Floral Separates for Spring
March 29, 2023
by Melanie for Following The Thread

My latest project is a little different for me – instead of a dress, I made separates! Now I have two pieces that I can wear together for the dress feeling, or break apart to wear in other combos.

I saw this  “Andrea” floral rayon online, and really liked the deep tones of the colours. The stripe in this fabric is a band that runs along each selvage edge, while the centre is a looser overall floral print. Because of this, I decided to run the stripes vertically down the right side of both pieces. This rayon voile is super soft and smooth, but it’s also quite lightweight and shifty to handle, especially when cutting, so be aware of that. But the busy print hides any mild mismatches with cutting or sewing!

The blouse, Butterick 6731, was an easy sew, with a few minor changes. I shortened the body by 1/2″, and did not shorten the sleeves at all. I raised the point of the V-neck by nearly an inch for modesty’s sake. I also narrowed the neckline and the center back by 1/4″ each. The biggest changes were with the back darts – I found them extremely long so pinned them in to test it out, as I did not think this fabric would appreciate any stitch unpicking. I ended up shortening the upper point by one inch and raising the lower points by 4 inches. Because of the extra room created across the hip by this, I also omitted the side zip. I basted that side seam and tried it on to see if it would go on without a zip and it was very easy to do as long as I had the front ties untied.

I added a lightly gathered skirt, using a pattern from my stash, Simplicity 1542. I had to alter this as well; first to add some length to it (3.5″) and secondly, recutting the waistband as  it is designed to sit 1.5″ below the natural waist — I prefer my skirts at my natural waist so changed it to fit at that point.

I added a side seam pocket to the right side of the skirt as well – the left side has the zip. I’m right handed so the right pocket is the main one I use anyhow! I am really happy with how these pieces work together and look like a dress but have versatility to work as separates as well. The print is so bright and springlike, and those little puff sleeves are just right in this drapey fabric! It’s a fun outfit that made me happy when I wore it today in spring-like weather.