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