Francoise’s Unicorn

tillyfrancoisesdress7Ok, I normally don’t give my outfit names but this technicolor number was crying for a nickname. I made Tilly’s francoise’s dress back in november but never got around blogging. On my last count there are 9 un-blogged finished items waiting for me to photograph and write and I blame Instagram. Sewn. Snap. Blogged. 

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Francoise* is a MINI shift dress. Yes mini, so leggy ladies put your hems down. I sewn a straight size 3 and added a hem band because I was on tunic territory. The reason I didn’t automatically added length is because on A line shapes skirts & dresses suit me better when short. Body proportion +garment shape is such a trial and error process and once we find a ‘formula’ we can wear all shapes and styles, even the ones we think we couldn’t.

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I love french darts and often advice full busted students to seek it on their pattern choices. Shape the body without being overly fitted. This dress fit me ok, in hindsight I should have dropped the bust dart about 1 cm. “If you don’t want to nit-pick on finished items, muslin it sista! “I should put that on a T-shirt.

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The collar is not original from the pattern. I used the same of this tunic.  As for the fabric, left over from my off the runaway Troubadour dress. 

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As I didn’t have enough I cut my sleeves and created a colour block effect. I solution I have grown to love. Such an easy way to create different outfits from one pattern.  Economic use of fabric too.

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Since finishing this dress I have hardly sewn cute dresses and let alone super colourful ones. As I mentioned previously I’m trying to move my wardrobe to a more co-ordinated and minimalist approach and sewing more tailored and monochromatic color schemes. It doesn’t mean I stopped loving color and print but just meant i’m trying a whole new look on key pieces.  Not going to be translated immediately on my backlog but hopefully next year I can look back and see a concise and more thoughtful wardrobe approach.

Ps: I’m taking part of Me Made May but my pledge is a little different this year. You can keep up with my outfits on my social media channels if you want to.

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Have you found yourself conflicted on fabric choices between super fun vs grown up/tone down?

*Pattern was courtesy of my friend Tilly.

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  • Thanks for the advice on making the skirt longer! I just bought the pattern and am going to make the francoise dress too, but I am pretty tall so I will need to lengthen the skirt a little too!

  • your sleeves are soooooooo much fun!

    i get conflicted on fabric, once or twice a week when i realize i have to look “business casual” for a part and have zero for that.

  • So very cute. You look lovely.

  • So very pretty, this is a great color on you.

  • misscrayolacreepy

    LOVE those colors on you!

  • I love the color blocking!

  • Great colors! For me, crazy colors and prints are great for things like summer dresses. But for separates, which I wear more often, I am trying to be more thoughtful with my makes so I don’t have pieces in my wardrobe that don’t go with anything! Over the winter I was very attracted to black and white prints as well as my usual greys, and I found that it’s very easy to mix and match those pieces together. So I’m trying to think of ways to introduce more color, but colors that play well together so I have a flexible wardrobe!

  • “If I don’t want to nit-pick on finished items, muslim it sista! I should put that on a T-shirt.”
    That would be very funny, but if you ever do, be sure to write “muslin” instead 🙂

    Love the band on the bottom of the dress. One of my favourite ways to lift a long daggy opshop skirt is to cut it short and add a contrast bottom band. Looks cute on a woollen kilt if you use wide satin ribbon.

  • I haven’t worked out a colour palate for me yet, so thought I’d spend the year working it out… and then I might tone it down to match more items in my wardrobe (yet to be sewn though!) so we’ll see. I just love that print! Those big yellow flowers are gorgeous!

  • Lisa

    Your dress looks amazing and I’m completely in love with that collar! So adorable and inspiring! I want to pin it twice it looks so cute!

    One other quick comment from a very large chested sewer (36FF / G): I actually avoid french darts because you have to make them so deep that it distorts the overall shape of the fabric and you get these weird bits completely off grain. I have tried again and again to make them work because I think they are beautiful, but they don’t work when you have to add a large FBA to a pattern. I prefer to distribute portions of a very big dart into the other pivot points like the armpit, shoulder or down the front.

    • Houseofpinheiro

      Hi Lisa , thanks for your point on too large bust issues with the darts. I haven’t enc this before but as with so many rules in sewing, there Isn’t only truth, isn’t it. Love xx

  • Such a lovely variation on this pattern, love the colours on you too.