2018 Christmas dress

Yes I know, we are in 2019. February 2019. It’s a little late to tell you about my Christmas dress. But wait … given its color, I can always make you think it’s a Valentine’s Day dress? 😀

Ah, you know me, I cannot lie. No, this dress was well worn on Christmas day. And believe me, in spite of all my precautions, this one, like all the others, drove me completely NUTS.

I think it was by scrolling a post from Elle that I wanted a red wrap dress. I loved wearing the Dalida dress so much this summer that I needed a winter version.

I wanted loose sleeves, and for the little fantasy, wrists tightened by ribbons.

I took a moment to find the perfect fabric: with drape but heavy, red and above all, without polyester. In the end, I found my happiness at l’Atelier de la Création: this red viscose crepe, which I expected more red hermes, but which turned out to be red tangerine, but that doesn’t matter: the quality was there , and it was the most important. (And he didn’t fade in the wash!)

At the beginning, I thought to line my bodice (don’t forget that I’m suffering from “LINE OR DIE” syndrom), but it’s while cutting my last piece that I realized: you just need to finish your neckline and the edge your front skirts with some bias! Of course, I hadn’t cut seam allowances adapted for French seams: and who struggled to sew French seams with only 1cm seam allowances ??

Emilie, queen of “I act, and I think then”. 😀

In the end, it isn’t impossible but quite difficult, especially on such a fluid fabric. I sewed wrong sides together with a 3mm seam allowances, then sewed right sides together with a 7mm seam allowances. The Bernina foot 37, with a 3mm guide, helped me a lot.

Not having enough fabric to cut my finishing bias, and not being able to use any trade bias, too stiff for my viscose, I bought viscose crepe bias from Atelier Brunette. I chose tangerine, hoping that the color would match with my fabric. In the end the tangerine pulls more on the ocher than on the red (can’t be seen in the photo), but I quibble over details. The weaving of the bias being exactly the same as that of my fabric, the result is great.

So the sewing goes well, I finally hope to live a December 24th without a fit of hysterics … but it was not counting on this buttonhole.

Yes, this buttonhole, on the side seam, the one that will belt the dress … impossible to sew with the machine. The waist seam allowances block the training of the fabric: I try, try again, try everything … nothing helps. It’s 6pm and I want to throw my machine out the window.

And I still have the hem to sew! That I sew in a hurry, resolving to me to celebrate Christmas Eve with a holey dress, without buttonhole worthy of the name.

(Feeling so BAD, I swear!) (While obviously it was NOT visible at all).

WELL, the next day and taking my time, I managed to sew, by hand, a buttonhole almost wearable. And that will be enough.

But wait, it isn’t over! A few days later, after wearing, washing and ironing the dress, we decided to take some pictures, and there, disaster … I realize that the hem has distended.

Look at this horror! Yet I had hung my dress 48h before sewing the hem, and it had not moved. In fact, it was distended after the first wash, when I hung the dress to dry it. So I had to trace a new hem with my skirt rounder, cut the extra and stitch everything. As my husband so kindly told me, “you must love it to put so much energy into it!”

Much better like this right ?

My best encounters have always started on misunderstandings, and this dress will not depart from the rule: I really like it. It’s more than pleasant to wear: totally forget it !

On the other hand, the detal of knotted wrists is not very practical: did you already try to make a knot with one hand only? Well believe me, it’s not easy! 😀 In the end I found the movement, when I don’t have one of the kids on hand. 😀

Verdict: You know what I prefer in this dress ?? It has long sleeves! 😀 And yes, my autumn-winter wardrobe is mostly composed of dresses with 3/4 sleeves (the time when I bought tiny wintery coupons), I am DELIGHTFUL it has long sleeves. And then it’s red … and you know my infinite love of red …

I’m using this post to wish you a happy new year: I don’t wish you to get what you dream of … no. I wish you much more! Far journeys, suspended moments, unexpected offers, unexpected encounters. Often life has more imagination than us. And take good care of yourself.❤

Magnolia / Deer and Doe

For lack of time, I participate less in Deer and Doe releases. But when this summer, Camille introduced me to the technical sketch of Magnolia, believe me, I had stars in my eyes!

