Saturday, 13 December 2014

In which I show you the shortest dress I've ever loved.

Nothing like a last minute entry, eh?

I saw Tilly introduce the Francoise pattern and thought it was cute and put it on my mental "to make" list. But then I saw the #SewingFrancoise contest, and the fire under my butt was lit. I clicked "purchase" and was on my way.
#SewingFrancoise dress :)
My original plan and what you see here are so completely different it's almost amusing. When I read that one of Tilly's suggestions was to make it a Christmas party dress, I was planning on making it in a rich red velveteen with a detachable white fur collar (also care of Tilly). I had read Handmade Jane's review, though, and was worried that the thick fabric would be more trouble than it was worth. Also, I was concerned with sewing those long waist darts in velveteen, and how much movement I would get in the sleeves with a not very stretchy fabric. So I decided a muslin was definitely in order. Luckily, in the plastic tub where I keep my muslin fabric, I came across the two fabrics you see here and thought "they would look great as the bodice and contrasting sleeves", and off to the races I went. Both fabrics were gifts from my sister from her fashion design schooling days. The green fabric was a pain to press and a bit slippery to sew with. Probably some sort of polyester made to look like linen. The floral is a stretch cotton I believe and lovely to sew with. Presses like a dream.

I had a number of issues. The first is that those damn waist darts gave me a considerable bit of trouble. On the original pattern, both the bust and waist darts were way too high on me. But the odd thing is that they didn't result in nip-bumps. But they looked odd. So I moved them. Like fifteen times. And the waist darts now sit where they should, but give me little nip-bumps. Whatever. I'll just have to work on it in future versions.

And another thing: don't ask me what size I'm wearing. I originally cut this 3-4-6 but found that the muslin looked like a bag on me. So I ended up making a new front muslin in a 3-3-5 and found it was better. So the back is 3-4-6 and the front is 3-3-5. But honestly, even then, I took it in some more. Oh well.

Some other changes I made: I finished the neckline with self-fabric bias binding because I'm lazy and don't like facings. (Not sure how "spent all night making bias tape" is lazy but to me facings are too fiddly and in my mind would take longer....right?)
What am I doing with my hand? I. Don't. Know.
I also put in pockets! Huzzah! In my new teaching job (oh yeah, I didn't tell you...I got a job in Special Needs again...woot woot!), I have a lanyard with my school keys on them and I HATE wearing the lanyard around my neck, so pockets are a must. Plus I often have my cell phone with me in case the EAs need to get a hold of me for anything and I'm tired of stuffing it into my bra. (Clearly, I'm the classy teacher in school.)
You can kind of see the nippley darts from this angle.
Final thoughts: I forgot to add length to the dress and will do so next time, but even though it is short, it is still super cute (which is shocking because normally I hate short skirts, they are usually not very flattering on me). I might end up wearing this with leggings as more of a tunic (I hate tunics but I can make an exception), so that I don't accidentally flash some ass at school. I think it will still look cute like that. I think overall this will get a lot of wear and I'm happy with it even though originally, when my sister gave me these fabrics I didn't think I would use them because they weren't "me". Go figure.
Although I had the dart problems, I will make this again, maybe next time with no sleeves (maybe I'll use the velveteen for that), just to see how the fit changes.

Overall thoughts: thumbs up :)

 I have a few more projects on blogging back-log that I haven't had time to type up (I'm finishing up a course and coaching basketball????? Don't ask haha.), but with the holidays coming up, they will be on their way soon.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you like it :)

{No, it's not Christmas}


  1. The darts are only a teeny tiny bit pointy (nothing odd!) and I'm loving the contrasting sleeves & neckline bias finish -- I, too, hate facings. The length looks perfect, especially with dark tights (funny what those will help us get away with, haha). Great work, this is an adorable dress on you!

    Oh and the red velveteen + fur collar sounds LOVELY

  2. Saw this on Tilly's pinterest page. Love your floral sleeves with solid contrast! One of my favorite francoise dresses I've seen =)

  3. Awwww thank you so much!!!! You totally made my day! :)