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…


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.


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!


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…



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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s