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. 😉

The Beatrice Dress

Ah, I had some drag project. But then this one … it’s a WORLD CHAMPION ! (World Cup, football, got it ? 😀 )

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I have always dreamed of a beautiful tea-dress : boobs highlighted by a great neckline, cinched waist, and a dancing skirt. I had long spotted Sew Over It one, but I don’t know, something was bothering me in this pattern. And then I knew that a good fit was going to require a lot of modifications: why not drafting it myself? And it’s right at that moment Lilicroche (her little name Béatrice) sends me this picture on Instagram:

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Photo taken from the Instagram account of Caroline Strothe, a German photographer. Here it was, the tea dress of my dreams! And I understood with this model what bothered me in the pattern of Sew Over It, or in Colette’s one : the gathers of the neckline! Comfort for the chest is here thought from pleats, and the result is so refined, so feminine. So I chose this project, in September when drafting class started again … thinking, naively, I would wear it for Christmas. (ah ah ah. 😀 )

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In the first place, it was necessary to think about the pleats: how much? How deep? The bottom of the bodice: in one piece with darts ? Yokes? And when all these points were decided … came the time of the toiles.

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I don’t know how many toiles we studied, my teacher and me. As she wisely told me, this project was more about lingerie technique. The advantage of all these toiles : they have reconciled me with these pleats. If the first were a pain to sew, they ended up being pleasant to work. I swear !

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And it’s late February that we changed the pattern one last time, not knowing that this shared lesson would be the last … having found my current job very quickly. With great regret I had to leave my drafting class, crossing my fingers so that this pattern would be the right one. Alone with my pencil, I had little hope for the future of this dress.

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In the end, the last toile didn’t need too much modifications. So I was able to start my final version, choosing to totally line my bodice, ignoring the recommendations of my teacher, who had rather advised me to simply sew a facing. (And still wondering where I got this obsession to line absolutely everything.) (Lazy to make neat seams ? 😀 )

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To avoid having too much thickness at the chest yoke, I made an impression of the piece, pleats closed. So I sewed everything, and the last thread cut, we took some pictures … and I could see the extent of the damage.


The lining being cut in a cotton-silk blend without elasticity, the room where were supposed to be housed my tits with no crease to fit them … my breasts were crushed, the bodice was creased, it was horrible. (I would have posted you a photo, but my husband deleted them all.)

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Anyone with a safe mind would have thrown away the lining, and would have been satisfied with the facing … but as I’m stubborn like a mule, I had the idea to keep my chest pieces without the folds … but in an extensible material. So my tits have more place! 😀

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And yet, at the fitting, it still wasn’t going well. My yokes under the chest was still creased. Then I undid everything, sewn with a few millimeters less, once, twice, ten times, until the result suits me. In the end, it’s still creased, but I’m ok with that. I understood it’s inevitable with wovens. If you really want a tight and uncreased bodice, knit fabrics and negative ease are here for that! 😀

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As the bodice is full of details, I chose to associate my half-circle skirt, a simple line. See the small gathers at the waist: it’s because my bodice is too small of 2cms. I managed to stick it to my skirt, but the result is not very great, the dress is pretty tight to me. Let’s say it’s not the dress I’ll wear for a wild dance. 😀

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Regarding the finishes, the dress is finished with an invisible zipper, and all visible seams are french ones.

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And for the back seam, I opted for taped seams. It’s not bad, but it still creates a big thickness, not very practical on the end of the zipper. For the next I think I’ll try to hem the edges. I will tell you. (Indiana Emilie, looking for the prettiest finish for an invisible zipper seam) (We have the adventures we deserve I tell ya. 😀 )

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Regarding the fabric, I wanted a good quality, given the time spent on this project. So I offered myself a nice poplin from Stragier: this one, in “bleu paon”. If at the reception, I was disappointed with its color, pulling more on dark turquoise, than peacock blue, it must be said that the quality of the poplin is beautiful. It is perfect on the pleats, but a little stiff for the tombe of my skirt, which is more flattering to me with cotton satin.

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Verdict: listen, I suffered, but I’m glad I took the challenge. This dress is not as comfortable as I would have liked, it’s not perfectly realized, it has defects, but … it was born. And given the difficulty of the project, the little time and energy that I had to devote to it, all this drowned in a rather weak skewed motivation … it’s almost a feat. 😀 I’ll try it again, probably this winter, perhaps rethinking my lining. But now, place to more summery projects!

