the florida collection

There’s nothing more rewarding in sewing then when a plan comes together, when weeks of thinking and organizing and fitting and cutting and sewing finally come together. In February, I posted my thoughts about a few new pieces I wanted to have for a trip to Florida. The trip has since come and gone (and it was fantastic!), and now it’s time to see, of the things on the list, what came together and what didn’t.

You know I love to sew in groups or collections of garments, and sewing for a specific event or trip is my ultimate project. It is so much fun! I always appreciate a collection with a clear and cohesive color story with coordinating prints, and this particular group is lacking in that respect. The blue top sticks out like a sore thumb and I’ve got three very different prints going on, but this project was more about specific garments for specific events, so from that perspective I’m very pleased.

In the planning post, I mentioned that I needed the following: a couple comfy tops to travel in, a swimsuit cover up, a cocktail dress, a couple of sundresses, and an outfit for exploring Miami.

Garments successfully made: tops, cocktail dress, sundresses, Miami outfit

Garments not made: swimsuit cover up

I had big plans for a wrap skirt swimsuit cover up in this yummy rayon challis, but time ran out before I could get to that project. (I ordered a navy sarong from Amazon and called it good.) As we got closer to the departure date I had to prioritize my unfinished projects, and this one got left behind. I’m okay with that though, because I think this fabric will be great for another project in a summer/4th of July collection I’m planning. Maybe a maxi dress?

I finished this dress first, and I wore it to dinner one night. I am completely and totally in love with this little gingham number, and it was perfect for this trip. It’s linen so it wrinkled quite a bit and required some ironing after we got there, but that’s okay with me. It was so comfortable, and I got loads of nice compliments on it. For more about this dress, see this post.

Full disclosure: I made this dress last summer. I knew it would be a great dress for this trip, and it was. I wore this to the welcome reception on the beach. Loved it. For more about this dress as well as a tip for a better fitting bust, see this post from last week.

I made three tops for this trip, all using the same pattern. This one is my favorite of the bunch. The floral trim is just so pretty! It wasn’t ridiculously hot in Florida yet, so I could still wear jeans and not be uncomfortably hot. My travel outfits and the exploring Miami outfit were the same: one of these tops, skinny jeans, a hat, and sandals. It was great. For more about these tops and a tutorial for the ruffle, see this post.

The cocktail dress: easily one of my favorite projects. I got more compliments on this dress than I’ve ever gotten on any other project, ever. So not only was I glad other people liked it as much as I did, I was proud to tell them that I made it. (You should have seen some of the reactions that got!) Read about the cocktail dress here.

This is by no means a sundress, but it came in handy for another dinner event. This is one of my all time favorite patterns, and this is fourth time I’ve made this dress. Read about the others here and here. This is Vogue 8825 in a coral rayon ponte knit from Mood.

I also planned to make a pair of white linen pants, and while I did make them, I didn’t take them to Florida. They didn’t really work with the tops I made, so you’ll see those soon with a top that makes a little more sense.

I was so excited to get pretty blog pictures on the beach (what a great opportunity, right?), but a funny thing happens when I get to a beach: I don’t care about pretty pictures. I’m much more concerned with how quickly I can throw on a swimsuit, get to the beach, and swim my little heart out. There were also a lot of people there, and taking selfies and blog pictures in front of a bunch of strangers isn’t my idea of a good time. At any rate, the trip was a wonderful, and I couldn’t be happier with the collection I made for it.

Now, on to more projects!


  1. Claire Gawne | 7th Jun 17

    Thank you so much for letting me know, that’s great to hear! It’s making me feel much more confident about cracking on with them! Claire 🙂

    • Emily | 9th Jun 17

      I’m so glad! Have fun sewing them!

  2. Claire Gawne | 3rd Jun 17

    Hey Emily, I’d love to know how you got on with the construction and fit of those Vogue pants, I’m about to make them for myself – is there a post I’m missing? If not just let me know if they were worth it 😛 Claire x

    • Emily | 3rd Jun 17

      Hi Claire! Thank you for the comment. There’s not a post for those specific pants on the blog yet but I do love the pattern, and I didn’t make a single adjustment to it. It was great right out of the envelope! I will dedicate a post to them in the coming weeks, but for now I’ll say that the construction is straightforward and the fit is very, very flattering. Have fun sewing them, and let me know how they turn out. 🙂

  3. D R M | 30th Mar 17

    I love your blog. I don’t usually follow blogs, but yours is well written and interesting, while fun to read. I teach costume design and I’m an Independent Visual Designer for various music, dance, and theatre productions. I am always impressed with your technical exicution, as well as, your choice of textiles. Your attention to detail and fit are perfection. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your next garment and post. ?

    • Emily | 2nd Apr 17

      Hello! Thank you for the kind words! I enjoy every aspect of design and construction, so I’m thrilled my passion for it comes through in this little blog. I’m just a big sucker for pretty fabrics! Thanks again, and have a great week! 🙂

  4. Heather Myers | 29th Mar 17

    Great trip collection!

  5. Sue Keator | 29th Mar 17

    I love the collection, but the last photo, are you fishing in a dress? Love it!

    • Emily | 29th Mar 17

      Hahahaha! Sue, this made me laugh big time! It looks like a dress, but it’s actually a long sleeve swimsuit and a skirt cover up. Maybe a dress would have been more fun?! 🙂 🙂

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