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Marta's Flowery Florence

Woman in red dress

Marta is one of our floor tigers with a particular flare for color and style. Check out her instagram here!

It's no secret that I love voluminous smock dresses of all shapes and sizes, and the Florence is no exception to this rule. I've been interested in this pattern since before it was available in print so when we got it in at the shop I knew what I needed to do.

Pattern: Florence Dress and Top by Merchant & Mills
Size Made: 18
Fabric: Square Flower Cotton Sheeting in Red
Modifications: Shortened by 3.5" and added inseam pockets

Hand in pocket

Recently Merchant & Mills has been working on expanding the size range of their patterns to be more inclusive, though unfortunately this pattern has not yet been included in the expansion. I made the largest size, a UK 18, and hoped to just squeeze in based on the finished garment measurements. The result is, sadly, that the bodice is just a bit too tight for my liking-- both for ease of movement and also for the style of it. Do I still love this dress? Yes. Will I draft a small gusset for the underarm + side seam to give myself a bit more breathing room? Yes. Am I still fantasizing about wearing this all spring and summer long? Also yes.

Woman in red dress

I really like the detailing in this pattern- the shoulder darts and button placket in the back, the scooping peplum waistline and the fitted sleeves take this smock dress from basic to cool and a little bit edgy for me.

Back of dress

The Japanese cotton sheeting I used is truly lovely. It is somehow both soft enough to believe it is well-worn and often washed and simultaneously crisp--it makes that fresh sheet sound when I pull it on over my head and I love that. I'm not normally one to go for reds, but the color combination here and the print totally sold me and I am surprised by how much I love it.

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