Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Francoise x2 by Tilly and the Buttons

So I do love simple A line dresses and french darts.  I was eyeing the Francoise since it came out, but not totally sure, when a friend who wanted me to make her a dress tipped the balance (she bought me the pdf.)

I am not sure why I felt the need for a muslin version of this dress. I had doubts about the fit, about how it would come together, about how to line it for version 2?  All of these things.  Reasonably so.  I cut myself a size 3, although I noted that my friend's measurements according to the size chart would also afford her a size 3, and she is smaller than I am. 

It actually required a bit of thought to get all the shoulder bits together (and I didn't have enough fabric and substituted some birds, which I don't like). The fabric is nubbly silk and very drapey.  It is not the desired silhouette for this pattern but is one that I am preferential to.  To my surprise there is no pooling over my butt - hurrah for fisheye darts!!  The front darts are a bit prominent but I found them adequately placed and I didn't have any trouble with the french dart.  The dress is a bit long - I cut about 2 inches off prior to hemming it.  However, it was too big.  I took away 1cm off the back center on each side prior to adding the zip and this fixed THAT, although then it made evident that there is excess fabric across the top back (NEVER happens to me, wtf!).  I would need to remove a wedge.  I decided to ignore this and just added the facings to see what would happen.  The gaping is evident.  I think I do mostly like this dress but I would probably also make a size 2 for myself when a next time presents. 

Version 2 in this Marc Jacobs stuff, with a Bemberg lining.
I really didn't want to make this.
It is a lot more fun to just randomly decide today to make X and then make X.
But I have promised this to my friend R since January and she loves this fabric, which is itself a small miracle.  So, it had to happen, and fast, before the sheddy fabric shedded all over my flat.

I had already sold the Pfaff and I am learning something the hard way - I think the cheap, 50 frank Singer sewing machine that I previously had (Thanks for lending it back to me, Ilenia!)  is a lot more fun than the computer monster.  And I think I couldn't have convinced myself of this if I hadn't lived through 8 months of the latter.  The cheap Singer is way easier and more fun to sew with.  Yeah, it doesn't make quite as even stitches and it's a bit harder to get the perfect tension, but I put more effort into trying (I think I expected the other machine to do everything for me.)  I thought I needed a better machine in order to become a better sewist.  Now I understand that I need a reliable machine, but I personally don't want a machine with a lot going on, because I won't bother to take the time to understand it. 

Anyway the dress.  I cut the size 2. Bemberg lining, dress, check.  It is pretty easy to put together although for some reason those shoulder pieces always look like they are lined up wrong.  Making a dress with a lining is soooo much more fun than facings.  I for some reason had really psyched myself out for this lining!  I just sewed the neck and armholes, then slid the dress through the shoulder tunnels, voila.  After that, I sewed up the sides, then installed the zip and did a Cambie finish to get the lining also attached to the zip.

And the result, I must say, is a masterpiece.  It's a tiny bit small for me, thus perfect for R, and I will in future definitely take a small wedge out from each side of the back neck.  The weight of the fabric and the lining make this dress feel really nice and substantial.  I think I would still make a size 2 for me, but use a fabric with a bit of stretch.  And a lining!  

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