New Darling Ranges

If at the beginning, I had decided to publish my “Win & Fail” for you, to show you that a failure is not serious and above all can be overcome, I noticed that it has modified my to-do list, and impelled new cravings. At the moment, I want to sew tested and approved patterns, clothes in which I feel good, and especially at ease. And if there is a dress that I wanted to remake for an eternity, it is the Darling Ranges from Megan Nielsen.

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My first version is one of the dresses that I wear very often, although it isn’t the most flattering of my wardrobe, regarding the red poplin that I had used and which isn’t really adapted to the gathers of the skirt. But no matter, its flashy color instantly puts me in a good mood, and worn with red ballerinas, this is one of my favorite outfits. And above all, it is COMFY.

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The Darling Ranges, if I had to rename it in one expression, it would easygoing. Being bowed at the waist by a knot that you adjust yourself, it’s you who decide how you want to wear it. Normally, the knot is sewn at the back and is shorter. I personally reproduced the same modification as on the first: I lengthened the piece of the pattern (instead of cutting it in twice, I simply cut on the fold, twice, and I sewed them between the side seams, just above the waist seam).

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You can see here the rendering of the non waist-fitted dress: note that Megan offers multiple versions of the Darling Ranges, and it can be stitched straight, without gathering and without darts.

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The advantage of sewing the ties in the side seams is that you can tie them on the front! The result is very cute.

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Compared to my first version, I made some modifications:

  • I didn’t sew the pockets: always afraid that it adds thickness to an area … er … which is already quite thick like that. : D
  • I topstitched the seam at the waist so that the seam allowances remain in place.
  • I interfaced the buttonholes area.
  • I reduced the skirts by 5cms.
  • The darts rising too high to my taste, I lowered them to 12cms. But having made no changes to the pattern upstream, we see that there is an excess of fabric just under the chest. My fabric being thin and flowing, it’s not shocking, but with a thicker fabric, an adjustment of the pattern would probably be necessary.

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The last modification is about the sleeves: I noticed with my first version that on my morphology, the elasticated hem just hits right on the fold of my elbow. On this one, I decided to sew a simple hem : the sleeves are a little wide but my fabric is thin, again I don’t find this very shocking.

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Let’s talk about this fabric: I came across this print in a newsletter from Bennytex. My husband offered me vouchers, I took the opportunity to order 2m of this viscose, thinking about a dress for next fall. And when I received it and discovered its softness, its fluidity that BIM, the evidence: here is your new Darling Ranges !

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The fluidity of the fabric is great for flattering gathers. And the fabric is so soft: I can’t wait to wear it without tights this spring.

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Again in S size, hemmed the skirt on 5,5cms and chose covered buttons.

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“Oh oh, seems like I beat Mr. Photobombing out !!!” : D: D: D

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Verdict: for 2 years I wanted to remake a Darling Ranges, and I’m really thrilled to have found the perfect fabric for! The great advantage of this version lies in the print shades, which will allow me to wear it as much in fall and winter, with tights and boots, as spring with bare legs and camel derbies. It is a real cozy dress, the one that allows us to remain feminine without feeling too restricted or overdressed … let’s say the perfect casual dress !

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And guess what ??

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J-54 before Spring !!! ❤❤❤ A great week for all!

Cathy Dress, winter Aubépine

I think I will be unable to elect my 3 or 5 favorite dresses in my dressing room. But if there is one that holds a special place, it’s my romantic Aubépine : I did the stupidity of sewing it just before the fall of temperatures last year … and I spent my winter languishing. It was also with this dress that I had celebrated the return of spring. As much to say that storage it this autumn was a heartbreak … and that it was urgent to sew a little sister in more winter hues.

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All the more urgent that I don’t know what took to the French TV programmers, who decided to go over all the television and film adaptations of Jane Austen in recent months: with each replay of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Pride and Prejudice”, I imagined heaps of versions of Aubépine… until reaching the climax with the diffusion of Wuthering Heights (of Emily Bronte) 10 days ago: associate one of my favorite novels, to one of my favorite patterns, was a truly stimulating creative experience.

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Especially since I had the perfect fabric for many months now: this viscose, found in Agnes B, is the exact twin, in terms of composition, of my romantic Aubépine. Only the pattern and the color change: the risk taking here was almost zero. 😉

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You know, the secret of Aubépine’s success is the fluidity of the fabric used: it must slip between your fingers and drape nicely when handled. Difficult to transcribe the fall of this dress in fixed pictures: hence some moving pictures.

