Which is one of the reasons why I added the belt!
  • I added a length of ribbon to the inside neckline. I got this little sheepy ribbon a few years ago in Paris; I thought this would be a great way to use it!

For next time:
  • I've already sewn up a second Flora, all white. This one, I cut to the shorter length, and to be honest, would really prefer it longer.
  • I'll share the second Flora once it's complete: I have some plans for embroidering on the neckline.
  • Don't do the faux wrap front. I just don't like the way they look on me.
  • There's also ideas brewing to work some gradient colour into the lining of the dress. I think that'd be fun, as you can see the lining well with the hi-lo cut to the skirt.


Jean said...

I love them! Especially the bold orange fabric! My body shape is pretty much straight up and down so I rarely need that much alteration to the commercial patterns but this book "The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting" really helped me understand how to fix little fitting problems. :)

Meredith M said...

I completely love the Flora dress. Except for pockets, it has everything I want in a dress. It's beautiful on you. Do you think it's suitable for a beginner sexist? I can do zippers. Thanks for being so inspiringly,

lilirious said...

They're so cute! Those sheep!! <3

Elena Knits said...

Your dresses make want to sew a Flora dress! I think an FBA could help you with your fitting issues, but I think you'd benefit too from a sway back adjustment to eliminate the wrinkles on the low back. This is a very common adjustment due to our body shape and natural posture.

Unknown said...

@Meredith M : Thank you! I'm, sorry, I couldn't find another way to reply to your comment. I believe By Hand London rates Flora as an easy level (they appear to have three levels they rate at). And it was pretty simple! Their instructions are great. The part that's difficult is altering it to fit your own body, which I suspect nearly everyone has to do in order to get a good fit.