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Easy Does Not Mean Fast

June 13, 2015

I ordered Vogue 1392 by Kay Unger after seeing Erica B’s version and have only been waiting for the day the right fabric would pair with the right opportunity. And enough sewing mojo and time. Quite a challenge to have all the conditions fulfilled but it happened when we received a wedding invitation for April, and then another one for May:

I really really like this dress, which kind of surprised me since I’m not used to wearing this fit (fitted bodice, full skirt).

The front bodice is fully interfaced and boned (with metal boning) under the bust and at the sides, which gives it some support. Not enough to go bra-less for bigger busts (e.g. me), but I believe smaller cup sizes could actually get away with it.

I made a FBA and apparently did not adjust the skirt enough so I had to let out the front side pleats as a result. It does show upon close comparison with the pattern envelope but I don’t intend to walk around with the pattern envelope on display for comparison purposes. If you have to make alterations, be aware that this pattern includes separate pieces for the bodice and front lining that are indeed different with regard to seam lines. So for my FBA, I had to adjust 4 pattern pieces.

I was expecting an elaborate construction for the petticoat but the petticoat is basically an underlining of the skirt with silk organza. Or wait. Can you call it underlining if they are treated as one at the waist line but not at the side seams? I don’t know. Anyway, I was pretty anxious to work with silk organza but it was much easier than I expected.

This is an easy sew. But not necessarily a fast one. What did not help is the fabric I chose, a Vlisco wax of the Bloom collection. If you look at my Pinterest Wax board, you will see that pattern placement is often key when sewing with wax (aka Ankara) fabric. I gave it a lot of thought, and I think it paid off. What do you think? The lining is a coton satin.

I love the pockets. They’re big enough for my cell phone, which is good because the clutch I was carrying with this dress wasn’t. Yes, I’m sacrificing practicality for looks. Call me vain.

For more inspiration with wax fabric and how to mix and match it, keep your eyes peeled on Stella Jean or check out My african closet. And if you’re not into wax but can appreciate some colourful inspiration, check CoreCouturePetites bobines and A challenging sew.

Kipling to Kjer

May 21, 2015

OMG I just realized that I did not blog about these items made for a little Kjer (pronounce kiƐr) that was born last December, on my own birthday! Shame on me. As welcome presents, he got a health book cover, similar to the one that his almost cousin had got about two years earlier, based on the very nice Healthy FreeBook by Farbenmix, this time with the boy’s name embroidered on the front page:

But I was also inspired by Clio (who made two of them) and knit him a giraffe from  Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B Anderson, that DN named Kipling (I don’t know why):

Kipling is bigger and heavier than I had thought. He is made of Superwash Merino yarn, filled with pellets at the feet’s ends and with foam secured in muslin for the rest of his body. Kjer is almost 6 months old now and I wonder if he’s learned to play with Kipling now…

Wax Paperbag Skirt

May 15, 2015

I got to visit my grand-mother in April. Yes, my grand-ma is still alive. She’s probably older than 90 years old and let me tell you that she is more lucid than some people I know who are almost 30 years younger. She was happy to see her great grand daughters, so she picked a piece of fabric out of her stash and gave it to me, with the mission to have a garment sewn for each of her great grand-daughters (5 of them). For my daughters, I had dresses hand-made before we left. They got to pick the models themselves. The street tailors are so impressive in Cameroon. We picked the dresses from a catalog, she took like 5 measurements from my daughters, and within a couple of days, with 5 measurements and based on a sole picture i.e. without a pattern, this is what she came up with, for approximately 25€, a ridiculous prize:

I took the fabric remnant with me, knowing that within a couple of weeks, my two girls would be visiting one of their cousin aka one my nieces aka one of my grandma’s great grand daughters. Are you still with me? I haven’t seen my niece in a long time and I had little time for sewing so I had to find a pattern that could fit a range of sizes and would be fast to make up. The Feather skirt from Ottobre 3/2014, basically a paper bag skirt, qualified:

This is my version, a size 140 for an 8 year-old:

The front and back are basically two pleated squares with a casing sewn on and bands inserted. The contrast fabric is a Joel Dewberry cotton, I used the remnants for my Petal Sleeve Wrap Blouse. I made a scalloped hem and cut extra big side seam allowances, so the skirt could be adjusted if too small (I know her mom has a sewing machine) but this is what it looked like right out of my daughters’ luggage:

I had to cut her head off the picture so you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that she is brightly smiling. Mission accomplished!

