Another Flounce of Frocks

You may remember, in a previous post,  I was wondering if there was a collective noun for dresses/frocks and, in the absence of any definitive answer, came up with ‘a flounce’.  This time the ‘flounce’ is bigger.

As the weather’s been so hot I couldn’t countenance wearing my usual style of dresses and tops which tend to be quite fitted.  I just wanted something I could pull on and float around in when I need something more than shorts and a t-shirt – nothing too dressy, just comfortable and cool in the heat.  I searched through my patterns and the only one that fit the bill was this one which – probably due to the fact there is a very young girl modelling it and it’s very short – I bought to make for the Mademoiselles some time ago but never got round to it.

I made the first one in some cotton chemise in grey which looks really boring until you get up close and there are some sprigs of embroidery on it.   It creases a lot like linen but it’s supposed to be a ‘washed/distressed’ look so I guess it fits the bill.

It’s meant to have a back zip but what a pain they are to do up if you’re on your own in the house when you want to wear it – am I right?  So, I thought I’d try making it without a zip at all and see if I could pull it on over my head.  I know I can insert invisible zips quite efficiently so I wasn’t being lazy or a scaredy cat here, honest!  The dresses are lined so there are no facings or bias trims but you have to do that cool trick of partly constructing the dress and then pulling the backs through the shoulder seams to turn it all right side out.  One reason, I suppose, why I wouldn’t be able to cut the back on the fold instead of in two pieces if I want to use this lining method.

The dress was slightly too big for me on the neck and above the bust so, next time I made a size down but graded the back seam out a little around the area of the bust darts.

For the second version (my favourite so far) I used a rayon I’d bought in the Goldhawk Road a couple of years ago when I was there with Mlle Tialys the Elder where we went just a little bit crazy.

So, this one is almost perfect and I’ve worn it quite a lot so I thought I’d make another in a ‘distressed’ linen which I like but there are some flaws in the linen – a faded stripe here and there – one of which I managed to place just above my bust and the other just above my bum.  It’s almost as if I planned it like that.  Then, when I was using a tracing wheel to mark the darts on the fabric, I blindly reached for my small rotary cutter instead and ran it over one of the ‘legs’ of the dart.  The blade is getting a little blunt and the linen is quite tough so I thought I’d got away with it but, after construction, I noticed some of the threads pulling out so I did a bit of a repair, fortunately hidden on the inside by the lining, which may or may not hold.  Typical!

Creases and flaws but that’s linen for you.

I’m hoping the white lines will blend in a bit more with washing but it’ll be fine to wear to go to the supermarket etc. so I’m not too bothered.

The last one – because I was definitely on a roll this time and had all the alterations marked on the pattern – I decided to make with a round neck instead of a split neck.  However, the neckline is far too high for my liking so I scooped it out a bit more – another pattern piece change that I’ve remembered to mark in case I ever decide to made a 5th one!

Some of you might remember the rather odd fabric I bought in a charity/op/thrift shop for 4 euros a while back.  Something about it appealed to me but I had no idea what I’d make with it.

A maxi skirt would be good but the style might be a bit ‘hippyish’ for me.  Anyway, I thought it could work with this dress……

…and so it did (just needs hemming).

So, I should be able to see the rest of the Summer out with these handy little dresses that I can just pull on over my head and be done.

This pattern can now join my list of other ‘go to’ patterns which I know will turn out well without too much fuss.  Sewaholic’s Renfrew top is there at the top of my list too.

And, just to prove I do actually wear them and don’t just use them to dress up my mannequins –

Do you have a favourite pattern you keep going back to?




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  1. #1 by itwasjudith on August 20, 2018 - 09:09

    You made a nice selection of dresses to wear in the hot weather 🙂 well done!

    • #2 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 10:14

      I prefer shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt when it’s really hot but I don’t necessarily like subjecting the World to that look when I’m out and about so these are just right really.

  2. #3 by craftycreeky on August 20, 2018 - 09:11

    They look fab, it’s definitely been the summer for cool, comfy dresses 🙂

    • #4 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 10:13

      It has – let’s hope we have another one like it next year (without the whole month of rain in June) otherwise I might be over-supplied in the ‘easy to wear Summer dress’ department.

