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?

Quick Slouchy Blouse

I was in need of a quick project before the Sew LA party for Gertie–I wanted to wear something me-made, but I didn’t have anything in the closet that seemed right (You know what I mean?  The closet full of clothes and nothing to wear syndrome.)  Of course, I don’t have that many me-made items yet.

I’ve had my eye on the BurdaStyle Slouchy Blouse for some time, and it seemed like the perfect quick project: no sleeves to set in, no collar, and easy fitting with it’s loose slouchy silhouette.  With only 3 pattern pieces, it was even quick to cutout.  The front facings are part of the blouse front which made the pattern piece very wide.  It didn’t quite fit on my fabric, so I actually cut off the end of the sleeves and made them a separate pattern piece.


The whole thing went together very quickly and without incident.  I kinda winged it with the sleeves, and I didn’t really pay much mind to the directions for the sleeve tabs.  As a result, I’m not sure they look quite right… I think they need to pull the sleeve up a little more.  It doesn’t bother me enough to fix them though.  Next time.


The pattern called for 12 buttons, but I only used 10.  I never went back to the pattern to see where I missed the last two buttons, but it wears comfortably, so no big deal.  I’m guessing they go at the bottom of the blouse front.  Oh well, nothing’s flying open.


I’m not quite sure how I feel about the fit.  It sure is comfortable, but it’s also pretty blocky.  I wonder if I could go down a size for a slightly slimmer look.  Maybe a little slimmer and with the sleeves pulled up a bit more it would have better proportions?  What do you think?  I used a rayon fabric that drapes really nicely, and it’s super soft.  I’ve already worn this blouse a few times to work, so it’s definitely a practical piece for my wardrobe.


We had gorgeous warm weather over the weekend (in the 70’s) so I took advantage!  My sister walked down to the beach with me and shot some photos.  Thank you Fanny.  It felt good to feel some sunshine and get outdoor shots.