Completed: The Francoise Dress

11 Mar

Y’ALL. It’s like, practically spring here. After our freak ice and snow storm last week (which was the SECOND one we had this year – never happens! The last big ice storm we had was 20 years ago), the sunshine came back with a vengeance and obliterated the piles of snow (ok, 3″ here. THAT IS A LOT FOR NASHVILLE, OK!) within a couple of days. Thanks to the combination of 60* afternoons and the return of Daylight Savings Time, it’s really starting to feel super good here. Yay for spring!

So, with all that being said – I give you my first official warm-weather make of 2015! Hey, Francoise, how you doin’?

Francoise Dress

Francoise is Tilly’s newest pattern release, and by “new” I mean it’s been around since November. Which is exactly how long I’ve been meaning to make it up. I got my hands on the pattern when I was in London (full disclosure – Tilly gave it to me when we met up and waved her hand when I offered to pay for it. It wasn’t given to me in exchange for a posted review or anything, but, I thought I’d point that out regardless! I know some people feel that a review can be biased if the reviewer didn’t personally pay for the pattern), I made a muslin while I was there, and I looked for my ~perfect~ Francoise fabric on every fabric shopping trip we made. The truth is, I was stunted on fabric choice, so the pattern had to wait while I figured my shit out.

Francoise Dress

Anyway, I think the fabric I ended up with was a pretty PERFECT match, amirite? This gorgeous purple and pink floral cotton sateen is from Mood Fabrics, and it combined with the Francoise is basically a perfect marriage. The small amount of stretch and crisp drape make it perfect for the pattern, and the simple shape and exaggerated flare make the pattern perfect for the fabric. I love it when this shit happens!

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

I made the size 1, based on the finished measurements. The only minor change I made was to take a slightly wider seam allowance at the top of the invisible zipper, just because it was gaping a little. I also removed about 3/4″ from the hem length. I’m 5’2″, so taller ladies may want to consider adding some length because it’s a pretty short skirt!

Francoise Dress

Cotton sateen is REALLY easy to work with – like, beginner-level easy (it doesn’t shift, doesn’t fray, presses well, etc) – so construction was super straightforward. You really just need a fresh needle and a hot iron to coax this fabric into submission. I finished all my seams with my serger, and topstitched the neckline, arm holes and hem. The neckline is finished with a facing, and the arm holes are finished with self bias facing. Both of these are covered in the pattern. I followed the pattern directions as they were written for the bias facing on the arm holes, and while they’re great – I prefer my method, as I think it’s a little easier/fool-proof.

Also, looking at that back view just made me realize that the two back prints are mirrored. HAHAHA uhh… oh, look, there’s a rouge thread, too. GOD, I need to get my shit together. Ok, moving on!

Francoise Dress

Because my print is all crazy awesome and takes all the attention, here’s a close-up of the design elements of the dress that actually make is super cute. I love the raglan seams, and the French darts are so pretty! Also – can we talk about how the floral pattern on the fabric looks like watercolors? YUM.

Francoise Dress

Now here is the dress without me or a belt. I will be honest – when I finally finished everything and put it on, I wasn’t crazy about how it looked at me. I think part of it is the color palette (I LOVE that freaking fabric, but I feel like I look like an ass every time I wear pink or purple. It’s not because of my hair color clashing or whatever. I’ve felt that way about pink and purple for a couple years now) and part of it is the fact that the dress doesn’t have a waist seam. I don’t know why, but I feel like a smooth shape with no waist seam doesn’t look right on me (is that weird?). Once I added black tights and a thin belt, I really started to see the cute factor in this dress. I think the black also tones down the overwhelming girly colors, and I like that too. Ideally, I would have loved to put a black collar on the dress, but I didn’t have any black fabric on hand. Maybe in the future I can make a detachable one, idk.

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

Believe it or not, I didn’t buy that zipper for this dress. No, I just *happened* to have a perfectly-matched lavender invisible zipper in my stash. Again, I don’t really wear purple (and especially not lavender), so I have no idea how that happened, but I’ve had it for a few years now. Glad I finally put that shit to good use lolol

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

That’s all for now! Let’s just cross our fingers that I didn’t inadvertently welcome another fucking 6 weeks of winter by announcing spring’s impending arrival. I did that a lot last year and it was way lame.

