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23 September 2015

hi I'm back! (again)

Remember when I said I would post more often? Yeah, it definitly did not happen :-)
But hey, I'm back. And with a twist I did not expect: I live in the south of France now. This means less sleeves and more dresses! And maybe less Breton stripes (darn, I love my stripes).

Anyway, I thought maybe it was time to sew a few things for Autumn, although Autumn here seems to be as hot as summer in Brittany, and also I don't have a job yet, sooooo, what to sew, what to sew ?

Of course the first place I went in my new city is the fabric shop. I know, speak of an obsession. I am so pleased they have a toto soldes as well here. The selection is quite the same as in Rennes, so I was not lost, they also have a coupon selection and couldn't help but rewarding myself for being so brave (you know, leaving my dear Brittany and all) so I bought a few coupons.
The first one I am using is a nice crisp cotton.

The print is quite small, I thought I would make a shirt for the husband, but he didn't like the print. What? I present you with a gorgeous fabric AND I OFFER TO TAKE FROM MY PRECIOUS SEWING TIME AND YOU DECLINE?
Good, more for me hehe.

I made a few sketches to find the right idea, I always do that, it helps me figuring out exactly what I want to make, and also it is a preparation before making the pattern, so that I don't spend too much time on it, trying to experiment with the details.

I chose to make the first shirt out of the three. The fit is loose, with a nice detail at the front: a placket opening and a pleat. There is also a pleat at the back. It should go well with the white trousers I have just finished.
My mum told me it is not really the right color for the season, but the weather is much nicer here, it is still more than 20°c (68°f) every afternoon, so white pants I made! And also I'm in a new city, with totally different weather and I am out of a job, so I don't really know what to sew now, I am just going with the flow :-)

The pieces of the shirt are cut. I have begun construction. It looks good so far. I might have finished it by tomorrow. But what will I do next then?

Stay tuned for more random sewing and existential crisis!

19 February 2015

What I did last weekend

I decided last weekend that I "needed" to visit some fabric stores, other than my beloved Toto soldes.
So I embarked on a 10 minutes bus trip and voilà! Ecolaines is a creative shop, for people who sew, knit or quilt, or who do all of those things at the same time!

They have a large selection of sewing books, and because we are in Brittany some of them are about traditional Breton wardrobe. Very inspirational I find, especially if you are attracted by embroidery like I am. Sigh, when I am going to find the time to do all the things I want to? I really want to make a dress with traditional embroidery, we'll see.

I bought a few things from the quilting department. There were so many choices of marking tools, I almost lost it. What made me laugh is that I finally bought a french curve (don't know the name in French), and it was from an Australian brand! The instruction were also written in English, how non-french is it?

I spotted some plaid, but retained myself from spreading them on the floor and rolling on them while shouting: MY PRECIOUS! I am so proud of me...
I had planned to only buy shirt making fabric, and I stick to it. I only bought enough for one shirt (more about that later). The selection is nice but I have to say that the fabrics were more expensive that at toto soldes, and I found a bit hard to find what I wanted, also, there were too many kid's fabric! Or is there? Maybe it would make a nice shirt?
But it is still a good place to shop, they have a nice selection of laces, and the inside of the building is nice.

I also went to another store where i found some knit fabrics! I had never seen any in France before. But they were... weird? Ugly? In your face? Decide for yourself:

Can you believe I have been back in this city for almost 6 months now and I have never taken the time to go there?
I am so going back in Spring, for now I am on a shirt making spree. I will try to show you very soon; I promise I will be a better blogger in 2015, I will get organised!


26 January 2015

Out with the old, I made some new nightgowns!

 When I got back home in France I discovered unpacking that I owned A LOT of really old clothes! I gave a lot away, and then decided that I should have fancy nightgowns!
I mean, I really had no idea for work clothes (maybe because work is just blah!).

 For the first one I just copied an old favourite. I had the chance to find some really nice fabric at toto soldes for almost nothing.
I chose some synthetic  voile with what I think are some interesting prints.

 Of course the pictures are blurry, maybe it's because of the busy print. Anyway, the pattern was quite quick to make. I made a simple A line "dress", lowered the bust point by 1,5 cm, because no bra. Added some lace and voilà! Of course my V point at the front is not perfect but the other points are quite good, and most important the nightgown is super comfy, and it doesn't wrinkle! 

I always try to keep away from synthetic fabrics, but maybe it's not a good idea, like dartless shirts!! It is such a practical fabric, it is great for travelling, I might make a dress out of that stuff!

The second one has lovely birds and flowers and frilly straps! How girly is that?

