I was recently part of the tester team for the new Flor dress and top by Bella Loves Patterns. This pattern is a romantic wrap style with princess seams, ruffles and a crop top or midi length skirt. There are so many thoughtful details in this pattern and a lot of potential for hacking. I am going to share my thoughts on the pattern, my first hack and a few more I have planned.
The first test version I made was in a lilac herringbone from Pound Fabrics to test the fit. I love the shade of lilac but I am not so sure on the fabric, but it is perfect for toiles and checking the fit of a new pattern.
This is the first pattern Isabela has released with different cup sizes, the pattern ranges from 6 to 20 with B, C and D cups included. I made a size 10 and am 5 ft 6.
My main issue with this version is the skirt, the gathers are too puffy for my liking as I tend to avoid this style of skirt. I think in a lighter fabric like a Cotton Lawn this would be perfect and it would still hold the structure of the ruffles.
When I saw the first sample of this dress I knew instantly that I was going to try and recreate a RTW style I had seen from H&M.
I picked up I this Broderie Anglaise from Felicity Fabrics first birthday sale, I had my eye on it for a while as it wasn’t the traditional floral embroidery and it was called Emily (my daughters name). It felt like fate that this fabric and the pattern where such a good match.
The first thing I needed to change was the skirt. To get the length I wanted I removed 14cm from the lengthen/shorten line. I also took 10cm from the middle of the front piece and 5 cm from the back for a less full skirt and to fit everything onto the fabric.
Next step was to add in a sleeve. I used the puff sleeve from the Vita dress, also by Bella Loves Patterns as it had the right shape that I wanted at the sleeve head and the cuff. I shortened the sleeve by 16cm to get a 3/4 length sleeve and trued the edges (evened out). I added elastic at the end to get the gathered shape.
Adding a sleeve to a sleeveless bodice requires a little alteration to the bodice too. To get the armhole to the correct shape for the sleeve to be inserted I laid both the Vita and Flor bodice on top of each other and traced the new shape. You can see me doing this in more detail on my YouTube video. This can be achieved with different bodice/sleeve combinations, if you have any questions please ask away.
This has worked out perfectly for me and has given the exact style I was looking for. I love this dress so much and I am just praying for a few more sunny days so that I can wear it out!
Now that I can add the Vita sleeve onto this dress I can also picture a long floaty autumnal version with the full length sleeves and no ruffles, the ultimate boho dress! I think adding and removing different elements of this pattern will give you a lot of options, as well as playing about with the proportions. Bigger ruffles, or smaller, shorter skirts and I have seen a few peplum top versions too.
The Flor pattern is on sale all this week with 15% off (until 4th September) so now is the perfect time to add this to your pattern collection.
Thank you for reading this blog and happy sewing!