The Amal dress

It was by coming out my summer wardrobe a few weeks ago that the evidence appeared to me: my favorite dresses are undoubtedly shirt dresses. Moreover, the few RTW dresses, long before discovering sewing, and which I continue to wear with pleasure, are shirt dresses. Drafting one to my measurements was obvious : but then, it was quite a huge work !

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It was a dress worn by Amal Clooney that was the starting point of my inspiration. Small aside: I am a huge fan of Amal Clooney’s style, a blend of femininity, elegance and absolute class. Add to that that she is sublime, intelligent and married to one of the most seductive men in the world … argh … WELL. Amal Clooney is divine.

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I had been dreaming for a long time of a shirt dress with a beautiful tailor collar, this point was established. Wanting to make the dress in a poplin and not having the same morphology as Mrs. Clooney, an adaptation was necessary.

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This dress was for me the occasion to draft a dress bodice with bust and chest darts : we made a first toile of the bodice, which was more than saving … I was totally lost in it.

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By adapting the toile to my bust, I realized that a very high-sized dart would be needed. At the time, I was ready to give up and go on with my princess cuts, thinking that a dart had to respect a maximum length, not to go too high or whatever. And that’s when my teacher made me a revelation: “But you don’t draft for others: you draft for you!” And if your morphology requires high darts, then let’s go ! Forget the academic rules And sublimate yourself. ”

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And indeed, the combination of the two darts creates without a doubt the most flattering bodice that I have been given to realize for my chest. Besides, the teacher on seeing my dress on Monday asked me if I had taken a cup size, can you believe this ! 😀

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“Er … no, but maybe I should weigh myself ?” (I never weigh myself. 😀 )

WELL, the bodice finally validated, it was necessary to tackle the hardest: the construction of the collar. In drafting I’m an eternal indecisive person, and define its length and its width still asked me a lot of work.

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Concerning the front skirt, I took the pattern of the Cha dress, and opted for flat pleats, while retracing the middle front to create the buttoning. Having loved the rendering of the back darts on my Christmas skirt, I replaced the pleats by darts.

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A facing later, and it was time to draft the sleeves: at the beginning we had drawn very wide sleeves, starting from a circle of which we had decreased the amplitude while wearing it. But it was at home, cutting into my poplin, that I understood that it was not going to work. My fabric was way too stiff for the rendering to look pretty. I wanted to have sleeves that stand, which give me a beautiful head-bearing, you know, like shoulder pads. I didn’t know at all what it would make, whether it was going to be pretty or not, but it doesn’t matter: that’s what I wanted, so I took the head of sleeves that we had drawn at the very start , And I flared of 8 cms on its middle, keeping the cap aspect. And after a few toiles, I finally got satisfaction!

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It was hard to get beautiful finishes: in the end, I lined the sleeves, and sewed a bias to finish the underside of the armholes.

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(I’m obsessed right now on armholes finishes. I hate to overlock at this place, but I don’t know why. 😀 )

The facing and the collar are interfaced with a woven one, my teacher has made me discover this tool, which, it must be admitted, is a thousand times more appreciable to work than the non-woven interfacing. And it’s no surprise that I chose mother-of-pearl buttons. (I have a passion for mother-of-pearl buttons, they are fine, delicate and fit with everything.❤)

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The hem is made with the invisible point of the sewing machine.

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The fabric used is therefore a striped poplin that comes from Cousette: I’ve got the idea to embroider something on the bodice, and in the end, the dress pleases me perfectly. I will be too afraid to spoil it with an approximate embroidery, and I think that its classicism will allow it never to go out of style.

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Verdict: I have a guaranteed thing to know if a dress is successful: it’s the way I move the first time I wear it. If I immediately straighten up, if I have my head high, if I start to waddle … it is won! A dress for me is only successful if I feel feminine and sublimated in it, and this is the case for this one. Not having added a lot of ease, I was afraid to feel myself engulged, and not at all! I feel really good in it. Monday was the last drafting lesson of the year, and we had time to draw a sleeveless version, which I hope to present to you in the coming weeks. Chantal, if you read me, thank you again for all that you brought me this year. For sewing obviously, but for everything that reads between the lines, too. ❤

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A very nice week to all, and take care of yourself! ❤

The Marie Bag

After all this time, I have many hand-stitched bags. But my favorite, the one I hold most, is older than me.

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It was a bag that belonged to my mother when she was quite young. If my memories are good, my uncle brought it back from Africa. She then gave it to me, while I was a teenager too. Since then, he never left me. I like it very much, and love to wear it: its seventies style never goes out of fashion and it fits perfectly with my outfits. Alas, it goes into ruin: then regularly, I mend it, and only wear it occasionally. (And especially not in rainy weather, I discovered the other day that wet, it gives off a rather odd smell … I won’t tell you my shame on the subway, sniff around me to find out where a such odor comes from … and realize that it actually came from my bag !: D)

WELL, it’s by tracing the scallop bag this fall, that I realized that instinctively, I wanted to draw a bag quite similar to my favorite one. Well, the scallops stayed on the program for last fall, but I was holding my idea for the next summer!

