Sunday, January 11, 2015

Françoise - a pattern review

Late last year, Tilly released a new pattern on her website called Françoise! A spunky little 60s number with raglan sleeves and a sweeping A-line shape

Tilly had reached out to me to give this lovely lady a review but I didn't get to sewing it well after the sew-along in early December cause things were just too crazy. But here she is now!*


Considering I sew mainly vintage and sometimes Burdastyle patterns, this was a good way to shake up my sewing routine with instructions and patterns from the Indie pattern scene


I'm quite naughty with pattern instructions - I tend to gloss over them and sew freestyle as per my own experience, referring only to the pattern when I get to a tricky bit. 

I had done the same with the Françoise instructions and hit a hump very quickly when I decided to change the dress style mid way through.


I started out sewing the sleeveless version, thinking that I need more sleeveless dresses in my life. The fabric I chose was a not-very-stretchy polyester knit that I bought from Stratostreak vintage. The pattern is designed for woven fabrics only, but this fabric has very little stretch so I thought it might still be ok. To describe it, its very similar to polo shirt material... but polyester - which means its really hot to wear! 

And cause we had a lovely little week of hot weather and high humidity, as soon as I tried this on, I knew there was no way in hell this was going to be a summer dress, even if it didn't have sleeves!

So I cut out the sleeves, with the help of Balthazar and continued on my merry way


In my not reading the instructions mode, I tried to sew the sleeves on while the shoulder pieces for the sleeveless version were still intact. Which meant the neck hole was huge!

It took me ages to work out wtf was going on. It was hot and I must have been dehydrated but I eventually worked it out and got on with the sewing. 

Lesson learnt. Always read the instructions on indie patterns!

Size wise, I cut a size 6 as per Tilly's measurement chart. I'm normally smaller on the top then on the bottom, but for the sake of trying this pattern properly I only cut the one size. It fits well around the hips with no adjustments and the bust is fitted but not too loose. For me, I might like the arms to be a little slimmer, but the fabric also bunches in a way that looks bulky, so it could just be me

The dress is shaped by darts at the front which run from the hip up to the bust. I quite like this style because it shapes the dress not only at the bust but also into the waist. 


There are also two darts at the back which normally I omit on some patterns as it makes me look like I have a sway-back, but I kept these in. Because the dress is well fitted I didn't have this problem of the swingy-ness back there


I like that this dress has 3/4 sleeves. Even though this will now become a cool weather dress, the sleeve length is nice a practical. The collar is optional but how could I not include it!

It looks a little off centre in the photos, but its not. While modelling this dress is was about 30 degrees inside my house (north-facing houses are a blessing and a curse) so it was a bit sticky modelling this polyester pretty and things got a bit clingy and twisted.


 

I didn't use the facings to finish the neckline as the fabric was bulky enough and I knew it would have problems sitting properly. (I had to use a vinegar/water solution to get the collar to press crisply). Instead I used a cute stripy bias binding to seal the neckline. It matched the fabric colour wise, and so the pattern clash was a nice match.

I obviously need to practice lining up the bias at the back though... 



The back neck is not my finest work. Lucky I have long hair to cover that... 


One thing I really liked while sewing the sleeveless version, which made me decide that this pattern was pretty well designed...

When the shoulder piece was attached to the dress front piece, if you sew with the correct 1.5cm allowance, once you press it open, the two pieces match perfectly to create the arm hole! 

Nice work there Tilly! 

So neat!

So in the end, I'm quite happy with this pretty little darling. Very sweet and a good pattern if you are a new sewer as the instructions (once you read them) are very clear. I like that its very clearly influenced by mid 60s dresses, like most of her designs, so if you prefer to use new patterns I would highly recommend looking at Tilly's range.

The sizes run from bust size 30 to 44 inches so there is a good variety of sizes for all the lovely ladies in the world. 


What do you think of Françoise? Have you sewn with her yet, or any other of her sister patterns? 

Thanks for popping in readers, I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekends or the upcoming week. I back at work tomorrow for the first time in 3 weeks! Eeek! I only have 3 or so weeks left before my new role so I'm excited but starting to get a little sad at the same time cause I'll totally miss my team. Oh my!

Till next time! 
Cat xo 

*This pattern was gifted to me as part of a request to review the new Françoise pattern. All opinions are my own

32 comments:

  1. Such a cutie on you. The green you have chosen is one of my favourite colours. Nice work there lady x

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    1. Thanks! yes its a lovely apple green shade!

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  2. I love this cute dress and the bright green fabric. It looks great on you! I haven't tried Francoise yet as I've been using Colette Patterns Laurel for my 60s dresses.

