mercredi 1 octobre 2014

1..2..3... soleil!

I am definitely behind in blogging; Things just don't ever go as I want or plan,  and I'm procrastinating a lot.

The summer holidays are long over, but the postcards from our vacation in the Dordogne are still laying here waiting to be written and send..... Terrible. There's still a present to be bought and send to my friend who had a beautiful baby boy in August. I'm horrible. I need to make a to do list and stick to it. Tomorrow.

Before the summer holidays, Nathalie  launched a challenge; sew something for the holidays.
Which I did. And then never showed you.

I decided that a fitting project would be the Soleil dress. Summer vacation, soleil, right?

So it was again little Alice who got the goodies;


Soleil dress made from a stretch terry fabric, sunny colours for a sunny dress. It was still a bit large on her, gaping in the back but she loved it.

Pictures taken during the holidays in the Dordogne. The Dordogne river is the cleanest river in Europe, you can see the bottom so clearly, as well as the fish swiming around you.  Just look at that:

And you're swimming between the ducks too...

We had an amazing holiday, I'll have to start writing those postcards... but first; prepare the lunch, one that's in the oven go to shops, on the way back pick up kids from school, make them eat, help them with their homework, bring them to their sports activities etc.......

mardi 22 juillet 2014

Kids Clothes Week

So yesterday it was the start of Kids Clothes Week; the idea is to sew for one hour a day, each day , for a week,  for kids.  I'm participating this year as it's a good way  for me to finish off some projects and make some gifts!

The first project for the Kids Clothes Week, which I should therefore have posted a dress I made before the KCW (is this cheating?? oh well..) but I still had to modify it to make it a better fit.  It's a Belgian pattern, I made the size 2 years which is perfect in lenght but a little wide as Alice is tall but slim.

The pattern gives very clear instructions on how to adapt the bodice, and had I taken the time to try it on before assembling the bodice to the skirt, or measured my child properly (I need a seamstress tape measure) than all this would be perfectly done upon sewing the dress. But that's the way I go; just get on with it we'll see how it turns out...

The pattern is sold as a pdf file, so easy for a lazy daisy like me; print, tape, cut, seam allowance included as well, so it couldn't be easier.

It's the lovely Lotta Dress pattern from Compagnie M .
Made from the Euphalalia cotton fabric which I got from Bellelien 
Buttons sewn on collar and pocket flaps come from Manucréa  - photo above for a 'close up' of these, love those buttons!

The other photos speak for themselves;

lundi 21 juillet 2014

How many dresses does a girl need?

I have been completely absent the past couple of months; I was recovering from surgery so haven't had much energy for the blog! I was operated twice mid may and recovery has been a little slow. Once I was feeling better I had so much to do and catch up on that blogging and computers were just not a priority.....But, I'm back!

Once I started to feel a little better after the surgeries, I started sewing again, slowly. Day 1: tracing the pattern, day 2, cutting the fabric, day 3 /4/5 sewing all together. All in all it didn't go fast...  but Alice has ended up with quite a few dresses for this summer after all! Perhaps too many? How many dresses does a (nearly) 2 year old need??

An overview of a few on the washing line this afternoon (so they're not ironed...and it shows...tant pis!)

Two versions of the Lotta Dress (one of which is for the KCW - Kids Clothes Week)

Left dress; Euphloria fabric with red cotton lining, right dress; 'arctic lights' and 'tulip vines', mint cotton lining, all from Bellelien

Two versions of the Hanami dress from Straight Grain (I LOVE this dress pattern!!):

Right dress: red/flower quilting cotton from my stash (can't remember where and when I bpight it..) right dress; 'bonbons in candy' cotton from Hawthorne's Threads

Two versions of the Lizzy Dress from Shwin Design:

Left dress; 'meandering in petal' top and 'wander woods in petal' bottom both from Hawthorne's Threads
Right dress; whoopsie daisy red' from Soft Cactus

A simple A line dress (homedrawn pattern)
Toddles Ivy Blue from SoftCactus 

The Sally Dress, worn to visit Paris; mom at the doctor, dad and the kids at the Eiffel Tower!:

Yellow quilting cotton from Hawthorne's Threads (old stash, can't remember the name of the fabric, sorry)

And last but not least, dress number 9; the Susanna Dress from the book Zelfgemaakte kleertjes 2 
with the oh so important pockets! (each dress I made above ahs pockets btw, added them to each pattern if they did not have them, as Alice loves having pockets)

Again a SoftCactus fabric, the 'little daisy green'

Herewith a few photos of the dresses worn also;

Frowny face as Alice wanted to play but had to go to nursery instead.... :-)

Morning sleepyhead

So yes, a total of 9 dresses. Quite enough probably....So the last one I finished is for the Kids Clothes Week which started today,, and now moving on to something else; the Ally Jumpsuit from La Maison Victor! Need to finish it for tomorrow, day 2 of the KCW!

mercredi 14 mai 2014

Legs in the air - again!

Yes, again....

As I blogged before, this sewing challenge was thrown by Nathalie.

Nathalie is my NSP this year: Non Secret Pal. This means that we exchange this year, mails, chats,birthday presents, a card when you go on holiday...that kind  of stuff. Someone you know but want to know better. Someone you like and think about regularly. A Pal!

