Monday Outfit: Frances Newcombe Fabric Part 1


Good morning! Did you have a good weekend? I hope so! This weekend I upheld a couple of promises. First, the enormously talented Frances Newcombe had sent me a generous amount of fabrics from her various Art Gallery collections, and who refuses free fabric to sew up into cute clothes? No one in this household, that’s for sure. Especially when beautiful neutrals (perfect for me) and fun, color-infused prints (perfect for K) are involved? I love them, and over the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing quite a few outfits featuring Frances’ textiles.

My second promise to myself was to sew as many things from the book I featured last week. Obviously, I stitched up the same dress as the one on the cover:


I decided to save the colorful prints for next week and dove into the simple yet whimsical Les Points Powder from the Cherie Bonjour Line (it tickles my inner francophile that all the names are in French). Originally, I intended to make a top for myself, but K saw the fabric in my lap as I browsed through my patterns and asked if I would make a dress for her instead. I’d forgotten how much she likes black and white.

fn-bw-piping-dress2 fn-bw-piping-dress3The drape of the fabric is just lovely. It sort of toes the line between quilting cotton and cotton voile with a gentle fluidity that can be crisply pressed.


I cut out the largest size of 130cm, and it looked gigantic. And I also didn’t have quite enough fabric. Frances gave me about two yards, and I used it all up but still had to reduce the skirt length by almost 5 inches! I reduced the width by a couple of inches too since I didn’t think it needed to be gathered that much. I lined the bodice with a very sheer batiste cotton and that was a good move since if I’d used the same fabric as lining, the print would have shown through.


Huh, it’s interesting that K doesn’t look like she’s drowning in the dress; I really couldn’t believe how much fabric was required for this. You can see above that when K spreads out her arms, the bodice is indeed extremely wide, but I guess I just have to face the fact that my little girl is not so little anymore.

fn-bw-piping-dress6 fn-bw-piping-dress7

The dress would have been darling as is without any embellishments, but I had a sudden hankering to add piping, and I’m so glad I did. Doesn’t it just take it up a notch? The little green button adds a dash of color that is sweet. Black piping would have probably been better, but all I had was navy, so navy it was.


Everything came together easily, but I somehow managed to completely skip the inseam pockets. I even had them cut out and ready to go! No biggie, since K hasn’t been all that into pockets these days. She’s crooning some Selena Gomez tune up there: “Who says, who says you’re not worth it, who says you’re not perfect, who says you’re not byuuuuuuuuuteeefulll???”


“Who says?” I say she’s looking pretty beautiful.


All in all, a success! You just can’t go wrong with dots and dashes, and I can’t wait to show you more of Frances’ fabrics. She has a great range of styles, and as someone not-so-secretly hoping to get into textile design one day, I want to find out so much about the process and production side of things. I’m hoping Frances will let me pick her brain in the near future, but for now I feel so lucky to have the chance to play with such gorgeous fabric.

P.S. K corrected me when I called that thing her megaphone – it’s a microphone that she made.

28 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Frances Newcombe Fabric Part 1

  1. Very nice dress with a fab fabric. I didn’t know Frances so thank you so much for helping me to discover this great designer. I just had a look at her new collection and I love it!

  2. I love this!! So fresh. I am going to try this fabric, soon. It’s no secret that I am on your “may design fabric” team.

    1. Thanks, Greta! When I can find the mental space, I’m planning on plunging into textile design and see what might happen!

    1. I think it’s a winning combination, though admittedly, it’s a little too hot for K to wear right now. It’ll be a great part of her back-to-school wardrobe. Thanks, Fiona!

  3. Fantastic job Sanae! that fabric seems to be so nice and classic. Love the dress shape and K looks lovely in it. Also as always, your pictures are beautiful

    1. Oh, thank you Maria! I’m continually futzing with my camera settings trying to see what works and what doesn’t. I’m still not getting the crispness where I want them to be, but I’m getting closer!!

  4. Really neat dress, and – as always- I love your pictures. Your blog is a source of great inspiration!
    Do you know if the book comes in a translated version? I’ve found some of the japanese sewing books translated into french, but I couldn’t find this one.

    1. Thanks so much, Trine! As far as I know, this book only comes in English so far, but it seems like publishers like Tuttle are really trying to get more English translations out there so who knows, maybe this one will be available in other languages soon!

    1. Exactly, Bernadette! It’s one of the things I love about Japanese patterns. Because of the generous proportions, they seem to last for years on end!

    1. Ta, Bella! It might take awhile, but I’ve been talking about trying Spoonflower for ages, and it seems like a good stepping stone.

  5. I’m so excited you’re sewing your way through this book, as it is one of the best ones yet I’ve seen. And this dress is picture proof of the great patterns included. Your fabric choice is so great! But wow – what a lot of fabric this one needed! I think it was a good call to take out some of the skirt fullness. Would you advise sizing the bodice down if I were to make this?
    Tell K her microphone just makes the photos:)

    1. It’s such a great book, isn’t it? I love it love it love it. And yes, I would recommend sizing the bodice down πŸ™‚ I think it’s deliberately wider than normal. Thanks, Lucinda!

    1. So happy you like it, Frances – it’s really all about the fabric, right ;-). Thank you for your generosity!

Leave a Reply to sanae Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *