When the By Hand London ladies asked me to test the Flora, my first impulse was to make the perfect little black dress. Mood generously supplied a fabric allowance, and I spent a few hours on their website trying to track down something light but with a little bit of body so the pleated circle skirt would have maximum volume. After a lot of deliberating, I ordered a few yards of this luscious black wool faille suiting. Wool faille? I never knew it existed either! I always associate the lustrous ribbing of faille with silk, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with a new fabric.
I intended to make the wrap version of Flora and dutifully made a muslin bodice since wrap bodices are tricky on me. I always have a lot of gaping in the front due to a combination of high rounded shoulders and a hollow chest (well, hollow above the un-hollows). I tried a number of adjustments on the muslin and dutifully added twill tape along the diagonal seams, which is a great trick for helping with wrap dress gaping; just cut the tape 1/4″ shorter than your seam and ease it in. However, when I sewed my final bodice together, it really didn’t look great. This fabric is quite stiff and and unforgiving, and the amount I had pinched out and redistributed to the darts created some unfortunate volume under my armpits. This isn’t a drafting issue but rather a “my body is a unique and frustrating wonderland” issue. I think I may spend some time tweaking a muslin over the spring since it really is a lovely design and my un-hollows deserve wrap dresses.
I had always thought the Flora would be great hacked into a party skirt, and decided I’d probably get more wear out of it as a separate anyway. So that’s just what I did.
Using the scraps of fabric I had left, I made a simple waistband (using a By Hand London post for reference, natch) and eased the skirt into it. I inserted an invisible zipper, and used my indispensable rolled hem foot for a lovely, flawless hem.
Honestly? It’s perfection. The body of the fabric creates a lovely silhouette, and the sheen of the faille gives it a fanciness I am missing in other skirts in my wardrobe.
I highly encourage folks to hack their own Flora skirt. It gives the circle skirt a little jolt of magic.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the By Hand ladies are venturing into custom digital fabric. We had a long distance Skype gab a few weeks ago and talked business, boys and blogging for hours. I seriously adore these women; smart, hilarious, generous and invested in this community in a very inspiring way. Their plans are so exciting; while I love the concept of Spoonflower, the sheer volume of print options is overwhelming. I think the curatorial eye of BHL means we’ll get a service that is fresh and unique, and it also means we can support a business that we know and love. Take a look at their Kickstarter video if you haven’t already; I make a brief cameo along with the lovely Marcy & Roisin.
They have 13 days to go and are almost halfway to their goal. I contributed money and encourage people to do the same if they can (even $5 helps!) Supporting businesses that support us means we get the kind of products we can believe in!
You can check out their campaign here.
Finally, I’ve got new specs! I’m a glasses devotee and love having a few pairs to play with. I recently purchased a new pair from Warby Parker on a whim and started having buyer’s remorse almost immediately (I tried them on in person when I was in NY but realized they were maybe a little too cat-eye vintage for me to rock every day). Thankfully, I was contacted by Firmoo, an online eyeglass store about reviewing their products. You can upload a picture to their site to “virtually” try on glasses. I’m totally thrilled with what I chose and have been wearing them pretty much every day.
Their glasses are really affordable and the quality is good. If anyone is interested in checking them out, I have a $30 voucher code for 5 people to use; it expires April 28th (
Going to go curl up with Friday Night Lights (Coach Taylor *sigggghhhh*) and ignore the slushy snow outside. Hang in there kiddos. The sun will arrive eventually.