I chose a vintage look, with gathers instead of darts. I had no fabric left but if I had I would have added a second row of frills.

I finished the edge with some red bias I had in my stash, I love having a stash!
All in all, the night gowns were fast to sew. Probably because I never muslin, ever. This is the beauty of making your own custom fit pattern. It always fits.It might not always be the shape I had in mind, but when you have a limited amount of sewing time you just have to love your stuff no?

 And now the back, very pretty I find.

 Some self bias, because it always nice and NOT DIFFICULT AT ALL with a fabric that doesn't old any crease!

I would like to make one more for winter and have a splendid dressing gown to go with it. Fortunately I still have some pretty gorgeous looking fabric, unfortunately, I don't know if I have enough time...

 I will not use it for the dressing gown, because I want to do this:

Downton Abbey of course! I haven’t find the fabric yet, it has to be soft, warm and super fancy. Maybe I should have done it first and then made the nightgown.
Ah well, I just followed my inspiration.

That's all for today. It's good to be back in France with all my favourite fabric shops nearby. I will try to post more often, if only it was my job!


22 December 2014

Don't blog where you sew!!

First of all, let my apologise for my 6 months break! Here are some flowers, I am so sorry!

But I have several good excuses:
1- I broke my computer!
I know,  it's possible to go in a shop and buy a new one. But I preferred waiting for someone to give me one! I am so cheap.
Also a word of advice: don't put your laptop where you sew!!! This is how my computer broke: some needles got stuck in the fan, it overheated and I broke the OS. I didn't know you could break an OS, well, that's of my list now :-)

2- Summer!
here is a picture of me totally sewing related : I am posing in a new dress I made especially for my trip to Sardinia. Unfortunately my husband doesn't seem to understand that he should photograph the entire outfit, not just the top of it. Also it was too warm to pose for long in the sun.

The fabric is a coupon viscose I found at TOTO soldes, it has tiny pocket with cute buttons at the front and a low cut at the back. But you can't see it can't you??? I have to find myself a tripod.

3- I moved back to France!
and instead of sewing I had to unpack, then tried to make myself a nice sewing space. I am getting there, but it is still quite messy.

That's all for today, sewing has begun again, I still try to fill the basics gap in  my wardrobe, well, almost: I made a transparent cape!!

12 June 2014

Mind your eyes, I give you the stripy ensemble!

Oulàlà! My fabric just doesn't photograph well! Warning, this post might hurt your eyes!
So let's make it quick. Rapid reminder of the weather here: HOT!!! It's a bathing suit only kind of weather, but I managed to jump into a few of the things I have made lately and cornered my husband into taking pictures, the things that blog makes me do...

 As usual I bought the fabric at TOTO soldes, it was a coupon, 3 meters for 15 euros I think, I can never resist those. It's a light cotton, I think it's good for shirt making, so of course I made shorts with it.

The pattern of the shorts is the same as usual, except that I changed the shape of the pockets, can you see that they are not Italian for once?

I top stitched the pockets for a more casual look. 

 Patched pockets.

I had fun trying for the first time flat seams. I don't know why I didn't do that before. Maybe because it's not traditional to women's attire. But luckily we can wear almost anything that we want now, and men's wardrobe is a part of women's repertoire. So here we go for a quick explanation on how to realise flat seams. 
Start like you normally would: stitching right sides together. Then trim one of seam allowance. Fold the other side over, so that it will hide the trimmed one. And stitch on the edge of the fold. That's all! The finish is really clean. The picture on the left is the inside and on the right the outside. 
It's perfect for light, non transparent fabrics. Don't you find sometimes that even if your machine does a nice zigzag or other finishing stitches it doesn't look good, it's too bulky.
I'm happy I finally tried this technique. I am totally using my sabbatical years in the best way!

 The top has interesting sleeves. They are kimono like, minus the insert under the arm. I have to say that part didn't go as well as the flat seams.
It's a bit too narrow. The principal is simple: prolong the shoulder line, and lower the underarm 5 cm under it's normal place. 
I think I made a mistake by trying to have fabric under my arm. 
Let me explain, in the picture below the sleeve is short on the shoulder and nonexistent under the arm. This should have been my design.

Or I should have lowered more the beginning of the underarm seam.
The top is still wearable though, it's just not a good outfit if I plan on lifting things above my head!

 Waouh!! Those stripes hurt!!
I feel this ensemble goes in the the same category that of my crazy ensemble of last year. I really have no idea why I chose to make a top and short in the same fabric. It's feels a bit bold to me. And elegant as well, is it just in my head? Maybe. 
Anyway, I learnt two new things making it, so it's a win. 
I love so much making things for summer, and being able to wear them! 
Look at where I worked yesterday:
Isn't it the most beautiful office? The weather is so nice I just can't stay inside cutting an sewing. It even inspired me to make a new bikini. Pictures will come when I can wear it at the beach.