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I wish you a good weekend, take care of yourself!

My Alice in Wonderland, Carnival 2018

Attention, I warn you, very long post ! I fell in love with Alice in Wonderland, and it will be hard to dry up my praise for it. ❤

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Juliette. Ah Juliette. You must know that this little girl loves to drive me crazy. And carnival is probably her favorite pretext to do so. Each year, she chooses a costume the very next day of the carnival, for the following year. She tells me about her idea for 11 months and a half … and changes EVERY TIME her idea ten days before the D-day. Each. Damn. Year. And of course, 2018 didn’t fail the rule.

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For 11 months, she told me about Belle’s ball gown, Beauty and the Beast. And it’s by ordering the fabrics that she tells me, the most naturally of the world: “No, but I do not know anymore, I hesitate between Sleeping Beauty and Beauty from Beauty and the Beast. Or something else. What do you think about it Mom, do I have the time to think about it ?


(“That’s it baby girl, THINK ABOUT IT”. ^^)

WELL, it’s when googling costumes with her father that BAM, love at first sight: “Mom, I want to be Alice, can you sew it for me please?

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You know how to resist, you, to this cutie face ??? Not me. ❤

So I began to study the subject a little, and I drew a small sketch, based on Alice Disney cartoon.

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For the dress it would be easy: it was ok to sew her a Tinny Dress from Straight Grain, in chambray. The most complicated was going to be the apron: having no pattern who exactly stuck to the apron of the cartoon, I began to trace it by myself.

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Digging into the stash, I came across this white cotton, probably found at Mr. Albert a long time ago. And as usual, I cut into my fabric without making a toile beforehand: the result was much too broad, too imposing at the shoulders. I drastically reduced the width of the back piece, and the whole was more harmonious.

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The top of the apron is lined with polyester satin, the belt lined with the main cotton. The bottom piece is a simple gathered rectangle, finished with double-tucked hems.

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How dare you !” 😀

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A naughty I tell you. Let’s skip to the dress?

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This is the great advantage of this costume: Juliet can wear the dress afterwards. So I chose the Tinny Dress, which with all its options could perfectly fit Alice’s dress. I opted for the basic bodice version + Peter Pan collar + puffed sleeves + circle skirt.

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Having noticed that her Christmas dress was too tight for her at the shoulders, I drew the size 5 years on the top of the bodice, which hinges on the size 4 years at the size, with a stature in size 6 years. And it’s better!

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And the skirt is turning, and yes, it’s important. : D

The dress is made in a chambray of Coupons Saint Pierre. The bodice is lined, and I have not forgotten the neat seam at armholes (here the great tutorial on the Sew Along of the Rue dress from Colette) (in the paragraph “Finish Armhole”).

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The back is finished with an invisible zipper …

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… the Peter Pan collar is also made of chambray …

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… and the sleeves are puffed, with the little cute detail of the box pleat on the hem.

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Verdict: you would have seen me when I first put it all together, a few hours before the carnival. I started to jump everywhere, hands twirling in all directions, shouting “oh my god” and other “OH MY GOD” completely hysterical. 😀 She certainly took the time to make a choice, but then, WHAT A CHOICE! This character fits her like a glove, and I am happy to have win the challenge. ❤ And glad because she can enjoy this pretty dress for a while. 😉

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I wish you a good weekend, here we go a week on vacation in the Cevennes, our traditional spring break. It will be a bit sad this year: we have lost a loved one. It’s hard to let the people we love fly away, isn’ it? Anyway, take good care of yourself. And thank you again for your comments that always go straight to my heart. ❤

My Ninja & My Mario, Carnival 2018

Ready for a post on my kiddos carnival ? Come on, we start today with Tom and Paul! ❤

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So, as you can see by yourself  Tom chose to disguise himself as a ninja. To do so, I decided to mix RTW clothes (which can be reused later) and hand-stitched elements.

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The t-shirt, the legging and the hood were bought in a store. I just sewed the pieces in red: the plastron and the ties for the ankles and wrists.

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Do you recognize the fabric? These are the scraps of his magician costume from last year! (The belt is part of it, moreover).

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I drew the plastron myself, which I cut in my scraps without making a toile beforehand … and obviously, the head did not pass. 😀 This polyester is impossible to unravel without pulling threads, I managed to cut a second plastron in what was left of fabric. The sides as well as the hems are simply double-hemed, and the neckline is finished with a facing.

