My Accidentally Suzy Bishop-Inspired Françoise Dress and Cuff Tutorial
My first attempt at the Françoise dress was rather unsuccessful due to a poor fabric choice (lightweight cotton), stretched out bias-bound armholes, and a problem I encounter a lot with both me-mades and RTW – gaping at the back of the neckline.
As soon as Sew Me Sunshine went live I began excitedly browsing the quilting and medium-weight fabrics to find a perfect match for Françoise round two. The Dashwood Studio Norrland i
I decided to go for the long-sleeved version due to the colder weather and my ongoing bias binding phobia. I added 3.5cm to the length of the dress and increased the curve at the top of the back seam to account for the neckline gaping. Unfortunately the final fit is
The collar and cuffs were a spur-of-the-moment addition, half way through the fitting process. I felt that the dress needed something to break up the mass of blue, and they have the additional bonus of giving the dress a Suzy Bishop vibe!
Luckily, I had the perfect fabric in my stash: white with tiny mint polka-dots, which brought out the mint accents in the Dashwood fabric
Full disclosure: I improvised my way through this but I’m pleased with how the cuffs turned out, so I thought this might come in handy if you want to join the Suzy gang!
1. Mark the new sleeve length on the sleeve back pattern piece (labelled “cut line”). Add a 1.5 cm seam allowance below this line.
2. Decide how deep you want your cuffs to be, and mark this line (labelled “edge of cuff”). Add a 1.5 cm seam allowance above this line.
3. Place tracing paper (baking paper is fine!) over the pattern piece and secure in place – I used washi tape. Draw around the cuff shape, remembering to include the seam allowances. I labelled the inside seam top (“elbow”) and bottom (“wrist”) so I didn’t get confused – it’s easily done.
4. Cut out your back cuff pattern piece. Place the “elbow” side on the fold of your cuff fabric and cut two.
5. Cut two of your front cuff pattern piece in interfacing, not on the fold, as we’ll only be interfacing half of the cuff to stop it getting too bulky.
6. Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric and press the “elbow” fold with the interfacing on the inside.
7. Repeat the steps above for the front sleeve pattern piece.
8. With right sides together and the cuff pieces unfolded, attach a front cuff to a back cuff, stitching inside seam to inside seam (and vice versa), and matching at the centre fold. Apparently I forgot to photograph this stage – sorry!
9. Trim the seam allowances and press them open. Fold your cuffs over along the pressed line, right sides exposed, to reveal something like this (fingers crossed):
10. With your dress sleeve inside out, slip the cuff over the top, pin and stitch the edges together.
11. Finish the raw edges, turn the sleeve the right way out and press the cuff back.
12. Repeat with the other sleeve and…voila!
Happy sewing! x