Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Dress in Work

One of my retirement goals is to work off the inventory of UFO's in my sewing room, and there are lots of them! In April I attended a SAGA workshop in the LA area taught by Lyn Weeks on construction of her Frannie pattern suite. The fabrics I chose were this darling unicorn/castle fabric and the diamond patterned mauve fabric for piping. I wasn't happy with my choice of bodice fabric so after arriving at the workshop I visited a local quilt shop and picked up the butterfly fabric you see in the lower right. The color is perfect and there are even butterflies in the green fabric.

Frannie comes in three size groupings. I'm using the largest, and making a size 5 to fit my granddaughter, who by the way, started school this week. Where does the time fly? This pattern is modeled after a gown that Lyn found in an antique shop and she drafted the patterns from it. It has an unusual bodice/smocking treatment that you can see above. In fact, we had to curve the fabric in the pleater, which was pretty tricky. In addition, the pleating did not stop or end at the edge of the fabric.

You can see how I marked the end of the smocking. Gotta love those washout fabric markers.

There are three different collar options in the pattern. I'm using the same collar as on the flowered dress on the envelope cover, shown upside down in this photo. Although the one on the cover seems to have an embroidered scallop edge on it. I opted to pipe this one with piping made from the diamond patterned fabric in the first photo.

The pattern came with a smocking plate was rather plain. So I'm merging bits of smocking patterns from different sources, so we'll see where this leads. I also plan on some bullion roses in the mauve colors, which I hope will look nice. The row of cable on the top is to hide my somewhat uneven sewing. Originally I had a row of cables in light green that was supposed to be covered up by the piping, but there were a few spots where it peeked out. So I added the cable row to hide it, and I like the effect. I think it would have looked a bit bland without it.

In the class we constructed the dress first and now I'm smocking the almost fully constructed dress. Normally you would smock the pleated fabric first and construct the dress after all smocking and embroidery was finished. As this class focused on the tricky construction of the bodice to skirt the teacher reversed the order. But it seems to be working out quite well.

Back to work, I want to finish this and send it off so she can wear it to school while the weather in Colorado is still warm.


  1. I hope you'll show us a picture of the finished frock!

    1. Absolutely! But it's been too hot to do anything lately!

  2. I agree, the bullion roses will look gorgeous on this. I hope the heat has let up! Here it is the humidity that I am ready to see go. I haven't touched my sewing machine in a month, I think!


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