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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Look what I did to my Florence!

The Mumu/Maxi/Sundress theme in Sewing Land has taken a definite hold this summer, and I debated jumping onboard - until my SIL's announcement that her annual Heat of July BBQ was themed "Hippie".  In previous years I have worn Hawaiian, Hillbilly and White Trash outfits, so I succumbed to the pressure and started thinking about how to manage a sundress.

Remember the cute little dresses we wore as kids in the 70s?  The Smocked and Shirred dresses with the little ties that we pulled up WAY high in the front so our 7 year old boobies wouldn't peek out? - Well, I popped into Fabricland and found their rolls of Shirred fabric and bought enough to make a lazy, simple summer dress.

In typical Heather-fashion I started overthinking the dress (I was thinking I would make a built-in bra using the Fairy Bra Mother's Craftsy course) and had a stroke of brilliance! 
What if I used the Seamwork Florence?
use the Seamwork link above, signup for the 1 month trial and choose the Florence and one other pattern for $3 - that's an affiliate link; you (as one of my 6 followers) may eventually be a partial contributor to paying for 1 month of my ongoing subscription.

So I hacked (it hardly justifies the term) the Florence Bra!

Interior shot showing the direction of shirring on the inner cups, the secondary bridge lining and the unshirred fabric on the outer cups.  I serged the lining to the side seam.
  1. I eliminated the back seam and added side seams (I wanted to have side slits for walking comfort, and knew that the easiest way was to hem back the side seams below the knee).  To do this I cut the back off where the side seam should lay, and added seam allowance to the side seam, then edited the center seam and cut the back on the fold.
  2. Using the new front piece of the bra bridge, I cut a knit lining fabric for bridge support (I have done this to my previous Florence Bras and recently did this in my Closet Case Swimsuit).
  3. I cut the front and back with the upper edge on the shirred edge (cutting the cups out of the shirring.  I checked to make sure that the shirring elastic was secured before I snipped.
  4. I cut the inner cup on the shirred edge of the fabric.
  5. I cut 4 of the outer cup in regular fabric (for support - I would have had too much bounce with shirred fabric on both halves of the cup).
  6. I hemmed the fabric and hemmed back the side slits.
  7. I finished the neckline edge of the cups with some picot elastic from my scraps.
  8. I added a little bow for humor.

Gratutious shot of the picot edged elastic; sewn using the lingerie method of zigzagging wrong side down to the right side of the cup and folding back and 3-step zigzagging on the right side to cover the elastic edge.

Voila!  I have a sexy, summery,supportive sundress to wear without an underbra (and the multiple straps) - and it worked really well on my curviness!


  1. That's genius! Exactly the kind of dress I was looking for

    1. I thought it was pretty clever. It is very comfortable

  2. That's genius! Exactly the kind of dress I was looking for