The Parisienne Dress (FREE PATTERN HERE) is really easy to wear. It is loose fitting and, being wide across the shoulders, is particularly flattering for pear-shaped figures (like mine). It belts in at the waist and finishes just above the knee.
I have made it here, on the left, in a knitted jersey, inspired by some of the beautiful Missoni knitted fabrics I saw in Harvey Nichols the other day. This lovely blue and purple fabric is from Fabworks Mill Shop. The belt is just some matching fabric folded over a couple of times and oversewn. TOP TIP: I wear a slip under it to stop it clinging to the lumps and bumps as this kind of fabric can.
The bottom hem has curved vents at the side which give it a little design difference. These are finished with bias binding which you can either make out of your leftover scraps of matching fabric (have a look at my post for how to do this) or you can just buy some from a haberdashery store. If you are stuck as to how to do it then have a look at my How to… page for finishing curved edges with bias binding. Don’t forget to Stay Stitch your curves!
Sewing with stretchy fabrics like a jersey is always a bit of a challenge. Have a look at the How to… page for some tips and hints on how to handle it.
I’ve shown a couple of Missoni’s amazing knits just here to inspire you. Knitted fabrics are so soft and comfortable to wear and work equally well as evening wear (for a touch of 70s glamour) or as a casual beach cover up.
The key to the Parisienne Dress is using a fabric that drapes well. It doesn’t have to be a stretch fabric like I’be used but it does have to hang smoothly and not be at all bulky.