A brand new start

Back from holidays, I come back to you with a special post, which will not present any sewing. But that will undoubtedly be in my eyes one of the most important posts of this blog.

For those who have been following me for a long time, you know, I left the professional world at the birth of my elder, Tom. It was followed by 8 very beautiful years, where I grew up, learned, evolved with Tom of course, then Juliet, and finally Paul. Paul, my little one, the one who was born yesterday and who will go to school for the very first time in a few days. My parental leave ended at the beginning of the year, and it was time to think about a career shift. I confess, I was totally lost at that time. And I had the chance to meet a gentleman, as part of my skills assessment. A patient gentleman, so kind. My first guardian angel on this path.

I’ve met a lot of people in the last few weeks. There have been many suggestions. I was suggested to professionalize the blog, already. But I stubbornly refused to consider this track. This space has always been my haven of freedom. The place where I write what I like, when I like, without following any editorial line, without being obliged to accept such or such a partnership. Sew the pieces I want, sew the fabrics I have chosen, to the rhythm that suits me. I was even told one day that I was probably suffering “from an excess of authenticity”. But it does not matter: my liberty and my sincerity are not for sale.

Obviously, I was also often suggested to launch my own line of patterns. But alas, many do not realize the titanic job of such an undertaking. One often imagines that a designer draws a pattern between two appointments, in a beautiful workshop, a cup of tea in hand. But for having met the creator of Deer and Doe for example, I know what such a company requires as investment, financial as human. That to throw a pattern is not just to draw a garment: one must choose a morphology, measurements, style, a piece that will please the greatest number. Testing a boss, grading it, materializing it, marketing it. Manage accounting, respond to customer requests, provide the most perfect work possible. There is an immense difference between patronizing for myself, to my taste, to my measurements and drafting for others. No, definitely, and at this moment of my life, it is not this way that I wanted to borrow.

The conclusion of the tests during my assessment turned in my head: “you have to find an activity in the service of others, where you could use your creativity, while keeping time for your family balance.” But how to materialize this sentence? And that’s when I remembered the words of my second guardian angel, Chantal.

Chantal, my drafting teacher. One day, during a lesson, she looks at me and leaves me the most naturally of the world “good, when will you decide to give sewing class?” I remember, I burst out laughing: “me, the one who doubts all the time, give classes?”. But Chantal, beyond her abyssal knowledge in sewing, reads better than anyone else in the others. And that day, she’d probably read in my future.

Give sewing classes, of course! But how ? Where ? I do not have a workshop, no place to share this passion that moved deeply my life. But as I am a lucky person, this is where Clémence, my third guardian angel, will come to surround me with all her advice. She will listen to me, help me, give me confidence. “Listen, I have students in knitting class who take sewing classes at Carabistouilles. It does not cost you anything to give them a call : maybe they will need someone?”

And in July, Nathalie, the fourth and last guardian angel of this beautiful path. The one that manages the Carabistouilles workshop. A meeting, a feeling, a common desire to team up and open new sewing classes. Projects, ideas for thematic workshops during the holidays. And yesterday, the very first workshop, and this joy, indescribable, to see a little girl go away with her work. She was so proud of herself, but did she realize I was even prouder than her ? Happiness is complete only when it is shared, and that is exactly what I want to share with the greatest number: joy, pride, accomplishment of a finished and successful work. Sewing has brought me so much: it is time today to sow the seeds that made me grow.

All this long post to share this: this new adventure, my arrival at Carabistouilles, and the publication of workshops available. I hope I will have the pleasure of meeting some of you.

Thank you again Michel, Chantal, Clemence and Nathalie. And thanks to you who read and commented on this blog, for years or 3 days. Your fidelity and your kindness are a real gift.

I wish you all a nice september. And take good care of yourself. ❤

The Sandrine Dress

It’s with this dress that I will end the summery sewings, before we leave on holidays tomorrow. And it’s quite perfect, because it’s probably the work I’m most proud of this year. 😉


Remember when the Amal dress was published? I told you my last drafting lesson and the moment we had taken with my teacher to trace the sleeveless version. I wanted my armholes to be bigger, probably inspired by a dress I adored a long time ago.


How I loved wearing this dress. It was with sewing that I began to wear only dresses: before that, I wore everything, but I rarely felt pretty in my outfits. But this one! I felt like Dalida every time I wore it. (Which is a compliment for me eh, I’m a fan!) Today it’s a bit tight to me, I realize that the waist is a little low for me and the tint has discolored in some places but I keep it in memory. My sleeveless version of a shirt dress had to have bigger armholes, at its image.

At first I thought I would reproduce my skirt with pleats, but probably also inspired by my red dress, I wanted a circle skirt, with some flare. I then draw 2 half circle skirts: one for the front, and one for the back. If the back is a half circle skirt without transformation (with just a middle seam to join the seam of the middle back), I decreased the flare of the skirt, at the side seams, and lengthened its middle to create a buttonplacket.

Looking at the pictures of the Amal dress, I noticed that I could lower the middle front of my bodice. The 2 centimeters in addition lengthen a little my short bust, and draw a beautiful curve. That’s pretty, right ?