A fitted dress, a flared skirt, a wrap-around neckline and butterfly sleeves: all this resonates like a sweet serenade in my ears! This summer it was impossible to jump in the test session, but I agreed to do a review for its release.

Camille suggested me the short skirt version and butterfly sleeves, which suited me perfectly: the other version being too low cut for me. The hardest part was choosing my fabric. Few coupons in my stock measured 2m50.

I hesitated for a long time between a cotton voile, thin but rather stiff, and this denim woven very loose, fluid and heavy, bought at “La Plaine” market an eternity ago. The fluid fabric was perfect for butterfly sleeves, loose enough, but the cotton voile would have had enough structure to sublimate the cutouts of the dress. The release approaching, I decided and opted for denim … which drove me crazy.

His weaving being very loose, he frayed easily. What’s more, he could not stand the slightest mistake: unraveling anything was dangerous. I honestly don’t know if the life expectancy of this dress will be long. Although I took all my precautions by sewing French seams.

With the 1.5cm seam allowances of Deer and Doe, the thing is easy. There is only one small place where the result isn’t happy:

On the top of the princess cut, a little fabric is raw: I put some fray check on it, hoping it’ll be ok. For the left side of the dress, where the zipper is sewn, I added 0,5cm of seam allowance (1,5 + 0,5), in order to finish the edges by a double-tuck of 0,5cm: I had 1cm seam allowance to sew my invisible zipper.

The dress is rather easy: the neckline is finished with bias. I chose a flowery bias, bought a long time ago at “la Droguerie”. In the explanations, you need to sew a stay stitch on the neckline : I preferred to stabilize the cut with some seam tape interfacing, but I’m used to it.

The bodice features princess cutouts on the front, pleats in the back and a belt; and the skirt has 6 panels: 3 for the front and 3 for the back.

The dress is finished with an invisible zipper …

… and cinched in the back by a bow.

But the strong stylistic detail of this pattern is obviously its butterfly sleeves.

Yes I tried an artistic pose to show you the whole sleeves … and I’m completely ridiculous. 😀

(There I’m laughing because Tom is making fun of me. 😀 )

WELL, I find that they give a style and a crazy elegance to the dress. My only downside would be on the hem: I found it difficult to do a double fold hem on 0.75cm. If I have to sew Magnolia again, I will reduce the hem of my pieces by 0.5cm, and I will sew a double fold hem of 0.5cm.

Regarding the size, I cut a 38.5 at the bust, which joins a 40 on the waist and hips. And it fits me perfectly. I wore it on Monday and I felt really good. (and I had lots of compliments 😉 )

Even if I confess that the first fitting me left doubtful: it’s so long, compared to what I usually sew! The husband at least won’t complain about it. 😀

Verdict: I really like Magnolia, and regret not having sewn it in a beautiful floral fabric, because I’m sure it would be even more beautiful. It’s a flattering and feminine dress, ideal for pear shapes. You will see here other versions : why not this winter by replacing the butterfly sleeves by the long sleeves of version A?

I wish you a wonderful week, and take care ! ❤

Scraptastic ! #11

I find it hard to realize that it has been a year since I published some scrap sewing here. Yet I have not lost my good habit, continuing to sew my scraps as soon as I can get out something, and this, at the end of my main work. It takes discipline: the temptation is often great to move from one project to another, storing my scraps saying “oh, I’ll do something … one day”. But I know that day will never come, so I strike while the iron is hot. What if we look together at what my lay plans generously offered me this year?

So this sewing is special because you have not seen the main dress yet. It dates from last winter, when I wasn’t in a great shape. I had written the article, but never had the courage to publish it. In the red knit scraps, I had managed to cut a pair of underpants for my husband.

Always my favorite pattern of Jalie, the 3242, with its multiple sizes and options. I took my husband’s measurements carefully, chose the right size (X) and the result is per-fect. As beautiful as a RTW one !

The elastic comes from Mamzelle Fourmi. The underpants are sewn with the overlocker, and the hems as the topstitching are made with double needle.

Let’s skip to the Claire dress scraps ?

