Hot! The “Fly & Chill” Dress | Adey Lim


 The Facts

P3043442 Fabric: Laser cut daisy 0.5 yards from US$3.85, Off white Cotton/linen blend 1 yard from ikea US$2.65 and scraps from previous projects.
Patterns: Simplicity 8278
Year: c. 1969
Notions: Huge snap buttons US$0.50
Time to complete: 4 and a half hours
First worn: 7 March 2011
Wear again? Maybe

Total Cost: ~US$7



I kept going through photos of local icons such as the Marina Bay Sands,  the Merlion, Raffles Hotel and Chinatown but didn't feel very inspired. But, when going home from the airport one weekend, I felt absolutely inspired by the 3-dimensional floral sunshade facade of the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport! This is my chance to make good use of an 'impulse buy' laser cut floral fabric I got a few months back on! So, now I feel slightly less guilty:P

P3043441The building is designed to create a resort style “time-out” for the exhausted stopover traveller with a quick shot of the steamy tropics, a taste of Singapore. The hotel's delicate filigree floral exterior softens the surroundings, the airport infrastructure, planes, trains, cars, aluminium, steel and tinted glass and welcomes visitors to Singapore. In fact, for anyone coming into Singapore through Changi Airport terminals 1, 2 and 3, this could very well be the first interesting structure you see.  According to its designers, the florals on the facade are orchids, our national flower. 


After going through my pattern stash, I chose Simplicity 8278, a mod dress pattern from 1969 as it had some resort feel and the curve of the neckline reminded me of the curve uncovered area of the structure which led to the hotel pool (photo above).

I also love that this modern yet tropical hotel has obtained the green-mark for its eco friendliness including maximizing the use of natural lighting and using recycled timber in its architecture. And that in turn inspired me to use fabrics from my scrap basket for this project. Some leftover black cotton sateen from my  glossy jumpsuit was used for the back of the dress and one of the sleeve while the beige cotton fabric from my time travel frock was used for the facings (which ran the entire neckline and front opening), and at times, does a peek-a-boo from the sides. I used different colored threads (black top, beige bottom or off white top, beige bottom) for topstitching the two front panels to blend in well with the fabrics on the front panels and the facings.  


The sewing pattern is pretty straight forward and can be finished quite quickly but there were two points I deviated from. The instructions said to sew the interfacing onto the wrong side of the front before attaching the facings. I decided to go with how I would normally add interfacing, by ironing it onto the wrong side of the facings before stitching onto the front section of the dress.  I used a heavy weight interfacing to ensure that it could support the heavier laser cut fabric to 'stand' at the neckline and it worked well. My second deviation was to topstitch the entire neckline and the front opening to the facings rather than  tagging it only to the shoulder seams. 

My intention was to sew version A (yellow dress with belt) but realized after I'd finished the dress that I didn't like the way the laser cut fabric looked under a belt so i dropped the idea. It is a roomy comfortable dress but I am so not used to seeing myself 'waist-less' so I'm not unsure when I would be wearing this again. 

As the laser cut section is lined with the off white cotton and the white cotton on the opposite panel is lined with remnant poly lining, I wasn't sure if this dress would be local weather friendly but that turned out fine. I stood in the sun for the photos just outside the building that inspired the dress and didn't perspire much. The headband was causing more perspiration:)

While I was inspired by this structure, I realized that it wasn't gonna be easy getting myself and the white floral facade which starts only on the second floor of the hotel into one photo. I really appreciate having a supportive family cos after dinner last weekend, hubby brought me to the airport where we checked out the place and found this spot adjacent to the subway. Phew!



Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


Comments are closed.

  1. I love this dress, Adey! It’s such a perfect inspiration and a way to really make that laser cut fabric work! I know what you mean about not having a waistline! However, I think it looks fabulous on you and you can totally pull it off! Great inspiration!!!

  2. This is a really clever way to present the idea of a place. I too prefer a little definition around the waist, but the straight dress in the laser cut works very well without the belt and looks wonderfully cool and chic.

  3. Wow Adey! I think this might be one of my favorites! The entire concept from fabric to place came together so beautifully! You look absolutely stunning! Love it!!

  4. Fantastic !
    The pattern is so nice, and you have met the challenge perfctly (as usual )

  5. margueritedesigns

    It’s great – well done!

