line up

line up

14 Jan 2016

New year's resolutions and a little shopping.

Well, during the past weeks I unpacked (again) and came to the unbelievable conclusion that : I HAVE TOO MANY CLOTHES !!!!!

It is with tears in my eyes that  I have decided for other people. I know, it's awful.

I have begun with a very simple polar jacket for the husband. I bought the fabric for him, 3 years ago . Yes, three years. And the worst part is, that he really needed a warm jacket while we were living in Germany, hehe, and now we live in the south of France. Oups!

I chose burda young 7734. Not a really good fit for him, I've had to trace between three sizes. We'll see soon enough if it turns out ugly or not. I think anyway, that I will have to stop using commercial patterns for him. The sizing is really wrong for his stature. Lucky man, he will get made to measure clothes.

 The fabric is a double sided polar, in two shades of blue, to go with his eyes. I am so thoughtful. Sometimes.

Meanwhile, it's the sales, and I couldn't avoid going to the fabric shop to have a look. I have found three interesting things half price :

 A very classic and quite soft blue and white cotton. Will make a shirt for my man with it. Yes I will! I hope.
 A viscose flowery piece of fabric. I am currently transforming it into a Downton Abbey, inspired shirt.
And another piece of viscose with a border. Again for a shirt for me. I know I said I would sew for other people, but I can honestly say that I can use a few other shirts, plus I don't have a job, have pity. I need to buy fabric!!

Here is my little stock of fabric for the winter (if you can call that warm weather winter). I think it is not too high.  And it is mostly, for shirts. I need shirts, I want shirts, what's going on with me and shirts ??

But this year is not going to be all fun sewing for other people and shirts. I have some serious taking in to do on quite a lot of clothes, because I lost a few kilos before the summer, and now all my pants are too big, and some dresses, and shirts too!

A happy sewing year everybody. And lots of shirt making, lots of it.

26 Oct 2015

A shirt for me not for him

A few weeks ago I was staying at home, being a bit cold. I had bought a nice crisp cotton to make, believe it or not A SHIRT FOR MY HUSBAND!
But he didn't like the motif : "I don"t want anything that looks like flowers". 

So being cold and all, with 3 meters of fabrics and a lot of free time, I set out to make something I could were as well at home as at work (yes yes, I will work again!).

I have lost a few pounds so I had to adjust my block pattern. I had no real problem doing it, except for the sleeve, as usual. 
I am currently reading Sarah Veblen's the complete photoguide to perfect fitting witch was recommended by Peter and I am really happy I bought it. There are some pages dedicated to sleeve fitting, but  I have not yet reach those pages yet. I will definitively study them and fix that wretched problem once and for all!

I feel fine in my shirt, mainly because the fabric is really crisp, but I have made another top since (based on my block patten), in a more flowy fabric and the problems in the shoulder area really show! I have broad shoulders and small arms. The trick is to balance my pattern to make the shirt comfortable, to make the shoulders appears less large and to fit the bicep well but as the same time to not appear too small in comparison to the bust. That's a lot of work, and I really am begging to be really fed up with that problem.

Of course I forgot to remove my hair from the way :-) I made a yoke at the back, with a pleat, because I don't know, I felt like it.

I feel the length is good, it's meant to be a relaxed look. The pleat at the front is just there to had some interest to a rather classic shirt.

I also made a placket opening with a special collar: in French we call it a "col officier", a collar I suppose given the name, that was used in military uniforms. I couldn't really found the name in English. It is not a mandarin collar, it is narrower and the upper part of the collar is rounded and not at a straight angle. It's basically just the collar base of a classic tailored shirt slightly modified.

I bought the buttons a few months back in la droguerie.This shop doesn't exist in Montpellier, I am planning a strike and a public demonstration to express my  utter sadness and demand that one opens immediately!

The buttons are not white but cream, and I believe they go really well with the fabric. Better than white ones. I can't take credit for this idea though. It is just what I had on hand in my tinny travel stash, and I didn't want to buy new ones. A big thumbs up for chance!

I am currently in a shirt making spurr. I think I need some (hard to tell with almost all of clothes still in Brittany) hihi, life is a bit of a mess right now. Anyway, I like this shirt, my husband was wrong and I was right, it's a great fabric for shirtmaking, I just need something to go on top of it now...


23 Sep 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 Feb 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 Jan 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 Dec 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 Jun 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.