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(To be honest, I make a mess of Wuthering Heights’ choreography of Kate Bush, song that accompanied all the sewing of this dress: D )

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“HEATHCLIFF, IT’S ME, CATHY, COME HOME, I’M SO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD”

(Of course, those who have never read the book will understand nothing about this post: D)

WELL, I made some modifications to the original pattern: in the first place, I didn’t sew the pockets, nor the tucks, whether on the bodice or the sleeves.

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In the second place, my fabric being not transparent, I only lined the bodice. This allowed me to make a cleaner drawstring, sewed by hand. Here is the picture on the inside, so that you visualize the thing better.

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I also sew the lining on the armholes: so the seam is invisible. And under-stitch the seam of the neckline over the seam allowances so that the lining stays in place.

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Having only 1m50 of fabric (the time when I really thought I could sew a long-sleeved dress in such a small coupon) (How I hate me sometimes ^ ^), I cut the sleeves as long as possible : in the end they arrive just above the elbow, and it’s okay. (But the husband doesn’t understand the concept of the winter dress with short sleeves.) (The husband is nice but he will give me his credit card at the next Agnès B sale. 😀 )

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Always in 38 size, without changing anything to the length of the dress: and the fit is always perfect.

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Verdict: I’m so happy to finally have my winter Aubépine ! The comfort of this dress is so great, and thanks to the fluidity of the fabric, the empire waist remains flattering and feminine. A romantic dress, perfect to sip a hot tea while enjoying the few minutes of sunshine we gain each day. (62 days before spring time, 62 days!)

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A nice weekend to all, cover you well!

2016 Win & Fail

I’m not a fan of sewing summarize : I always prefer to go ahead and concentrate on the future. But I noticed that often, in the comments, questions come back : “but do you wear all your dresses?” (…) “you must not have the place to store them all!” And other questions of this type.

Most of the time, I write my articles as soon as I finish my sewing. So it’s too early to really judge the dress in daily life. So I sincerely wanted to take stock of my seams of 2016. To prove to you that yes, I have the place and the opportunity to enjoy the 100% successful sewings, because in the end they aren’t numerous ! And yes, the creative process is far from easy : and even after years of sewing, I crashed very regularly.

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(At startup I wanted to list all 2016, but I didn’t find it pertinent to take stock of the last December ones, too close temporally speaking, so I started the balance sheet to December 2015)

~~~DECEMBER 2015~~~

Pavot : 100% WIN ! It’s very simple: I wear it almost every day! I alternate with a RTW warmer coat, which I have for years. That’s why I’m drafting a coat: Pavot is not warm enough in the winter, but in a half season jacket it is perfect.

La robe Stéphanie : 100% WIN !!! One of the dresses I wear the most in winter. Besides, if I listened to myself, I would wear it every day. 😀

Christmas Wren : Half-fail. Between the red knit fabric which continues to rub off even after so many hand washes (and which has unfortunately ruined the white collar of my first Moneta after an unexpected passage in a machine), the waist which is too low and this soft fabric that sticks to my curves, I wear it only rarely. Clearly when I have nothing left to wear. 😀

~~~ JANUARY~~~

Vintage shirt dress, le retour  : 100% WIN ! I wear it very regularly, and each time I think the same thing: “SEW YOU A NEW ONE FOR GOD’S SAKE !” 😀

~~~FEBRUARY~~~

Emery d’hiver : FAIL ! Two reasons for this: one, the wool flannel is very warm. Much too warm for our Mediterranean latitudes! 😀 And then, the flannel is quite thick, and doesn’t contain the slightest elasticity: result, it is not comfortable at armholes, while I wear very regularly my 2 other Emery. I keep it in case one day I have to drink a warm wine on the edge of a ski slope, way Hollywood star. (Which will never happen.: D)

Réglisse de Saint-Valentin : FAIL ! And for a very simple reason: it’s a summer dress, made in a dark color. While I never wear dark in summer. Result, not worn only once this summer. :/

Ondeta : Half-fail. The concern is that the knit fabric is very elastic, the waist is too low. I would have to undo it, reduce the bodice a little, gather my skirts and reassemble the whole. And seamstress ladies, between sewing and repairing, what do we prefer to do ??? 😀 😀 😀

~~~MARCH ~~~

Zéphyr : Half-Fail, and for a silly reason! In fact, I regularly wore it in the spring, and then this summer, I still thought that this dress kept me very warm. And it was by passing the fabric on my lips that I understood everything: this fabric contained wool !!! I swear ! I made a WOOL summer dress !!!! : D In my defense, Deer and Doe tests being done out of season, I had opted for the fabrics presented by one of my dealers, and on the label, the composition was quite mysterious. Result, very little worn this summer, and for good reason!

