A Valentine Franklin

Since I’ve gone back to work part time, my sewing machine has been collecting dust big time.  Since mid-November, every moment free moment I’ve had has been taken up with reading and preparing for the course I’m teaching.  I’m just now seeing over that pile of books and have taken some time to pick up the projects that have been sitting by the sewing machine half done.

Back in November, I had it in my mind that I’d have time to make holiday dresses for both girls — and by holiday, I was thinking Thanksgiving & Christmas.  Ha.  I really wanted to try out the new Franklin Dress from the Brooklyn Pattern Company for Kiki.  I got as far as sewing the sleeves and preparing the skirt, when I realized that this baby was going to take up residence on the ironing board until further notice.

Well, time marches on, and the holiday for this dress is now Valentine’s Day.

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

I tell you what, I think this pattern is the bomb.  This may be my very favorite thing that I’ve made for this gal — and she agrees.  It’s pretty straightforward to put together, and the result is so sweet yet chic.  I can think of about five other fabrics I’d like to try this dress in.

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

For this Christmas turned Valentine version, I choose a combination of a fairly drapey quilting cotton and a totally buttery and luscious red corduroy from my local fabric shop.  The original idea was to use the corduroy for the bodice and sleeves and the butterflies for the skirt.  But somewhere along the line my math skills failed me, and when it came time to cut, there wasn’t enough butterfly to do the job.  Since I loved the corduroy so much in the store, I’d bought plenty for a couple of projects.  So, I flipped things around moved the butterflies up.  I think it was a happy accident.

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

As usual, I decided to cut out a size 4 bodice and a size 5 skirt for the 4 1/2 year old Kiki.  The fit is a total dream.

I have a great love for pin tucks, so that was a big selling point for me.  And, the in seam pockets were a delightful surprise to the wearer.

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

When searching for buttons, I found some great little blue ones that turn iridescent in the light — much like butterfly wings, you know?

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

The one bit of trouble I had was with the button holes.  I used slightly larger buttons than recommended and ended up with a top button hole that’s a bit too close to the top of the placket.  But I think that can be filed away with all the other things that only the maker would notice.

On the topic of buttons and button holes, the Brooklyn Pattern people have a great technique for keeping everything lined up perfectly.  You are instructed to draw a “center front line” directly onto the right side of the fabric on both the right and left bodice placket pieces.  The line goes top to bottom, straight through where the button holes and the buttons should go.  So even if you’re like me and your button holes end up a little high, at least they’re straight!  And it takes the guess work out of placing those buttons.  I’m going to use this trick on everything from now on!

Franklin Dress, Brooklyn Pattern Company

It’s nice to be back in the sewing saddle again.  Now, on to Lulu’s dress that’s been living on the ironing board next to this one . . .