Put a flower on it!

I found out a strange fact recently: My sister doesn’t wear floral prints! How did I never notice that? And then there’s me… looking through my flickr stream, at least half my projects are floral!

And the other half? Well, currently they are all stripes. Of my last 5 projects (2 scarves, 2 shirts, and this dress) 4 had stripes and 3 had flowers. Somebody make the madness stop! Pass me a polka dot!


But how could I say no to this? The fabric is a beautiful spongy double knit from the remnant table at a Fabricland. It’s fabric so nice, I bought it twice! I found a remnant at a second store in the chain, and scooped it up. I still have enough for a tank top or tee.


The pattern, of course, is my trusty Comino Cap. I’ve been pinning lots of striped shift dresses, but I decided this pattern would give more shaping. I really like how the waist is slightly defined (thanks to elastic inside) but bodice and skirt just skim. I turned and stitch the sleeves this time instead of using a band to finish, which I hope will sit nicely under cardigans.

Let’s be real though – the best part of this is the flowers! After I’d finished the whole dress, I had a sudden urge to spice it up. I had a surprising number of florals in my stash to choose from, but the winner was scraps of this jersey I’d been hoarding for 2 years. Finally, saving everything comes in handy. As you can see, I ironed it onto some knit interfacing, and spray basted it in place…


… and zig-zagged it to the dress. (Basically, exactly like I did on the lace applique top I just posted.)  Easy peasy. It took about 10 minutes from start to finish to add the flower. It reminded me that before I sewed clothes I used to love appliqueing onto RTW – I think I did a bag, a jacket, and a few hoodies before I got up the courage to actually sew something from scratch! <— Psst, look at my baby face in that old post! 

dress Collage

As you can tell, I’m crazy about this dress! It feels bright and fun enough for spring, but still totally wearable while there is snow on the ground. (It was -7c/19f with windchill when I took these pics – BRRRRRRRR! But it’s so much warmer than -25c, so screw it, outdoor photos from now on!) I’m feeling more adventurous about taking pics in public, and hoping to push myself to find some good photo locations around town. Until then, enjoy the parking lot of my building!


(This is me freezing my arms off and wondering if my neighbours are about to catch me posing!) 

I’m feeling like I’m on a roll with making slightly better-than-boring-basics lately – which makes me wonder what else I can do to shake things up! How do you turn a boring everyday make into something special? Fit? Fabric? Details? Magic fairy dust?

25 thoughts on “Put a flower on it!

  1. The floral applique really does make the dress! And it’s nice when keeping scraps is justified. 🙂 I think for me, I tend to focus on the details to spice up the more “basic” things, like interesting buttons or topstitching with colors, things like that. (Of course, I’m the type that has trouble leaving anything plain–I really wish I had pictures of things like my high school binders/backpack!) And if it’s really something that needs to stay plain, like a basic black skirt, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll wear it with a funky print top or some kind of interesting jewelry.


    1. I’m not much for plain fabric either! i recently got two lengths of really lovely solid dark teal and solid navy jersey, and even though they are my ideal weight and drape, I can’t think what to make with them! So boring! How are you finding your maternity wardrobe is holding up? Do you have enough prints and colours to make the clothes feel like “you”?


  2. The floral applique adds so much, and it’s in such a pretty location. I admire your dedication in taking pictures outside when it’s that cold! I personally have found that unicorn kisses really do add that certain special touch. No really, I love applique, and I am not above adding beads, sequins, piping, hand embroidery. I think I’ve gotten to the point in my sewing that don’t want to make anything plain anymore.


  3. Magic fairy dust every time. It make everything better.

    Love this dress. Simple but POW what a statement. That floral looks like it was killer! Glad you could use it up.


    1. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a sewing Fairy Godmother who would occasionally poof into the sewing room and give sage advice? “Yes, that colour top stitching would look good. No, that contrast fabric won’t work out!” I get so lazy in my sewing, sometimes I need a push to spice things up! 🙂


  4. I love how the floral detail adds a little extra something to this make. I’m absolutely the opposite, I’m like a magpie when it comes to embellishment, but I’m trying to wean myself off, hence my last few, plainer makes.


  5. It’s a great combo of pretty floral and graphic. I’m a sucker for a nautical stripe. i have entire drawer full of striped tops! Hadn’t thought to combine the two though!


    1. I’m scared to count how many striped things I’ve sewn… so many! Stripes just always look so sharp and peppy!


  6. What a terrific dress, Gillian! You look gorgeous! I am envious that you found that fabric – I’ve been searching at my Fabricland for a while for something like that. Ugh!

    I have a pretty zany wardrobe at the best of times but I tend to use a Peter Pan collar or buttons to jazz up an outfit.


    1. Truth be told, I got this fabric in Hamilton!!! The Fabricland at the top of the mountain, maybe a month or two ago? The gems are always well hidden though, and it’s so hard to predict when something good will come in.


  7. Love the floral appliqué! I have a thing for stripes and florals together, so this is perfect. Also, this is a really nice shape on you, I know you haven’t always loved the shift dress shape, so this is a great compromise. Nicely done!


    1. Thank you! I’ve made so many Comio Cap dresses this year – I wonder what pattern I’ll get obsessed with next?


  8. Is it just me, or did Fabricland all of the sudden have some cool knit remnants? I was at my local one about a week ago and I was like what are these?? Nothing as cool as your stripes though. I love stripes too! The floral appliqué looks awesome and what a great way to personal and spice up a dress.


    1. Every month or so they get some good remnants – but it’s so hit and miss! I was in this weekend and they had some really nice bolts of knits for $4/m – but a totally random mismash of colours and types! Where do you get these strange knits, Fabricland, and why are they nicer than the normal store lines?


  9. Stripey! Your dress is fab. I love a good stripe and your dress is rocking them. The flowers are a lovely touch. I love adding embellishment being the shy, retiring person that I am. Lace, beads, crystals, it all goes on there somewhere. Life is too short to be plain. Personally, I think magic fairy dust every time. Living in Japan must have been awesome. Happy Easter! Xx


  10. Hey Gillian, these photos look great, filled with so much life! I really like the stripe/floral combo, and it suits you right down to the ground. I, however, like my plain jane makes possibly more than anything with “extras”, but it’s all a matter of personal style, really. More joys of sewing – there is so much room for individuality!


    1. I feel like your “extras” are all about nice tailoring and topstitching and other more subtle details. I am all about the prints! 😉


  11. This is really cute! And way to combine your two favorite things! Personally, I rarely want to take the time to embellish things, so I like to pick fun fabrics for basics to keep them from being too boring!


    1. Yes! I love a fabric that does all the heavy lifting and makes the project look fab no matter how simple it is! 🙂


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