Mélilot : Fail. Definitely, I don’t wear separate (apart from Nettie). And I don’t assume this combo on a daily basis.

Coco : FAIL ! And probably my biggest regret of 2016, because I really love this dress. But definitely, too tight at the armholes. :/ It is this failure with Burda that signed the end of my subscription to the magazine, after 6 years of loyalty. :/

Histoire de toiles : Half-fail. I really thought I would not wear it, and in fact, yes! But occasionally, because it is not my favorite dress in terms of fit and style. Its comfort is still great for my full time-mum life. 😉

Easter Belladone : Half-fail. And for the same reason as the first one besides: over dressed for my daily life! In addition, the cotton pique associated with the piping on the waist makes it less comfortable than my other dresses. As a result, I did not wear it, trying to think of it as you advised me on beautiful occasions, such as a school show or a restaurant. But its outings remained casual.

~~~APRIL~~~

Chardon & Mélilot : let’s take the 2 pieces separately.

* Chardon : FAIL ! Definitively, too tigh at the waist.
* Mélilot : Half-fail. I wore it a few times with my Belladone skirt: the combo is really pretty. But for now, in my full time mom life, I have little opportunity to wear a white shirt. (But I keep it preciously because I know it’s a timeless piece that I will probably wear in the future).

~~~MAY ~~~

The Cha Dress : Half-fail, and believe me, it splits my heart to confess, because I really like this dress. But definitely, the décolleté is too depth at the shoulders. :/ I wear it all the same because I like it very much, but it’s not the most practical dress of my wardrobe. (Nb: I wrote this article on several days, and in the meantime, I had the idea to add lace to reduce the depth of the décolleté. I really must try, because I don’t want it to stay in the closet.)

Lupin : Half-fail. Same problematic as the White Mélilot: I have very little worn as it is totally over-dressed for my daily life. But note that my life is not fixed, and that I probably will wear it more in the years to come. Be that as it may, I cherish it carefully, for I love it very much.

Doris Dress : FAIL ! And this for two reasons: the first is that having chosen wrongly my size, the dress is very adjusted to me, and that this doesn’t forgive my little belly. And the second is that I don’t assume it at all: it is quite decolleté, very short and that … well … I’m not necessarily hyper comfy when I wear it. 😀

~~~JUNE~~~

The Bid Day Dress : Half-Fail. The bodice is too large at the princess cuts on the front. Note that it would be necessary that I undo everything and repair it, because I loved to wear it. But considering my passion for mending, there’s a long way to go.

~~~JULY~~~

Sophie Swimsuit : 100% WIN !!! And very far, my greatest achievement this year. It didn’t leave me all summer, I loved to wear it, I felt so NICE in it! I swear ! I think I’m in love with this pattern, really. It’s magical.

Whitney Dress : 100% WIN ! And my second favorite achievement this year I think. I wore it a lot this summer. This dress is just me, as a garment. 😉

Tropical Zéphyr : 100% WIN ! This one too has been much worn this summer, with my little white sneakers. (And there I look at the gray sky, it is 3 degrees outside and I just want to cry. I HATE WINTER!)

~~~AUGUST~~~

Maia Dress : 100% WIN ! It’s a dress that I also wore a lot this summer. I bought a beautiful cotton satin 5 days ago to make a new one this summer. 😉 (Nobody has a way to move the time forward ??? PLEAAAAAASE !!!!)

The Charlie Dress : 100% WIN ! It was a real pleasure to wear it this summer. Besides, I have a little anecdote about it to tell you: we were on vacation, and while I was wearing it that day, a little girl came to meet me and said to me, her eyes shining : “You wear a real Princess dress Madame !” Believe me, that day I received one of the most beautiful compliments I have ever received. (And yes my eyes were all wet. ❤)

Mariah Dress : 100% WIN, if one assumes that it is a rather exceptional dress that I will not wear every 3 mornings. But on my father’s wedding day, I was perfectly at ease in it: I therefore assume that it’s a success. (Who invites me to a wedding so I could wear it again ??) (As if that would not be a wonderful excuse to sew a new dress !!!)

~~~SEPTEMBER~~~

Chambray McCalls M6696 : 100% WIN, even if, in hindsight, I find that I too shortened the front bodice. But this stylistic detail has not prevented me from wearing it with much pleasure. It’s so comfortable.

