Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Fancy Francoise

Another day another load of terrible photography from me!

God, I love this dress and I really wanted to look nice, but I somehow cannot find adequate backdrops in my brown 60's house! This is my sons bedroom, which is currently untouched with original wood effect vinyl walls and crazy (but kind of cool) carpet. It is a dark house and with the bad light of winter, photography is going to be even more dodgy than usual! I really hoped to get some decent pictures of this dress for the competition over at Tilly and the Buttons, but these will have to do unless some miracle happens between now and the 14th December and a better photo oppurtunity presents itself!

That said this is still a pretty photo heavy post, so get ready!!!!

This is of course the new Francoise pattern which came out recently. I don't know why, but I was unsure that the sleeves would look nice on me, but I think they do. Size wise I have said this before, but I do have a fairly standard set of measurements. I made a straight size 4 (probably about a 14) with no alterations apart from lengthening the skirt to just above the knee. I do not do short-short, so this sits about right for me and is as short as I'm willing to go!

Some silly photos for you!

Fabric for the dress came straight from the stash and as soon as I spotted the lace I knew this was what I wanted to use. I had a plan to use this pink lace and yellow taffeta together at some point, but no pattern that was suitable, so I was pleased to finally beable to put this semi-plan into action. The lace is underlined in the taffeta on the dress back and front and is left sheer on the arms for interest and a bit of cheeky peekaboo! The lace is a salmon pink corded lace and is a lovely quality, but was secondhand off ebay, so I can't recommend a supplier unfortunately. The taffeta was a £1 remnant from my favourite local market stall.

I have cut the dress so that the lace is slightly longer than the yellow  underlining to show off the shaping at the hem. All the seams are french, as I just couldn't visualise how they were going to look at the see through raglan and at the hem where the underlining and the lace meet, so thought this the neatest option.

I forgot to say before, but another change I made was to get rid of the top sleeve seam. I simply marked the seam allowance on the paper pattern piece and pinned the two parts of the sleeve together along this line and stitched a dart at the shoulder instead. I didn't want a seam there on this lace!

I was really rubbish and should have taken progress photos to show you things like getting rid of that seam. I also should have shown you the zip and how I sewed it. I machined it first to the yellow underlining as an exposed zip and then hand picked the lace layer on top. Although the side seams are stitched as one fabric, I have stitched the back seam of the underlining and the lace seperately to prevent any weird pulling.

There are so many oppurtunities for customisation with this dress and Tilly has put together a great pinterest board, but I was getting a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities. To stop this from becoming a UFO, I decided to just bind the neckline in yellow. I had previously spent ages looking at contrasting collars and embellishment, but in the end I think this is what works best and for me is more wearable.

The finished dress feels quite authentically vintage because of the fabrics I used, but I hope that the colours make it a bit more modern. I really love the fit and am keen to make another right away, but then I always say this and rarely ever do!

I'm going to wear this next month, as I am going on an afternoon christmas date with my husband. We still can't do evenings because of the olde breast feeding and dodgy baby sleep patterns, but an afternoon will do just fine and will be a brilliant excuse to dress up.

This is actually nicer than my wedding dress and if I were getting married again I'd wear it. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not! My son was only 6 weeks old when we got married, so with my baby belly and unpredictable new baby boobs, couldn't find a dress that I wanted to spend money on, so settled instead for a £37 topshop number. I don't even have it any more, because I washed it and it lost any structure it had. That coupled with the fact that I am using my 20 year old sewing machine that I got when I was at school should tug on your heart strings enough surely to vote for me and get me a new machine!!!! Please??? Ok, shameless begging over. I am British after all and that is considered pretty vulgar.

Just room for some more photos and then I shall bid you adieu! xxx