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As it would be a summer bag, I wanted pastel leather, nude, something that easily matches with my summer wardrobe. I returned to Varjan (26 Boulevard des Dames, 13002 Marseille), and found this leather, smaller than the fall blue one, but of a beautiful sand color.

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The leather is quite soft, I chose to reinforce it with Decovil Light, interfaced on the lining: the result holds more and it’s the effect that I was looking for. Here the bag is presented empty: you can see that it remains straight, and does not sag.

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The lining (75% viscose, 25% polyester) comes from Tissus des Ursules: big crush for this design, and the colors are matching well with the leather.

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I added a small zipped pocket inside, and reproduces the tricks learned with the scallop bag for the handles: rivets and strap tips make it possible to get beautiful finishes without getting irritated on the machine.

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The machine, however, had a hard time topstitching the loops : the points were not beautiful, but I sewn them by hand and the result was more harmonious afterwards.

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My favorite detail is the closure one : I loved this system so much on my mother’s bag that I reproduced here. It is rather original and simple enough to sew!

Verdict: I am happy with this bag, which will go with me all summer. As the leather was quite small, the bottom is less wide than desired, but most of my belongings come in and that’s all that counts!

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I wish you all a great weekend, and take care of yourself! ❤

Scraptastic ! #8

If I put more and more pressure on my own sewings (and in reality this becomes problematic), the scraptastic sewing thing is a real recreation: I can have fun, try things, take risks because precisely, there is no risk: I manipulate scraps that are not worth much. What’s more, if the result is not perfect, it is not very serious: children growing up quickly, clothes are not worn for long. And on this session, I had a lot of fun. 😀

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You recognize here the Carrie dress scraps : I had not much left, but just enough to cut a small top for my baby girl.

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To do so, I came out with my ultimate Burda pattern, my favorite Swiss knife, the one I had to sew 4 or 5 times already: the dress 144 of May 2014 Burda.


The great advantage of this pattern is that it is ultra-easy, and has few pieces: the ideal ally to get rid of the scraps. Here it is shortened to be transformed into a top, and as I was in full delirium on sleeve drafting, I amused to enlarge them, a little bit like on the Carrie dress.

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Beacuse we’re dealing with scraps, they are shorter than mine, but I find the result just as pretty. The back is always finished by a facing, closed by an embroidered bar and a covered button.

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(Sorry for the number of pictures, I am unable to choose my favorites as I find my daughter wonderful, so I put them all: D)

Size 116 here, and as usual, the fit is ok.

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Verdict: Since I told Juliette that this type of sleeves were called “butterfly sleeves”, she beats arms frantically and has already shown her find to all her friends. I think she likes this top. 😀 Let’s skip to the Lio dress scraps ?

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This fabric.❤ I swear to you I loved it so much that it seemed inconceivable not to sew something for the baby girl. EXCEPT I had scarcely anything left. I was ready to let go when I remembered the great advantage of the princess seams: it does not eat anything on a lay plan. What if I use the bodice of the Baptism dress ?

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Because yes, this dress was offered without AND with sleeves! So I just picked up the bodice pattern, pulled up the neckline, and added the sleeves.

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Basically, these were drafted like ball sleeves. I kept the gathers on the sleeves, but removed those at the hem, so that the top was more comfortable. Basically also, the bodice of the dress is finished by a zipper: I replaced the thing by a facing.

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And to visually lengthen the top, I used a gathered band.

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Rolling hem with the overlocker mandatory as the top is quite short: it will not exceed the summer, but worn with a tiny short it will be perfect.

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Verdict: very happy with this scraptastic sewing ! And red color suits her divinely. ❤ (I totally assume the dithyrambic side of the crazy mother of her offspring. I take advantage of it so much that they do not steal me in feathers. :D)

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I wish you a sweet weekend, take care of yourself.❤

The Lio dress

Pattern drafting is a wonderful practice, but pattern drafting has a terrible defect: when the fabric is cut, you can’t go back. In sewing you will always be able to get your seamripper, to sew a badly placed zipper again, gathers misallocated, a poorly resorbed sleeve. But the piece drawn and then cut out has an irreversible nature: if your pattern is bad, you have to deal with it. And deploy treasures of imagination to fall back on our feet.

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This fabric, found at the Plaine market a few weeks ago, was a real favorite: a viscose, very soft, very fluid, with a bright red color. I wanted at all costs to make a dress with it, without being able to decide on a pattern. And it’s on a sudden impulse, cutting the last thread of the Carrie dress, that I decided to go on the same line.

