inspired by this dress gail posted in the pinterest vintage may group, armed with my new cintronille patterns, i made c an antonine. i had a blue and cream seersucker in my stash from bolt (which i bought to make a dress for myself… um… well, at least a year ago), and it was a perfect match. the inside of the dress is lined with the new cotton couture (drool, this stuff is lovely, i want some pj pants in it) in soft white. i had originally planned on leaving a bit of the lining peeking out from the hem, but c insisted i “cut off the white part”.
although i’ve sewn from japanese pattern books (which are usually heavily diagrammed), i’ve never sewn from citronille patterns before. and you’re curious about these, right? here’s the lowdown… (and if you speak French, by all means let me know if i have incorrectly translated something.)
the back of the pattern lists the recommended fabrics, additional notions, and fabric requirements (in meters). it also lists the size measurements (height/stature, waist/tour de taille, and chest/tour de poitrine). i chose the size 4 based on the height measurements.
here’s the first page of the pattern. looking at the nomenclature at the top of the page, the pieces correspond to the front/devant, back/dos, and manche/sleeve. next, see the part where it says “les valueurs de couture de 15 mm sont comprises”? that means that the seam allowance is 15 mm (and it’s already included in the pattern pieces). since 15 mm = 0.59″, i used a narrow 5/8″ (which is 0.625″) seam allowance. the next bit about the “ourlets de 4 cm” means that the hems are 4 cm. (obviously, you want to pay attention to the fact that one of these numbers is in mm and the other in cm).
the glossaire gives the definitions of a bunch of terms. i mostly skipped over this part, but the “droit fil” is the grain line and “froncer” is crease/fold. i’m wondering now if i should have paid more attention to la glossaire. ah well. okay, the legend shows the images for the outside/endroit, inside/envers, lining/doublure, and interfacing???/triplure. not 100% sure on that last one, but this pattern didn’t use interfacing. i then proceeded to skip notching my curves and clipping my corners. not sure if they wanted me to do this before sewing? anyways, i didn’t.
moving into the garment assembly, i think the instructions are clearish based on the pictures, but they certainly aren’t as detailed as those in the japanese pattern books (in my experience). the nice thing about the patterns being in french is that i stand half a chance at translating the text (high school french helped but i don’t think it’s necessary). other commonly used terms are endroit contre endroit/ right sides facing, batir/sew (i really thought it was “baste” and basted the pieces in pic 1, but turns out it’s “sew”), piquer/press, epingle a nourrice/ safety pin, glisser l’elastique/ slide the elastic, faire un retre au bas de la manche, en repliant 5 mm pois 7 mm/ fold the base of the sleeve 5 mm and then 7 mm… and so on. armed with a french-english online dictionary, it’s not so hard.
i did find that the elastic measurements for the sleeves were a bit off – the elastic around the arm was way too tight and that around the shoulder a bit too loose. so a bit of fiddling was required there.
i added some buttons to “cuten it up,” as my husband would say. the dress ended up a bit loose around the chest (though really it’s good enough), so next time i may go down to a size 2 (which sounds much better as 2 ans, or “deuxieme ans” don’t you think?) for that piece, and take in that elastic around the shoulders. surely if i do both those things, the fit will be perfect. or too small.
here’s some “action” pics, taken this morning on my desk. when you live in rainy portland, you get what you get, and sometimes the desk has to do, especially when your daughter is sooo excited to wear her new twirly dance skirt to school. (score, mama!) i love the combination of a fancy dress with chucks.
i really enjoyed this pattern and can’t wait to give another one a go. if you’re interested in ordering a citronille pattern, go for 2-3 patterns (no more, no less) at a time, they end up being around $16 each shipped to the us. (the shipping cost and speed go up once you hit 4 patterns).
have you sewed any citronille patterns?? would love to see pics of your creations!