Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crepe and other delights!

Hi everyone! While I prepare my last Me Made March post, I have yummy things to show you!

If you have read my last posts, you know that I am in a BlouseQuest! The second blouse that I made is based on a Colette Pattern: the Crepe. A little while ago, I used the whole thing to make a dress, during Gertie's Sew-Along. Little flashback...

Back then, I really enjoyed the pattern. This is why, a few days ago, when I was looking for nice blouses to sew, something clicked in my head... Why not using the Crepe!!!??? I quickly looked in my stash, and I found a cute green fabrics, with white polka dots AND a gorgeous contrasting fabric that has a history! Indeed, My Grand Ma used it to make my christening dress like 28 years ago!

Everything went really fast:

1) Make peplums (pepla...) from the skirt parts.
2) Use lace for the hem
3) Bias bind the edges instead of a facing
4) Deepen the neckline (I used a round one this time)


Behind our pretty flowers and herbs!

Now, skip this part if you are hungry!

The day we took these pictures, I also cooked yummy things for guests. It was so sunny (but cold) and the light was so gorgeous that it made the food look even nicer!

Mixed Mushrooms soup

Savory scones (blue cheese, apples and sesame seeds) and cherry clafouti!

Mmmmmm, makes me feel hungry!

Anyway, that's all folks!

Do you like scones?
Do you use polka dots?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Simple White Blouse

During Me-Made-March, I have realized that I was missing blouses. Indeed, I have sewn quite a few dresses and skirts, but I have no self made top... And that is a pain, especially when I want to wear pants. I went on and sewn three blouses. Today, I am uncovering the first!

The first one that I have made is based on a plus-size dress pattern from Burdastyle. It was part of their wonderful "Dolce Vita" feature. There was not much to change, but shortening the skirt. The pattern was dead easy: let's cut, let's gather, let's sew! To add a touch of cuteness, I have added some white and blue facing.

We went to shoot the pictures on the first nice spring day, and it felt so good. When I look at them, I must admit that the blouse is not always the most flattering ever... Next time I use this pattern, I will do so with a knit, to get a nicer drape, especially from the bust down.

Anyway, I really like it because it is long enough to hide unflattering pants-views! It is also SO breezy and simple! You can pair it with so many colors!

PS: Man, I need my roots done!

Do you also sew more dresses and skirts than tops?
Is spring showing up where you are?

Monday, March 28, 2011


This fall/winter, we could see houndstooth fabrics on a LOT of RTW garments. And I love the effect it gives to a dress for example. It becomes suddenly classier and more interesting. Here are a few dresses I really liked:

People Tree (Emma Watson)

Yigal Azrouel

Kate Spade

I particularly thought that the first dress would work for me. What helped a lot is that I brought back some gorgeous fabric from my grand ma's stash that was perfect for this project...

This afternoon, I looked up online the name of the fabric in French, to explain properly to my Grand Ma what I did with her precious stash... and the translation was SO fun! Houndstooth=Pied-de-Poule and do you know what Pied de poule means? Chicken foot! So weird right? In both languages, it is a part of an animal's body!

Now, I wondered where the name came from, and Wikipedia says:

"Houndstooth checks originated in woven wool cloth of the Scottish Lowlands, but are now used in many other materials. The traditional houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and filling or weft woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over - two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass."

So where do the animals come from? If you know, I'd love to read about it!

Now, time for my little project. In the last issue of Ottobre, I fell in love with a skirt pattern that is almost the same as the one I used already 3 times from one of their previous issues. And I immediately thought that it would work great with the houndstooth!

The only difference is that my fabric was not stiff at all, and I liked it better that way! I paired the skirt pattern with a basic princess seam bodice, with a round neck. The process was very straightforward and I even made a yellow bow to bring a cute accent to the outfit!

As usual, the fit of the Ottobre pattern was great, and I did not have to change anything. 


I used a belt to accentuate the waist, It also works great with a red belt (without the bow of course!)

No, I am NOT jumping, I was just enjoying a bit of the sun!

And the bow!

What do you think about Houndstooth?
Who has ever used Ottobre patterns?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Negroni for Mister!


I hope the sun is shining where you live as much as it is shining here! Spring is showing! Yes it is!

It is now time to show you the first shirt I have EVER made. I could write a whole post about all the things I have to improve (top-stitching, wrists, pockets, cutting the yoke in the biais, etc.) but I will focus on what my Mister thinks.

Let's go back in December. I was such a fan of a lot of the Colette patterns but I had only purchased the Crepe and the Macaron. I kept on telling Mister that they were so nice and, even if they were more expensive, it was totally worth it. But no, there was no budget for them. And then, the Negroni pattern came out, and Peter announced that he would be hosting a shirt sew-along. Weirdly, a budget was rapidly found... And a shiny Negroni pattern arrived soon enough! Ah, men...

My first concern was the fit. Mister is quite narrow at the shoulders, but a little bit thicker around the waist (let's carefully use words that do not start with bel- and finish -ly, especially if they are written after a three letter adjective...). I decided to trace an M for the top, and a L from the waist down, and the result is surprisingly good! It even works around his scoliosis problem! No weird wrinkles.

We went for a simple squared fabric with neutral colors. I am just a little bit sad that I have not cut the yoke in the biais, but I'll make sure to do so for the next time. Speaking of the yoke, it was my first yoke EVER, and the instructions were great. And that is the same about for the cuffs. And we were all equally lucky to have the amazingly complete posts from the sew-along!

Mister was instantly thrilled with the result and gave me a few suggestions (constantly). Two weeks ago, he mentioned that he could do with more shirts that fit him that well, like 10 more shirts, but with different pockets, and various cuffs, and it would be easy for me to sew these for him... My dear readers, do you know that there are a few events coming... a jeans sew-along coming (" Oh, interesting, I would not mind jeans" he said), a RTW coat sew-along ("Oh, but we purchased a male trench coat pattern on Vogue")... Isn't that cute? Now, I am rambling, but I actually love to sew things for him. It's like the most personalized presents he could ever get!

Now, a few detail shots:

What do you think?
Do you sometimes sew for a special someone too?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Me Made March, a nice week (14-21)

That's me again! It is that time of the week again. Now, what did I wear from Monday to Monday? Well, it is starting wrong because I have lost the picture of day 14... Oh well, you will forgive me right?

On day 15, I wore my Crepe dress. We had friends over and it is a perfect "hostess" dress. Also, I don't wear it out because it is still too cold... I have cooked a yummy tomato/pepper soup, made an avocado relish and baked scones. There was also a sweet potato pie for desert...

On day 16, I took my "sew-alonged" coat out of the box for the first time since we moved. And it deserves its own MMM feature! We took the picture along a canal, that is usually very cute... However, it is getting drained and cleaned at the moment... Therefore, not a pretty view.

On day 17, we went out to celebrate my new job announcement! That was a perfect occasion to give my lace Macaron a little bit of fresh air.

On day 18, we stayed in. I wore my Rebecca Taylor blouse because it is the most comfy thing that I have sewn. This picture gives you a sneak preview on the project I was working on at the time... mmmmmmm, a white belt...

On day 19, I wore my Macaron skirt to go out to a silent movie. I just love this skirt...

On day 20, I wore my grey knit dress. We just went for a walk in the town. It was the first day of spring, and the sun actually shone!

On day 21, I wore the same grey knit dress, but with other pieces.

And, this was today's outfit... This week flied so fast...

What is your favorite?
Is spring starting too, where you live?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Macaron skirt

Hello Hello!

How have you been doing? Here, things have been great! Some of you may know that I was in the process of looking for a new job here in The Netherlands. Since July, I went to A LOT of interviews and people always liked me. They asked me to come back for the "second round", but in the end, there was always someone with more experience. But this is the past! I had an interview this Wednesday, and I heard the good news already on Thursday! I have the job! This is so great! It means that I will develop myself and have my own adventures during the day.

This also mean that I have a round of "utility sewing" ahead of me! I do need a couple of blouses to wear with pants. And ideally pants as well, but it feels like utopia, especially after my 3 last catastrophic muslins!

But enough digressing! During me made march, I realized that I was also missing a simple skirt, and since Christmas, I had an idea that lingered around: using the skirt of the Macaron pattern as, well, just a skirt. I loved the shape of it SO much and it was so easy to put together! Of course, you have seen this skirt last week in my MMM post, but it still has not been properly introduced...

I chose a wool that I had in my stash. It has a great sentimental value for me because My Grand Ma had bought it more then 30 years ago to sew pants for my Grand Dad... He was my hero and more then a father to me, but he sadly passed out when I was 6 years old. However, I still have vivid memories of us playing nurse (me) and baby (him), and pretending that the small hallway was a hospital elevator, or going to visit his bees, or him showing me how he made his own honey in the garage...

I felt a little bit weird, as I was cutting the pattern pieces in the precious fabric, but every time that I have put this skirt on, I have been feeling a little twinge...

There is not much to say about the construction except that I did not include the pockets as it did not feel right with the wool. Also, for the belt, I have simply cut and interfaced a long rectangle. The skirt is closed with an invisible zipper on the side.

The picture above was taken yesterday, just before we went to a weird show. We went to see a silent French Horror movie from the 20's: "La Chute de la maison Usher", based on a story from E. A. Poe! The little plus was that there were two musicians playing live a score to the movie (piano and cello). And it was GREAT!

That is it for today. I am now going to draw a Burda Pattern for a blouse (yeay, let's work those intertwined lines)! Blog to you soon!

Do you also have some precious fabrics?
Do you sometimes use only parts of patterns you really love?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A simple dress

Me-Made-March made me realize the hand-made pieces I am missing in my wardrobe: simple dress, simple skirts, tops, and pants. I have done 2 simple dresses , a simple skirt and a LOT of pants muslins so far...

The simple dress has been done within a few hours. I have used two pieces of a Vogue wardrobe pattern V8679: the top and the skirt. I had already used it to make the jacket, and I was pretty happy with it. I really liked the gathered neckline and the shape of the skirt.

I did three transformations:

- upgrade the pattern pieces (B & D)
- shorten the skirt
- only cut the top to the waist

I have used a heavy double knit and I went to buy it on the market here. Twice a week, they have a few fabric stands in the middle of the flowers, fruits, meats, cheeses and other items. I always love looking at their fabrics. They are sometimes good, sometimes not. This time, I had a discussion with the man that worked one of the fabric stand. He told me to get a nice cotton knit and showed the differences (I kinda knew it, but I like to listen to passionate people). I was a little annoyed at the price (14 euros a meter, or +-20 $). And him too actually. With the higher cotton costs, he had to stop putting his cottons at 10 euros/meter. And he is earning less...

Back to the dress. It was very straightforward. And it took only one hour once the fabric pieces were cut. I am really happy with the result. I really really love the neckline. It feels so flattering and so comfy in the same time. I am really happy I chose that thicker cotton jersey too. I have french seamed almost all of it, and it feels like it is going to last forever!

Here are the result pictures, including two that you have already seen in Me-Made-March posts:

Now, it is time to finally go out to meet up with my Mister to take the MMM picture. I have been loving this, because every end of day eels like a date... Ok, I might be too cheesy...

Do you also like to talk to the passionate people that sell fabric?
What is your opinion about the price (14 Euros or 20$ for a meter of thick 100% double knit/jersey)?
What pieces are missing from your MMM wardrobe?
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