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Verdict: it’s simple, it’s efficient, it didn’t cost much and Mr Tom was delighted: combo winner!

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Let’s switch to Paul ?

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(Don’t tell me that you don’t crush on that smile, I won’t believe you.❤) (I’m crushing so hard anyway.❤)

SO, Mr. Paul has decided, for his very first carnival, to disguise himself as Mario Bros. Who says Mario said electric blue overalls. And guess who had the perfect scraps for such a project? It’s ME! And yes, this overalls was made in the scraps of my Christmas dress! 😉

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I was left with what was needed for this project. I looked for the most basic pattern of overalls possible, and as often when it comes to simple and effective patterns, I found it in Peek-a-Boo Patterns.

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I chose the Okey Dokey Overall, greatly simplifying the task: I didn’t sew the pockets in front, or those of the back, or those aside. I also didn’t sew the fly, and I topstitched less than what was recommended: basically, I stitched all the parts where it was necessary (the bib for example), but not all seams (like those of the legs for example). The idea was to have the purest overalls possible. (ok, and to save time too 😀 )

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I chose the 4 yo size, and as you can see in the photos, it’s a little long for Paul, but I tell myself that at least he can enjoy it longer.

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I replaced the buttonholes on the sides by snaps, more convenient for dressing. And to stick as much as possible to the character, I replaced the loops with yellow buttons, found at “La Droguerie”.

We check the comfort?

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Well listen, it seems like a rolling business! ❤

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Verdict: once again, the costume didn’t cost me much, and I’m happy because Paul will be able to wear it for a while (without the red top maybe, to avoid the total look 😀 ). As usual, I’m very happy with this pattern from Peek-a-Boo Patterns, and icing on the cake, the overall is up to 12 yo! (If ever the big brother wants to try Luigi next year. 😀 ). A delightful little kid + a coupon less in the stash + a proud mother = I like when a plan goes smoothly. 😉

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❤❤❤

I’ll be back soon with Juliette’s costume, and in the meantime, take good care of yourself! ❤

The Claire Dress

It’s been a while right? I deserted this blog in recent months, it’s true. And not only this blog by the way: Instagram, Facebook … I cut contact with many things. I needed it. Often you write to me that my smile is contagious. It is, especially because it is sincere. I never knew how to pretend. And I couldn’t come here as I had lost my pretty smile. I couldn’t give you the movie of the perfect life: I never knew how to lie. So I waited to be ready, to desire it. Let the smile come back. And since I told you the beginning of the story here, I had to tell you the rest, and the end. And the beginning of something else.

I had a lot of hope in these sewing classes. But things didn’t happen as I would wish to. For many reasons: the schedules, already, which didn’t agree with my family rhythm. I worked some evenings, on Saturdays too. My children didn’t understand why I was going to work while they were coming home from school … and, really, me neither.

I also had difficulties with the organization of the workshop, very flexible for its students … but very stressful for me. I managed 4 students at the same time, who could come with the pattern of their choice. The students had the choice between several slots, managed by different teachers. My group of students was never the same, and I didn’t always know what would be the project of their choice. And for me, who forced me to be the best teacher possible … it turned out to be a very stressful exercise. I was stressed before, I was stressed during the lesson … and I was stressed afterwards. How many times have I felt the ground shirking under my feet … because I stumbled on a stupid technical question.

Sewing, which was so necessary to my balance, which brought me so much joy, had become a source of anxiety. When I was seeing my sewing machines, I only remembered poorly adjusted tensions, unthreaded overlock machines. A new technique didn’t thrill me anymore: it terrified me. Before all this, I adored analyzing clothes in the streets, fashion shows … but now all this left me indifferent. And worst of all … I didn’t even want to buy fabric anymore. While for 8 years, the least free time, the least minute was spent on sewing … today was everything … except that. I saw my sewing corner take the dust … and it made me so sad.

Slowly, I faded. The smile was gone.

And then, by chance, I came across a job offer from an association, looking for an administrative assistant. A part-time job, in the morning, not far from home. By instinct of survival I think, I postulated, without really believing it. And it worked.

And I am so happy. It’s a home help association for seniors, and I feel useful. The team is great. It’s a very small structure. I have been working there for almost a month, and the pace is perfect for me and my family. Every day I’m happy to go to work, and I think it’s a huge chance. I enjoy it.

