I'm a little late to enter into the competition the girls at By Hand London are running but I made another Flora Dress! I absolutely love my first version of this pattern. When I first received it I was dead set on making the 1950's tank style bodice but after seeing many many more versions of this dress popping up (in particular Winnie from Scruffy Badger's gorgeous version in a bold floral print) I knew I had to try out the faux wrap version too. I also decided to use the other skirt variation which has a level hem rather than a dip at the back. I'm pleased to report I love this version almost as much! The fit isn't quite as fantastic as with the tank bodice but I like the style just as much.
The fabric is quite unusual and a new type of fabric for me to work with. It was gifted to me for Christmas 2012 by the lovely Evie from Pendle Stitches as part of Vicki Kate's Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap. Sorry it's taken me so long to find the perfect make to use it for Evie! I'm usually slightly wary of such large prints but you've done me a big favour in making me try as I really like how this has turned out. I think the wrap detail of the bodice works great with this style of print as it breaks up the bold motifs slightly, as do the folds and pleats of the voluminous skirt. As you can see I made absolutely no effort with the pattern matching as I felt the print was random enough, it almost appears to continue across that centre back seam though!
The fabric itself is cupro and a fantastic discovery if you haven't heard of it before. I've only seen it for sale once or twice since and then in plain colours so this was a real find Evie! According to a quick bit of research it's a cellulose fibre, similar to rayon and so another good and easy to wash substitute for silk. It also has the magical property of being breathable like a cotton as it's actually made from the leftovers on the cotton plant. This particularly fabric has a nice drape but still some weight to it which makes it beautiful to sew with. It's not inclined to wrinkle and has a lovely soft texture, a little like a moleskin. As it's white is still quite sheer in direct sunlight so I chose to fully line my dress rather than just the bodice as instructed. I lined the bodice in the main fabric (purely due to fabric quantities) and the skirt in some plain white floaty poly I had in my stash. I had bought this to make a summer top with but I'm glad I relegated it to lining as it wasn't the nicest fabric to work with and pulled and puckered like nobodies' business if you weren't careful.
I had 3m of the cupro and still have just under a metre left, I had about 1.5m of the poly lining and those skirt pieces ate up every last inch of it! With only four pattern pieces this felt like an absolute breeze to cut out though after the 17 pattern pieces which I cut from main fabric and underlining for my silk Robson coat!