How I Created The Louisa Midi {The Flora Modiste Sewing Projects}

The Louisa Midi Sewing Project Featured Image

And we have a brand new sewing project up! Loving this month's project, the easy breezy Louisa Midi. Definitely one of the easiest sewing projects I have sewn up for The Flora Modiste, and also probably one of my favorites. Why is that, you might ask? Well. I've got a few reasons:

  1. I love dresses, you may have noticed: The Dany Sheath. The Tartt Racerback. And The Mauve Shirt Dress, just to name a few.
  2. I especially love midi/maxi length dresses. They are so comfy, can be dressed up or down, and are pretty much a staple year round here in San Diego.
  3. I feel like this dress screams Fall, which I am SO ready for. This Summer has just been way too hot.

Anyone else know the feeling? But really. I feel like the Louisa is the perfect transitional dress from Summer to Fall. And while it isn't quite a to-the-floor maxi, it does come pretty close.

Which works well for the end of Summer & start of Fall. The Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Full Side View

The Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Full Back View

(And again, pretty much year round here in San Diego. Save for the month of July. The month of July can go kick rocks.)

The Louisa can be worn all by itself (& shine!) during the warmer, waning Summer days. Or it can be worn with a lightweight top underneath, for when the weather is cooler.

For reals though. I purchased a top from my fav sustainable vegan clothing line specifically to wear with this dress: The Stella Mock Neck Top from Vesta. It seriously works PERFECTLY with the Louisa.

I hadn't really planned on wearing anything with it when I designed and drafted the Louisa.. But once I had it all cut and was sewing it together, I knew I had to have the grey Stella to complete the look. And honestly, I've had my eye on the Stella since it came out last Fall.

So this just gave me the perfect excuse to finally buy it and continue supporting a girlfriend that I worked in NYC with. It's a win-win, really.

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing TutorialThe Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Vesta Stella Top

But anyways. The Louisa.

Not only have I been on a dress kick lately, but I've also been on a buttons kick. I first got back into sewing buttons with the Mauve Shirt Dress, which I had SO much fun with.

Before sewing up the Mauve, I would pretty much avoid buttons like the plague. (No idea why, looking back.) But now I am on the button train.

Give me all the buttons.

My husband went with me to the fabric store when I was working on the Mauve, and he ended up picking out some fabric so that I could sew him up some Hawaiian shirts. (He's been on a Hawaiian shirt kick lately, via Mac from It's Always Sunny.)

I actually did a post a few weeks back on how to match patterned fabric when I was sewing up one of his shirts. Because I don't really wear prints. Who says multitasking isn't possible?

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing TutorialThe Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Front Mid View

But anyways. Between the Mauve and the husband's Hawaiian shirts, I have pretty much been sewing buttons nonstop. And it made me REALLY want to incorporate buttons into this month's sewing project as well.

It's almost like the travel bug you get the first time you go abroad--Once you've started, you don't want to stop. Only, in this case, instead of traveling to sick ass places around the world.. All I want to do is sew with buttons.

SO. Long story long, when I was designing this month's project, I really just wanted an easy slip on dress with buttons. Which I think I nailed on the head, am I right?

The dress falls almost to the floor, and has a bit of an A-line shape to it. I love the shape of the dress.. It's actually pretty reminiscent of the Teri Dress, which was our very first sewing project.

(Can't believe that was almost a year ago, WTF.)

Both the front & back necklines are deep and rounded, which I love.

The center front button closure is obviously the most prominent detail on the dress, which is exactly how I wanted it to be.

BTW: We did a vote on Instagram about what buttons to use for this dress.. And the dark brown won out!

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing TutorialThe Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Dress Anatomy

Also, of course, I included inseam side pockets on the Louisa. Because.. Pockets.

Any dress that doesn't have pockets is a sad dress indeed. (If you happen to have a sad, pocketless dress, we've got you covered. Add inseam pockets to ANYTHING using our step-by-step tutorial on how to sew an inseam pocket. Seriously so easy!)