  6. It’s terrific to see the new look you. The dress is quite stunning. You have a good eye for what is going to suit you.
    And the chain trimmed leather shoes (wow) and headband, not to mention the background, are just wonderful.
    I haven’t been to Singapore but have been in transit at your airport a couple of times. I think it is a terrific terminal to stop at. Everything a traveller needs.

  7. You are so good at sewing. Sewing is like cooking, if you don’t get the ingredients just right the dish doesn’t turn out. It really is an art form to dress the body and I can tell you thrive at it. Awesome job.

  8. Wonderful inspiration, dress and photos!

  9. Thank you so much Mena for the encouragement, I just might wear it again:)

  10. Thank you so much Jen! I was afraid I didn't explain it well:) I am feeling encouraged and hopefully brave enough to wear the dress again:)

  11. Thank you so much Debi! Hope you are having a good trip! I definitely miss seeing your creation this week and can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  12. Thank you so much Charlotte! I'm totally encouraged and motivated by your words!

  13. Thank you so much margueritedesigns:)

  14. LOL! Thank you so much Irene. I was feeling brave that morning, brave enough to put on that headband! And I'm so glad you enjoyed your transits here! Come visit some day!

  15. Aw! Thank you so much for saying that Gina. Thanks for your encouraging words! Your 50s fun dress looks SO cute, I love the pink contrast!

  16. Jali, you are ever so kind and sweet! Thank you!

  17. WOW! Adey this is so cool – the 1960s dress is perfect on you and the laser-cut fabric is to die for! Also, I am now itching to hop a plane to see this beautiful place!

  18. This would definitely be a winner on PR for clearest interpretation! It is a really neat dress and that fabric is so cool! Plus, now I want to go to Singapore.

  19. your dress totally looks like Changi-effotless, and breezy, but modern, hi-tech, and tropical! And it looks terrific without a belt, so wear it again, by all means:)

  20. Definitely be brave! – it looks great and you have styled it beautifully with your choice of accessories.

  21. This looks great Adey! Your inspiration and interpretation are fab! Love it.

  22. Thanks Sarah! Come come! We can go fabric shopping together! I take it that you meant 'now' and not 'not'. LOL:P

  23. Thanks Bhoomika! I'm so glad you said that since you have been to Changi. Wished we could have met up. Fly in on a weekday next time please:)

  24. LOL! Thanks for the encouragement Jen. I'm building up my courage! Outdoor photography is really tough but I love a good challenge so I hope to be more relaxed and crazier as time goes by. Can you see how frozen I looked in the photos. I have no idea where to put my hands!

  25. I'm so glad someone else thinks that fabric is cool! It makes my impulse buy more justified haha:P Wow! It would be an honor to win something on PR, thanks for saying that!  Please do visit us sometime! The food and shopping (though not much in terms of vintage or thrift) here is awesome!

  26. Oh, thanks casey sew. I really appreciate all your comments and encouragements through the weeks! And thanks for sewing with us:)

  27. What a great inspiration to have! And I love your whole thought process on how you used the scrap fabrics in order to be “green” like the building.
    And you could always use a belt to cinch the waist if you want to wear this again and not feel “waist-less”! (I know the feeling!)

  28. LOL – yes! It’s typo Tuesday for me – HA!

  29. Thanks Amanda! I am so glad you enjoyed reading about my thought process. Sometimes I tend to over-think a project cos' the possibilities are endless instead of working on it already:)

  30. LOL! Can't wait till Friday to see your creation!

  31. I’m so impressed with your ability to design/create a dress inspired by a building! Very, very impressive.

  32. I adore your fabric choices! This dress is fabulous in so many ways, and I love how it fits right in with the architecture of the building. I love that you tried to be as green as possible because the building is eco-friendly – I think that worked so well for your final product. Excellent work!

  33. Hi r8chel:) I actually thought it was really hard initially until I saw the 'right' building. Thanks so much for the encouraging words!

  34. Thank you so much Megan! Sometimes when I think too much I create unwearable stuff so I am really glad it worked out this time :) 

  35. Darling Adey! The shape of the dress is perfect and I’m really glad you went without the belt, it looks gorgeous and mod!
    You’ve taken so much care with this, with the fabric choice matching the building totally! I especially love your photos and SHOES!!!!

  36. You make this great looking dress look wonderful. I love the inspiration too, what a beautiful place. I love those shoes too. I could definitely see this dress at a dinner party.

  37. Thanks Sue! I'm so glad you like it:) Have a blessed weekend!

  38. Thanks babe! I'm thrilled that you like this:) Have a great weekend!