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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 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!


10 May 2014

Does it go together?


Here are the first clothes I made this year for Spring. Unfortunately I have almost no occasion to wear them! A month ago the weather started to get really warm an sunny, but now it's just rainy and cold. Why?

The bermuda is the second I have made. Last year I made the pattern and really enjoyed wearing them by not too warm weather. They really are a staple in my wardrobe, very practical and elegant I find. I intend to wear them in town, better then shorts no?

The fabric is synthetic crepe. It's really a magical fabric: it doesn't wrinkle and has a nice structure. At first I bought it to make a top for Winter and never made it. I have already used crepe for a dress, and I really love it, it moves superbly and looks really chic. It's the kind of fabric you often find in hight end stores, because it holds itself really well.

The back is a bit tight... I have been training and I guess my efforts are paying off.  Have to revise my block pattern!

Construction was easy. I really love Summer sewing: shorter seams!! Yeah! I did Italian pocket and a fake velted one on the back. I like the look of velted pockets but never put anything in them!

For the top I did a simple loose shirt. I like this style, it's breezy! I thought the colors of the bermuda and the shirt would go together but I am not so sure anymore.

I wanted to have "some" design element in it, so I choose to make kind of a cowboy shirt, but without all the bias cuts, I find it too distracting for the eye, I like clean lines.

So I made some piping, always fun.

 I have to say that placing the piping on the curved line on the back was not easy, maybe because you shouldn't do it :-)
So when I stitched the front pieces I used two pieces of piping instead to make a sharper point, worked well and the result looks good.

The fabric gave me some troubles. Can you see in the picture, it doesn't go at all straight! That piece of fabric is perfectly cut on the grain, but it goes all on the side! What a pain. But the fabric is soft, so it's forgiven!

Here is my obsession for this Summer: knots, love it!! Apparently it's what's in this year, don't know, I just like it, and I will make some more. Maybe it's just my love Dirty Dancing that expresses itself?

Come on, I know you love it too, it's the perfect Summer movie! First, Summer, right? And dancing, romance, nice outfits, I really have to watch it again.

Yeah, those colors don't really go together right? Never mind, I still have plenty of time to make something new that goes with both, "sight". Where are you lovely sun?

28 April 2014



Oh, yeah!! Spring is officially here!
At least here at Ephémère couture anyway.
In reality it's raining and cold. Barbie graciously  volunteered to launch this new season, the best season!

She is so spoiled!  Her coat is from Tara Jarmon, one of my favorite brand. I have to admit I never buy anything there because it's too expensive, but I surely find a lot of ideas!!

It's lined with a beautiful Liberty fabric, and of course has golden buttons. They are from my forgotten dress.

But as it is intended as a gift for a little girl, I also had to make a dress.

Simple and pink. I didn't want to steal the coat's thunder!

I wish I had enough fabric to make myself the same coat! I made the pattern myself, It's not perfect yet, but I'm getting there.

Voilà!! I already have made a few Spring/Summer outfits, I just wait for some sunshine to take pictures, and to wear them of course!