C'est le temps de la couture: my #SewingFrançoise entry


When Tilly released her newest pattern, Françoise, I knew it would go straight to the top of my to-sew list: firstly, because I'm always on the look out for a good shift dress pattern (I had a go at drafting one myself last year and I made a 60s inspired shift dress as part of Sew it Up in May); secondly, because the pattern is a clear nod to the wonderful Françoise Hardy; and thirdly because Tilly is holding a Françoise sewing competition in which the star prize is a shiny new sewing machine!
I've entered two sewing competitions already this year but as yet have not been triumphant - could this be my time?! :)

Let's go through the details:

- I chose to sew Françoise in a purple tartan wool. I bought it a while ago in Berger.

I drafted an all-in-one lining to make sure it would be comfy to wear. I drafted and sewed it using the same principles as you would for making an all-in-one facing. The lining fabric is brown satin that has a coating of viscose on the other side – perfect for adding warmth in the winter.


- SBA – this was very well explained by Tilly and in my last blogpost I wrote about how making this dress helped me realise where I had been going wrong before with SBAs – now I know I must pick the pattern size at the bust based on the high bust measurement. I cut a Size 3 in the bust and a size 2 at the waist and hip. I then carried out an SBA following Tilly's method. My SBA meant that I removed the bust darts completely.

- I also moved the waist dart by unpicking my muslin several times until I got it in the right place. I found that creating a cardboard cut-out of the waist dart shape was helpful for tracing it onto the fabric.

- I shortened the dress by 3.5cm at the waist 'lengthen/shorten here' lines

- Instead of an invisible zip I used a centred zip – mainly because I thought the fabric would be too bulky for an invisible zip but I also thought it would be nice to use a full zip to nod to the 60s as I think invisible zips were only widely available to home sewers from the late 60s.

- I also lowered the zip slightly to make space for a nice button.

- I carried out a sway back adjustment as there was a lot of excess fabric in the arch of my back – this is the first time I've carried out this adjustment.

Voilà! Overall I'm really happy with my dress. The wool is quite hard to press but I like the really defined lines of the seams and the darts, and how the thickness of the fabric holds the shape of the dress well. I had a bit of trouble getting the lining of the collar not to peek out but you can't really tell when I wear it, unless you are as close as this photo! Most of all I'm happy with the fit, I really took my time to get it right and I think it paid off.

Wish me luck in the competition!











  1. This is gorgeous! The tartan, the Peter Pan collar - I love it!

  2. Wow so pretty! Makes me wish I could sew like that

  3. Oh-so-charming! And that fabric is beautiful.

    1. Cheers! Yeah it is such nice fabric - I have quite a bit left over so I need to think carefully about what to do with it.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.