  3. #5 by gemmasince82 on August 20, 2018 - 09:11

    Ah I have this pattern and some lovely flowy dresses made from it – shame I can’t post you a pic!

    • #6 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 10:12

      I nipped over to your blog in case you had posted about it but can’t see it anywhere. Did you put the zip in or leave it out?

  4. #7 by Shirley Yeates on August 20, 2018 - 09:43

    I love that dress, exactly the sort of think I love, perfect for this weather. The charity shop fabric looks stunning

    • #8 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 10:11

      It was a good find – especially for 4 euros!

  5. #9 by katechiconi on August 20, 2018 - 11:29

    It looks great on you, and I can tell you’re happy in it, which is the most important thing. I have a couple of dress patterns I’ve made in all kinds of fabrics and lengths; short to wear over pants and long to wear by themselves, in very light voile and in quilting weight cotton. Having a broad back and not much frontage, I’ve tweaked the pattern to lower the armscye a lot and straighten the front curve so it doesn’t gape. I also have a ‘stick on bit’ for pinning to the pattern for when I want to make it long.

    • #10 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:44

      It’s great to have such a pattern isn’t it? Saves a lot of time and stress.

      • #11 by katechiconi on August 20, 2018 - 22:16

        Yes, and it helps when you shop for fabric if you know exactly how much it uses!

  6. #12 by claire93 on August 20, 2018 - 12:55

    these are all lovely! I especially like the last one – fabric is perfect!

    • #13 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:43

      Thanks Claire, the fabric isn’t my usual ‘thing’ but it doesn’t do any harm to break out of the norm every now and then does it?

  7. #14 by rrita on August 20, 2018 - 13:45

    I really like the last picture of you: the dress is fab and so is the background!

    • #15 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:41

      Thank you – I absolutely detest having my photo taken so that’s nice to hear.

  8. #16 by nanacathy2 on August 20, 2018 - 14:35

    So many frocks in a flounce I lost count. I love the last dress. Very impressive sewing.

    • #17 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:35

      Well, it’s a very straightforward pattern really and, once you’ve got the fitting sorted out, can be made super quickly (and this time it’s really true!)

  9. #18 by PendleStitches on August 20, 2018 - 16:30

    They are perfect summer dresses. And very chic too!

    • #19 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:34

      Thank you. I will be storing the pattern away safely for a new batch next year I think.

      • #20 by PendleStitches on August 23, 2018 - 19:17

        Excellent….I think it’s a lovely pattern and looks beautiful on you.

      • #21 by tialys on August 25, 2018 - 10:23

        Thank you x

  10. #22 by Emmely on August 20, 2018 - 20:28

    They turned out very nice! You can also move the zipper to a side seam if you want easier access than in the back seam (for a future pattern that may not fit over your head).

    • #23 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:33

      True – much easier to manage than twisting yourself into strange shapes trying to get hold of the pull tab at the top of the zipper – and as for putting a hook and eye up there too, ridiculous!

  11. #24 by thecontentedcrafter on August 20, 2018 - 21:35

    Love your invented collective ‘A Flounce of Frocks’ I hope it takes off 🙂 They are all very lovely, I couldn’t choose – except of course getting the fit just right is the perfect part of the whole thing. Beautiful shot of you looking very modellish at the end. Lovely post Lynn.

  12. #25 by tialys on August 20, 2018 - 21:50

    Thanks Pauline – I hate having my photo taken but I’ve realised that you might as well try to relax because, invariably, the photo tends to come out much better when you do 😉

  13. #26 by CurlsnSkirls on August 20, 2018 - 22:29

    Lovely dresses, and so perfect for hot summers. Did you line them all? I resist doing that over here, but suspect our humidity level is (generally?) much higher than yours. What a dreamy £4 bargain fabric ~ and I love “flounce of frocks”!

