Combining four patterns into one dreamy garment: Lady McElroy flowers and oranges dress

You know the feeling when you see a fabric and can’t get it out of your head? I’ve had this glorious deep green linen viscose blend with a faboulous large-scale flowers and oranges print by Lady McElroy stuck in my head for a couple of years now. But courtesy of brexit, ordering fabric from the UK has become really really expensive, so I relented. I finally caved when Minerva had their birthday sale a couple of months ago, thinking whatever I save on the fabric would at least partially make up for the duties. I’m very happy I finally got the fabric and almost as soon as it arrived, I prewashed it and got to work on my dress.

Because of the scale of the print, I wanted something with minimal seams, but still fitted. For the bodice, I went with the Sew Over It Betty dress, which has bust darts as well as waist darts. I wanted some excess volume at the waist to cinch in with ties, which also eliminated the need to put in a zipper. To achieve that, I only sewed the bust darts and left the waist darts open, and sewed the Closet Core Elodie wrap dress ties into the side seams to tie at the back. In hindsight, because the dress is cinched at the back, I should have transferred at least some of the excess volume from the front bodice to the back, so that the gathers on the skirt that joins the bodice were more evenly distributed… but that’s just a small detail.

I paired the bodice with the French Poetry Leo dress sleeve, which I shortened to elbow length. I made no adjustments to the armhole of the Betty or the sleevehead of the Leo, which if I was doing things properly, I likely should have done. But in truth, I just could not be bothered and did not think it would matter, as I wanted a bit of gathering at the sleevehead anyway. For the skirt, I used the Victory Patterns Sofia, which although it is a gathered skirt, it is not just a rectangle, but has some shape to it.

I had 2.5m of the fabric and it was just enough. I had to be really careful about how I cut out the pieces. I knew I wanted a large part of the print at the top of the bodice, but at the same time, I did not want the darts to be too obvious, nor did I want the print to be cut off at the waist. The back bodice was the greatest challenge, as I again wanted to have the print in the middle. I was cutting it out last and did not have many options left, but in the end, I think I did a great job almost patternmatching different parts of the print to give the illusion it’s all one flower. Finally, the skirt, as the biggest pattern piece, showcases the print the best.

Overall I am super pleased with the dress, I think it does the fabric justice and the colours and print are just perfect for me. Because of the linen viscose composition, it creases, as you can see in the photos – the sleeves especially, as I wore a cardigan over it, but in this fabric it doesn’t really bother me.

I think it’s also a garment which I combined the most patterns for :D. If you also venture into pattern mash-ups, what was your most adventurous one so far?

Until next time,


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