Surprise! We've touched down today at the headquarters of the Brooklyn Pattern Company. A slight change in scheduling has created a detour back home. I present to you, Curly Sue and the very fun, but very tiny scrap of fabric.
I wanted to make my own little lady a summer dress using the Franklin dress pattern and this great fabric I had been saving for years. Too small to make much else, I made several alterations to the pattern to squeak out this tiny wonder.
Let's start with the fabric. This sweet piece of fabric dates back a few years to a costume shop clean-out where I once worked. Every other year the bins of scrap fabric start bursting and the shop takes a day to get a handle on the mess and restore order. The rule goes, to keep a piece of fabric it has to be one full yard or at least large enough to make the back of a man's vest. If not, then it goes into a pile for the taking. It's humorous how much unusable fabric gets saved. A giant piece with a huge sleeve cut out of the middle. Strips of bias cut for a skirt and never used. The selvedge of 10 yards of fabric cut for a period skirt. We are all fabric hoarders at heart, but the amount of fabric verse the amount of space means something has to give in the tight spaces of a costume shop.
So, I find myself digging through a huge bin pulling out this beautiful lightweight cotton print. It was barely a 1/2 yard cut from three different pieces. The tiny lanterns and flaming torches had me at hello. I'm pretty sure it's from Mood. But what could I do with it? Who cares! I'd find it a home eventually.
And now we arrive at the Franklin dress. I started by finding the largest chunk of fabric and cutting out the front and back skirt. With the busy pattern, I could have easily sewn two pieces together if needed, but I did a quick survey before I started and was pretty sure I could get every essential pattern piece onto the fabric.
The yoke back was cut next on the fold, followed by the yoke front. I keep white cotton batiste on hand for linings, facings and pockets, so I cut the yoke facings with white batiste instead of using up more fabric.
Full sleeves were impossible so I went with a tiny ruffle. Pockets were out of the question. Not quite on-the-bias bias, to finish off the armholes. Knowing this sleeveless dress was made in the fall, I left a little extra in the hem so I could lengthen it in the spring. And just like that, my Franklin dress is complete!
I love this fabric even though the pleats disappear into the print. I used three wooden buttons to finish it off although I may switch to bright orange buttons in the spring. I'm really pleased with the final dress and so was Curly Sue once I was able wrestle it over her head.
This was Curly Sue's first try at a photo shoot and I couldn't wrangle Jules the bunny out of her arms to take a picture. So this turned out to be Jules' first photo shoot as well. I imagine it won't be the last! At 18 months, standing still is almost impossible. I got a few fun shots of her before she was on to the next thing. We'll have to work on it.
I hope you enjoyed today's Franklin dress. Once the tour is over, I'll post a short tutorial on how I made the ruffle sleeves.
And if you haven't already, enter our giveaway to win a free pattern!