Saving Private Jersey : 100% WIN ! (Besides, guess who is waiting for the winter sales to order pajamas, when it would be better to sew them ??? So boring…)

Rue : 100% WIN, of course! Although it is a little too large at the armholes, I still wore it with pleasure. The only “worry” with this piece is that it attracts a lot of looks: necessarily, this yellow, it slams, I don’t go unnoticed. So it is better to keep it for the days when I am well in my sneakers, and all pumped. Unable to shave the walls with the Vitamin dress!

~~~OCTOBER~~~

Nineties Vibes : let’s take the 2 parts separately.

* Ondée : FAIL ! Very bad choice of fabric : after wearing it, it was even more distorted than what you can see here. Result: an excellent top to hang out at home!
* Rosari : 100% WIN ! And now that I sewn a new Nettie, I will be able to wear it even more easily.

~~~NOVEMBER~~~

Châtaigne Short : Half-fail. I don’t know why, I don’t have the short reflex. It’s stupid, huh? I never think of wearing it!

Rydell Dress : Half-fail. This is the perfect example of fantasy in sewing: you dream of a piece a little special, you make it, and then it sits in the closet. I think its very pronounced style makes me think little to wear it. Which is a shame because I feel really comfortable in it.

The Butterfly Dress : 100% WIN ! I like to wear it, although sometimes the waist goes up too much under the chest and hinders a little my movements. I drew a variation of this pattern for Easter, and I received the perfect fabric for a few days ago. Without laughing, I think I’ve never been so happy to sew a dress. (69 days, 69 days before spring.) (Yes, I count them: D)

~~~~

PFIOU! Are you still here ? Let’s summarized? 14 WIN / 11 Half-Fail / 7 FAIL. Who said sewing was easy ??? And no, associating a pattern, a fabric and a morphology is very far from easy.

So why continue sewing? Already, because I do not consider my “FAIL” as failures, on the contrary, but as wonderful lessons. At each work, I progress, I learn from my mistakes. Sewing for me is a real outlet, which allows me to express my creativity, even if in the end, success is not always at the rendezvous. But it doesn’t matter: I’m having fun, and I believe this is the essential. ;

So when you fail, when you are afraid to start, when you say that others sew better than you, never forget: each work, successful or not, makes us progress. Do not compare yourself to others, compare only to the one you were yesterday. And you will see, with confidence and envy, absolutely no project will be impossible to you. ;

I embrace you very strongly, and take care of yourself. 😉

Scraptastic ! #6

Hello everyone !!! Everybody’s fine, you survived on the holidays? Ready to start a new year ? 😉 Hop hop, we don’t lose the good habits here, and we start the year with some scraptastic sewing !

Let’s go back chronologically: no profit of the Ponte di Roma of my Zéphyr dress . I have more than 1m left, and if initially I planned to make a Nettie, I changed my mind after having worn it several times. For now, I have stored it, maybe it will serve me one day, for a toile or a costume. Same for the floral scuba : I have more or less 80cms left but I don’t know what to do there either. It is stored waiting for inspiration. So we arrive at the Agnes B black knit fabric which I counted to make profitable to the least crumb.

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I saw a trunk, but not enough fabric to spoil my man. So it was for my elder that I brought out the Jalie 3242 pattern, with all its multiple options. Here you see the trunk, size J (6 years). I scrupulously followed the table of measurements and it fits my son like a glove !

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I loved sewing it: the realization is very playful, and totally different from panties. The pouch being fully lined, the inside is super neat. And Tom is very proud to wear “a trunk like Daddy”!❤

And as I still had some scraps left, I was able to get a pair of panties!

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Always the same Jalie pattern, always the low waist option, size T to the waist, drafted to the X to the hips: and the fit is impeccable. This time I opted for a gold elastic, on the advice of Juliette. This last as the trunk elastic come from Mamzelle Fourmi.

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Definitely, I feel that a great story begins between this pattern and me. 😉

Let’s skip to the golden velvet?

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Believe me, this dress has a damn story. I really tought Juliette would never be able to wear it.

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When I cut my skirt, I realized that I’ve got some fabric left on my layplan : too much for a skirt, but not enough for a dress. I had promised my baby girl to sew a new Tinny from Straight Grain. Then, by reducing the length of the sleeves, by reducing the height of the skirts, I managed to cut all my pieces. I breathed, but I didn’t know that the worst was waiting for me.

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We are Saturday, December 24, and I promised my Baby Girl she would have her dress for Christmas Eve. I think a day will be enough to fully sew it: I get a move on, sew the bodice, sleeves, the skirt panels, gather it, and when finishing the waist seam … the disaster. The obsession fear of any seamstress. The stupidity we have all done at the least once: the too greedy overlocker knife.

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The bodice ends up with a huge hole, 3cms above the waist. It is 15h30, we are expected for 19h. I want to throw everything in the trash and cry with rage.

