Friday, May 24, 2013

Patriotic "Frannie"

Frannie's Big Sister by Lyn Weeks

This post is a lot of pictures and a little description.  

My local SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) held an April workshop with Australian Lyn Weeks teaching her fabulous Frannie dress. This was my workshop "masterpiece."

Patriotic Frannie


Vintage Paisley from London Calling by Robert Kaufman
(This is a lawn weight fabric.  IT IS WONDERFUL!)

White pique from Lyn Weeks from Japan for the collar.
(Wish I would have bought a few yards of this from Lyn.  
It is a little lighter weight than most of Fabric Finders pique.)

Frannie's Big Sister as a top


Frannie's Big Sister is a dress pattern, but I was making the largest size (size 8) and felt that was too much flowing fabric for a dress for a nine year old.  So, the dress became a swing top.

We cut out the skirts before the workshop with Lyn Weeks and then did almost all the construction in the two day class.  The dress was smocked on the front and back with the plate from Frannie.

As a note, this is not a beginning sewing project.  It comes with a short book for instructions and many options for construction details.

I am pleased with the outcome!  My daughter commented that she didn't have a lot of growing room in the shoulders, so it wasn't as generously sized as some Australian patterns.

Back view of smocked Frannie's Big Sister

Another view of Frannie's Big Sister

Smocking Detail on Frannie's Big Sister (plate from Frannie)

Smocking Close-up

Back view of Frannie's Big Sister
Lyn Weeks and myself at the Houston SAGA chapter workshop for Frannie.

All ready for a Texas sized Memorial Weekend!


  1. That is a gorgeous top. I would like to learn to do some smocking and bought a book hoping I can be self taught, but it looks to be complicated!

    1. It is as hard as doing counted cross stitch. (Not too bad.) If you have a local SAGA chapter, they will get you started with a few good tips and keep you going with new ideas.

  2. Love it as a swing top! And love the fabric you chose. Bravo!

  3. Very cute top! Your daughter looks all ready for some fun:)

  4. I just made my first "Frannie" dress yesterday and thought the instructions were a bit lacking (in my opinion.) The dress turned out beautiful and after seeing your short top version that will be my next project with this pattern. The top you did looks great and I love the colours and piping. Thanx for posting this version of the pattern!

  5. Would love to know where you got your piping?

    1. It is a royal blue whip stitch piping that I bought at my local heirloom store, Buttons n Bows. Most heirloom stores carry it. Sorry for my slow reply, I have been traveling with very limited access to the Internet.

  6. I loooove this! (found the picture on Pinterest). So far I have never smocked anything, but I've been drooling over Sew Beautiful magazines for years. I think I could do the actual embroidery part (I think?), but I'm intimidated by the pleating (not having a pleater). I don't have a SAGA chapter really close by, but will someday make myself do the drive to get to the nearest one. Any way (sorry, getting long-winded), I just wanted you to know that I think this garment is just so creative, and a gorgeous use of the color and the print... Fabulous!