It was after sewing the bodice and skirt, and as I was about to sew the facing that I realized the armhole yawned in the back. I don’t tell you my rage when I had to undo everything, trace again my armhole back + my facing … but looking at this picture, I think that efforts were worth it.

Speaking of facing, I had to rethink the Amal dress one, since this version was sleeveless. It was there that I remembered the advice of Lucille, who, following the Katy dress, advised me to create a facing that would include button placket, collar, and armholes. And indeed, it works and gives a great result!

Only downside : when I trace it, I get stuck on the chest darts of my bodice. I didn’t see how to do it, so I finished it just above. Finally, under the armholes, the facing only measures 3cms. I totally forgot to reason in 3d: indeed, when sewing the facing, the chest darts would be sewn, so I don’t have to worry about when sewing the facing ! For the next one, I will extend it, at least 1cm more. Sewing the facing on the seam allowances of the the sides seams of the bodice gives it a certain stability.

“Well, how to make him swallow that I intend to put 25 dresses in the suitcases for 14 days of vacation …” 😀 😀 😀

If this dress is called Sandrine, it’s because it could never have been born without her. 😉 Sandrine is my girlfriend in drafting lesson, and it was she who advised me to visit Wonderland Tissus, during our vacation in Nice. I found between two fabrics this Hawaiian-style poplin, and I immediately saw a shirt dress. I was afraid of the poplin on a circle skirt, but I am really delighted with the result: it is dancing without being leaden, and the icing on the cake : it’s windy-proof !



Verdict: As I say above, I’m really proud of this dress. In drafting I really lack confidence in me: I always feel like I can do nothing without the endorsement of my teacher. Here I managed to overcome my fears, I listened to my instincts, I tried things … and the result is exactly what I had in mind! At the same time feminine, sexy, comfortable and flowery: all the boxes are ticked, you can go to Italy pretty dress! 😉

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

The Catherine Dress

Inspiration in sewing can come from everywhere: a movie, a silhouette crossed in the street, Pinterest, blogs of girlfriends … even a people news website. 😀

Yes, I confess: I’m addicted to this kind of stuff. Oh I’m not proud of it, believe me: I’m wasting a lot of time and this information are totally worthless … well, except maybe this time.

So I read a news story about how Kate Middleton looked at her dear husband William at the last Wimbledon (the least interesting news in the world) when I saw her dress of the day.

Immediate crush : everything is absolutely perfect in this little jewel. And that’s when I remembered having the perfect fabric in stash to sew a similar one!

I found this fabric thanks to my girlfriend Clm on the market of “la Plaine”: it is a smooth crepe, with a beautiful tombé, slightly transparent. I took 1m, with the idea of a small summer dress: bustier bodice, small straps, floral pattern on the skirt … sold sold, I left with the fabric, tidy up my stock. ..and copiously forgotten until this picture of Kate Middleton.

This project was also the occasion to check how my gathered skirt hangs with a fluid fabric: remember, last summer I had already sewn it, but in a stiff fabric. So I could check how it hangs with a fabric with more drape.

Here we are confronted with the limit of the fixed pictures: it is difficult to retranscribe the drape of this crepe. The following photo may be more interesting.


Undoubtedly inspired by the heatwave that we’re living here, I deliberately chose not to line the skirt. The floral pattern opacifies the crepe, but remains transparent just under the waist: flesh panty required.

The bodice is lined, with a white crepe, also found at “La Plaine”.


Crepe I realized the poor quality post-seam : I hope the lining will hold out over the washings.

The side seams are french ones. I had gone to make a tuck in and sew by hand the margins of the seam back of the skirt, and then finally lazy. They will remain overlocked.

(Yes I always finish my zippers with a bit of bias. It’s a finish that Burda always advices, and as I learned with their patterns, I kept this ritual. 😉 )

What more can I tell you about this dress? We are always facing the bodice of the Whitney dress, with its princess cuts …

… and the back is finished by an concealed zipper.

Verdict: tested yesterday in full heat of Marseilles and this dress is perfect in heatwave ! The skirt is so light that it is hardly felt, and the bodice, although adjusted, is quite breathable too, because it’s realized in two very fine fabrics. Given the temperatures forecast for Tuscany in 8 days, this one will probably be the first in the suitcase!

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

The Donna Dress

I’m sure it happens to you too: sometimes we just want to make 100% successful sewing. Not a new pattern, not a new type of fabric : just a project already validated, with immediate satisfaction, with a fabric We like to work. And this dress was exactly that!

Now you must know my passion for cotton sateen: it’s my perpetual quest. 😀 I like this fabric, as nice to wear as to sew, and the circle skirts sewn with it hang well. As much to say that when I saw this one during the sales on Bennytex, I quickly put it in my basket, and was not disappointed at the reception.

Except that the small problem at Bennytex is that the fabrics are ordered by the meter: you can not buy 1m25 or 1m50 for example, it’s 1m or 2m (or 3 or 4 … well, you see what I mean . 😀 ). And with my legendary optimism, I figured that a dress would fit in a 1m voucher, EASILY.