Well guys, I let you imagine: a fabric with hearts, if I didn’t sew something for Juliette she would drive me mad. 😀  I immediately saw a little top, buttoned at the back, with a contrasting Peter Pan collar. And I thought the bodice of the Tiny dress could be a good starting point.

It was enough for me to lengthen the bodice by flaring it slightly, to add a button band in the back, and the trick was played.

The whole in size 6 fits her perfectly. And because I was really happy with the result, I sew felled seams everywhere.

Note that the felled seam is quite possible on an armhole, if you opt for a Japanese style: in other words, you sew your sleeve, and then you close, on the same seam, your sleeve and side. The topstitching of the felled seam will be sewn in two stages, from the sleeve, and when this is no longer possible, from your hem.

Parma fabric for the collar comes from Cultura. And the buttons were retrieved on the little strap top presented here! 😀

We don’t lose the rhythm and skip to the Beatrice dress scraps ?

I won’t affront you with some talking about this pattern, which you have seen many times around here. Always the pattern 140 of the Burda of June 2014, this time in size 98.

Paul didn’t want patched pockets, and wanted an elasticated waistband. And I like small and determined customers. 😉

I didn’t take a picture of the inside of the garment, but the whole thing is sewn in french seams. Because we can sew simple AND neat ! 😀

Let’s finish with the Dalida dress scraps ?

I still had enough to sew a little top for Juliette. I saw something ultra refined, the floral pattern was so great. But impossible to find a pattern which stuck to my research.

In the end I copied a RTW tank top from the baby girl. I cut a front and a back in the flowery crepe, and the same thing in my white microfiber. And I sewed the 2 tank tops according to the famous method of the spoon.

You see here the tank top on the wrong side. Juliette loves to wear this top: according to her, the microfiber is ultra soft on the skin. (Wait to discover the silk my dear  ! 😀 )

We reached the end! It only remains Paul’s shirt, from the Sandy dress, but it will be in a future post. 😉

Take good care of yourself and have a good week ! ❤

The Dalida dress

Hurry hurry, I have 2 days left before the beginning of fall to speak about summery sewing. And it would be a shame to miss out on this one, which is probably one of my favorite creations of 2018.

When the heatwave began this summer, I only dreamed of this dress. The lightness of the crepe, the small straps, the skirt that flew in the wind … my skin only supported this sewing. I wanted to sew me a dress as comfortable to wear, in a lightweight fabric. And I remembered this beautiful crepe found at La Plaine market !

That day I met my drafting class mate, Sandrine, who, while digging into fabrics, began to exclaim “Emilie, I think this one is for you!”. Should she knows my tastes, because indeed, this coupon was superb. Transparent, it’s true, but no problem: I’ll arm myself with courage to line it.

This summer, on the street or in public transport, I have often met young women wearing strappy wrap dresses. I thought that in a heatwave, such a pattern should be comfortable to wear. I then began to draw a sketch.

Drafting was not too complex and I had enough confidence in my work to skip the stage of the toile. Regarding the finishes, I didn’t have to think: given the transparency of the fabric, the dress would be fully lined.

The lining comes from La Plaine market too, it’s a microfiber that I had already used here. In the end I need to sew an outer version of my dress, to add straps, then to sew the same version in lining, strapless and slightly shorter.

The outer dress and its lining are sewn at the armholes (and on the back seam) and then at the neckline, and later, on the side of the skirt (the one I hold by hand on the picture below). To stick the lining well inside the dress, I didn’t forget to understitch the seam allowances.

The dress and its lining are also held by a loose point at the waist. To keep the fluidity of the skirt, the side seams of the two dresses are not sewn together.

For the finishes, I just overlocked the seams. These being hidden, it was enough. To get the belt through, I sewed a buttonhole on the side of my dress.

And to not worry about a wrap neckline too … generous, I sewed a little snap.

And above all, I stabilized the wrap-over seam with a piece of interfacing cut in the straight grain.

And it’s great! Well, my dresses always turning me crazy, it has not failed to rule. By cutting my fabric, I noticed how the crepe was woven very loose: having cut my skirts in the bias, suspend the dress 48h before sewing my hem was mandatory. Obviously, the fabric “dripped” on the sides of the skirt, and I struggled to retrace the hem with my skirt rounder.

