By Hand London Flora/Culotte mash up

Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's my birthday! I saw in the early hours of the day at a wedding, wearing what I think may be my finest ever sew - a culotte jumpsuit - and luckily managed to get some pictures of it too. This has been in the pipeline for a little while now, so I'm thrilled that it a) worked out, b) I had an occassion to wear it, and c) I get to share it with you guys!

B6178 meets Flora!
Clearly ecstatic about the freedom for weird dance moves!
I made it using a mash up of two patterns - the By Hand London Flora bodice, and the B6178 Culottes, which I've been singing the praises of for the last couple of months (and blogged about here). I've had the Flora pattern for nearly 2 years now, but I've always put off making it for the fear of having an ordeal with the fit adjustments. After making a couple of pairs of B6178s and absolutely loving them, I realised that they'd look amazing together if I could make it work. This, coupled with the slight pressure of an impending wedding - one of my resolutions was to sew my own dress for wedding attire - was the push I needed to get fitting. It's not quite a dress I know, but I wanted something a bit different, and in my head, in this totally fitted the bill.

Working out the fit adjustments on the bust
Gigantic darts on my muslin!
First up was the - dreaded - fitting. I needn't fear the FBA, but there's just something about committing to it that makes me nervous. Anyway, the BHL site has the best FBA tutorial for version B of the Flora bodice. I made up the adjusted version and it was nearly spot on. I just had to take a centimetre out of the centre front as everything was all a bit too far out. I made up one other muslin  - a big deal for me considering it's usually very rare that I even make one - just to be sure I had the fit right, and then cut straight into my final fabric.

A pretty good fit for the first muslin
I used this lovely black and white polka dot crepe that I made the Nita Wrap Skirt in. I bought 4metres ages ago for a project that never saw the light of day, and I'm finally glad to have found the perfect use for it - a bold silhouette calls for a bold fabric right? I even had enough to fully line the bodice in it too - the stuff of luxury! The only thing I should've given a bit more consideration to was the placement of the spots. There was no way I was going to attempt pattern matching, but although I matched the selveedges, I seem to have cut the fabric with the spots running at a twisty angle. I'm hoping the spot placement looks fairly random despite the definite squiffy angles.

Used making my own outfit as an excuse to buy sparkly new shoes!
I was lucky that the bodice and culottes matched up pretty well with very few adjustments. I moved the front darts slightly, but in hindsight I didn't even need to do this, as the culottes are ease stitched into the waistband/bodice, so there's a bit of wiggle room. I used a 22" invisible zip straight up the back, and handstitched the lining in on the inside, and taa daaaa! It's done (phew!) but it really was a seriously enjoyable make!

Back view
Happier than I look!
I'm not saying it's quite my finest technical sew, but I couldn't be prouder of the ideas, the pattern mash up and how it came together, and getting the fit just right - I love it, and it's a dream to wear. It's even more of a dream to wear with these sparkly shoes I got in Zara - making your own wedding attire totally justifies a new shoe purchase right? I've since seen a pattern that's probably a quicker way to make a similar one (the New Look 6446 - Erica Bunker made a fab version) but I'm glad I pushed myself with this one, and finally made up the Flora bodice! I think there'll be many more of these (Floras and Flora/culotte jumpsuits) to come :)

Here are a couple more pictures from the beautiful wedding we went to (congratulations Helen and Shaun!)



I have another 3 weddings to go before the season's out, and I'm really excited about making my dress for the next one after being sent a parcel of beautiful fabric from Sew Essential. Updates on that one very soon!

Is anyone else planning to sew their wedding outfits this year?


Stay in touch!

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16 comments

  1. I.LOVE THIS! I love jumpsuits for weddings! As long as you dint get too tiddled then peeing becomes difficult! I think your spots look awesome! I can't see any squiffy angles! X

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    1. Thank you Frankie! I wanted something a little different, but you're right, slightly awkward for going to the loo haha x

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  2. So much fun! You look awesome - fit is 'spot' on (lols ;o)

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  3. I've just made New Look 6446 (dress version) and at first I thought you'd sewn the same pattern - your mash up is very similar! It looks fab - well done on getting the fit just right! x

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    1. Thank you! It was a good test of my fitting abilities at least! Really like the neckline of both the Flora and the New Look 6446 - might look a bit harder at the patterns on the market before starting my next ambitious mash up though ha :) X

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  4. you look a million bucks! (great choice of shoe) - fabulous

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    1. Thank you Eimear :) think the shoes might be my favourite thing about the whole outfit actually! X

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    1. Ah thank you Ree! Your Flora dress inspired me to give fitting the bodice a go! X

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  6. This looks stellar and I'm so impressed with the technical details - FBA and linings. I know what you are referring to but I wouldn't know where to start. You are quite rightly proud - it's another level. I love the idea of you frequenting weddings for the rest of the season in your creations x

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    1. Thank you Aimee :) I'm so proud of it, but probably need an easy project next before another ambitious creation! I'm currently wearing it on holiday in Lake Como, but I imagine it will make an appearance at another wedding later in the summer! X

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  7. Oh. My. Goodness. This is GORGEOUS!!! You did a brilliant job, and your jumpsuit looks fab on you.

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    1. Ahh thank you Lynne! Really enjoying the culotte/jumpsuit silhouette at the minute! Hopefully going to make another version very soon :)

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  8. Yay, this looks amazing! I was really excited when you said you were making this mash up and it looks even better than I imagined. It looks fun and chic. I didn't even notice the off grain polka dots until you pointed it out.

    P.S. Happy belated birthday!

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    1. Thanks Jo :) I'm so relieved it worked out!! X

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