This dress has been a LONG time in the making! I first fell in love with this linen from Merchant and Mills in summer 2019 and then finally convinced myself to buy some last August when I visited Rye with Patsy. I kept my eye out for patterns that would offer opportunities to play with stripes and struck gold with the French Navy Forsythe dress! I added the pattern to my ‘Make Nine’ and as soon as we got some sunshine this summer, I set to work.
I have previously made two patterns by French Navy – the Orla dress (which is a free pattern) and the Fleetwood dress. I really love both of them and they fit me well, so I was confident that the Forsythe would be another winner in my wardrobe. The dress has a relaxed fit with curved panels on the bodice and a button-up back. The grown-on sleeves feature a cuff and there are yoke pockets at the slightly dropped waistline. Linen is the ideal fabric for a summer version of the Forsythe, but any light to medium weight woven with a bit of drape would work really well.
Most of my making time was spent cutting out as I wanted to vary the direction of the stripes and this meant cutting on a single layer and doing quite a bit of faffing! Luckily the team at Fabulosew had printed my A0 pattern for me, which meant my pieces were on transparent paper rather than the standard printer paper I usually work with. This was perfect because it meant I could see the direction of the stripes really clearly through the pattern pieces and it made lining everything up so much easier. Read on to the end for a little pattern printing discount!
Once everything was cut out, sewing the dress was a breeze and I thought the instructions were really good. As you would expect from Merchant and Mills, the linen is beautiful quality and it was a joy to work with. I made the dress in the size XS, which is the equivalent of a UK 8. My waist and hip measurements would have put me at a size S (UK 10), but I stuck with the XS because it suited my bust size best and I could see from the finished garment measurements that there would be plenty of room for everything else! I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern at all and I really like the fit of the dress on me, just like my other two French Navy makes – it’s so nice when you find a pattern company with a block that works well for you!
We had a visit booked to Little Budds peony farm last week, which was the perfect opportunity to get some photos of my finished dress with a background other than our garden! Unfortunately it was incredibly breezy and in spells, super sunny, so taking decent pictures was quite a challenge – I think these few shots of the dress are nice, even if my hair isn’t – you can’t have it all!
As promised, I have a discount code for you! Fabulosew have very kindly given my followers 25% off an A0 print of the Forsythe dress – just use the code FORSYTHE25 when you place your order. If the Forsythe dress isn’t for you, I still highly recommend checking out the pattern printing service that Fabulosew offer – each A0 page only costs £2.15 to print, they ship really quickly for only £1.65 postage and their lightweight paper is fantastic to work with. I have been paid to promote their service, but I won’t be using any other company in future because Fabulosew are brilliant!