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    1. thanks! Laurel is a good one but this one has raglan sleeves instead of set in sleeves which it a nice little change :)

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  3. Hi, dear Catherine! As I have told you, Lucy in the Sky and others, green is my favorite color, and I love this shade and how it looks on you. The style, shape, sleeve length, hemline and pattern make this a fun and feminine frock, perfect for your warm weather out and abouts. As always you've done a fantastic job!

    I hope your first day back at work goes well, dear friend Cat. Take care and let's chat again soon!

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    1. thank you as always Shady for being so complimentary! I haven't checked on your blog in a while but i will do so now!

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  4. Hahahaha, I am quite the freestyler too! Gets me into trouble at times...
    This frock is SO you, and so cute, and I love the fabric choice!
    XXX

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    1. haha yes! perhaps we should read the instructions every now and again! thanks Helga!!

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  5. That's a really great dress, the shape and the collar detail are perfect on you, and I love the apple green polka dot fabric too. I'm relieved to know that even experienced sewists like yourself get stumped occasionally, that makes me feel better!
    PS. Have emailed you with more photos. xxx

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    1. Thanks! Oh i make plenty of mistakes - like that time recently i made too small sleeves for a dress... you'll see and hear about it soon!

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  6. Such an adorable dress! That color is a dream.

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  7. I had to laugh, I'm quite the sewing freestyler too, I dismiss the instructions with an air of YES I KNOW until I have to go back to them with my tail between my legs. This looks so great, I may have to get it at some point as I love raglan sleeves. I saw a version on Pinterest (maybe it was you that pinned it?) where it had cuffs added which was a nice touch. I love the fabric you chose, that green is great and oh so 60s/70s. Such a fun outfit! And yay you got your shoes fixed! (I remember the strap broke? Or did I imagine that?)

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    1. haha that is exactly what i felt like! i could imagine Tilly standing next to me say "Catherine! why didn't you just read the instructions in this adorable little book I wrote!" There are a few versions on Pinterest - Tilly or other people have been pinning them. I think that one with the cuffs won the sew along challenge actually! it was so pretty! and yes the strap did break and that lovely little shoe company has now been taken over by a stupid company who cant be arsed to feature the same heels/straps etc so my dreams of having another pair a dead!!

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  8. Love the colour and fit - looks great!

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  9. I love your version of the pattern, the green is pretty and I like the contrasting bias. Also you're pretty committed to your blog to take photos of a winter dress in 30 degrees heat! That's pretty awesome.

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    1. thanks! haha well i was given this for a review, so i really was trying to document this as quick as possible! I was back to being lazy and eating ice blocks in front of the air-con immediately after though!

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  10. Love the apple green fabric, makes the dress look so authentic and vintage-looking. The dress fits you like a dream.
    I see you too have a pattern surfing cat! Ours skid around my cut-out pieces like they're skateboards. xxx

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    1. Oooh thank you! it is old fabric, but goodness knows how old! My kitty likes to just sit quietly in inconvenient spots. like right next to the machine so i can't feed the fabric through without it hitting him for example! you have wooden floors though - perfect for kitty ice hockey games!

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  11. I love the fabric choice, the dress looks great on you. I haven't bought this pattern as I have so many original 60s ones which are pretty much the same.

    I love the picture of your cat sitting on the pattern, cats always have to get involved don't they! x

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    1. Thank you! its got a really nice raglan sleeve - which i haven't seen in many vintage patterns and of course its multi sized which is handy when wanting to modify to fit your self.
      Balthazar is always involved! always at the worst time too!

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  12. Gorgeous green! And you're right about the collar. I'm half way through my Francoise and am having Smaller On Top Issues despite grading between sizes. I'm just about to take it in some at the back by moving the zip in at the top and hopefully that'll do the trick. Great photos and a really helpful review - thanks! Catherine x

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    1. Thanks! i hope you were able to resolve your size issue? glad you liked the post!

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  13. oh I like the green dots! I've still not made tilly's coco which I bought the pattern for (oops!)
    this pattern is definitely your style, if you hadn't mentioned it was the francoise it would easily be taken as a vintage pattern :)

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    1. oopsy! im sure you'll get to it soon, once you find the right fabric maybe!? Ive not seen many vintage patterns with raglan sleeves, so its a nice change to the normal set in sleeve!

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  14. What a very cute dress and such a fun 60's vibe-y fabric. What a good little kitty helping out too! Good idea to add sleeves to it to save for the colder months. I wish Autumn would hurry up and get its butt on over here!

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    1. hehe yes, he can be good, unless he'd trying to eat the thread off cuts! then thats a no no!!!!! oh i dont want Autumn to come! but then again autumn for you is probably better then out Autumn!

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  15. I adore this dress on you!!! Perhaps it's the green fabric, but I'm loving that style. Looks like something I could tackle in the future perhaps! Xx

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    1. Thanks! the green is very popular with everyone i see! Its very simple - i recommend it for sure!

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