Well, not quite. It’s 3 down, 2 to go, but since my sis is now sewing a bit, I’ll just give her the remaining piece of fabric and let her go to work :)

Skull Cookie Blouson

May 15, 2015

I spent January drooling over all the Rigel bomber jackets uploaded all over the blogosphere. And while I liked that pattern, there was another one that attracted me even more: the Cookie Blouson by Waffle patterns. And when I stumbled upon this Skull Print Scuba Bodycon Stretch Jersey Dress Fabric by Minerva Crafts while trying to source neoprene/scuba knit online, the match was made instantly, at least mentally:

Alterations done:

  • 2.5 cm FBA, added as a classic FBA-dart that was rotated into the front gathers
  • round shoulder alteration
  • added piping to the yoke
  • added a lining
  • skipped topstiching because of the fabric (slippery jersey!)

The end results looks exactly like as pictured on the pattern. Except that the sleeves, although not short on me, are far from being as long as they appear on Yuki.

The only thing that could be better are the pockets: they could be a smidge bigger. On the other hand, I love the high collar that can protect my neck in the chilly spring weather. I think that’s what drew me to this pattern instead of the Rigel.

The instructions are fine. I only wish she would have included the lining instructions in the main pattern instructions instead of adding them as a tutorial series on her blog.

I love this jacket already. It’s going to get a lot of wear.

Petal Sleeve Wrap Blouse

May 12, 2015

I’ve been wanting to sew this pattern since it came out. I love the high-low hem, and the soft curve that it creates with the sleeves hem on the original garment:

Problem is: I barely wear long-sleeve blouses, except under a blazer. But I figured the petal sleeve would be a nice match to the bodice wrap. Enter Rhonda’s drafting tutorial, a cute fabric by Vlisco and a matching piece by Joel Dewberry. The colors are much more vibrant IRL.

Alterations made:

  • graded to a 44 based on high bust measurement
  • 1-inch FBA
  • lengthened by 5 cm/2 in
  • collar bias sewn on the outside with contrast fabric instead of the inside
  • finished with French seams.

This is a nice and easy pattern (no buttons, no zipper, no pockets). However, keep in mind that this is a wrap blouse so it behaves like a wrap dress, i.e. you might be seen with a bare belly in windy weather :) Other than that, I like it.

Vogue Summer 2015

April 8, 2015

OMG I’m so ashamed. Is my review of Vogue’s Spring style just 2 blog posts away?  Although I promised I haven’t been lazy. I have V8980 (like), V9021 (not sure), V1392 (luuuv) and at last, a new version of V1258 (luv) all made up. But not a spare second for taking/editing pics. And starting tomorrow on a vacation of a vacation of the type I’ll need to go on vacation from when I come back.

What’s even worse, I feel like there’s not a lot to review this time. I actually feel a bit let down, even by Donna Karan, whose only pattern I’m feeling is this rather unspectacular number, at least for what she used us to:

I can picture it a voile. It would need massive lengthening for me though…

However, I think this Rebecca Taylor dress is the one that could start popping up on the blogosphere rather sooner than later.

I do like it a lot but wonder how that would work on a busty figure (aka mine) since it’s not that bra-briendly. And all those tucks! I would consider buying a specialty foot for those.

I rella like this Pamella Roland dress:

And although I’m strangely attracted to this Marcy Tilton dress/top

this is the new pattern with the highest cuteness factor:

And it’s reversible!

Dior’s 135th runway

February 12, 2015

If you understand some French and are interested in haute couture, take a look at this video on Dior’s 135th runway…

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