Pattern mash-up: a Flora Holly playsuit

I love By Hand London patterns. Love them! I think they’re so stylish, but also really fun, and they can look super modern and chic or pretty and vintage. The one pattern that I wasn’t so sure about was the Holly Jumpsuit. I’m just not sure I’ll ever be confident or cool enough (or tall enough, i have this thing about maxi skirts and jumpsuits only being for tall people…) to pull it off. But I bought it anyway, because I like the high waisted wide legged trouser option (they’ll be good vintage style trousers for dancing). Then I started seeing a whole bunch of Holly playsuits popping up online, and RTW playsuits started arriving in shop windows, and I started to reconsider…

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This one from ASOS is what really tipped me over the edge. I spent ages trying to figure out a way I could convert the Holly bodice to a wrap front, until I remembered the Flora dress pattern tucked in my pattern folder, still in its pristine, uncut state. Perfect! Then I started trying to figure out how to add the sleeves off the Holly onto the bodice of the Flora. I was trying to make it really difficult for myself, stressing out about which bust darts I should be using, and which shoulder lines and side seams would work best…in the end I just traced the armscye and shoulder seam from the Holly bodice, and laid it over the top of the Flora pattern, using the flora side seams and darts.

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This is what it ended up looking like. I don’t think it would be quite so simple if I was using patterns from two different companies, but BHL patterns all seem to match up very neatly with one another. I used a super cheap poly cotton blend from the Fabric Warehouse, as I wasn’t totally convinced about the whole thing and didn’t want to waste precious fabric! So I’ll call this a wearable muslin, even though I’m pretty sure I won’t be making another one!

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It looks a bit sad with no one in it! I don’t have any photos of me in it, because Wellington is currently in the grip of a totally crap bout of weather and I want to take summery photos in it! Hopefully I’ll get some over the weekend. In the meantime, here are some more photos…

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I think that is the best invisible zip I’ve ever inserted! I hand sewed the bodice lining to the zipper tape, and to the sleeve seams to give the inside a clean finish. I made the same size in the bodice and the shorts, so I didn’t have to make any changes to get the waistlines lining up. The only other change I made (aside from all of the pattern mashing) was adding cuffs to the shorts. Just cos I think they’re cute!

So yes, hopefully some decent photos of me in it to come! I want to enter it in the By Hand London Pattern Hackathon, so they’ll have to be good ones. Might be time to get Monsieur involved….

11 thoughts on “Pattern mash-up: a Flora Holly playsuit

  1. This is pretty cool. I’m wondering if I need a playsuit since there are so many popping up the last months. There are many lovley versions, but I’m still unsure if I would wear it. Maybe I give it a try next year -no need tu hurry because it’s getting cold here šŸ˜‰
    I’m really looking forward to see yours on you!

    1. Its funny, I barely ever look at the instructions once I’m sewing, but I get a bit freaked out if I don’t have any! The forecast is for a sunny day tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll get some better photos šŸ™‚

  2. What a brilliant idea to add the sleeves, and it looks fab. I know what you mean about your thoughts on jump suits and maxi dresses. I wouldn’t wear a jump suit, but I LOVE wearing maxi dresses, snd I’m tiny. They make me feel taller!

    1. I want sleeves on everything I sew for summer, I have a tendency to catch fire in the sun! I think maxi skirts also give me flashbacks to my teenage goth years…though I keep seeing amazing long skirts, so I might have to get over it!

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