Back in December, Camilla sent me a lovely little parcel for my birthday. It contained the Green Bee Frances dress pattern and some gorgeous Denyse Schmidt fabric. Due to having visitors over Christmas, I hardly got any sewing done at all so once my parents had gone home, I was itching to get something made up – I knew this would be the pattern to make up first!
Shirt dresses are one of my favorite styles to wear, especially when a belt can bring in the waist a little more! I only think I’ve got one RTW shirt dress in my wardrobe currently as I find that the RTW ones don’t fit right across my bust and always lead to gaping. I was really excited to see whether I could make my own and avoid any exposed boobs! The pattern comes with two sleeve options, a breast pocket, a belt and an option for an elastic ruched waist.
I chose to make view A but wanted to omit the breast pocket and elastic. The exciting part about this pattern is that I can use those 1 yard cuts for the parts in contrasting fabric! Woohoo! My measurements at 38-30-41 put me right between the medium and large. Due to the fact that I didn’t want the bust to burst, I cut out the large and made a mental note of trying the fit before I sewed the side seams up! I ended up sewing the side seams at 1″ rather than 1/2″.
My absolute favourite part of making this dress was putting the plackets together! I chose some leftover turquoise arrow fabric that I previously used for the lining of a Bonnell dress. I was super tempted to go to the fabric store to buy some plain cotton BUT I didn’t want to fail on my ‘not-buying fabric’ goal.
The dress was pretty easy to put together, even though I originally thought it would be little complicated. Instructions were given to attach the sleeve to the body of the dress before sewing the arm and side seam as one continuous line – another method I’d not done before! The only thing was that my sleeve shoulder edge was around an inch longer than the edge I was sewing it too. I ended up adding a small pleat on the shoulder to tackle this but it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the instructions!
I was going to go with white buttons but then found these beauties in my stash…I do love a good button! I do need tips on how to avoid all those straggled ends from the button holes though!
I did make a mistake when cutting the fabric for the belt and didn’t realise until I was stitching it together! It should be all one colour, and I thought I was doing it ‘reversible’ – obviously I had got it wrong. This belt did help me decide on which fabric looks better as a belt though – what do you think? Floral or Turquoise?
Anyway, I LOVE THIS DRESS! I just don’t have any ‘wearing it’ photos yet! Very happy with my first make of 2016 😀