Last month Tilly released her latest pattern – the Francoise Dress. I bought it the first day it was on sale and couldn’t wait to get started. I really couldn’t decide which fabric to use so got to work on making a muslin. Then Tilly announced a competition!! So here’s my entry! If you need some inspiration for your Francoise there’s loads over at Tilly’s pinterest board.
I was a bit stumped at first deciding which dart lines to follow I was blending different sizes from the wait and hips.
The cat helped! I really don’t know how other cat-less sewers out there manage. They always like to get involved!
I made the muslin, complete with sleeves, using an old cotton sheet with no stretch. I wanted to know how it would be with a not very forgiving fabric. The only adjustment I decided to make was to alter the position of the darts.
(photos of my muslin are floating about in the cloud somewhere and unfortunately I can’t locate them at the minute!)
I ummed and arred for a few days wondering what fabric to use. Initially I was going to make the made part of the dress with a navy corduroy and ponte knit orange/blue arms. Sounds hideous I know but I think it would have worked. But then I remembered this stretch cotton sateen which I’ve had a while. It’s been waiting for something special, but has been shrinking (last year I made some mini totes and zipper pouches for Christmas pressies).
I opted for the sleeveless and collarless version with black contrasting yokes. I laid it out on the floor (like in Tilly’s picture) so I didn’t get my pieces mixed up.
The dress was a dream to sew. Think that was due to great instructions and good quality fabric. I used a normal zip but really struggled to zip and unzip it as my arms couldn’t reach, and when I added the facing to the neck the top of the zip stuck out making it look like i needed to loose at least an inch on the centre back seam. Oh no!!
I’ve no idea how it happened but I found I could take the dress off without unzipping it. So I removed the zip and re-stitched the centre back seam, taking in an inch at the top. I could still get it on and off ok, and the gaping back neck was fixed!
I wore the finished dress last friday to my works christmas do. No pix from there I’m afraid – it was too dark for iPhone pix. Today I used the self time and managed to take some, then also braved the wild English weather for a couple of shots in the garden!