Sunday, December 14, 2014

Francoise Number Two- or Better Named Francoilha?

Yesterday, I had halfway finished my second Francoise, which involved buttonholes at the neckline, so I could make the back one piece.  Well, I was trimming threads when disaster struck. 
I don't know if you can see it, but there is a notch cut out between the buttonholes that should not be there.  As the fabric is frays like no other, this mean that I needed to redo the whole front.  So I set it aside. When Alex woke me up at 1:58 AM, I had an epiphany.  Why don't I split the Francoise and add the Dalhia waistband?  It made sense to me, so why not?  Right?  I am not sure if this will fit in the rules of the #SewingFrancoise contest, but I like the dress anyway!

My best why not expression. (Please ignore the left sleeve, the hem turned up, I swear it's even with the left one)

I took it slowly.  I will admit that I didn't take any progress shots, but basically here is how I did it:
First I drew the 5/8ths seam allowance on the sleeves where they meet.  I overlapped them to make a single sleeve piece.  Where the curves are will not meet.  This is good, this is what shapes the sleeves.  Next I laid the Dalhia back piece on the Francoise back piece, matching the underarm.  This gave me the length.  I chopped the Francoise here.  I eyeballed the same cut on the front.  Closed up the side dart, it was pretty much shaped like the Dalhia.  I lowered the front neckline about two inches tapering to about 5/8ths of an inch on the side and back.
I also shaved off about a quarter inch on the back sleeve and back piece at the neckline to tighten it up.  I ended up having to putt in another quarter inch dart to make it all work.   I had to deepen the back darts by a quarter inch on both the top and bottom to fit the waistband.  For the front- I just gathered what would have been the French dart for the top- this worked nicely.  For the bottom- I didn't do anything to the front.
I wasn't overly concerned about exact pattern matching on the sides, but I made sure the center front and center back and center sleeves were all the same. 
I also interfaced the waistband.  I'm not sure if it helped or not, but at least it helped with the fraying. Oh the fraying.  I'm not sure exactly how long this dress will last, because of the fraying.  I serged every seam, but I'm not sure if it will hold.  Instead of drafting a facing, I used bias tape on the neckline.  Hem and sleeves are turned up twice.  And I skipped the zipper- it's a bit difficult to get on and off, but I hate side zips more.  I think it worked out nicely!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!  Until next time Happy Sewing.


  1. Good catch. I've been wondering how to Frankenpattern something to make a Dahlia-like dress. I like the idea and I have a red/black buffalo plaid that won't tolerate anything too fussy.
    I shall have to copy you and just start making dresses. All my time lately has been taken up making sweaters. We're having a much milder winter this year compared to last, but I still want warm stuff.

  2. Very cute. So this has no zipper? Does it just pull on? I like the Dahlia waist-band. Happy holidays.