I know that many will see this story as a failure, but not me. Our current society often pushes us to live our passion, to capitalize our “talent”. Some people do it, and I admire their paths. Personally, sewing will remain a hobby. An escape, an outlet. One way to express myself. A way to spoil my children. Pleasure. Just pleasure.

And now, we stop turning around my belly button, and we’re talking about sewing. For real ! 😀

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My passion for shirt dresses is well known. As soon as the Amal dress was finalized, a long-sleeved version was noted in my autumn-winter projects.

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(The 2 small sketches are some scrap sewing for Juliette. ❤)

At the beginning, it was to be made in a marine cotton polka dots from Agnes B. But by finding the coupon in the stash in December, I realized that buying fabric for a winter project in the middle of summer was not smart: the cotton was actually ultra thin … absolutely unsuitable for a dress with sleeves, supposed to be worn in cold weather. And it’s by turning the stash inside out for our Christmas dresses, that I fell back on this popeline from Mondial Tissus.

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Purchased a long time ago to make a Bruyère-dress, this navy poplin, dotted with small purple hearts, was exactly what I needed for my dress shirt. I love to forget coupons in the stock: it feels like Christmas when we rediscover them! : D

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I started from the Sandrine dress, to which I simply added sleeves (taking over the armholes of the Amal dress). On impulse, I wanted 3/4 sleeves, highlighted by a piece of piping parma.

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And well, after piping the sleeves, why not sewing some piping on the collar tailor! Having cut my piping in a small parma coupon (bought at the beginning to cut a contrast collar for Juliette’s scrap sewing), I chose to piping only the collar and the lapel, and to die the piping at the overlap.

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I always have a crush for tailor collars with piping. One of my favorite patterns is Heather’s Carolyn pajamas. But as I’m a big lazy girl who prefers to buy her pajamas in RTW stores (WHAT ???) (Go ahead, judge me, IDGAF :D), it was the moment or never to try this technique.

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Well, the moment or never, I don’t know, because sewing piping on a tailor collar, without any instruction to support me, and in a desert of motivation … that explains why this dress, which had to be at the begining a January dress, could be worn … at Easter. 😀 And of course, it was at the end of the project … that I thought of going to see how my pajamas with piped collar were sewn. A WINNER I TOLD YA, A WINNER!


WELL, in the end I’m quite happy with the result, even if it would have been better to die the beginning of the piping of the lapel, rather than want to create an invisible joint with the piping of the neckline. This creates a thickness that wasn’t necessary.

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Still, it’s a tiny tiny detail. Here, speaking of a tiny detail that hasn’t escaped from the sweetie …

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“YOUR DRESS ISN’T A LITTLE TOO SHORT ???”

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In general, my skirts always measure 50cms, and this one lost 2cms, without really understanding why. Of course the lost 2cms have not escaped the lynx eye of the husband. Note for the next one: we add the missing 2cms !

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Regarding the interior finishes, I opted for a complete facing, which also includes armholes, allowing me to hide the seam allowance armholes.

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And as I sewn felled seams everywhere, I finished the facing with bias. The marine buttons in mother-of-pearl come from “La Maison d’Ursules”.

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Verdict: listen, it’s been months (or years) that I’m ULTRA critical on all my productions. There is always a detail that is wrong, a point that could have been improved. In passing this one for the first time, I just felt … a real satisfaction. It was pretty, It looked like me (TINY HEARTS !!!!), it was very well done and most of all … it fell to me perfectly. And for the first time, I allow myself to think so. To enjoy a sewing without being puffed by a useless perfectionism. It must be believed that the break has been beneficial on many levels. 😀

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Before leaving you, I wanted to thank all the people who wrote to me, who worried about my absence. You know, I never took this blog seriously. I even self proclaimed me the “naught blogger”. 😀 I refuse any partnership, any test (except those of Deer and Doe). I don’t do podcasts, tutorials, birthdays, contests, or whatever else that would increase my followers. I don’t a give a damn about all this.

So obviously, taking distances I didn’t expect to receive so many messages. And your solicitude to all of you has touched me a lot, and helped me in those difficult moments. So thank you all.

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A very nice week to all, and most importantly, take care of yourself. ❤

(NB: why the Claire dress? Because I had a student who adored piping on her sewings. By starting this dress I promised her that it would wear her name. It’s done!