Chanel Inspired Francoise

I’m so proud of this dress.  I think it’s the most fabulous thing I’ve sewn yet.  And it fits like a glove!  I finished it with just two days to spare before the deadline to enter the #SewingFrancoise contest over at Tilly and the Buttons!

A Chanel Inspired Francoise

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona

I actually wasn’t sure if this dress was for me at first as it’s such a retro 60’s style, but after I saw Jane’s  version in blue which looks quite modern I knew I could make this silhouette work for me.  I went ahead and ordered the pdf immediately and am so glad I did!  I love the waist and bust darts, they really make the shape so elegant.  And the flare of the skirt and raglan sleeves are lovely.  This is the first pattern I’ve made from Tilly and I can’t wait to try more.  The instructions were fabulous and easy to follow.  I especially like that I could follow along on the Francoise sewalong to see construction step by step.

I made a quick muslin out of an extra bedsheet and the fit was almost perfect.  I cut my muslin in a size 4 and the only alterations need were lengthening the dress by 2″ and taken out a wedge out of the back.  My first real version of the dress was in a scuba knit(I’ll be blogging about that make next week!) but I really wanted to show off this make first since I just adore it!

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona


My main inspiration was the fabric.  It’s a wool tweed in slate grey, navy, cream and white that I bought from Mood when it was the deal of the day at 50% off!  What a steal.  I think the lining, an infinity silk habotai was pricier then the wool.  I instantly started searching Pinterest for ideas for a Chanel inspired dress.  I wanted to use the shoulders to contrast the direction of the fabric on the body and use the stripes crosswise for the bodice.  I decided I’d make the dress much like a Chanel jacket.  I would quilt the silk lining to the body and after looking over my back issues of Threads I decided to use the selvedge for the piping in the shoulder pieces.

Sew Pomona, holiday and Winter Sewing Plans

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona


Francoise Dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Walking foot, silk thread, 2 yards each of wool tweed + silk habotai lining


I gathered a ton of inspiration from these Threads issues as well:

Make it Couture, Designer Techniques Volume 2, Summer 2014: The best of Threads

Surprising Uses for Selvages, Aug/Sept. 2014 #174


And here is my Pinterest inspiration board:


A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona


I cut my dress in a size 4 and added 2″ in length as well as taking out a wedge in the back neck area.  I first cut out my lining with my muslin and then cut larger pieces out of the tweed in case I had an raveling on the edges.  I then thread traced my seam allowance with contrasting silk thread.  Next I quilted each piece in the direction of the stripes  using a walking foot (it made sewing the layers together a dream!) at about 1″ intervals making sure not to go past my seam allowances.  I then thread traced all my darts and sewed them up.  After that was all complete I serged all my pieces to help control raveling.  I then inserted the selvedge face down in between all the shoulder pieces and then top stitched them down to keep the seams flat since they’re was a bit more bulk with the extra layers.  I used a silk facing reinforced with the fabric from my muslin and inserted my invisible zipper.  I think the most difficult part of the construction was keeping my lines straight and matching up from all angles.  The wool itself is very lightweight and drapey so the silk quilting was essential.

A Chanel Inspired Francoise


A Chanel Inspired Francoise

I just LOVE this dress!  I’m planning on wearing this for Christmas, and really as much as possible!  I really want to make another one now as the construction was quite fun to work out.  I do love to plan things out, I probably over think half my makes :)  My favorite part is the selvedge inserts- they just add the extra touch of fabulousness!~ This Wool is so perfect for our Florida weather too.  Anything heavier would be just too much.

A Chanel Inspired Francoise, Sew Pomona

Wish me luck in the contest and check out Tilly and the Buttons Francoise board to see more fabulous makes!  You can get a sneak peek at my scuba knit version on my Facebook page.


16 thoughts on “Chanel Inspired Francoise”

  1. This is so beautiful! It really suits you and your style, I love the idea of using the selvedges as piping!
    Good luck with the competition. I know there are a lot of entries, I have no idea how Tillly is going to create a shortlist. But I’m sure this beauty will be in it.

    1. Thanks Bea! I’m so happy with how the selvedge trim turned out. They’re are so many amazing entries aren’t there. Thanks again :)

    1. Thanks so much! The quilting was such fun to do, I found a ton of tutorial’s to walk me through it which was great. My fingers are crossed:)

  2. I’ve been having so much trouble commenting from bloglovin lately, but I just had to come back and say that I was devastated for you when this dress did not make the cut! It is so perfect in every way. You have my vote. Merry Christmas Bec xx

    1. Thanks Nicki! I’ve been having the same problem commenting, its such a hassle! Thanks so much…I really did think my dress had a good chance and was disappointed that I didn’t make the shortlist. But either way I have a fantastic dress that I’m so proud of. :) Hope you have a great Christmas too!!!

  3. This dress is stunning! I feel like it can be both casual and dressy, and yes I would have included it in the shortlist! Great job on matching the stripes – I am not sure I would have taken such painstaking steps myself since the stripes are so fine! Also I wanated to say your sketch looks absolutely like u:). Can I ask why you chose to quilt the lining though? I am not too experienced a sewer and all the sewing blogs are really opening my eyes to new techniques!

    1. Thanks so much Sunie! I do love that I can dress this up or down, it’s really versatile. The quilting helps to give the fabric more structure, the weave is quite loose & drapey on its own. :)

  4. Pingback: Scuba Knit Francoise | Sew Pomona

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