Cut in a hurry (I wanted at all costs to put the dress in my suitcases), the hem is not ultra regular, I recognize it. But that doesn’t stop me from adoring this dress!

One day I’m really going to take a tumble, turning like a moron in my dresses. It would be fun to explain this at the ER ! 😀

Verdict: no suspense here, I love this dress! It ticks all the boxes to unhook my heart: it is flowery, it is lightweight as a feather, it is flattering, the forms are highlighted without feeling restricted. The wrap dress is a garment so sensual and feminine. And above all, it’s red! This color has a strange power on me: it increases my confidence and my femininity. Asterix had the magic potion, I have the red color! 😀

And why Dalida? By posting my sketch on Instagram, Juste_un_fil_et_des_aiguilles commented it with “the dress would be nice to sew while listening to Dalida” … what she didn’t know is that I’m a huge fan of Dalida, and that no dress still bore her pseudonym! It was time to. ❤

A good weekend to all, and take good care of yourself!

The Sandy dress

Let me tell you the story of this dress, imagined in the heart of winter … and born in a summer heatwave.

Everything started on December 31st: we spent the evening in family, in front of Grease, waiting for midnight. And during the movie, I saw an extra lady with a strapless dress, buttoned all over the front. Between 2 cups of champagne, I grabbed my agenda and quickly scribbled a sketch … adding the idea to my summer to-do list … long as a day without bread.

(This isn’t the sketch scribbled on New Year’s Eve. Tipsy my drawings aren’t so neat ! 😀 )

After the Beatrice dress, I really wanted to sew something easy. I then thought of this project … forgetting that in comfort zone, I’m often less attentive to possible blunders.

Regarding the pattern, I took the Whitney dress bodice, splitting the front bodice in two and creating a buttoning. For the skirt, Sandrine dress one would be perfect.

Regarding the finishing, I told myself that a facing would still be the best option. All seams would be French one, except those princess cuts front: as they are quite curved, notching is necessary. I then voluntarily traced a facing that would encompass these two seams. Neither seen nor known: thus hidden, I would not have to bother with their finish.

And because I can’t resist to flowers … I offered myself this bias from “la Droguerie”. While their biases are expensive, but so flexible.

Alas … I got lost on the question of interlining. I naively thought that it wasn’t necessary to stabilize my neckline, nor to interface the location of my buttonholes, since my facing was interfaced. But it was to forget that an outer fabric has its own life, apart from its facing … and that the neckline, believe me, didn’t wait for my permission to relax.

Do you see the problem? Plunging view of my boobs, guaranteed and without special effects. It was therefore necessary to find a solution. I first reduced the length of the straps, but that didn’t change the problem. I then thought of the trick of the clear elastic (told here): it worked greatly, indeed … but it gathered the top of my bodice, and I found it really ugly. I confess that at this moment, the appeal of the trash was very strong.

And then I said to myself … and if I reduced the top of the princess cut by 1 cm, while shifting my strap a bit … would it work?

And it worked !

Note that now it’s the princess cut that gathers a little, but frankly, I prefer it rather than a dress in “open-bar” mode. 😀

What more can I say about this little dress? It’s made with the scraps of the chambray used for Juliette’s costume. (And I managed to cut a shirt for Paul in the ultimate scraps!) The buttons are olive ones and come from “la Droguerie”.

(Hot at home too?)

Verdict: Being totally honest with you, reducing the length of the straps wasn’t my brightest idea. The dress is too high under the armpits and it is not very pleasant. Visually, the waist line being too high, this is not ultra flattering either. And my choice of finish is not wise: with hindsight, it would have been better to opt for a lining on the bodice and a facing for the buttoning of the skirt. BUT, I still find this dress very cute. With a bit of luck I still have enough fabric to cut new straps ? I’m going to go dig it and I’ll let ya. 😉

I wish you a beautiful week, for us it has a special flavor: we leave Saturday for 2 weeks in the Dordogne, and we cannot wait! The days before departures are often the most delicious don’t you find ? Courage to those who are back from holidays, courage to those who don’t have any holiday this year, and happy holidays to the lucky ones who take off soon! And take good care of yourself. 😉