‘Tis October 1 and Frocktober has begun at the Monthly Stitch! Frocktober is month-long celebration of dresses, those lovely garments that can exude femininity with such ease – and be as easy or complicated to make as you like. This time around, the lovely ladies at the Monthly Stitch have selected the Giselle dress pattern as one of the featured dresses.
To start things off, I thought I’d show you a couple of ways I’ve worn my own Giselles.
Here’s one in a blue chambray I really love, with the fitted midriff and tiered skirt, and scallop trim used in Eastern European folkwear around the neckline, at the edge of the sleeves, and the bottom of the skirt:
Fall’s coming so I’ll be breaking out this version again – I usually wear it belted, with boots. It doesn’t need to be belted, I just like how very ’70s it looks with this vintage belt. When I belt my Giselles I kind of just loosely drape the waist ties out of the way.
Here’s another one in the blue chambray, this time with the empire waist midriff:
It has a slightly longer skirt than the pattern, and I also used elastic at the sleeve hems. Super easy, and I’ll show you how.
Oh, and for the first one, I used the scallop trim as if it were the sleeve band. I cut it to the length of the sleeve band then sewed it on (should I show how I did it?). Here’s the back when I don’t wear a belt:
I really love that scallop trim. I used a black scallop trim on this LBD Giselle that I wore to a couple of art benefits (this is probably how people can tell I’m not a rich collector just an invited guest: I wear the same outfit more than once…):
(Note to self: must find camera angle again that makes me look so slim… Also, I want to state for the record that I can barely walk in those sandals. Really. Barely. Hence they are in excellent condition despite being years and years (over 10) old.) For the sleeves on this one, I just lopped off the 3/4 sleeve at the length I wanted (because in my head, little black dresses are always short-sleeved), lightly gathered it and trimmed it with the scallop trim, just like the sleeves of the tiered-skirt 3/4 sleeve one:
Not the most elegant solution to drafting a short sleeve but since I didn’t want the sleeve to be too poofy, in this case it worked. I lengthened the skirt a bit to give it a more formal silhouette. I love that fabric: a silk-hemp blend with a fair amount of weight but lovely drape.
When I first started working on this pattern a couple summers ago, I had a few other Giselles with roughly the same silhouette but made in different fabrics, like this one:
It was made of a lovely rayon challis and I literally wore holes into it. Here’s another I made in an Anna Maria Horner print voile, that I usually wore belted, just like here:
I no longer remember why I didn’t include this sleeve variation in the published pattern. I suspect it was just that I got tired of it by the end of that summer. Now that I’m looking at it again, it’s kind of cute, so this month I will show you how to make short-sleeve variations for the Giselle.
I’ve also worn the Giselle as a maxi but I can’t find any decent photos that show the whole maxi dress! I must work on that.
Coming up this month: blue-dye cloth Giselles, a printed Indian cotton Giselle, a polka-dot Giselle, and now I’m thinking I need more in denim, one of which should really have embroidery at the waistline, don’t you think?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention – but as you can see from the length of my hair, this post is made up of not-new photos. In fact, it’s been a bit of a trip down memory lane!