Just in time for number 3? BHL Flora Dolly Clackett style


It’s been a good week.  I was off work so managed to get some sewing done, and I won Katy Sleek Silhouette’s skirt pattern and fabric giveaway! Go and check out what she made – we are going to be skirt twins!

This is what I managed to finish.  I’m not sure if I made it in time for the deadline but here is Sew Dolly Clackett dress number 3,  (here are numbers one and two) and my first attempt at the By Hand London Flora dress. I wish I was clever at naming my dresses but I’m not, so I will go for the obvious and call it my Seaside Flora. ‘Cos look:

P1220570This picture shows the print off best, it came from the market in Birmingham when I went on the meet up last year.  Unfortunately we had to abandon our outdoors photo shoot due to next door’s son gurning at me in a particularly disturbing way as I was posing. Very off putting. What this dress really needs is a proper English seaside back drop, with ice cream and sand castles, but I only had about five minutes to grab the photos so no time to head to the beach.

This is my first attempt at Flora.  Even with the addition of some fake piping on the bodice (I realised after the shops closed that I had run out of cord, so I just folded over my bias binding tape and used it the same way I would proper piping) it was a quick and easy make.  However it definitely needs tweaking. I cut a UK size 14 all over, which is larger than I would normally make but I have put on a few pounds and it seemed to be the right size for my measurements according to the packet.  Unfortunately the bodice came up way too big and the darts were off. I also had to add a couple of upper back darts to sort out gaping and take a chunk out of the centre back.  I know I should have muslined it first but I was desperate to make it and the fabric was only cheap.  I would have been better off sticking with a 12 for the bodice, and have done for Flora number two, I have already started as I am dying to try this pattern again.   I also found that the front skirt came up really short.  I am only 5 foot two with stubby legs so be aware of this if you are making the high low hemline version. There is quite a dramatic difference between the length of the front and back, which is the whole point of a high low hem, I guess:

P1220641Excuse the bruised legs – a hazard of chasing small children over pebble beaches.

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you my amazing rayon seam binding bound seams:


Not quite perfect but I’m pretty bloody proud of them.

Anyway I used bias binding tape instead of a hem to avoid losing any more length, and I took the side seams in and while it is by no means perfect it is definitely wearable.  And wearing this print makes me really happy, like summer is on it’s way.  That and the amazing twirl factor of this skirt and it’s got to be worth a dance:

P1220627P1220612Don’t you just love that when you move in one direction and your boobs move the opposite way?


After the initial disappointment with the fit this dress is definitely growing on me, I may even love it a little bit and it will get worn this summer.  Maybe not as much as the last two dresses I made, because of the short front, but it will be perfect for summer evening beach barbecues.  And I have already cut out my second Flora. I am a bit gutted not to have finished it yet, because the fabric is totally Dolly Clackett and I think it will be perfect, but I really wanted to sort out the fitting issues before using such amazing fabric. So watch this space, I may even get it finished this weekend.


34 thoughts on “Just in time for number 3? BHL Flora Dolly Clackett style

  1. Cuckoo Chanel

    So twisty and twirly. You outdo yourself with every Dolly dress. Perfect fabric/pattern combo. Those colors!! And the opposing boobness is cracking me up.
    What more can I say? Love love.

  2. mepellymelly

    Love this dress on you, the fabric is great, really tempted to try this dress but would have to do some serious tweaking to make it fit me! Looking forward to Flora #2

  3. Tempest Devyne

    Loved all three, but this is my favourite – the colours are so much happy awesome, and I adore that pink bias tape for the hem, it’s perfect anyway but hearing that it prevents losing any length makes it even better.

  4. ooobop!

    Absolutely gorgeous, darling! Love everything about it. I’m just so gutted I didn’t get to make one in time. I’ll still have to make one though!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers Janene, I bet yours will be amazing. I still have another to make but totally ran out of time, and now I am frantically trying to do all the things I should have been doing when I was sewing. Some people (my boss) have no sense of priorities.

  5. Katy

    I think its great, really beautifully summery and beachy! I had the same problem with the skirt of my version, I wish i’d thought to use bias binding on the skirt as mine feels way to short! Maybe i’ll unpick it all and try again – I say that….

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks Katy. I know what you mean, I have loads of makes that would be perfect if I just unpicked and fixed a tiny thing. Have I done it? With limited sewing time and lots of new projects? Of course not. Maybe one day….

  6. Helen

    Really cute! And I love the bias binding on the hem. Genius idea! This will be perfect for trips to the beach and eating ice cream. Perfect summer dress!

  7. BusyLizzie

    I am making this dress at the moment too, still playing with the fit to get it right. I think I will stick with the straight hem, after seeing yours I am not sure I can brave showing that much leg!! I love the piping on your version, really makes the fabric pop. Gorgeous!!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers, can’t wait to see yours. I know what you mean, my legs are definitely not my best feature so i do feel pretty self conscious wearing it. I keep thinking of the ‘legs or boobs’ rule, because this dress is a bit of both. For my next version I have kept the high low hem but cut the front to the length of the straight hem, if that makes sense. Hopefully it will work.

      1. BusyLizzie

        I have finished the high neck version, will blog over the weekend. Surprisingly I like it. I thought it would look terrible with big boobs, but it seems ok. I used the Elisalex skirt as I didn’t have enough fabric for the other one. It’s good combo.
        The wrap version I have put away to look at later – our weather has just turned foul and I can’t face looking at a cotton voile dress when it is only 18 degrees 😦

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! Not so much clever as a desperate attempt to salvage the dress and not look like mutton dressed as lamb, but I like how it turned out. And I absolutely loved yours, especially your swimming ladies dress. I need to get hold of some more of that fabric.

  8. Roisin Muldoon

    I’ve loved all of your Sew Dolly Clackett dresses but this one is just so sassy! And I will never EVER get tired of your dancing pictures. You’re solid gold, Jo xxx

  9. Pingback: Minerva Make: The "What would Dolly Clackett wear" dress | Scruffy Badger Time

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