Fresh Floral Flora

Happy happy sunny times!

I finished this dress just in time for the glorious weather.

almond rock by hand london flora tilda cotton white tree fabrics

This is a long overdue White Tree Fabrics make. I wanted to use some of the new Tilda cottons that they’re stocking: This is Mia in Pink. As ever, the parcel arrived in the blink of an eye.

almond rock by hand london flora tilda cotton white tree fabrics

I haven’t made a By Hand London Flora in six months and as soon as I picked it back up I remembered how quick it is to sew and how flattering I think it is on me from the front.

I love how it hits me just at my collarbone so is modest but those thin little straps keep it flirty. I wore this to work during the heatwave and was kept both cool and modest. Plus the Tilda print went down very well with lots of nice compliments.

almond rock by hand london flora tilda cotton white tree fabrics

As you can see I just added a gathered skirt again, this is because the Tilda cotton isn’t wide enough for a circle skirt. Also if you read my original blog post I changed the bodice to waist darts only. Finally I lined the entire dress in peach anti-static lining and used a white invisible zipper.

almond rock by hand london flora tilda cotton white tree fabrics

I really need to alter the lines of the back bodice somehow… it makes me look like I have the most ginormous linebacker shoulders. I think the “arm holes” are cut just a little too far in to flatter me. Not a major problem, because who’s looking at your shoulders that closely right?

Because my first version was made out of cotton sateen it was sized a little smaller than I needed to account for the stretch, so I added 5mm to the centre front and side seams to help with this.

almond rock by hand london flora tilda cotton white tree fabrics

The cotton was really lovely to work with because it’s nice and light and crisp. I do think it’s a shame when 100% cotton gets a little rumpled by the end of the day but that’s a small price to pay for the pretty prints. The shades of pink in this Tilda cotton really say Summer to me.

So there you have it. A fresh floral Flora dress! I hope you like it as much as I do.

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The Great British Sewing Bee Lace Challenge

Hello Sewing Bee fans!

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

In advance of tonight’s episode White Tree Fabrics gave me 2 metres of the lovely teal/aqua coloured leaf lace seen in the show and in the accompanying book, used on this gorgeous pencil skirt.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

The lace has such a pretty scalloped selvedge I wanted to showcase that. So I thought if I made a strapless dress I could include a scalloped neckline and hem.

I used my tried and true Butterick 5351 as a starting point. This is a non-stretch lace and I found a teal rayon to use as a lining. I underlined the lace using tiny hand stitches and then changed the order of the construction to line the bodice and sew-in fabric covered boning. I decided not to line the skirt and just underline it; the skirt pieces are just two gathered rectangles.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

I don’t personally think this is the type of lace to worry about pattern matching. The leaf design is quite free flowing so seam lines don’t interrupt the print too badly. I bet I’d get marked down on the sewing bee though.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challenge

Before I started I washed the lace on the cool handwash setting of my washing machine, and because it’s a cotton lace there was a little shrinking but no colour fading. There’s not a massively clear difference between the right and wrong sides either. It was a really nice lace to work with.

almond rock great british sewing bee lace challengeSo there you have it! A sweet new blue dress paired with a black patent belt and shoes.

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Sparkly sparkly

Today I’m really happy to share a lovely sparkly number.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

This is a happy little dress that makes me smile while wearing it!!

I made this dress in association with a new online store, White Tree Fabrics, who specialise in dressmaking fabrics, haberdashery and patterns.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

This is the perfect skater dress (McCalls 6754) made in metallic foiled jersey.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

The dress has a darted front, dipped back, and brilliantly swishy circle skirt. I really like the other options in the pattern and will definitely be making it up again.

The jersey is pretty lightweight so I backed the bodice with some blue medium-weight jersey I had in my stash.

One thing to note is not to wash or iron this fabric on too high a heat. High temperature can destroy the sparkle in the fabric and at worst, can melt under the heat of your iron and be rather messy!

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

The arm and neckholes, and hem are turned under and topstitched (I used a twin needle). And I used my serger to construct all the seams except the darts.

So it turns out it’s reeeeally hard to photograph something metallic without having your camera flash turned on (when we did it looked like the sun had exploded).

The dress looks silver on these photos but in person it definitely has a gold sheen.

almond rock mccalls 6574 metallic jersey white tree fabrics

Here’s my final attempt, inside with all the lights pointed at me.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

Anyway, I wanted to share the good news with you that making a purchase from White Tree can be quite a nice bargain.

Not only do they have such a unique selection of fabric you won’t have seen elsewhere, they have a range of ways to save you money:

  • 20% off and free shipping using code almondrock
  • Review a product and receive a 15% discount code.
  • Like White Tree on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Pinterest and receive a 15% discount code
  • Sign up for the newsletter to receive a 10% discount code
  • Free delivery on orders £20 and over
  • And there are great offers for students too!

I can confirm after buying some of White Tree’s spotted mesh fabric recently (trust me I do still buy fabric) that the price was great, delivery was quick and my fabrics came wrapped around card which was nice. I’ve snuck in some pics of lace beauties I’m lusting over too:

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

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