Posts Tagged bastille day

A Bronte Top, A Finished Quilt and Another Coco

I’m off across the border to Spain for a few days  so I’ve been trying to get a few projects finished.  We’re going to a theme park – I feel the nausea rising already and that’s only thinking about the winding roads we will take to get there – then we are going to see a performance by the Cirque du Soleil featuring lots of very bendy people and then, on the way back, we will visit Salvador Dali’s house now a museum.  Plus, we will go food shopping before we re-cross the border which sounds bizarre but Spain is much cheaper than France for lots of things and quite a few French people regularly drive down there to stock up on olive oil, washing powder and other groceries.  I have heard a rumour (thanks Jan F.) that cottage cheese is available and, even though I was never a particular fan, the fact that I can no longer get it makes me want some.  I am hoping (in vain I suppose) for real, fresh cream.

Anyway, here is the finished quilt that I made for the nicest and best yoga teacher in the world – you may quibble but I don’t know yours – and, although she looks vaguely bemused in this photo, I think she likes it.

French General Hexagon QuiltShe seemed even more chuffed, however, with the quilt label I put on.  I found an image with some yoga-type words and added her name and mine plus the date.  I printed it out on transfer paper and put it on some plain fabric then attached it to the corner of the quilt.  (note: My surname isn’t really blurred but I did it in editing in case anybody felt like stalking me and sending me hate mail, especially after my anti-cyclist rant the other week!)

Quilt Label

After I forgot to add a couple of inches to the length of my colour block Coco dress, I decided to spare the world too much of my knees and Mlle. Tialys the elder wore it back to the U.K. after her visit here a few weeks ago.  I do not expect to see it again.  However, I had already bought some more knit fabric to make another version and, this time, I did remember to lengthen it but, being disorganised as I can sometimes be, I hadn’t made a note of the measurements I used from my last pattern hack so, this time, the colour block at the top comes down lower.  I think I prefer the first version but at least this one is a keeper for me.

Coco Colour Block DressWhen I saw the Bronte top pattern from indie designer Jennifer Lauren, I quite fancied having a go because anything that makes t-shirts a bit more exciting has got to be worth a try.  This pattern is supposed to have a slightly vintage look in that the back actually overlaps the front forming an attractive and original neckline and having no shoulder seams.  It can be done all in one colour  but I think the detail is worth emphasizing so used some coordinating knit fabric I happened to have.

Jennifer Lauren T-ShirtI really like it and, if you don’t look too closely, it turned out well although I have a little more of the trim showing on one side of the neck than the other. Tant pis!  Must try harder next time.  Anyway, it’s another thing I might have to give away, because it is a little tighter than I would normally wear my t-shirts.  I wasn’t sure which size to do and, the designer does warn it is a tight fitting style, but the waist and hips corresponding to my bust size were too big for me so I figured, it’s jersey, it’ll stretch and normally, I think it would, but this grey knit is quite a heavy one and the stretch is limited.  Next time, I’ll make it in a lighter, softer knit because I’ve now cut the pattern out for the smaller size and I don’t fancy printing it out all over again!

Bronte Top Jennifer Lauren

Definitely one I’ll make again – paying more attention to the trim next time.  The pattern has a long sleeved option too and I’m wondering about the possibility of doing a pattern hack and making it into a dress with fitted bodice and slightly swirly skirt.  Get me and my fancy ideas!

Huge Hydrangea Heads

 Just to prove I do venture outside sometimes, this gorgeous hydrangea with dinner plate sized heads flowers away in a neglected corner of our garden.

Hydrangea Head

What I especially like about it is you only have to cut one head to fill a vase which is all apropos of nothing in particular but does remind me that tomorrow is the  anniversary of the day when the French cut their King’s head off and duffed up all the posh people.   So, yet another public holiday with some fireworks in the evening to celebrate the fact they now have a president instead despite the fact they all seem to hate the present holder of the title so, if I were him, I’d keep one eye open at night.

Hasta la vista!

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Almost Completely Headless

Since my last post was about the demise of my lovely old German Shepherd, I thought I’d better do another one so that anybody coming to my blog for the first time isn’t instantly depressed by the opening page so I will ramble on about my sewing exploits instead which may well depress some of you even more.

