Floral Flora Maxi Dress

With summer heat comes mosquitoes.  I was brutally attacked by swarms of the little bloodsuckers while watching my husband play softball Monday night.  Even covered head to toe with bug repellant, they were still biting.  With big red welts all over my legs, I knew it was time to sew up a new maxi dress for summer.


Maxi dresses: light and breezy while still covering your legs, which means of course, I can cover up unsightly bug bites and stubble.

This dress uses the Flora (By Hand London) dress pattern for the bodice, and about 80″ of gathered fabric for the skirt.

The floral fabric is rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics, and the bodice is lined with batiste.  The rayon is splendidly drapey and light, and the batiste adds just enough stability and coverage in the bodice.

The neckline was a pain to fit; I intentionally made a couple tucks where the front pieces overlap into the waist seam.  I thought I had it all worked out and was quite pleased until I sat down in my finished dress.  My shoulders dropped forward and I looked down only to see my entire chest hanging out.  I tacked the overlapping pieces together at the center front to make the dress wearable, but it does not lay flat at all.  Unfortunately, this is not a bodice pattern I will use again.  Regardless of the gaping neckline, I intend to wear this dress all the time.


My love for rayon has been renewed.  I’ve already got a skirt put together with this same print in another color scheme, and I’ve got two more geometric prints in my stash ready to be made into another skirt and dress.  I am machine washing and hang drying my rayon makes in order to prolong their life.  How do you care for your rayon garments?


  1. Very lovely, I have to try the wrap bodice yet but I have made the flora a few times. Oh don’t tell me about Mosquitos.. I got so many bites the first week I was home in Brasil, then finally they got used to me… Long dresses are the way forward on hot weather

  2. It looks great!! Clearly I don’t live in a mosquito heavy location (thank goodness!), I never thought of that potential benefit of a maxi!

  3. This is gorgeous! You look so tall and elegant! I got lucky in that the Flora bodice fit me pretty well from the start, but after struggling with a different woven wrap dress and seeing other people struggle with the Flora, I realized why the DVF jersey wrap dress was so popular! So much easier to fit a wrap/crossover style in jersey! :)

    1. I was thinking I should try a knit in that style next–it’s such a flattering style when fitted correctly. Even as I swear off the Flora pattern though, I see other people’s versions and I want to try again. Maybe when enough time has passed for me to get over my fitting frustrations I can re-approach it.

  4. Pretty dress! I love rayon too, and usually just wash it on cold in the machine and hang it to dry.

  5. I was just telling Jessi yesterday that I missed your blog posts and she told me that you had just put something up! I don’t know why it didn’t come up in my reader, grrrr.

    Anyways, I LOVE this dress and don’t notice the gaping neckline at all. Aren’t maxi dresses so comfy and perfect for summer? I always feel so glamourous wearing ankle length dresses.

    1. They really do feel glamorous :) I’m jealous of your sewing date with my sister, but now we are planning our own for her visit in August. If you aren’t busy, hop in her suitcase and come along!!

  6. i’ve had this window open so long wordpress won’t let me comment!! love rayon, love flora, love this, which means i’m eyeing my stash to copy you.

  7. Ugh, rayon is THE BEST. I want to make all the summer dresses in it! Yours looks great- and I wouldn’t have noticed the neckline if you hadn’t said something. Perhaps the other Flora bodice would do?

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