Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas presents!


I can now show pictures of one of the Christmas presents! Yeay! This is the dress that I have made for my mum. It is based on a Burdastyle pattern from the November 2010 edition. It is a plus size pattern and it was one of my favorites of that month! It has a few large pleats on the front and two on the back. It also has a gorgeous sweetheart neckline!

For my mum, I have cut the size 52 on top and 54 around the hips. She likes color, so I went for a seventies kind of psychedelic knit fabric. It has circles in red, orange, fuchsia, white and black. The pattern was very straightforward but I found it a bit annoying to sew pleats with the knit that was sliding between my fingers... Here is the result!


Sweetheart neckline

The front pleats made everything flow so nicely!

Bias at the sleeves bottom

The back with two pleats

Said back pleat...

My mum opened her present on the 24th and she wore the dress on the 25th when my godfather came over. She was very happy and at ease in the dress, which is very important as she is a teacher for young children and she needs to move easily. I am pretty happy with the result! We tried to snap pictures in the evening when my godfather was there, and I realized that I only have the top ;)

I'll blog more later ;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas news: early presents for me, and present making!

Hello! Time for a Christmas post!

I am not the only blogger that is "not allowed" to write about what she is making at the moment... Indeed, I am completely absorbed by the confection of Christmas presents and I'd be more than happy to share, BUT my family and friends might read these posts!

Let's just say that I have completed my mum's present, I got started on my Mister's surprise, and I still have a big bunch of clones based on the free Colette pattern you all know about for my friends, plus two other things (if I have the time...). All that must be done by Wednesday evening... Because we'll be traveling to my family. I am freaking out (just a little bit).

But I can say that I received my Christmas present early from my Mister! It was a bunch of Colette Patterns:

A few weeks ago, I have also ordered a handmade kitty from Ralf Schmidt. He does gorgeous men garments on Burdastyle, and he went all out for Christmas Markets! He is such a sweetheart! Meet our new Soft Kitty:

I have also received a giveaway present from Verypurpleperson. It's the first time that I win anything and this wallet is gorgeous. It was in a lovely Santa bag and the envelope was embellished with cute stickers. Guess what my Mister said about it! "Oh, it's from Japan. I thought there would be a cute stickers overload on it...". No stereotypes going on in here... :S. The wallet is going to be perfect for our Christmas travels. My family lives in Belgium, Herman's in the North of The Netherlands. And we live in between!

Tonight, I am cooking our romantic pre-Christmas diner for two as we'll be away from the 22nd to the 27th. The first course will be Tiger Prawns with a courgette mousse. It will be followed by Duck, with a Plum Chutney and Ruccola. We'll have a Cupcake dessert!

I have made a big bunch of cupcakes. Half have a violet flavor, half has vanilla. The icing is the same for both and has some Blueberry liquor in it! YUM! My Mister will bring most of them at work tomorrow! For his bravest colleagues: the ones that braved the snow!

What are your Christmas projects?
Do you make your own presents?
Have you already gotten one?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Burda December 2010

I have completely forgotten to review the December edition of Burdastyle mag! And the worst thing is that the January edition is almost out! But I thought, I am drowning in Christmas prep, and this post is always fun and easy breezy to write.

In this December edition, there was as usual a few features. Some good, some not.
- Wild and romantic brings out flowy and frilly patterns. I like the dresses but not that much of the rest...
- Elegant and pretty shows evening wear. I am not crazy about their fabric choices but, once again, they have nice dresses.
- The Business look one has garments with pure lines. I am not a fan of those shapes as they do not hug the waist. But I must admit that they are the best that Burda has done concerning the crazy 80's revival. Nice and simple.
- The Christmas feature makes me feel happy and warm inside, just flipping through the pages. They have a few crafts like toys, bags, and other crafts. They also have aprons, men cabin gear and children pieces!
- The plus size feature is called "Party Clothing" and I fell in love with a few of the pieces! There is a GORGEOUS body fitted dress and a few other pretty draped garments.
Within those different parts of this issue, I have my top three. Two dresses and an apron!

Dress #1 comes from the "Wild and Romantic" feature. I like it because it looks interesting. It has 9 or 11 pieces, you decide, which allows you to play with different fabrics. I would go completely "Mondo" on this one!

Dress #2 is the GORGEOUS plus size number! They have two versions: a long one and a short one. It has nice princess seams and a gathered neckline. I wish I had more time before Christmas to sew it! I would make a short red version with the red "wild silk" fabric I got from my Grand Ma's treasure box. OR use black silk cotton for the side panels and white for the middle ones.

Last but not least, I have a crush on the apron (140). Ok, it is pretty basic and only made of rectangles, but I'd love to mix and match different cottons (polka dots, stripes, flowers...).

