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