The Franki is a jersey cowl neck dress/top with slightly extended shoulder line. Hugging the neckline at the back and falling softly into a front cowl.
Usually a size 12 in Style Arc patterns fits me well with very little alterations required. However, this was not the case with the Franki dress. I found the bodice area to be quite loose and I took the side seams in by 2cm each side from the base of the armhole, tapering to nothing at the waist line the get a nicer fit.
Then I had the opposite problem in the tummy/hip area where it was a little too tight. With only 1cm seam allowances I couldn't do much about that, other than to loose a couple of kilos which has helped immensely.
The shape of this dress is quite relaxed and not too figure hugging which I like. It is quite short though. I only turned up a 2cm hem, trying to preserve as much length as possible ( I am about 5'8")
The back neck has a stand up collar which hugs the neckline and after reading several other reviews of this pattern, I decided to interface the back collar section. This did add some body to this quite thin and very drapey knit which certainly helped to stop the collar collapsing.
The armholes were way too low and causing bra exposure. In order to fix this I shortened the armhole binding by about 20cm, which helped draw the armhole circumference in, thus raising the armhole. It is still a little low, so next time I will raise the armhole on the pattern before cutting out. I found the armhole binding to be very narrow and fiddly to apply, so I also widened mine.
The armhole extends past the shoulder line and really hugs the upper arm. This could also be more pronounced due to the tightening of my armhole binding. I chose to leave the binding exposed in an attempt to further fill in the armhole area. I top stitched the seam allowances down with a twin needle to prevent them flipping out.The armholes are not restrictive in any way though, and the dress is comfortable to wear.
The cowl at the front sits very nicely when arranged, but the minute you move there's trouble. I came up with a very effective way of getting the cowl to stay put and to totally eliminate any gaping/flashing scenarios. My solution was to sew a lingerie keeper to the centre of the cowl facing, near the raw edge, which I then clip around my bra at the centre front. I know this won't work with every bra out there, but it works like a charm with mine. It holds the cowl in position and keeps the fabric snug against your chest too.
I wore my Franki dress to work today with my Grainline Morris Blazer which felt like a good combination. I love it when a new addition to the wardrobe works well with what's already in there.
I will leave you with a parting shot of Ollie who was catching up on pats after I had been at work all day.