Back in the mists of time – well, let’s call it May – I showed you a dress from a French craft magazine that I had started on and – tadaa – here it finally is.  I know I am headless but it’s the best way and, anyway, it was Bastille Day here in France yesterday so I thought it somewhat appropriate.  I am vaguely pleased with it – it was my first stab at an invisible zip and, guess what? – it actually is almost invisible.  However, the dress is a bit big for me so I can pull it on over my head without undoing the zip so I could have done away with it altogether and then it would really have been invisible.  So, a bit big, I wish I’d done the top stitching in purple rather than white and the fabric could have been a bit ‘drapier’ in order to make the cowl neckline softer but, apart from that, fine for floating round the garden this summer.

ModellingsessionJune2013This next dress was made some time ago.  It is Amy Butler’s Lotus tunic dress.  I rediscovered it in my wardrobe as a fellow blogger, Sew2Pro,  had made one and wasn’t pleased as she said it made her look heavier than she really is and I said I though it was very slimming so I’d put it on my blog to show her.  I made this, probably 3 or 4 years ago and, when I dug it out of the wardrobe, thought it was a bit long so took it up a little.  The shoulder yoke thingies and sleeve edgings are in contrast fabric although it is from the same range of fabric from FreeSpirit so the contrast is fairly subtle.  I must have been going through a very ‘pernickity’ phase at the time as this is all nicely lined in muslin so very cool to wear.  The little corsage was made by a friend of mine and, by coincidence, matched the colours of the dress exactly so I pinned it on immediately.  It is certainly not to cover up a less than perfect neck shaping – no not at all.

ModellingSessionJune2013 (2)Eeek! Got the head back in this next one but I have taken the precaution of wearing sunglasses the size of dinner plates in order to shield you from the worst of it.  This gypsy blouse is made from Butterick B4685 which I first saw on Ooobop’s blog and, like her, I made view D but without the central lace panel and the underbust elastic as lord alone knows what that would have done to my shape.  Anyway, it is indeed a very easy pattern and I have since made another two.

ModellingSessionJune2013 (3)One for Madamoiselle Tialys the younger – quite an achievement as she is normally in black and adorned in skulls, etc. and one in yellow for Mlle T. the elder but I haven’t had chance to photograph it yet.  I promise we will not all go out ‘en famille’ wearing the same blouse and, in any case, Mr. Tialys has declined my offer to make him one.

DSC_0028Now that I am back into dressmaking – can you tell? – I have started following more of those types of blogs and now I know all the hot topics and favourite patterns.  I fancied a go at t-shirts and Sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern seems to be the choice of those in the know at the moment so I ordered a copy.  You may remember, if you have been here before, that I was going to have a go at making my own knickers but, so far, the attaching of stretchy elastic to stretchy fabric, has proved an elusive skill and, being one of those people that buy all the stuff necessary for something before actually knowing if they are going to actually like it, I have lots of stretch fabric in my stash with nowhere to go.  The fabric I used is possibly a little silky and fine for what I would normally describe as a t-shirt but it was only 3.99 a metre so I thought I’d have a play with it and sort of use it to make a toile.  Anyway, my first mistake was to forget the pattern was sized in U.S. sizes so I made it about 3 sizes too big but, as the sleeve seams and side seams are all sewn in one, it was easy to take it in.  I had followed Lladybird‘s advice and cut an inch off the neck band so that you have to stretch it slightly to fit but I think another inch could have come off.    I’m not 100% certain I like the band around the bottom even though it does make for a neat edge so, next time – and there is already another version on the cutting board – I might do something a little different.

1stRenfrewTopI don’t know whether I mentioned that my god-daughter is expecting a baby in October so my thoughts have turned to baby clothes which, more than babies themselves, making me go all wibbly.  I am going to make her a quilt – better get started soon knowing my record with having a quilt ready for an actual date – but, in the meantime,I ran up some of these gorgeous little bibs which you put on your baby like a little bandana – how cute are they?  Not having a baby to hand – and I say that without regret – I used a couple of rather fetching bears to model them for me.  Note that these are very posh baby bibs as they are made from Liberty of London tana lawn and, normally, I wouldn’t condone drooling or vomiting on such beauteous fabric.
babybandanasonbearsThese can also look quite cute on dogs though, with that type, you need to put a channel through the top for the collar to go through and, of course, I do happen to have a dog to hand for posing purposes.  Note that there is an absence of Liberty of London here as drooling and vomiting are only two of the many perils where my dogs are concerned, another being fox poo.

bandanastanI am going over to the U.K. for one of my rare visits later this month so, if I don’t get chance to post again before then, I will be back to tell you all about my trip which will definitely involve fish and chips, Brighton, fabric shopping and, possibly, a visit to my parents.


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