Made It, Making It, Going to Make It

tweeddressI think I told you, back in the mists of time that was 2012, I was having a dabble in a bit of dressmaking after a long time doing other things.  Well, I bought a pattern (Simplicity 2648) and some vintage tweedy stuff (it smelt and I had to wash it twice!) and I enlisted the help of my friend Sandra who is always making clothes and, anyway, has an overlocker.  I apologise for the photos but Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder is away at Uni and I had to model it myself and, as you can see, I am shy.

I was fairly pleased with how it turned out and I might even wear it in public.  I think I will use the pattern again to make another for the spring in less wintry (and smelly) fabric.  I used the rare occasion of allowing myself to be photographed to show you my gorgeous leather bag that I picked up in a flea market recently, intending to put it in my vintage shop.   Even though I don’t have that much occasion these days to carry anything resembling an ‘officey’ type bag (made up word!), it is the perfect size for an iPad, a couple of documents, a book, a wallet and a phone which came in handy when I had to go to Toulouse for an appointment the other day so perhaps I will keep it for myself after all.

Leather Satchel

I have been pondering on new things to make for my handmade shop as, although I love those  Bunny Bentos, they are a bit fiddly to make and I am getting bored with some of the other items as I’ve been making them for a few years now.  I was lucky enough to find a range of lovely Liberty Tana Lawn locally and, although the price in euros is not particularly cheap, at least there were no shipping costs.  I always feel a little guilty cutting up  Liberty fabric too small so, this time, I’ve gone in the other direction and kept it in one big piece, backed it with soft, cosy stuff, ‘quilted’ it together in a minimalist fashion and made a lap quilt, throw, baby blanket, whatever.  It’s a nice way to showcase the fabric I think and, of course, it feels lovely and buttery soft and silky on one side because of the tana lawn and cosy and cuddly on the other because of the towelling or flannel (I’m experimenting with both at the moment).

peachpaisleycuddleup (1)


I’ve free motion quilted (new verb!) some bird shapes on the second blanket but I used an erasable marker to transfer the shape and, I must say, it is taking a remarkably long time to disappear so I am hoping it will go soon, or at least after I’ve washed it, because I am panicking just a bit.

I went through a phase recently of throwing those retro crochet blankets over arms of chairs and backs of sofas.  I am ashamed to admit I bought them rather than made them myself as I don’t crochet much – although I am going to re-teach myself soon – and they seem to sell for ridiculously cheap amounts of money considering the work that goes into them.  However, they are a magnet for cat hair and, as anybody with cats will know, those buggers are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they are in the weave.  I can never understand why they sell dog and cat blankets made from polar fleece either – same thing happens and those hairs are there for life, even after being put through the washing machine.    So, I started thinking lately that I might make a throw from good old cotton fabric and, rather than keep it upstairs away from all fur babies as I normally do, I will sacrifice it to my lounge and I am sure it will stand up much better to the occasional sleeping cat as, surely, the smoother cotton surface will be less attractive both to the hair and maybe even to the cat!

Relaxed CatHenry – Wearing His Superman Pants and Getting Hairs Into the Weave

I was thinking of something simple but then this caught my eye on the Moda Bake Shop site and it would be a perfect match for my colour scheme and look brilliant over the back of my leather sofa (even though it’s described as a wall hanging) so, after foraging on Ebay U.S. for the exact same fabric, I will start collecting newspapers and embark upon a paper pieced, patriotic, luxury cat blanket.


I could have gone for different colours but this one suits me fine and I want to follow that tutorial to the letter and I feel that having the exact same fabric will make it somehow a little easier!  Maybe I should get my Mum to send me a copy of the Daily Mail too so that I can follow it even more slavishly.  This tutorial was put on the Moda site by Lynne at Lily’s Quilts and, when I popped over to have a look at her blog I found lots of things to slaver over and also interesting things to read so I’m a new follower.

And no, I haven’t finished Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger’s 18th birthday quilt yet but the fabric for the Union Jack  is coming from the States so it will take a couple of weeks and, anyway I have 32 days, including today, to work on it – it’ll be a doddle!

By the way, on the vintage side of things, did I show you this wasp waisted beauty? She’s missing her stand but still a bit gorgeous.

I wondered whether she was original at first but, the wood underneath the base is very old and the découpage is a bit ‘off’ in some places which wouldn’t be there if it were a repro.  However, I do believe somebody has varnished it at some stage, presumably to preserve it better which is why it has that shine in my photo.  The date, as proclaimed just under the right armpit, is 1898. when they obviously didn’t eat anything or waists were sucked in to the size of my thigh with a corset.

Decoupaged French Mannequin

I’ve been a bit ‘diverse’ in this post but haven’t written anything for such a long time that I got carried away.


