Along with lots of sewers, I’m entering Tilly Walnes’ #SewingFrancoise contest.  I didn’t leave myself much time to make my dress, but I flaming well did it!  I finished my Francoise.  Just in time.

And here she is!

Unfortunately, the photos are a bit grainy – a side effect of last minute, panicked, amateur photography!

I had to do a lot of fiddling with the pattern (my bust, waist and hips are each their very own size!), but Tilly, thankfully, has written some super-useful blogs on grading up and down (and all around!) – see her blog for all the information you could ever dream of.  I’m really pleased with the fit though, so all that fiddling about was well worth it 🙂

I made the version with sleeves, but instead of a collar I decided to add a lace ‘embellishment’ – nothing to do with making it easier, I promise 😉 The lace was a lucky find on eBay!  I’ll be keeping an eye out for similar things in the future.  What an easy way to transform a garment!

I used a lush, black velvet, which I found in a local craft store, Dainty Supplies – everyone in the North East will know where I mean).  I wanted to make a slightly ‘posher’ dress, in the hope that I could debut my Francoise at my work Christmas party on 19th December, and my mind fell on velvet.  Having never sewn with velvet before, I did a bit of research and scared myself a little bit silly.  But, it was actually a lot easier to cut and sew than I’d expected.  It was hard to press (most things I’d read pretty much said to not touch it with an iron!), which made the darts and hems quite challenging, but it wasn’t too traumatic.  The trauma came with the fluff.  Fluff!  Fluff everywhere!  The cleaning up wasn’t fun…

But I completed my challenge.  I have a party dress fit for my Christmas do!  And I’ll probably wear in on Christmas day.  And New Year’s Eve.  And every remotely fancy get together for the foreseeable future.  Mission accomplished!

Did anyone else take part in #SewingFrancoise?  What was yours like, please?


11 thoughts on “#SewingFrancoise

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