Today I am sharing my latest make, a Tilly and The Buttons’ Francoise dress. It’s my second time making a Francoise dress, so I thought that instead of blogging about the same thing as last time, I’ll focus on different aspects of my version of the lovely 1960s-inspired pattern. (But if you want to read some details, check out my first Francoise post here. There are also many wonderful Francoise reviews out there. Two of my favourites are from Sewing The 60s and A Stitching Odyssey)
I used a reversible double knit for this dress. I loved both sides so much that instead of using just one, I used both to create a contrasting shoulders and belt. The two-way stretch makes it comfy while retaining a crisp, structured look. And if you stare at it long enough, the geometric black & white print creates an optical illusion! At least I see it 🙂 Perfect for a 60s inspired dress! In fact, it does remind me of those Op-Art inspired paper dresses from the 60s. But I imagine this Francoise is far more comfortable, not to mention sustainable, than those trendy disposable garments from the mid 60s.
Speaking of paper dresses, did you know that the Big 4 printed paper-specific patterns in the 60s? I came across a Simplicity 7376 Jiffy Dress recently and its envelope states it is “suitable for paper and felt”. The designs were free-form, no facing was needed, the armholes were cut deeper to avoid tearing, and the neck and sleeve edges were stitched by machine.
Disposable garments were introduced in 1966 and were closely tied to the Space Age’s Futurism scene (amazing aesthetics beyond dresses!). By 69, however, the sun had set on these garments owing to their wastefulness and the hippie movement’s back-to-nature awareness and growing anti-pollution message. Rightly so! I find it fascinating how public perception of disposable stuff totally changed within a few short years. It reminds me of how my own perspective on ready-to-wear and durable clothing has significantly changed over the past few years and is still evolving as I learn more every day while having fun making my own wardrobe.
Anyway, that was a bit of a history, but now here are pictures of the Francoise dress:
Thanks for looking!