Frederique: the hack

Guys, I came up with a new method of convincing unwilling models into having their photos taken... I can't believe it actually worked!


It all started when Marte from Compagnie M* sent me an e-mail asking if I would be interested in participating in a blog tour promoting her new pattern, the Frederique dress*. She included a few photos of the dresses she made for her daughter. Compagnie M patterns are among my favourite, so I was keen to sew the Frederique. Please allow me to jump ahead and say that I am very pleased with this pattern also.

I showed the photos to Miss R and she said she loved the big pockets but not the ties. She also said she wanted the collar and the cuffs and concluded her speech by picking printed cotton poplin I purchased from Spotlight a few years ago for her new dress. This girlie definitely knows what she wants!


Seeing how keen she was to get a new dress I did it... 'I will sew you this dress but I will need to take photos on Saturday, and you won't be able to say you don't feel like a photo-shoot'. I put forward an ultimatum.... and held my breath waiting for Miss R's response. She looked at photos of Marte's dress, then at fabric, and agreed!


Since Miss R did not want the ties I decided to sew a button up version. And then out of nowhere I got an idea to use the pocket pieces from Marte's Ileana dress pattern*. There was one little problem though. The pocket was larger than the narrower front panel. Solution? Straighten up the asymmetrical closure. Too easy!


The front bodice and skirt pieces have the centre line marked, so I simply extended the pattern pieces by another 3.5 cm past that line to accommodate the size of my chosen buttons and the seam allowance. I had to re-draft the facings to suit the updated front pattern piece, but it was very easy also. I love the clean finish facings create. If you are not keen on facings, you can use bias tape instead.


I did not plan to omit the sleeve cuffs. Both Miss R and I really like them, however I made a mistake and didn't have time to re-do them. I explained to Miss R what had happened and she said, 'Maybe you are not too good at sewing'. Maybe she is onto something!


I made this dress in size 5 width with size 6 length. I usually further lengthen the skirt by a few cm but for some reason I didn't do it this time. I used bias tape to finish the hem in a bid to preserve as much length as I possibly could. The dress is still a little short, but I actually like it!


I guess you are wondering if Miss R kept her promise about a photo-shoot? Yes! Despite me miserably failing at sewing the cuffs she posed for photos like a pro! Although don't be deceived by Miss R looking like a young lady. Underneath it all she is still my sweetest Little Monkey!


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22 comments

  1. Lovely, I always like to read about hacks and modelling tips ;) Great pictures again!

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    1. Thanks Miranda :) Always happy to share what I know ;)

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  2. "Maybe you are not a good sewer" 😂 Well, you did a great job despite your dearth of ability 😉

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    1. hahaha Thank you :) Still, gotta love how honest kids are :)

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  3. Such a nice little hack! I love how she picked out the fabric and pattern options she wanted. She has good taste!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, Miss R is very vocal about what she likes, which actually makes my job so much easier!

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  4. So beautiful Jenya! Sweet dress, perfect print and such lovely photos. I think you are very good at sewing (hehe).....

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    1. Thank you Marina :) It is uplifting to know someone thinks I am doing OK haha

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  5. Such pretty dress! Glad the ultimatum worked, ha!

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    1. Thank you Olga. I didn't think it would work! I am surprised it did!

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  6. So nice to see the option that didn't make it in the final pattern! :) Thanks Jenya for the inspiration! M

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Marte, and thank you for inviting me to participate :) Frederique was a pleasure to sew, although I did not expect anything else from your pattern :D

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  7. I need to try this idea, and your little miss makes me laugh. It sounds like something my daughters would say about my sewing -- though in your case it's completely untrue! I love how the hack worked out and the photos of her in her dress are lovely. She looks gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Emi :) By the sounds of things our girls are similar in many ways! Not a dull moment, hey?

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  8. Lovely! The girl, the dress, the pictures!

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    1. Thank you very much Anke :) It sure was a fun little project :)

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  9. Lovely! I find it definitely helps getting my girls involved in the choosing part!

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    1. Thank you Suz. Yes getting her involved is so much fun, and this way I know she will want to wear whatever I make for her :)

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  10. Oh goodness -"maybe you are not too good at sewing" made me laugh out loud! So awesome! If only she knew! Someday she will, Mama!

    Man, I am bummed for you that she doesn't like photo shoots normally. That would be so tough. :/ I'm glad it worked out this time! The dress is great!

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    1. haha Isn't she hilarious hahaha Gotta admire her honesty though! I think if I don't give her too much time to dwell on the upcoming photo-shoot it goes OK. Our latest photo-shoot took only about 5 minutes! and produced over 100 photos hahaha

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  11. It's beautiful Jenya ! You are sooo good at sewing ;) Love your photos too ! ♥

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  12. I love the dress and the pictures, they're both lovely! And so is your little girl of course!

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