Sew Frosting // Hadley Floreat Dress

Have you heard about the Sew Frosting challenge that is going on in the online sewing world right now? It started with an Instagram story by Kelli from True Bias and quickly became a fun challenge hosted by Kelli and Heather Lou from Closet Case Patterns.

The idea is to sew a fun, possibly not that practical garment that would be considered frosting, versus a more practical, basic, less risky project that is considered cake.

When I got back into sewing clothes about 6 years ago, I made a lot of dresses and eventually other separates that were made from fun prints that couldn’t be worn together. I was just sewing whatever caught my fancy and I didn’t care that I couldn’t create full outfits from my handmade clothes.

I never really considered the possibility that I would eventually have a mostly handmade wardrobe.  I think a lot of that came down to the fact that I was often sewing with quilting cotton. There weren’t so many great garment fabrics available so it didn’t seem possible that I’d be able to sew the basics that I love to wear.

Things have really changed in a relatively short amount of time. Garment fabrics became available at a host of different indie fabric shops and the world of independent patterns has exploded!

I’ve experimented with sewing so many things that I never expected I would sew– jeans, pants, jackets, coats, underwear, t-shirts, etc. My handmade wardrobe is pretty cohesive and it’s rare that I wear ready to wear clothes these days.

Don’t get me wrong, that is a totally amazing feeling, but my closet is lacking in frosting! I have a few things that I would consider frosting but for the most part everything is pretty casual and practical for my stay-at-home-mom life.

Sooooo, when I first caught a glimpse of the Floreat dress from Megan Nielsen, I knew that it was going to be my Sew Frosting dress. The assymetrical front feels very glamorous and is like no other dress in my closet.

I made this black Floreat top as a test run of the pattern before I moved onto my final dress. I had a little bit of pulling across my upper chest and I was a bit concerned about the width of the sleeves.

The sleeves on my top were a little snug, even after a full biceps adjustment, and I wanted to be sure that the sleeves on my dress were comfortably loose.

I was trying to figure out what adjustments to make and I pulled out the Grainline Hadley pattern so see how the upper part of that pattern compared to the Floreat. The Hadley fits me really well through the shoulders/upper bust and sleeves.

The armscye/sleeve cap is really different on the two patterns so my idea to try to use the Hadley to adjust my Floreat pattern wasn’t going to work as well as I hoped.

I made the spontaneous decision to merge the two patterns and cut the Hadley from the shoulders to the bottom of the armscye. From there down I used the Floreat pattern.

Merging the two patterns worked really well! I still plan to experiment with making adjustments to the Floreat pattern but this simple solution resulted in such a great fit. I love how the dress turned out.

I omitted the center back zip, mostly because the perfectly matching zipper I bought was an all-purpose zipper and not an invisible zip. I can pull this over my head but it’s sort of a tight squeeze.

There is an option to sew the waist ties into the center back seam of the dress. I did that initially but didn’t love how looked so I unpicked and made the waist tie separate. I also narrowed the tie a bit– I think about 5/8″.

I cut a straight size 10 in the Floreat dress. There is a lot of ease since this is a very a-line silhouette so I was able to get a good fit without grading out at the hips. Hooray!

My fabric is a tencel shirting that I purchased from Indiesew. It’s such a pretty wine color and it’s a great weight for this dress. On my fabric budget, tencel is my idea of a luxurious fabric. I love that it’s easy care and that it feels so incredible to wear. It has the perfect drape for this silhouette!

I know that this isn’t the most frostingy (new word I just invented) of frosting dresses but it’s certainly not a dress that I would throw on with my flip flops to wear to the park with my kids.

This dress will be reserved for fancy date nights, holiday parties, and church. I’m so thrilled with how it came out and I love knowing that it’s in my closet, even if it doesn’t get worn as much as some of my other handmade dresses.

This challenge was so fun and it’s motivating me to think about investing in a few fabrics that might be in fibers or prints that are a little bit out of my normal comfort zone.

Even if I have no cocktail parties to attend I’ve decided that it would be so enjoyable to make a legitimate fancy dress. My daughter loves to wear her princess dresses– maybe mommy needs a princess dress of her own.

Are you sewing any frosting?



7 thoughts on “Sew Frosting // Hadley Floreat Dress

  1. Now you have a holiday and date night dress that is lovely, Teri! I love the fabric! This is flattering, and I know you will enjoy it for a long time.


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