What do you do with a well-loved bedspread and a desire to sew clothes?
Well, you find an easy-to-sew blouse pattern and upcycle that bedspread into a fun, flirty top.
Upcycling had been on my mind when I started looking for fabric for Floaty Florence. I never intended to use my grandmother’s bedspread but it ended up being the perfect fabric for this pattern.
What is Floaty Florence?
Floaty Florence is a flirty top that is easy to dress up or down based on your fabric choice, what bottoms you pair with it (leggings, skirt, jeans, etc.), and accessories you select (including shoes and jewelry.)
A simple yet stunning floaty top sewing pattern that is incredibly versatile…Description from Rebecca Page site
With a back hem 2 3/4 inches longer than the front hem, Floaty Florence makes a great maternity top as well as a swim suit cover up.
Is it a PDF or paper pattern?
Floaty Florence is a digital PDF pattern that you get instant access to after purchasing.
It does need to be downloaded, printed, and taped together.
What sizes are included?
There are 2 Floaty Florence patterns. One for adults and one for children:
If you want to make both an adult and child-sized Floaty Florence, there is a bundle option.
The adult pattern was the one I worked with so the rest of the answers are based on my experience with the adult Floaty Florence.
Are there options or different versions included in the pattern?
There are several options with Floaty Florence:
- Neckline options
- a boat neckline
- a high neckline
- Two different lengths
- With or without a button-hole tie belt
In addition, there is a page of almost 20 different modification and hack ideas for other variations of Florence. These include tank straps, keyhole neckline, shoulder snaps, and cowl neck.
What version of the Floaty Florence did you make?
The Floaty Florence I made has the boat neckline, longer hem, and no button-hole tie belt.
How many pattern pieces are there?
There are a total of 5 pattern pieces:
- front and back piece
- front neck facing for boat neckline
- front neck facing for high neckline
- back neck facing
- belt (optional)
What fabric is recommended?
In order to get the light, floaty effect of the garment, you need a fabric that will drape.
Light weight woven fabrics (such as chiffon, georgette, and viscose), as well as light weight knits (like jersey), are recommended.
Other fabrics are mentioned in the materials section of the pattern like light weight cotton lycra, terry, and rayon challis.
If you sew Floaty Florence with a less drapey fabric like flannel or cotton, the result will be more boxy and less flowy.
But if you prefer this type of look, go for it.
How much fabric does it take?
If using a 60-inch wide fabric, you’ll need 1 3/4 yards of fabric. If the fabric you use is less than 60-inches wide, has a directional print, or nap, you may need more.
What fabric did you use and where did you get it?
When I was looking through my stash of fabric for something suitable, I came across a bedspread that used to belong to my grandma.
The fabric is a jacquard/damask made of a lovely shade of blue with silvery threads on the right side. I’ve never used it as a bedspread because there are several small holes in it made through wear or moths and it’s smaller than any bed I have.
I’m not sure what inspired me, but I pulled it out of the stack of vintage linens I have stored and draped it over my body.
It seemed drapey enough to me and there was enough of it, so I decided to upcycle the bedspread into Floaty Florence.
What other supplies or notions are needed?
You need light-weight interfacing for the neck facings and thread.
What is the difficulty level?
This is a beginner level pattern.
What sewing tools are needed?
Basic sewing tools are needed. These include pins/clips, scissors, tape measure or ruler and sewing machine.
If the fabric you’re using is very thin and flowy, having a new sharp needle would be beneficial.
Is special equipment required?
No special equipment is needed. A serger/overlocker is optional but not required.
Instead of pins, I used pattern weights to hold the pieces in place.
Because I printed multiple sizes, I used a tracing wheel and paper to transfer the pattern lines to the fabric for the front and back of the top instead of cutting out on the lines. This was my choice and these are not required tools.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the instructions were easy to follow.
For beginner and less experienced sewists the directions are given in a step-by-step tutorial with pictures.
For more experienced sewists there is a Quick Glance Cheat Sheet. It’s a one page set of directions without any pictures.
What sewing skills do I need?
To make Floaty Florence you need to…
- know how to use a sewing machine.
- know how to layout pattern pieces using grainlines.
- can make button holes if you want to make the optional tie belt.
BONUS SKILLS: During the construction of this blouse pattern, you use staystitching, basting, and French seams.
You don’t need to know how to do these techniques prior to making the floaty top because it is clearly explained in the directions.
Other sewing techniques mentioned but not explained in the pattern directions are topstitching and the roll hem method.
Topstitching is basically sewing close to the edge on the right side of the fabric. It’s a technique I use frequently like in steps 8 and 9 of the fabric drink coasters.