So I couldn't resist and just make a dress for Linou's daughter, I wanted to make one for Nathalie. This stressed me out quite a bit as Nathalie is an exceedingly good seamstress, of a professional standard; she's unbelievably good at what she does and has impeccable taste and results. So much so, that she was contacted by the TV channel M6 to ask her to come and audition for the French version of the 'great British Sewing Bee' ie: Cousu Main.

She hesitated but eventually agreed and she made it to the top 20 final candidates! What an achievement...So you can imagine that sewing for her..can be intimidating, as she can obviously do a much better job than I could. Ever.

But, she's my NSP, so taking part in her challenge was obvious, and wanting to make something for her too. Daunting, but obvious.

So I made two dresses; one for the challenge and being my NSP and one because she partakes in my 2014 hand made give away (la ronde de l'année). This give away was launched in January this year; you post about it on your facebook page or blog, and the first 5 people that react would receive a home made present in 2014 on the one and only condition that they do the same (pay it forward).

Anyhow, two dresses, a lot of stress, and not so satisfied with the results but here we go:

One knit dress based on the Day to Night top, just slightly modified and hopefully the right size (she's a small 36! ). I love the top and making it into a dress seemed fun.

  a simple straight dress with a drape neck in front

I liked the retro look of the fabric and thought it'd suit her, and I think  it's probably a little too long for her (kneelength whereas above the knee/mid thigh would be much better), but I decided to leave it like that as she can always shorten it herself if she wants/needs to and also transfer the dress into a short sleeved or sleeveless dress  (or cut it lots and make it into a top. or dusting rags. )

And another knit fabric dress (Red Velvet dress pattern ) a little bit retro, which I like, and thought the playful cut would quite suit Nathalie.  The choice of fabric seemed prefect for the cut and design but by God was it difficult to sew, so fluid, slippery and thin..^^

Just hanging there I don't like it. It unexciting.

But once you wear it, it kind of flows open (well, that's the idea, I hope it works!!) 
and it should look something like this (with thanks to daughter Anna who holds it up nicely):

And the one thing I am actually satisfied with, is the middle bit, the dress has three parts: the bust, the waist and the skirt. And although I thought the pattern would be fun for this dress as it flows open when wearing it, it took me a little bit of time and patience to ensure the pattern was continued in the bust and waist parts...

ahhh very satisfying to have at least managed that bit okay!

Nathalie - please don't hesitate to modify the dresses as you see fit, or wear them as pyjama's only...I will not be offended and hopefully, next time, you'll receive something that's a 100% fit!

lundi 12 mai 2014

"Legs in the air" challenge

well, with a title like that....!

It's actually more a "show your legs" sewing challenge. Launched by Nathalie, my NSP, so I had to participate, too hard to resist.  The challenge was to sew a skirt or dress (hence the leg showing) by May 10th.

A little while ago I received some clothes sewn by Linou, a web-friend. She had sewn a tunic for her daughter which turned out too small and kindly forwarded it to me, for Alice. But she sent it as a complete outfit; she made matching leggings and a vest with it too. So when this challenge came up, I thought it might be a nice occasion to return the  favour.

So I started out with sewing the 'Giggle' dress, a pattern I was looking forward to sew since receiving the book  Homemade Mini Couture. Once putting it together though, it was quite obvious it'd be too small. It's even a bit tight for Alice..... so I couldn't possibly send it to her, and needed to think of something else. In the meantime I had read that she doesn't actually like sleeveless dresses so I needed to find another idea.

Giggle dress:

Ater a bit of thinking and spending time on Pinterest, I found the Hannah dress pattern which I thought was very cute, but also very fitting as her daughter's name is Hannah. I decided to sew it for Alice first, as a trial run, to be sure that when I started on the real deal I'd not have any difficulties or weird size surprizes....I liked the way it turned out. BUT, she had mentioned in the meantime that she'd already made this pattern for her daughter once, and was going to sew it again soon. So it  felt a little off making something she can obviously make herself, and do a much better job of it than I could, seeing how insanely well she sews.
So I needed another plan....

Hannah dress;

So it had to be a dress with sleeves, and she's fond of pockets. So I thought about a couple of options; the Sally dress , the Louisa dress , the Peuterjurk...but she knows all these eventually I went for the unknown and started the 'Susanna dress' from one of my dutch books, and whilst only the skirt still needed to be attached to the bodice...I abandoned it; it just didn't look fun, it was too dressy, too stiff...So yes, I changed my mind - AGAIN (insecure, or indecisive,  me?? ).

Eventually I took the decision to make two dresses.

 I made the Nina dress( (from the book Zelfgemaakte Kleertjes voor Toffe Meisjes) with a fabric I love, from the Belgian designers Soft Cactus. A dress with sleeves, with pockets, so probably a safe choice. She doesn't like zippers so I opted for the kam snap  closure on the back. Wasn't quite sure to go for the blue or orange and asked for some input on this; verdict; both!

 the pockets:

both colours for the snap closure: 

 front & back

And then, following the advice of someone when I "complained" about not being able to sew something nice for this girl, I made a dress I like. With flashy colours, knit fabric and just a dress that's a little different and a bit of fun. No pockets, but sleeves and a hoody. Not one colour, but three different colours and fun sleeves.

 front and back:

details of the sleeves and front of the hoodie

No photos of the dresses being worn obviously, as they're presents, but I hope Linou likes them, that they are the appropriate size, and that her daughter H. will wear them with a lot of joy!

ps. I realised too late that both dresses are perhaps I need to make a third one?