And then, between two tears, I go to see my baby girl napping. I imagine announcing to her that her dress will never see the light, because Mom made a big mistake. The idea itself was inconceivable to me: she loved this fabric so much! So I dried my tears, picked up the little scraps I had left, and quickly cut 3 pieces to create a belt, which would lengthen the corsage of the lost centimeters. I worked flat out, forgetting to lunch, contented myself with approximate finishes, but no matter, Juliette could celebrate Christmas in her dress. ❤

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When taking measurements, I would have had to cut her the 2 years size : Juliette is really skinny. I opted for the 5 years size, and it’s quite large at the bodice. But as in the end the dress is rather short, the whole balances rather well. Besides not to lose a millimeter (and incidentally not to celebrate Christmas in pajamas: D) I opted for a rolled hem.

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Short but still totally wearable ! And apparently adapted to stupid tricks. 😉

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Here you see the dress on the inside : normally the bodice is fully lined. But I didn’t have enough of my black lining from Rascol: I then replaced the lining with a collar facing and it works just as well. The dress is closed with an invisible zipper.

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Verdict: I had already found the Tinny dress very large during my first try, it’s still the case today, although the pattern was completely reviewed some time ago by its creator. For the next I think I will try a quick toile of the bodice to get a more fitted bodice. Anyway, Juliette loves it, and I’m glad I didn’t give up in the face of adversity. 😉

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I take advantage of this awesome and cute picture of Juliette to wish you a very happy new year : let it be happy, joyful, full of love, humor and creativity too! I wish you nailed challenges, sewings that look like you and in which you feel beautiful, neat finishes, and “oh this garment ? Yes, I made it!” ❤❤❤


Thank you again for your support, your advice, your comments and all your kindness! With love, and take care of yourself. ❤

The Christmas Skirt

There are sober fabrics, fabrics with psychedelic or floral print, plain fabrics, unclassifiable fabrics. And then there are magic fabrics. And that one is one of them. 😉

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Our meeting took place during a sale in Agnès B. During these events, the saleswomen replenish regularly the stock of new rolls: I always go back once or twice, watching for opportunities. It is therefore a little by chance, with my baby girl, that I fell on this black velvet, dotted with touches of gilded lurex. I made a small video for you to see its rendering.

I won’t tell you the hysteria with Juliette : we were jumping everywhere, screaming “OH MY GOD IT’S SHINING !!!” “MOM WE TAKE SOME RIGHT ?!?!” And others “THAT’S BEAUTIFUL!”, all under the amused look of the saleswoman, who doubtless wondered if we had our whole head. I believe that a crush for a fabric can only be understood between seamstresses. : D

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I immediately saw a Christmas skirt: I didn’t imagine a dress, probably doubtful on a total look. And with the idea that such a piece would be more easily portable everyday thereafter.

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But Christmas approaching, I was totally drying on the type of skirt to associate. I wanted something simple to put the fabric in the spotlight. High waist, flared enough, why not a A-line shape? But no pattern kicked me.

I bring the fabric to my teacher to ask her opinion. This is our last class before the Christmas holidays. She thinks like me that a refined line would be more adapted to it. And while I was thinking about a pattern, her answer rang out: “You will take a piece of kraft paper, your criterium and you will trace it by yourself!”

The opportunity was too good to trace my skirt block at last: turning it into an A-line skirt was very easy. A front, a back, darts, all ended by an invisible zipper: ok chick, let’s sew this !

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The whole thing was so easy that it allowed me to polish my finishes up : the skirt is fully lined, with a satin lining from Rascol:

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The hem of the skirt is finished by satin bias.

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By tracing the pattern of the back skirt, I was a little afraid of the result on my pronounced curve: I thought maybe I would have to add a seam on the middle back. My teacher reassured me by guaranteeing that it would not be necessary. And she was right: the back of the skirt is what I prefer!

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(If I had been told one day that I would like my butt … thank you Kardashian family anyway!: D)

WELL, the velvet didn’t contain the slightest elasticity, the self drafted pattern was still the safest option: we get a really comfortable, well-fitted skirt on my shapes.

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Unique small flat because it’s necessary to find one: I opted for my usual length, 50cms, and in the end it would not have suffered from being a little bit shorter. We will say that I did not want to bug Mr. Papillon at the approach of the holidays. : D

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Conclusion : for a first try from my skirt block, I’m rather pleased with the result. The glittery velvet is festive what it takes, and I’ll be able to wear it with pleasure throughout the year. I’m particularly proud of the finishes on this skirt: there are few pieces of which I am 100% satisfied, and this one is part of them !

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I wish you beautiful holidays, and be careful on the road for New Year’s Eve. 😉