Thursday, 19 April 2018

Cocoa Stripe Frankie Dress

I bought the Tessuti Frankie pattern a couple of years ago and over time I've made a couple of tops which see a lot of wear, especially Spring and Autumn.  I've been keeping my eye out for the right fabric to make the Frankie dress which is just a longer more flared version of the top and I found a Cocoa and white woven stripe in cotton spandex at Girl Charlee. I checked the weight with Mark and he said it was slightly heavier than their Bolt Cotton (220g/m2 compared to 180g/m2) (see a Bolt clothing example with these PJs) and it worked out as the right weight for this style. The fabric is a designer overstock and is lovely quality. I would use it for tops and dresses with an A-line shape or gathered at the waist like a Colette Moneta.

I used a mix of my tweaked Frankie top pattern and a fresh PDF print out of the dress laid over the top. Stripes are tricky to cut and this is a cotton with 5% spandex which means great recovery but also the fabric curls very easily when laid out flat. My solution is to mark the centre front fold with pins, then cut a vertically symmetrical half with the pattern pinned on and lay the cut-out fabric along the fold matching up the stripes on the uncut fabric. The first half acts as a pattern piece and stripes can be matched exactly. I repeat this for the back. For sleeves, I cut them one at a time and use the first face as a pattern for the second, laying the right side to right side to create a mirrored pair.  I did the same process on my Sew Over It Molly Dress.

As with my other Frankies, I used a Liberty lawn facing rather than jersey which is a departure from the original pattern; they recommend a jersey facing. I am wearing a nude colour cool-feel stretch slip underneath which I often wear under shift or jersey dresses as it smooths any underwear lines and stops bright colours showing through, plus it seems to make all dresses hang better.

Size XS body, S sleeves and armhole,  3/4 sleeves, short dress length. The only alteration was the front neck is dropped down in the centre about 1/2" more than the original line. For reference, I'm 5'5" with a 33" chest. You can read my general thoughts on the pattern construction here. I pinned and basted all the stripes to pattern match the sleeve and side seams.

I'm really happy with the end result.  It's a simple shape, I really like the close fit at the shoulders and the trapeze style flare from the bust line downwards. It's incredibly easy to wear, forgiving on any belly ins and outs and perfect for warm weather, although the elbow length sleeve option is on my radar when I make another!   Girl Charlee kindly supplied the fabric for this blog make. 


  1. Gorgeous dress! I'll be trying a woven facing - and probably buying one of those slips too.

  2. Simple and beautiful. Your stripe matching is spot on!

  3. Very cute! Love the neckline interfacing you used. It really adds some fun styling to the outfit. Perfect spring outfit.

  4. This looks amazing! Thanks for making our fabric look so great!

  5. This is really lovely. I've had the Frankie dress printed out for an age -I need to get on with it! It's a v flattering shape. x

  6. Lovely! I adore stripes and have now started tracing off full sized pattern pieces rather than halves if I know I might make it from a stripe, makes cutting out and stripe matching so much easier!


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