These were my two cents about the December edition of Burdastyle. Now, I go back to my Christmas prep ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

A lace Macaron: nice sweetness!

Hi there!

I have finished my dress! Now, am I happy or not? Well, it depends... I am so so so happy about the pattern and the shape of the dress, but I am not pleased with my fabric... It looks like it is badly sewn and reflects the light in a weird way. Now, that is what happens when you try to spare money, while buying cheapish Polyesther... I have learned my lesson.

But that is my only issue! When I have the dress on, I feel so nice and girly! And it fits really well too. Here are the pics:

The global shape feels really good and fits me well (I might be wrong ;) )

I am loving the lace pieces. They do not seem underlined at all when you look from the outside.

A tiny bit of ease shows so easily with that black Poly... But I love my belt. I have interfaced it so it would keep its shape without rolling.

First pockets success!

Same problem with the fabric. But I love the shape of the skirt and the lace!

Sleeves are perfect. The scallop shape hides the bottom of the arms...

Inside view, You can see the front seam I had to create because my alterations (muslin step) were a tad too big...

I have added an "inside bell inset" with some interfacing to stiffen the contrast fabrics, because lace is not exactly steady ;)

I think that I will definitively re-use the Macaron pattern, but this time, with a better fashion fabric... I will still wear this for Christmas, because, even if I am ranting a bit, I still love this dress!

What do you think?

TV Thursday: Margaret Schroeder

This week, I felt like dreaming about vintage garments. I also felt like spreading the love about "Boardwalk Empire", a new HBO show. It is the chronicles the life and times of Nucky Thompson, the undisputed ruler of Atlantic City, who was equal parts politician and gangster during the Prohibition period of the 20's and 30's. That show has a fabulous photography and great costumes...

In the show, the men are wearing tailored suits, and the women look so effortlessly classy... I am going to scrutinize Margaret Schroeder (Kelly McDonald). In the show, she is an Irish immigrant married to Hans Schroeder, Margaret is a member of the Women's Temperance League, an interest inspired in part by her alcoholic husband's temper.Beautiful and intelligent with a survivor's spirit, Margaret can hold her own with powerful men, traits that serve her well given her rocky domestic situation. And, for our consideration, she wears gorgeous things!

I have picked all of my patterns from The Blue Gardenia. They have gorgeous things! Damn shipping costs! I am going to describe a skirt, a shirt, different dresses, and a coat and hat combination.

Very often, you see Margaret out and about. To keep warm, she wears a beautiful coat and hats. In the 20's, people wore hats. That is just how things were. I wish it would still be true! I love the hat on this picture. Also, the coat looks so well finished, even if it seems a bit coarse (she is meant to be poorer in the first episodes). I love the pattern that is inspired by this picture. It looks so classy, but fairly efficient and pragmatic in the same time.

The second combination is a basic that women wore a lot: a skirt and a shirt. I still love this combo. To me, nothing beats a nice skirt with a pretty, classy and flattering shirt. Margaret is so down to earth but she still always looks impeccable. Back in the twenties, there was no much attention paid to the collars... I love this blouse pattern. It is simple but still so nice and neat! The collar looks so nice too. The skirt pattern looks very straightforward, and I am sure that that is what women were going for.

Now the best: dresses! I love those dresses that are very subtle, pretty and classy. Once again, there is a lot of attention to details around the collars, the pleats, and the sleeves, for example. Weirdly, I love the straight lines of the dresses, with very few accentuation of the waist. It would absolutely not work for me, but I love it on Margaret.

The first dress I found has a gorgeous collar. OK, it is big, but that is why I love it! It makes the whole look smarter. The show covers one of the first elections where women were allowed to vote. Margaret is one of the militants. The pattern has the same dress shape AND that gorgeous collar. I actually think that green and white is a great combination of colors. I's love Mustard, and a shorter length.

The second dress is the one I fell in love with, as soon as Margaret tried it on (on screen). I just cannot ignore the soft buttoning at the back, the beautiful drape of the skirt, the bow at the back. It is so gorgeous, and effortless! The pattern is not completely similar but it has a nice draping on the front, and you can tweak it to add the buttons at the back.

The last dress I have picked has gorgeous pleats around the hips. Its color is so gorgeous, and, again, the collar is wonderful! The pattern has a very similar bodice. I really like that kind of "neckline".

All in all, I love this show. The evening scenes show men in nice suits, and women in flapper dresses. It is just so beautiful! Of course, I also like the storyline. Think Buscemi, Scorcese,...

And you, what do you think about 20's fashion?
Do you watch the show?

Tune in tomorrow for my (finished) Macaron dress ;)
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