    • #27 by tialys on August 21, 2018 - 08:53

      I did line them all – unusual for me – because the pattern calls for it and I liked the idea of no facings or bias bindings. I just used some fine cotton voile which is very cool and comfortable. I seem to remember now, though, that I made this in a stretch fabric some time ago and didn’t line it then.

      • #28 by CurlsnSkirls on August 21, 2018 - 15:20

        Thank you for these details, Lynn!

  14. #29 by Emma on August 21, 2018 - 02:17

    Those a really nice dresses and look even better on you 🙂 I hope you manage to stay cool for the rest of the summer.

    • #30 by tialys on August 21, 2018 - 08:51

      Temperatures are just right now – not too uncomfortably hot. I’ll be wearing one of them out to lunch today for a friend’s birthday – must hem the linen one and the panelled one before autumn kicks in.

  15. #31 by kathyreeves on August 21, 2018 - 04:19

    My current shorts/pants pattern is turning out that way, no. 3 or 4 is on the table ready to sew when I get back to it.

    • #32 by tialys on August 21, 2018 - 08:48

      It’s great when you find a good pattern isn’t it?

      • #33 by kathyreeves on August 22, 2018 - 04:31

        Oh yes! I do like what you did with that dress pattern, it looks quite age appropriate and still trendy. 🙂

  16. #34 by KerryCan on August 21, 2018 - 12:47

    When I see what you make, I wish I knew how to sew clothing! I love the one with the thrift shop fabric!

    • #35 by tialys on August 22, 2018 - 08:51

      Ah, but I wish I could weave and hand quilt as well as you do.

  17. #36 by Hazelnutthread on August 21, 2018 - 22:05

    Wow – love the last one especially – a one off and looks very expensive!

    • #37 by tialys on August 22, 2018 - 08:47

      Thank you – only us need know it cost just 4 euros (and a couple more for the cotton lining). I must hem it today so I can wear it :/

  18. #38 by thecraftersapprentice on August 22, 2018 - 15:55

    they are lovely! I would love to make my own clothes, but I’m too scared! By the way, I saw your comments on my blog. Unfortunately I can’t reply to any of yours :0(

    • #39 by tialys on August 25, 2018 - 10:23

      You’ve tried almost every craft so far – I’m sure clothes making would be a doddle for you.

  19. #40 by Kim on August 27, 2018 - 15:16

    Another magnificent flounce!

  20. #42 by Shirley on August 31, 2018 - 17:52

    Wow well done

    • #43 by tialys on August 31, 2018 - 19:21

      Thank you – I’m all kitted out for next Summer now.

  21. #44 by JAN HULSE on September 17, 2018 - 03:01

    hello,I am new to the ” world of womanly ways” so to put a needle in my hand is the first to do.I want to hand sew first and this dress pattern is just what I need for a bigger sized person such as myself and of course for my motto of having the most unintrusive clothing on my person as possible. a tomboy at heart and a you know where I can get this in a large pattern size.I will be using cotton.I am a all natural person. glad I found your site by accident.

    • #45 by tialys on September 17, 2018 - 10:49

      Hello there. I don’t know where you are in the world but I’m giving you the link to Amazon UK for this pattern. As you can see, it goes up to a U.K. size 22. Good luck if you decide to make it.

      • #46 by JAN HULSE on September 18, 2018 - 02:55

        danke from Brisbane Australia.

  22. #47 by Born To Organize on September 30, 2018 - 19:06

    That fabric find works beautifully with this pattern. I like the placement along the upper edge. I used to have a few go-to patterns when I sewed regularly. It’s amazing the mileage you can get from a simple style.

    • #48 by tialys on October 1, 2018 - 14:37

      Yes, different colours and weights of fabrics make a big difference to what is, essentially, a very simple style.

  23. #49 by sewchet on October 25, 2018 - 11:39

    Don’t you just love it when you find a pattern that works so well for you like this? Another reason I prefer the line drawings to the model on the front of the envelope, as this style is certainly not just for the ultra young.

    • #50 by tialys on October 25, 2018 - 12:00

      Definitely looking at the line drawings lately as some of the styling on the envelopes is hideous.

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