Thursday, 23 October 2014

Giselle for Frocktober

My second dress finished this month of Frocktober is the Kate and Rose Giselle dress. This is the sewalong dress for the Third week of the month on The Monthly Stitch.

Upcoming Challenge: October

I bought the pattern some time ago and spent my time cogitating and ruminating over which fabric to use. I eventually went with this border print which I bought last year some time. Strangely enough, it's the second lot of fabric which I've bought which my WSBN firend Mel has also bought. We must be twinsies in another life!

This fabric is actually a border print, which for some reason I didn't realise until I laid it out to cut out! Not sure what planet I was on, but...

I found the instructions really clear and easy to follow. As I've probably mentioned before I'm very much a follower of images and then read the words if it doesn't make sense, and this pattern didn't disappoint. The images in the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

I made up a muslin of the bodice first, simply so I could check where the underbust seam lie. As you can see it was just a bit high and so I had to extend the bodice pieces. I extended these by about an inch. To match with this, I took the corresponding amount off the fitted lower bodice pieces. I also found when making up the muslin that I could use a normal 5/8" seam allowance. I used this for the muslin without checking the pattern and found it fit perfectly and I could still get the bodice over my head.

The length of the bodice itself was perfect for me. Quite a change from many patterns which I find I have to lengthen the bodice.

I got quite geeky about the pattern placement. With the shape of the bodice I had to be careful that I didn't end up with the fabric patterns in odd places, so I took a lot of time and great care to ensure that the back was centred, the front pieces were exactly the same and even the sleeves and ties have the same placement! I did toy with the idea of using a continuous piece for the lower bodice as in the sleeveless version, but in the end I stuck with the pattern as it was.

 I also put the sleeves in as the pattern states. I learned to inset a sleeve before ever putting a sleeve in flat and so I've never been afraid of insetting sleeves in this way.

I didn't actually use the pattern pieces or even the measurements for the skirt. I prefer to cut skirts to my fave length (about knee length) and also I wanted to ensure the pattern matched. Just check this out...

All the seams are finished using French seams. The fabric is very fine and frays easily, so this seemed the best option. I used my new overlocker to finish seams on the waist and around the armholes.

As I've mentioned above, this fabric is very fine and see through. Consequently I decided to line the dress. I've lined mine in a very different way to which my fellow WSBN and TMS editor, Juliet, is lining hers. I knew from the muslin that I'd need to either wear a slip underneath or a cami top, so I decided to use some fine plain cotton to make a lining. The lining is completely self-drafted. The bodice is cut on the bias and the skirt lining is a considerably less full version of the main skirt (very useful for modesty in the Wellington wind!) I then cut the straps and the edging on the bias and made bias binding strips. The straps are attached to the dress using bar tacks and the lining is also attached to the dress at the waist. The lining is also finished using French seams!

The details
Fabric:  Fine cotton border print from Arthur Toye and plain pink cotton lawn from Fabric Warehouse

Notions:Thread, no interfacing at all.

First worn:  In Auckland at a conference just over a week ago and here for photos at Fabric-a-Brac in Newtown last weekend, photos taken by Kat.
Changes made:  The top bodice pieces were extended by about 3/4" to cater for my girlies, the corresponding lower bodice pieces were shortened by the same amount. The skirt pieces were self-drafted to pattern match. The dress is also fully lined with a self-drafted lining.

Recommend?  Oh I feel so girlie in this!! The colours are so happy and cheerful - no black for me!! I feel great in it. I've had loads of compliments too! My fabric choice was perfect. It was really hot in Auckland and I was as cool as cucumber in this and even better it gave me a bit of protection from the sun on my arms. It is actually a really quick make as well. Yes, mine took longer because I added a lining, but without that, it's fast.


  1. This dress makes me happy - it's so bright and colourfull and fun! (Although your pattern matching kinda intimidates me at the same time as it impresses me. So much attention to detail! You have a heck of a lot more patience than I do with that!!)

    1. He he, it makes me happy too. I think with the pattern matching I just get into the groove and it kind happens!

  2. Thanks Kat for taking the pics. This dress makes me happy too, it's certainly going to get some wear! I think I'm going a bit OCD with pattern matching recently! ;-)

  3. This is a great fabric for this bohemian dress. Love the fabric layout on the bodice.

    1. Thanks, I wouldn't consider myself bohemian, but now you mention it, this dress certainly fits that description and I love it!

  4. Fabric twinsies 4 lyfe yo! ;) Haha

    This fabric was perfect, pretty and floaty for a pretty and floaty summer dress, no black Wellington uniforms for us this summer.

    1. Yo! Yep, that's twice now we've been fabric twinsies! And we still haven't got pics! No black Wellington for us!

  5. So very pretty, what lovely colours. And great stitch matching!