I wanted to limit the amount of topstitching on the Louisa, because I feel like it has a very beautiful, minimal look to it.

I've really been working on updating my Pinterest profile the last few months, and I got sucked back into my love for Japanese fashion. And while there are some crazy detailed Japanese fashion designers out there, there is also some really beautiful minimalistic Japanese fashion too.

Which I felt the Louisa resembled a bit.

I had originally hand stitched the neckline & armhole seams to the body of the dress, but it turned out HORRIBLE. So I had to rip out all of that hand stitching (and about two hours worth of hand sewing) and ended up just topstitching over it.

In hindsight, I probably would have sewn a seam binding along the neckline & armhole edges.. But what can you do?

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing TutorialThe Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Full Side View

I had already serged the raw edges, and it would have taken even more time to add a binding. So I went the easy route this time and just stitched over it. I still think it looks pretty good though, and MUCH better than the hand stitching did. You live and you learn, right?

The fabric that I used for the Louisa is a poly poplin. While the fabric is pretty lightweight, it holds its shape pretty well, which allows for that sort of voluminous look the Louisa has.

I think that because the fabric is so lightweight, that's why the above noted hand stitching looked so terrible. If the fabric had a slightly heavier hand, it might have turned out differently.

I also think that the Louisa would look GREAT in a lightweight knit, sort of like what I used for the Dany. That's originally what I was looking for when I went to the fabric store, but the mustard yellow of the poplin caught my eye and won me over.

I am urging Fall to come to San Diego with this dress.

And I have never been happier that #winteriscoming.

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing TutorialThe Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Front Close Up

The Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Back Close Up

But anyways.. Now it's time to tell you about the namesake for the Louisa. I am yet again continuing the trend of naming this month's sewing project after a beloved character from one of my many books.

This time, the book is a bit of a newer one: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. You may have heard of it?

The book itself came out years ago, but I had put off reading it because I heard that it was absolutely amazing. And I'm sure that sounds a little backwards.. If it's so amazing, wouldn't you want to read it right away?

I prefer to keep amazing books in my back pocket for when I need a boost with my reading. Like if I'm going through a reading slump (which happens occasionally) or when I finish a book that was really difficult to get through.. I like to reward myself with something amazing. 

This is what happened with Me Before You.. I had read a few difficult books (way too much nonfiction) and I needed something that was going to be amazing.

And WOW, it did not disappoint.

The story follows the life of Louisa Clark, an ordinary English girl living in a small town with her family. She loses her job and ends up working for this wealthy family whose rich, powerful, & handsome son becomes a paraplegic after a horrible accident.

She essentially becomes the man's watcher during the day, to keep him from hurting himself.

The Louisa Midi Sewing Project How To Sew A Button Side Close Up

I don't want to spoil too much of the story.. But I am in awe of Louisa Clark, weeks after finishing the book. While most people aren't able to see past the difficulties of living as a paraplegic (including the man in the novel, who is one & couldn't see past it himself) Louisa does.

She cares for the man, but she doesn't pity him. She learns to take care of him, but not to be overbearing. It's hard to describe Louisa.. But she's just an incredible human. I have yet to see the movie with Emilia Clark, but I have a weird feeling that Emilia Clark would literally BE Louisa Clark if she wasn't famous. Which makes me love Louisa even more, because I absolutely adore Emilia Clark.

Anyways.. I hope that if I was ever in the position of Louisa, that I would be able to see as she does. It's hard to say until you're forced into that position. But it's definitely an outlook I would aspire to if the need ever arose.

She's strong, honest, and humble. Funny, without being cruel. Very real, but also very idealistic. All are qualities that I hope to emulate myself, and that I hope my readers try to emulate as well.

I hope you love this month's sewing project as much as I do. If you have read Me Before You, did you love it? Hate it? I'd love to chat about it below!

(Ready to learn how to sew a button? This month's step-by-step sewing tutorial has to be our easiest one yet. Download your free, printable guide on all there is to know about how to sew a button today!)How To Sew A Button Sewing Tutorial

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