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  1. #1 by Dawb Bekk on January 23, 2013 - 16:34

    bUNNY is what I’m making. Did you put pellon in the ears? I’m making purses and the top is what I’m concerned with . Once you tie the ears should I put some kind of fastener in the top. I will make one and let you know where I’m going with this Can I order linen or do I have to go and get this it sounds like a great fabric

    • #2 by tialys on January 23, 2013 - 16:53

      Hi there, If the ears are going to be the ‘handles’ of your purse (I assume you mean the sort of thing we Brits call a handbag and not the little things you carry money around in!) I think you might need stiffener. I didn’t put any stiffener in my bunnies as the linen is quite sturdy but a friend of mine made some in cotton fabric and they did look a little ‘droopy’. The original pattern doesn’t mention any stiffener but I think it could benefit from some, especially in the body, but be careful as the lining part is quite fiddly and having interfacing in there might make it worse – I’d be interested to know if you try it and how it works out. Linen comes in lots of different forms, some types are quite stiff, others quite soft and drapey. It would probably be best if you saw some in a shop so you could have a feel. Good luck!

  2. #3 by Jan Marriott on January 23, 2013 - 20:57

    Tis true, Lynn, you have not posted for ages. How incredibly slim you are, no doubt you hardly ever post piccies of yourself ‘cos others would be jealous. Very chic dress, just right. I like the briefcase too……

    • #4 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 00:22

      Thanks Jan, you made me blush!

  3. #5 by Jenn on January 23, 2013 - 22:26

    That snap of Henry is hilarious and what a chic dress you’ve created.

    • #6 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 00:27

      How great to be so relaxed, it usually takes me a glass of wine or two at least 🙂 He might have been at the catnip I suppose. I was pleased with the way the dress turned out, thank you – just need to go for an interview or attend a meeting or something now.

  4. #7 by Wendz on January 23, 2013 - 22:29

    A varied post and a very interesting one too. The dress is great…pattern is superb and the fabric, smelly or not, is uber- chic. You did good..and blimey yes keep the leather is gorgeous!

    It ‘s all wonderful…that Liberty quilt must be heaven to touch..I can just imagine it.

    Oh and the bust/ mannequin? What a great find but hells bells imagine the corset needed to nip in a waist so tightly!! Ouch.

    • #8 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 00:35

      Thanks Wendz. I can just imagine the maid’s foot in the small of my back whilst she pulls on those corset laces, squashing all my internal organs – no wonder they were always at the smelling salts. I wonder what happened to any spare bits of flesh and flab. Was it forced out of the edges of the corset to create early muffin tops?

  5. #9 by Lindy on January 23, 2013 - 23:12

    I thought there was a real model in the photos til I read it was you! Wow. Great pins! The dress looks very professional, especially when teamed with that gorgeous bag. Nice work!

    • #10 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 00:37

      Lindy, you are too kind! I have to say that I wouldn’t want anybody looking too closely at the inside of the dress. My finishing definitely needs some work but hopefully that will come if I persevere.

  6. #11 by UniqueNique on January 24, 2013 - 02:23

    Love the dress – you have been a busy lady – Happy New Year I hope that 2013 treats you well

    • #12 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 09:21

      Thanks Nique and the same to you xx

  7. #13 by Trishia Jacobs on January 24, 2013 - 03:25

    A dress form from 1898?? I’m jealous as can be!!! You mentioned Toulouse….perhaps we might meet? The hubby and I are coming to that area in late March:) At least, that is the plans so far. The plans keep morphing but…. who knows?:)

  8. #14 by tialys on January 24, 2013 - 09:24

    Yes, that is our nearest big city – although it’s around 1.5 hours away – plus there is an aiport there. Have fun making your plans and let me know what they morph into.

  9. #15 by Handmade in Israel on January 30, 2013 - 09:18

    You look amazing in that dress! I also thought it was model. Great dress and great leather briefcase!

  10. #16 by tialys on January 30, 2013 - 09:45

    Thanks Lisa, I think I am definitely keeping the briefcase as it doesn’t take up much room (unlike the mannequin) and, on the rare occasions when I do need to go on some sort of ‘official’ mission, it really looks the business and nobody would guess it just holds a copy of ‘Hello’ magazine and a pile of old receipts. x

  11. #17 by Lynn on February 6, 2013 - 19:02

    I had a pencil skirt in that same tweedy material, same colours too, when I was a teenager in the sixties, but found it super itchy. You look absolutely wonderful in the dress and I love the suede shoes too. I am always regretting that I threw out two, yestwo, of my husband’s old leather briefcases a few years back. What was I thinking? Duh!

    • #18 by tialys on February 6, 2013 - 19:12

      Hi Lynn, I can’t bear to think of some of the things I’ve thrown away over the years. Probably, one of the reasons I’ve become a bit of a hoarder in my dotage. Funnily enough, I used the bag today as I had to go to a meeting at my daughter’s school and, this being France, there is always a lot of paperwork involved which happened to fit just nicely into the briefcase.

      • #19 by Lynn on February 7, 2013 - 00:39

        I meant to comment on your ginger cat too. We lost ours a few years back, but he had the most friendly, laidback temperament. His vet told us he had never ever met a mean ginger cat and that they are all so friendly. I hope Henry is keeping the flag flying!

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