Originally I wanted to cut a Maia dress, but of course, with such a small voucher it didn’t work. I then tried to place the skirt of the Maia dress, and the bodice of the Whitney dress, and by grabbing a small centimeter on the length of the skirt, it worked!

And with respecting the straight grain, of course !

I didn’t modify the skirt, which I love in cotton sateen. I totally assume the princess dress at 35yo, and I deeply screw the raging ones. (Sorry 😀 )

Nothing for me can surpass the joy of wearing an outfit in which I feel pretty, although sometimes one has to wonder if I’m not coming from the Fifties. As my husband always tells me: “we have the chance to live in an era where everyone can dress as he wants, so enjoy!”❤

The only slight change I made to the bodice concerns the neckline: if on the Whitney dress the neckline is heart-shaped, there I wanted to just dig it.

It’s pretty, isn’t it ? As usual, the bodice is lined, here with a sateen lining bought a long ago at Mr. Albert …

…and the back is closed with a concealed zipper.

The cotton sateen was very pleasant to work, neither too thick nor too extensible. I thought of stabilizing my neckline, and not too much pull on my hem during the seam.

Verdict: Listen, I think we hold a new winner in the game of “it’s my favorite dress ever I will never dress it off”. 😀  I took no risk in associating this fabric with this pattern, and the love at first sight was immediate from the first fit! I feel good in it, it totally sticks to my style: PERFECT MATCH! I grant you, with this one I stayed in my comfort zone … but sometimes it’s great to stick in the confort zone. 😉  I slowly begin to disconnect the brain in view of the approaching vacations. 😉 (And bouncing on that, I tell myself it will terribly stick to our Italian holidays right ??? Very Dolce & Gabbana in the style not true?)

Ah yes, and why Donna? Simply because by hearing Donna Summer’s Bad Girls in the commercial of Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest perfume, I wanted to re-listen to all her successes, especially Last Dance, which is one of my Favorite songs. ❤

Wish you all a good weekend, and take care of yourself! ❤

The Juliette Dress

Are you ready for a long post ? Not because with this dress, it is worthy of a good summer saga: bouncing twists, big suspense and tearful happy end, we will be served.

It all started when the last thread of the Lio dress was cut: you know, I hate to stay on a failure, and I wanted at all costs to take back this dress by modifying the 2-3 things that distressed me. I imagined my new version embellished with a beautiful ruffle at the neckline. It was during my last drafting lesson in June that my teacher drew me this beautiful sketch, illustrating what I had in mind.

Like many of you, she advises me to lower a little my middle front, but not especially touch the depth of the neckline, which is quite pretty. To still gain a few millimeters on the height of my bodice, I decide to reduce a little bit the width of my belt.

Given the thinness and fluidity of my fabric, she advises me to replace the ruffled neckline with a simple gathered band. She also advises me, to calculate the length of my gathered band, to multiply by two the length of my neckline, back and front.

And this is where the first drama comes in: by cutting into my fabric, I take as a measure the length of my HALF front and back, that I multiply by 2 and not by 4 … and find me with a band of  the Exact length of my neckline. Nothing to gather then.

Here it is. Having already cut my scraps for the baby girl, I find this piece, unused.

I decide to cut a ruffled band. So I spend an afternoon drawing snails (a ruffled piece has this form before being cut and sewn) that could be placed there, and comes to this.

My teacher was right: it’s ugly. The fabric is lacking structure. And the ruffled piece is not wide enough. Death in my soul, I switch to Plan C.

One of the edges of the fabric had a different pattern. As it didn’t really please me, I had cut it, and its length was 2m. Exactly what I needed for my neckline. So I hemmed, gathered and sewn the thing …

… and finds me with a terrible result. : D Nothing is ok in this neckline: it is too gathered, too contrasting, too … ugly. But wait … if you find this too gathered, you may not need a length of 2m? If you can find a small piece of fabric to add to your very first band … it could be ok ??? (*suspense music *)

And it worked ! In the end I managed to find 47 small cms to add to my first band of 1m: one is about half the ratio of gathers, and the result is exactly what I wanted. (* Violins, we’re crying and we are happy *)

I could quite sew the dress without this particular neckline, but I could not imagine it without. And what I prefer is its back.


What more to say about this dress? As usual, the bodice is lined, and the only visible seams are French ones.

When wearing it for the pictures, I noticed that my shoulder straps were falling slightly. I then sewed ribbons pressed to the shoulders, to hang on the straps of the bra, so that they remain well in place.

Tested today and it works!

The fabric is a viscose, found at the Plaine market. The end of the roller had some defects, which the seller did not charge me. It is a very soft fabric, very fluid, with brilliant hues, and it is a real pleasure to wear.

When naming it, I had not the slightest inspiration. I asked Juliette if she had an idea, and it was by looking at her, with her cutie face, that the evidence was: “well she will be named after your first name my darling, because ‘There’s no better name than yours!’ My daughter is probably one of my greatest sources of inspiration, somewhere it makes sense that one of my favorite dresses bears her first name. ❤

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