7 June 2014

OMG, I love green!!

I love green! Last summer I bought on sale quite a lot of coupons at TOTO soldes. I had picked that green one because it was viscose (I love viscose, it's so soft). But I was not entirely sure about the shade of green because it was really bright. But I was so right to follow my instinct!
I love that dress. It's flowy, light and happy.

Here is my inspiration, it's a ZARA dress with some kind of a knot at the front. I guess the fabric is jersey. I was looking for a dress or a top to make with one of my favorite pattern book that I spent hours looking at but never know quite what to make with it :

Pattern magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. It's full of interesting designs and if you already know how to make patterns it's really easy to use. I used that page to figure out how to copy the ZARA dress.

Of course the design was not exactly the same, "sigh", I seem to long for difficulty! But I think that I did good. The knot at the front is not exactly the same but it looks good.

Mine is not as twisted, but I like it. If the dress is still in store when I go back to France I will definitively have a look at the inside!

Here is how I did it:

I didn't want any visible seem (of course, why make something easy?). So I opened the middle front until the spot where I wanted the knot to be. Then after MUCH consideration I opened the dress perpendicularly. That was the scary part!
Then I stitched one side, leaving only a small opening on the side, and passed the other panel through that opening and stitched that part very closely to create pleats. Is that clear ?

 I don't think you can see the seam at the front.

I used an interesting method to attach the facing. 
First I stitched the whole dress except the shoulders.
Then I created one facing for the front and one for the back part of the dress. I attached them to the neckline and the armhole. Then I stitched the shoulders of the dress. Opened the seamed with the iron. Slipped that under the facings (see the picture with my fingers :-)). Turned one edge of the facings inside, and carefully slipped stitched by hand.

Et voilà, a beautiful finish, it look as good as the outside!

I also added pockets. I even used some cotton ribbon from my purple coat to strengthen them. I never do that! I am improving myself, good girl.

I love this dress so much, I think the pictures don't do it justice. Maybe I should also buy a new camera, my pictures are a bit blurry no?

I didn't take any pictures with heels, it would look so good with it! Don't you think it deserves colorful shoes, pink, yellow or even golden ones? Ooooh what a good idea!

Since yesterday afternoon I am taking a break from sewing, the weather suddenly took a turn to super hot, before that I sewed like crazy, but couldn't take any pictures because it was too cold to wear a light dress or shorts outisde. Ha, the pleasures of German weather...

Anyway, now that the sun is here I will try to take picture of everything I did, fingers crossed!


21 May 2014

A cute sailor's outfit

Sock season is over!! Youhou!

You know that I come from Brittany, and there, stripes are a must, it's always in fashion and everybody wears them. It's why last year I bought a bunch of stripy jersey at the Stoffmarkt Holland market.

I wanted some stripy shorts for some time, it seemed a good idea: it's cute, comfortable, perfect for summer.

Stripy shorts
I made the pattern last summer during the only warm days we had here! It is now one of my basics, it's the third short I've made from that pattern. 
It seems that this year I spent all of my sewing time matching stripes or plaid!

The pattern has just two pieces: front and back, it is just folded at the waist, hiding an elastic and stitched with a zigzag stitch. 
I used to not want to use zigzag, because it's not a very clean stitch. You can see it, it's not hidden. But I have decided to stop being silly and I have used it and I like it ! Because it works! It's just like my obsession with no darts, come on Kate, be smart!

I added a cute bow at the front because I couldn't distinguish the front from the back! Now it just needs a small pocket, I might add it inside.

boxy top
I love the top, it has that clean elegant look that I like, plus it's white. I love white for summer. The shape is a little boxy, plenty of room for the tummy. It's a nice balance to the little shorts.

 I bought the fabric in Rennes at TOTO soldes last year I think. In French we call it "nid d'abeille". It's structured and olds itself very well.

I added a military detail at the shoulders, although after checking on the website of the French marine military it seems that this kind of detail does not exist in their actual wardrobe... Maybe it's just in my head.
Anyway I like it, I even congratulate myself for this good idea :-)

The buttons are from my stash, I chose them big so that they would make a statement. The statement being: "I like gold and shinny buttons".

Thumbs up for spring! I have so many ideas, but I try to stay focused and to make only clothes that I "need". Yeah, let's be real, I already have a lot of clothes. But what can I say, I love designing clothes, making them and wearing them, I just can't get enough of it! 
Sewing rocks!