Meet Melanie

I’m not a graceful elegant French woman. And pending some kind of life-transplant, I don’t think I ever will be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wear chic French patterns and frolic around pretending I am. Anyone else feel like this some times?


Meet Melanie; She’s one of the patterns designed by Géraldine of Republique Du Chiffon, from her book Un été couture (A summer wardrobe), the French pattern book I got for Christmas. Oh yes the irony of buying and making a summer wardrobe during this horrible weather, but hey it’s on the turn isn’t it? This is really a spring frock!

I chose this dress for my March Minerva Blogger Network make. I was optimistically hoping for better weather. Don’t get me started on how wrong I was but I did end up with a sweet little dress. The fabric is a lovely glossy rust coloured cotton lawn.


Melanie is a zip fronted dress with split cap sleeves and waist pleats. She’s cute, rather short but lots of fun to sew. She has a nifty zip facing that keeps everything looking neat and the split sleeves are fully lined which looks nice and tidy.


I really wish this dress suited me a little more. I think the colour is excellent but I don’t think the silhouette is the most flattering. A little too “up and down” for me if that makes sense?


I do love the zip and the finish you get on the inside. Those skirt pleats are very cute and there’s definitely cool factor in the split sleeves.

Maybe I just need to introduce Melanie to some warmer weather and we’ll get along better. What do you think? Would you wear a zip front dress?

There’s no denying how ace Julie’s version looks and Magali’s version in another atelier brunette fabric. I also like Mel in a solid colour like this.

Don’t be put off by this pattern book being in French. Everything is understandable using poor high school French mixed with Google translate. Plus the diagrams are pretty good. They double up across the book you see. You look at a pattern and think “hmmpf why am I only getting three diagrams?” but the diagrams to other steps are included in other similar patterns from the book: Very clever and space-saving.


Right. Back to sewing! My other half is on a three-day golf weekend and that means pure indulgent “Amy time”, full of my favourite things — Sewing, silly telly, curry, salmon with pickled beetroot and possibly some gin*.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!!

*Not necessarily in this order.

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    1. Thank you! Maybe you need to make one Miss Melanie 😉 Can’t beat having a dress with the same name as you.

    1. Thanks Lynne! If Mel and I decide to part ways I might make the “Marie” dress which has the same v neck and split sleeves but has a more bell shape skirt and button front. Let’s hope the weather cheers up soon!

    1. Thanks! But oh my goodness, 90s!? You’ve given me a scare there. I’m trying to resist all this 90s resurgence mania that’s going on. Everyone seems to be fondly remembering all the bad things of the 90s and not the good things!! Scary 😛

  1. You look great in this dress, the colour is especially becoming on you! The sleeves are cute and the zipper is so beautifully sewn in, it’s really invisible 🙂

    1. Thank you! I really love the colour too. I can’t take too much credit for the zipper as my invisible zipper foot did all the “leg” work! Ho ho ho I love a mini pun.

  2. I think it looks really lovely Amy 🙂 I didn’t even spot the zip until you mentioned it! I’m not convinced about zip fronted dresses – reminds me a bit too much of school pinafores. Only the French could turn them into something chic!!!

    1. Thank you! Heheh I was in the same boat as you, a little suspicious but it’s quite a fun feature on a low necked dress as long as you pick a non-schooly fabric. There is actually a very similar style dress in the book where it’s button up. I think that might be a little less odd to the eye compared to the zip

    1. I think you’re right on the money! A nice belt would give it some contrast and define my middle a bit more. Maybe a nice brown one to pick out the brown in the dress.

    1. Thank you! Yeah I’ve been thinking about a nice belt to give her some contrast. Maybe a nice brown one to pick out the brown in the dress.

    1. Thank you! They’re a pretty cool feature right? Slightly different to a tulip sleeve. And pretty easy to do so you could put them on other dresses.

  3. I think it’ll grow on you as the weather improves as it’s really a good silhouette and colour pallette for you. Oh and count me in for everything except silly telly.

  4. I really like it on you! The colour is gorgeous and it has some lovely details!
    I’d personally pass on a front zip but you can’t actually tell it’s there. I think you’ll love her more when the sun comes out!

  5. I really like this and think with tights and boots it would be great for winter too. The zip is not obvious at all, but you could make a fun version with an exposed metal zipper (if you went chunky plastic it could be totally 90s!). I actually think the dress suits you well 🙂

  6. OMG this is too cute and would look fierce with tights and boots in the chill! You are totes rocking it 90s style and I love it hard!

  7. I love this dress and was thinking, dang, how can I get this pattern? I love the zip front. Then I realized, this is the book Inna the Wallinna sent me a few months ago! Thank you for reintroducing me to these amazing patterns! I will be scared of French no more.

  8. Oh Hi ! Thank you for quoting my dress in your post !
    I think the dress looks perfect on you ! But I know what you mean because in the end I felt the same way with mine.. I think it’s due to the sleeves, even if I love them, I think this shape is not particulary flattering for the arms…

    1. Thanks for visiting the blog! I think you’re right, there is something a little weird about how the sleeves look, even though they’re so cute in theory!

    1. Ahaha the good old days. The 90s were pretty ropey in my neck of the woods but I like your happy nostalgia.

    1. Thanks so much Melly. I don’t quite qualify (508 folllowers) but I like your questions so I’ll sneak in!! Heehee.

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