Francoise Dress

** Note: All fabrics for this project were provided to me in exchange for a review post as per my involvement with the Mood Sewing Network.


58 Responses to “Completed: The Francoise Dress”

  1. Lisa D. March 11, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    OMG!!! That is sooooooo adorable! I need this pattern in my life!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      Yes, yes you do! πŸ™‚ haha!

  2. Terzi Begum March 11, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    I love FranΓ§oise! Last week, I sewed my third one πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

      You’re on a roll! Looks like I have some catching up to do πŸ™‚

  3. Miss J March 11, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Great design on the material. Brings it to life and the colours look good on you.
    This must have been a breeze for you to sew after that amazing bomber jacket you made!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      Haha yeah, it was definitely a VERY easy sew! I had it completely done (including cutting the fabric) in an afternoon. That’s the kind of fast fashion I like πŸ˜‰

  4. sheisthewildyouth March 11, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    I love the fabric and the dress is cute, but I agree the belt works well in breaking it up a little bit!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

      Yeah, something about a lack of waist seam just looks weird on me. Belt to the rescue πŸ˜€

  5. Pootle and Make March 11, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    This is so cute on you. The length is just right.

  6. Tilly Buttons March 11, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    This looks so cute on you, Lauren! Looks lovely with a belt too. xx

  7. dkswife March 11, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    It is so cute, and looks great on you!

  8. Amelia Wray March 11, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    This looks so cute! It’s next on my list of patterns to make, I love the raglan sleeves.

    Also, I’m with you on purple/ lilac!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Thank you! It’s a great little pattern and dress, I think you’ll love it πŸ˜€

  9. H's Handcrafts March 11, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    I’ve seen this pattern done a few times and have been unsure about it but you have just sold it to me! That fabric is gorgeous!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      Woohoo!! It’s a great pattern for gorgeous/standout fabric – not a lot of seamlines to break up the print, so it gets to take center stage πŸ˜€

      • Inclement March 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

        And, see, that’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t have thought about as a, how shall we say, pre-beginner?! – how seams might chop up a fabric design and spoil it, and how there can be good and less-good pattern-fabric matchups. Thank you!

  10. Lou (@PeculiarForest) March 11, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    Love the dress, I really want to make one but I never wear them, I should start!

  11. Tasha @ By Gum, By Golly March 11, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    This is really adorable! The print is really fun and I really like it with the black tights too. When I’m feeling questionable about if something is too bright or funky or whatever somehow a black or navy cardigan or black tights tone things down enough. πŸ˜›

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

      Haha I totally do that too. Black and navy to the rescue!

  12. Alycia March 11, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    So gorgeous! Enjoy your spring weather… for some reason it’s going to be 90 here this weekend D:

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Umm SHUT UP I’M SO JEALOUS. !!!! hahaha! MAN, I miss 90 degree days! Soon!

  13. Kelly March 11, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    This is really cute! I’ve been slightly stock piling stretch cotton sateens because I could never find decent ones, and now I have loads, so I might put some of it to good use…

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      Oh man, I do the same thing haha. They are SO great though – comfy to wear, beautiful colors. Gotta hoard ’em when you find ’em amirite πŸ˜‰

  14. navybluethreads March 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Love it! Very cute πŸ™‚

  15. SeeKatSew March 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    I love how this dress looks on you, it’s so flattering! I love the belt. Nice job.

  16. suebsewbyme March 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Very cute ! I love how the Colour explodes on the fabric it’s great for spring . πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      Ha, color explosion is the best way to describe it πŸ˜€

  17. tworandomwords March 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Sateen is all I sewed with when I first started, I think – it was stable, came in some cool prints, and had a nice amount of give (and sometimes has lycra as well) to make fitting a bit easier (not that I really thought about that at all!)

