I’ve finally finished the real Francesca Variation yesterday, and I even wore it out of the house! It took much longer to assemble it than I thought it would, almost two full days of cutting, pressing and sewing. There were 24 panels/pieces to sew together , excluding facings and interfacing, so I can see where the time was spent and why I wouldn’t have been able to make it up in an afternoon like I had hoped.
I decided to alter the back skirt panels the “proper” way, letting it out at the seams and shaping it to the hem, and I also tweaked the sleeves to get rid of the excess from the last toile. Sadly, the sleeves were a bit too snug after my tweaking so I made a cut-out where the ties are sewn and bound the cut edge with some green bias binding I had in my stash- it’s a passable fudge but I’ll modify the pattern to account for that for next time.
I pinched out 1-1.5cm on the lower shoulder seam, at the outer edge, tapering back to 0cm at the neck edge. I took a similar amount off the sleeve head as well to make it fit. Those adjustments took care of some of the wrinkling across the shoulders BUT I should have checked where the bust panel notches were before I sewed them on, they’re slightly uneven and I think it’s because of my uneven shoulder height. All those adjustments aside, I really do like how it turned out. I like the shape and the colours and the fabric. I love the rolled hem on the overlay and the pleated panel under it. I plan on making it again but will probably make two more at the same time to make it worthwhile- set it up as an assembly line, much more efficient!