Hi there! Are you getting fed up of winter yet? I know I have had more than enough cold weather and grey skies for quite some time now, so I thought I’d counteract it by making a cheerful spring maxi dress.

The pattern I’ve chosen is a recent Sew Over It one, the Florence dress.  The dress features a mandarin collar, ¾ length sleeves and two different skirt lengths; I went for the maxi as a bit of a change from my standard winter dresses.

The extra length also gave me chance to show off the rather fabulous Fabric.  This tropical print rayon has little tiny hummingbirds peeping out from among the leaves, which I didn’t even notice til I started ironing it.  Thankfully I hadn’t cut the pattern pieces out at this point, so didn’t end up with upside down birdies!

I think the fabric works well for this pattern, both because it has good drape which is essential, but also because it’s priced well and, at 4m, this pattern is quite fabric hungry. What else do you expect from a full length dress though, right?

Because the dress has an elasticated waist and a loose skirt, I decided to go on my bust measurement and cut a straight size 10.  I usually cut a size larger or grade up over the hips but the finished measurements showed I would have plenty of room for my hips and I feel that picking a smaller size based on the bust gives a better fit around the shoulders, the only place really where this dress has any fitting to do.

The only adjustment I made to the paper pattern was to add 1” to the length of the bodice.  Having seen a couple of these on other people, it seemed that the waist was designed to sit quite high anyway and whilst not abnormally tall, I am a little over the average and hate that feeling of wanting to tug the bodice down the whole time.  I’m glad I did this as it does now fit as I prefer.

Cutting out took a little time; as ever, rayon fabrics can be hard to persuade to sit still and straight whilst you cut out and I found that my rotary cutter was invaluable here. I dread to think what the cut out pieces would have looked like, had I used my scissors instead! The fabric also, as expected, frayed a lot and so I overlocked each seam.

The pattern came together well and, as ever with Sew Over It, the instructions were clear.  The buttonband and collar stand give it a little more challenge but the rest of the construction is very straightforward and satisfyingly quick.

I allowed the dress to hang for a couple of days before hemming which was definitely the right thing to do as it dropped significantly. I used the machine to give a secure finish rather than hand sewing.

I love the finished dress; it’s very different for me in terms of being a full length dress not designed for full summer, but that’s a good thing I think; it’s nice to try something different every now and again!

Thanks Minerva!

Becca x