Floralotte…Or My By Hand London Charlotte skirt with Flora bodice Failure

Hello!! Is anyone else feeling that promise of Spring and more daylight joy? I have had a couple of health problems but I have sewed up a storm I want to share with you guys 🙂 but before that I needed to post this make. The first failed project I’m showcasing on this blog.

Floralotte. Oh, Floralotte. I felt all sewing blogger when I planned this dress. An indie pattern, check. A hacking challenge, check. And last but not least a gorgeous Japanese fabric, check. I was ready to take my sewing blogger level.

However, I’ve never made anything i love so much and hate so much at the same time! Her in all her glory!


Now down to why I hate her! Number One. Fitting issues. The pattern I used the By Hand London Flora is marked at easy and it was, putting together the bodice was like a dream!! The pattern makes inserting a lining a piece of cake and the finishing looks like someone advanced and skilled made it….but the fitting. If you know how to adapt a bodice to your size, it’s all good, but I don’t know and relied totally on the sew along. I have broad shoulder and small bust and a normal waist. This added up to a small bust adjustment (my bust was sooo baggy), which I just couldn’t understand how to do! I honestly found the BHL sew along useless for showing how to do the adjustment. At risk of sounds dumb, there was not enough pictures to show the beginning, middle and end for the adjustment. Plus,I couldn’t work out how to do the adjustment with making the waist too small.

When I made my toile, I tried to pinch out the extra fabric. I pinched until my self esteem couldn’t take it anymore and ended up making the bust dart twice as big . Also the dart didn’t point to my nipple so I just tried to angle it down to the right place. By the end it was a butchered, big, sad looking dart..and the bodice is still too loose.


Number Two. I made the skirt too short and too tight. It covers my bum and that’s it. The dress squeezes at my thighs and is loose on my waist. The MAIN problem with all my high street bought clothes and why I turned to sewing for a better fit!! The Charottle skirt pattern has been so good to me. I made a big mistake for this project, I wanted the skirt shorter at the last minute, so I thought…let me just sew the waist up higher, it didn’t even occur to me how it would change the whole fit of the skirt until I was finished and tried it on. Thinking of all my labour time for a unwearable dress *sad song plays in head*

Last Problem. Pattern matching. You can see the back matching problem but this side problem drives me crazy!


Especially because the otherside is perfect!!!


When I started reading sewing blogs I never thought of the pile of unwearable, sadness I would have to accept as a beginner rite of passage.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions of what I can do with the fabric I would love to hear them and would be so grateful! I really do love the fabric and don’t want to waste it on a spoilt project.

Sorry for such a grim post!! Should be posting my next, more successful, make soon 🙂

Bye for now 🙂

Sew Over It: Tie

Time to talk handmade christmas presents! These are my last minute surprises.

Thanks to the new Islington location and certain time constraints of a new job eliminating going to local college classes. Sew Over It has been my sewing class haunt of late.

As a christmas present class for myself 😉 and others 🙂 I signed up to the tie making class. Learning the proper way to hand stitch was the main motivator for attending this class but this project was enjoyable and perfect for all the male family members I needed presents for. I think ties gonna be my signature present for a good while.

We used the Sew Over It tie pattern, going to the class saved me so much time, if I went through the pattern by myself it would have certainly taken me three times as long to make and definitely wouldn’t have been made to the standard I made these ties too.

DSCF3268This was the tie I made at the Sew Over It class. The class included all the material for making a tie and we had a nice range of fabric to choose from and I was introduced to domette (interlining for a tie). We couldn’t finish the tie is class because of all the hand sewing but I left eager to finish and make many more.

DSCF3282I made this in complete secret and when my husband received it he was utterly thrilled. He loved the red detail under the tie.

DSCF3254The second tie was for my mums partner. I pushed the boat out and went for liberty fabric on this one.

DSCF3256I have absolutely hated liberty fabric until this point. I thought it was so unnecessarily busy, reminding me of  carpets/curtains/wallpaper and I said I would never EVER be swayed no matter how many liberty fabric lovers :/  Now I have two liberty fabrics on my must have list and am lazily looking through liberty fabric while on my xmas holiday…….

I got my sewing machine as a present last christmas and going full circle and actually making presents for others was AMAZING!! I thought I would be a proud selfish sewist, refusing requests for cushions and curtains immediately…Don’t you know I’ll be too busy making beautiful couture dresses for myself 🙂

….. but my mum, after seeing I’m really using my sewing machine, has bought me a cushion making sewing class…..hint has been taken and my sewing machine is going to be used for more gift giving from now on, which now I don’t think is a bad thing.