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

      It’s SUCH a good beginner fabric, especially for all those reasons you listed. Yay cotton sateen! I have got to sew with this shit more often haha

  18. Lazy Daisy Jones March 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    I am lovin the belted ‘Franny’ dress, and I just gasp whenvthat happens with zips! Serendipity or what???
    Daisy j x

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

      The BEST kind of serendipity! I knew there was a reason for hoarding sewing notions in weird colors! haha!

  19. yacurama March 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    Oh damn, this turned out just adorable! The Francoise Dress is not one of my favorites but I have to say with this fabric and that vibrant print it looks so perfectly nice! I also like it with your haicolor (:

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      Thank you! The fabric + shape really make this dress extra cute πŸ˜€

  20. Anonymous March 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    I really like it without the collar. With the collar omitted and the belt added, I may have to rethink this one.

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      I like the collar in the photos with Tilly, but I don’t think I’m much of a collar wearing person (unless it’s part of a button up shirt). I always feel too twee. I’m glad I gave you a reason to rethink haha πŸ™‚

  21. Ines March 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    The shape couldn’t fit you better as far as the color I believe you are right adding black to it , it gives it that extra oomph. I think and I could be wrong us whities have a hard time with those colors unless you add some other color that is intense to oomph it up. A black person can pull it of I think wonderfully , it’s the perils of being white I think. But the way you wear it it totally works. Or else adding a black band at the hem or sleeves or black piping might work or the black collar you mentioned. Anyways it’s super cute!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

      Haha omg, you are totally right about us whites not being able to pull off these colors. I always feel like lighter pastels kind of blend into my skin. The perils of being white indeed hahahahaha πŸ™‚

      Also, DAMMIT, now you’ve got me wishing that I’d had the forethought to add black piping to the raglan seams. That would have been really awesome. Oh well!

      • Ines March 12, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

        The only reason I even thought about it is because you brought it up, it really looks great , it’s one of those perfectionist rabbit hole things πŸ˜‰

  22. Candie March 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    I agree the color & cut of the dress looks great one you! I didn’t even notice your hair not matching until you said something. Very cute and really does not need a black collar at all!

    • LLADYBIRD March 11, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank you! Looking more at these photos, I’m thinking the lack of black collar is the best option πŸ™‚

  23. suzanne March 11, 2015 at 6:15 pm #


  24. qplourde March 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Ooooh! Very cute dress!

  25. Katie Lynn March 12, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    I know you’re saying the fabric is floral, but I swear all I can see is fireworks. That was my first impression, from the shapes and colors, and I’m sticking to it!

    I love how retro the pattern looks, it will definitely be a pattern that will work for years to come.

  26. cavegirl_culinarian March 15, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    I love this! I’ve actually been drooling over this fabric for a couple weeks now! Great minds think alike!

    • cavegirl_culinarian March 15, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Boo. I just realized it’s sold out. Blah!! 😦

      • LLADYBIRD March 16, 2015 at 7:07 am #

        Aw, damn, well that was fast! There was still stock when I originally published the post, but I guess it got snapped up 😦

  27. Pattie March 16, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Love the dress and the fabric choice. You look beautiful as usual! I am in the market for some black mary janes. May I ask for the brand/model of shoes in the last photo?

    • LLADYBIRD March 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Ah, I wish I could tell you but they’re unfortunately already packed up in anticipation of our move (and the box is already at the new house – so I can’t just sneak a look, as I’m still in the old place till the end of the month). Sorry! If it’s any consolation, I bought them on mega clearance at DSW about 2 years ago, so I doubt you’d be able to find a new pair now, anyway.

  28. Sadie March 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    I love the huge scale of print on the fabric – I think it’s one of those things that can be the difference between homemade and handmade if that makes sense. I’m so bad at visualizing how things will look once they are sewn up though!

  29. Veronica Darling (@veronicadarling) March 17, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    Great dress! I’m thinking I need to owe it to myself (and to my sewing school – new class!) to show the insides of my creations from now on… you’re an inspiration! (Usually they are MESSY AS ALL HELL)

    Happy spring! It arrived for us today!

  30. Danzy Design November 22, 2015 at 5:48 am #

    Looking Awesome Dress, I love the fabric print.


  1. 2015 – A Year In Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2015

    […] Floral Francoise dress […]

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