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.

(36) Comments

  1. I think the dress looks really cute on you and really suits you! Perfect for when (or if) your British summer ever arrives!

    1. almondrock says:

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

  2. I think your dress is lovely, the sleeves are fab! It will be just the thing for when we do get some good weather.

    1. almondrock says:

      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!

  3. It’s really cute and slightly 90’s in a good way! Love the color on you, too!

    1. almondrock says:

      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 😛

  4. 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. almondrock says:

      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.

  5. 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. almondrock says:

      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

  6. It’s very cute. The sleeve detail is sweet. If you feel it’s not curvy enough, how about adding a belt? Something narrow with a bow or a corsage could work.

    1. almondrock says:

      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.

  7. I think it looks lovely. The fabric and the colour are beautiful! I agree with Catherine, a belt might look nice

    1. almondrock says:

      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.

  8. I really like it and I think once the weather warms up it will become a great go to dress!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! Dreaming of warmer weather is keeping me going.

  9. Melanie is tres cute! And loving those split cap sleeves – perfect for summer days (if/when summer arrives…)

    1. almondrock says:

      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.

  10. 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.

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I’m probably being too harsh on it with all this horrible weather 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. I think this is a lovely dress, Amy. I was intrigued by the front zip when you mentioned it and while it isn’t that noticeable I’m not sure it is one for me. I love the effect of the skirt tucks in this fabric.

  13. 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 🙂

  14. bimbleandpimble says:

    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!

    1. almondrock says:

      Heheh 90s style for me was spotty grungy waif approaching my teenage goth stage. I like your take better

  15. i think it’s lovely and you can definitely wear it with tights. love the fabric too – i’m going to check it out!

    1. almondrock says:

      Wahoooo. Thanks! I can see you looking lovely in this fabric

  16. 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.

    1. almondrock says:

      Wooo! Send me an email if you want to compare instructions. Exciting

  17. 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. almondrock says:

      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!

  18. Super cute and I’m loving Amanda’s idea of tights and boots. *sigh* take me back to the good ol days…. The front zipper is pretty cool as well!

    1. almondrock says:

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

  19. Hi there! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! http://pellymellypatterns.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/liebster-award/

    1. almondrock says:

      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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