Traditional hemming worked with the fabric I used. However, if you select a lightweight fabric, you may want to learn how to use the roll hem method.
Was it an easy top to sew?
Floaty Florence was very easy to sew.
What did you do to make sure it fits correctly?
Take chest, waist, and hip measurements to determine what size Florence you need to print, cut, out and make.
Making a muslin is not in the directions for this pattern. The neckline options, large armholes, and loose fit of Florence mean this blouse design has only a few areas where you may need to adjust fit.
A page of fitting notes is included with the pattern but the following are the three I used:
- There is a recommendation in the fitting notes to cut out the neck facing first to make sure it goes over your head easily and isn’t too wide.
- Bust adjustments
- There isn’t any need for bust adjustments if your cup size is A-C.
- D and E cups add 1 inch in length at designated lines.
- Cup sizes above E add 1.5 inches at the designated lines.
- The pattern is designed for a height of 5 foot 4 inches. I’m 5 feet 7 inches tall so I lengthened the pattern by adding 3 inches at the designated lines on the front and back pattern piece.
What tips or suggestions do you have for making the Floaty Florence?
Read Everything Before Starting
Usually, a pattern or project directions will say to read through all the instructions before starting.
There is a lot of good information that is included before and after the construction directions. I suggest reading everything before starting.
Make sure to pay particular attention to the Modification and Hack Ideas page before starting on your Floaty Florence. You may see one or two you want to include.
Use a Rotary Cutter for Small Pieces
Usually I use fabric scissors to cut out patterns.
This time I tried my 18mm rotary cutter when I cut out the interfacing for the neck facing. It is a smaller pattern piece and the scissors seemed bulky.
It worked really well and I know I’ll use the rotary cutter again in the future. Especially on smaller pieces.
Use Clips When Hemming the Facing
When making the facing, there is a step where you are turn under the outer circular edge of the facing 1/4″ twice and top stitch it.
During the construction process, it says to press. If you press the hem and it doesn’t stay folded, use clips to hold it in place. It makes sewing it, much easier.
Would you recommend this pattern?
Yes, I would. The floaty design of the blouse would flatter many types of figures.
Pair this with the simple construction process and minimal fitting issues, and Florence is and easy top to sew that won’t take long to make.
Would you make it again?
I would…the style isn’t one I’ve worn before, but it makes me feel good when I wear it.
In addition, there were several modifications I would like to try like:
- color blocking
- scooped neckline
- keyhole neckline
Do you have other questions?
I tried to anticipate any questions you might have about Floaty Florence. If there’s something you’re wondering about that I didn’t answer, make sure to put it in the comments below or email me directly at email@example.com.
Florence is a super quick sew with the added bonus of not having to fiddle with fitting. The loose design amazingly still provides evidence of a flattering silhouette even without the ties. The modification and hack ideas included with the pattern provide a variety of options to try making Florence another pattern I’m going to sew more than once!Review by Nicki Hibbits, Rebecca Page Brand Ambassador, July 2020
Disclosure: As a RP Brand Ambassador, it’s my responsibility to choose and sew one Rebecca Page pattern a month, write a review, send in pictures of my final garment, and share my make in the Rebecca Page FB Sewing Group. In return, I receive the pattern at no charge and a credit to be used for future patterns when I complete my monthly responsibilities.
Support and Inspire You
This blog post is not part of my Brand Ambassador responsibilities.
My goal at The Ruffled Purse is to help you discover the joy of sewing.
One way I do that is share my experience and opinion about patterns I have personally used to help you make a more informed decision.
Whether you’re new to sewing or have been sewing for a while, hopefully, my experience with making Floaty Florence will help you decide if this is a pattern for you.
Rebecca Page Brand Ambassadors consist of sewists at all different levels. While I have been sewing for a long time, I’m fairly new to sewing clothes.
Becoming a Brand Ambassador for Rebecca Page, a company who offers beginner-friendly, and easy-to-use patterns, provided the opportunity I needed to push past my fears and excuses and dive into the world of making my own clothes.
If fear of the unknown is holding you back from sewing your own clothes I want to help you.
If you’ve been thinking about learning to sew but haven’t made the leap yet, check out my FREE online Starting to Sew class. It is self-paced so you can go through it at a speed that feels good to you.
My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.
Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work together to get it figured out!
Make sure you sign up for Snappy Scissors (my FREE newsletter sent directly to your inbox) for ongoing sewing inspiration and education. You can find the sign-up box at the bottom of the post.
Nicki has taught classes in:
More Sewing Education
Looking for more posts related to sewing your own clothes? Here are a few other posts you may enjoy: