Possibly Poppies – the Grainline Farrow dress

farrowfront1Hi all

Hope everyone has been enjoying the recent sunshine? When I started making this Grainline Farrow my head was still very much in winter sewing and this feels like a dress I will wear with tights, so here is my last winter dress before I start on some summer sewing!farrowside1The Farrow dress was on my 2017 makenine despite being some way outside my usual style. I don’t usually choose a dress without any waist shaping and I really wasn’t sure whether this would work on me or not. I was slightly worried that it could very easily look a bit maternity!farrowfront3I cut a size 12 overall – there is so much ease at the waist and hip that you don’t really need to worry about those measurements. I could probably have sized down to a 10 at the shoulder and bust, but I was originally planning to include the sleeves and I often have to widen the upper back with sleeves, so I went for a larger size to be cautious. In the end I decided to skip the sleeves to save myself the fitting pain!

I omitted the front pockets – partly because I am not that bothered about pockets but mainly because I didn’t have as much fabric as I needed! It’s not difficult to make this change – I just folded back the pattern pieces, but Jen has provided a more detailed explanation here. farrowback2I decided to flat fell the diagonal seams across the front and back to make a feature of them. I rather wish I had kept it simple – the fabric was very slippery and the seams look a bit chewed up in places.

I used a viscose from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton, which I bought in their sale in January. This is quite a heavy fabric – it seems to be a viscose version of a satin backed crepe – the wrong side is slippery and the right side is crepey! I was completely drawn to the contrast of the bright red poppies glowing against the black – it feels like a very 60s style graphic print. farrowfront2As you can see, I didn’t think about pattern matching at all when I cut this out! It was only after I sewed up the back that I realised that I really should have made more effort… I just didn’t have enough fabric to match everything up. I recut the lower front pieces to match the upper front pieces , but I wasn’t able to match the centre seams. I will just have to hope that no one who doesn’t sew will notice this…

My main reservation is that it is a bit shorter than I am comfortable with at the front – I made a very narrow hem to preserve as much length as possible, but I think I will only wear this with black tights (what is it about black tights that magically make it possible to wear something that would otherwise be too short…?)farrowside2 I am really pleased with how this turned out! I’m glad that I tried a different silhouette and I will make this pattern again if I can find the right fabric for a summer version.

Has anyone else been trying something new recently?





12 Comments Add yours

  1. stitchedupsam says:

    This looks really nice. I’ve shied away from this pattern too because of the potential shapelessness, but I think because the top is quite fitted it does actually work pretty well. The shortness of the front hem would bother me too, I think I’d only want a winter version I could wear with black tights.
    I’ve recently been tempted by a shirt dress for the first time, and I love it, having spent years saying I hate shirt dresses. I’ve just blogged about it myself actually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      I always think this style won’t work for me but it’s nice to wear something so loose – I would like a summer version – I think just an inch or two at the front would make it work! I saw your Helmi post – I made exactly the same change to the back!


  2. JaneyB says:

    I really like the shape of this dress and it works so well with that bold fabric. I’ve been sewing tiny baby clothes for Mr Jane Makes’ granddaughter which is definitely something new for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I like it much more than I expected to. Tiny baby clothes sounds like a completely different kind of challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. qplourde says:

    Wow, I really love that fabric! Interesting enough, I am going to be in Brighton next month for a vacation and I was checking out which fabric stores I could hit. Is Ditto Fabrics a good place? Great job on the dress – it looks great and makes me want to make something spring-like as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Ditto is a great place to check out – its in the North Laine which is full of interesting shops and lovely cafes anyway! There are a few other places for fabric in Brighton, but Ditto has a really good selection so I mainly go there! I seem to have been sewing quite a lot of florals recently which really isn’t like me – must be the time of year!


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynne says:

    Loving that fabric!! I’m wary of this shape too, and this looks fab on you! I can see it with black boots and red jacket or cardigan.

    And off I go to Ditto Fabrics website!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I got this fabric in the sale a while ago so I don’t think there is any left, but lots of other lovely fabric there!


  5. Lynsey Jane says:

    Super dress, love the fabric and diagonal seams. I’m a knee length girl so know how you feel when something feels to short.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Yes – I can manage it in black tights but without tights my pasty knees aren’t a lovely sight!


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