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But this time, I wanted gathered cap sleeves. I take the sleeves from the Butterfly dress, proceed to the flaring explained in my book Esmod, and draws a line of hem rather hollowed out. As I wanted the gathers to be placed more on my shoulders, I dig my armhole at the head of the sleeve, sew the whole … and realize that the result is catastrophic.


I totally forgot to take a picture, but you could trust me, the result was ugly. The hemline was too deep, the sleeves were not flared enough, it looked like too short puff sleeves. U-GLY. And it was by turning my pattern in all directions that suddenly Plan B appeared to me: and if you took the sleeve upside down ? If you sewed your hemline on your armhole?

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You would keep the flaring work, your sleeves would not be gathered but flared, certainly there will be nothing academic in your drafting, but if it works and you manage to save your work, why not try?

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And it worked ! Well … just for the sleeves. Because something bothered me on the bodice. You can see the picture above, while the whole dress had been sewn: there was an excess of fabric under the armholes. And it was by trying my dress, and pinching the bodice that I understood where was the concern: it missed some bust darts ! I also took advantage of it to reduce by 1cm the side seams just under the armholes.

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And there we are! Well almost. I still have a small worry, on which I could put words after seeing these photos. I have a rather short bust if compared to the rest of my body. And here, as my bodice is shortened by the elasticated waist, and I voluntarily dug a deep heart shaped neckline, my bust seems even shorter. For the next version (which will be sleeveless this one), I will try to reduce the height of the belt, and may be less dig the neckline, in order to visually lengthen my bodice. We’ll see if it works!

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If I insist so much to work on this pattern, it is above all because it is very pleasant to wear. Sewn in a soft fabric like this viscose, the dress is really comfortable. The skirt has a beautiful fullness while remaining flattering: and this is probably the point I prefer!

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And as the bodice is lined, the inside is as pretty as the outside.

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Verdict: if by cutting the last thread I was really annoyed that the result was not up to my expectations, I relativized my feeling after wearing the dress for a whole day. I felt pretty and comfortable, and it is this feeling that I want to associate with it. Often I am too demanding towards myself, and I try to keep in mind that I have not been drafting for a very long time. This dress is not perfect, but it is only a step in my learning. And the next one will prove to me that once again, I have not lost but learned! 😉

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And why the Lio dress ?? Simply because at the time I was drawing my pattern, I had to baptize the dress to annotate my pieces. I had no idea of a name when at the same time, my music library, launched in random mode, launched “Amoureux Solitaires” by Lio, from her very first album. Album that I had to listen a thousand times as a child, and which is a sweet memory to me. Sold out, so it will be the Lio dress!

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I wish you all a great week, and take care of yourself !

My Cheerleader, Carnival 2017

As promised, here I am back with my baby girl costume !

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It was the very evening of the 2016 carnival that she had solemnly announced to me that next year she would be disguised as a cheerleader. I tittered, knowing my daughter’s tergiversity, and betting that she would change her mind during the year. But nay ! Her idea was well settled, and it has not changed.

So we took the time together to study the project, and it was at Jalie that we found the ideal pattern: the skating dress 2104. With her raglan sleeves, and her little flared skirt, it was perfect.

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I asked Juliette to draw a small sketch, to delimit its choice of colors and their distribution.

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It is no surprise that she chose purple and pink, which are her 2 favorite colors. For the type of fabric, as she had adored the powdered lycra with spangles of her Bloom costume, we chose the same material, found at the wholesaler Bensimon in Marseille (26 Rue Francis de Pressensé, 13001).

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Reminding me of my disappointments with Bloom’s costume last year, this time I proceeded differently: instead of cutting a size and then adapting the result to Juliette, I preferred to work the pattern upstream. I meticulously took Juliette’s measurements, and redesigned the pattern so that it fits her best. As my sweetie is fairly thin in width, but of a stature in the standards for her age, I opted for size G at the chest, enlarged to a I size at the waist, for a length in J size … and crossing my fingers hard to make it work!

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And we were good! Pfiou! The pattern is intended for figure skating, the skirt originally is rather short: I lengthened by 5 cms. I did not sew the panties that can be added under the skirt. The entire dress is assembled to the overlocker, and the hems are double-needle-stitched.

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(No, but this one I swear … the pose … ^^)

Well, that’s not all, but we might have to verify that we can make the fool in it, right? ;

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We can validate, right ?? 😉

Verdict: Listen, I’m always delighted with Jalie patterns, and this one again did not disappoint me. Everything falls to perfection, and the result is that expected. The baby girl was very happy with her costume, which she does not want to leave anymore! I look forward to the challenge she will ask me next year. ❤

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I wish you all a very good weekend, and take good care of yourself. 😉