Posts Tagged Deer and Doe

Late Summer Sirocco

The last summer visitors have left.

They ate and drunk impossible amounts, lay in until mid-morning, had to be driven everywhere, used my beautiful new bathroom and didn’t clean it afterwards, broke a couple of things and generally behaved as beloved offspring do when back in the parental home.  (Edited in case my daughter reads this – I’ve just gone in to clean the bathroom and, actually, they’ve left it in pretty good order so I take it back.  Haven’t been in her bedroom yet though)

  I’ll miss them until the next time and so will the dogs.

Anyway, do you remember I bought a pattern for a jumpsuit from the French pattern company Deer and Doe?  Nobody can accuse me of not trying to be ‘on trend’.  If you recall, we had lots of discussion about needing a wee at inopportune moments and having to struggle out of it.

So, I made it.

It turned out really well but then it hung from a shelf in my workroom for ages as I couldn’t get up the enthusiasm to hem those legs which were, of course, too long on me.

So, when Mlle. Tialys the Elder was here she tried it on.

The décolleté which I was a bit concerned about for a woman of my vintage, didn’t worry her in the least.

So she’ll probably take off that press stud and decorative button I’d added to give me a bit more coverage.

How I love those pockets!

All in all though, I was really pleased with how this turned out.  I enjoyed making it and it was a very good pattern as I have found to be the norm with Deer and Doe.

As for the wearing of it though, I’ll leave it to the super confident and the stronger bladders.

On an entirely unrelated note – because that’s the way my mind works –  those coleus in the background have been the terrace potted plant success of the summer this year.  Gorgeous splashes of colour going on and on and still going.  Next year we’ll get even more.

O.K. Autumn, bring it on.

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Arguing With Myself

 

On Tuesday morning, I just logged on quickly to check  my emails and the news headlines while I had my breakfast.

Oh Look! Deer and Doe have a new dressmaking pattern out today. I like Deer and Doe.

Come on, you’ve got loads of patterns, you still haven’t done anything with, surely you don’t need any more.

Yes, but look, there’s an introductory offer of 20 % off and delivery is free.  Plus, it’s a jumpsuit.

It’s a what?

You know, an all-in-one thingy – a boiler suit.

Get a grip woman, you haven’t worn one of those since the 80s.

Yes, but that was a bit utilitarian looking, sort of communist chic. This one looks all nice and drapey and it’s in jersey.

Yes, but where will you wear it?

Well, I don’t know but I bet Mlle Tialys the Elder would like this pattern too so she could share it which makes it good value. Then  I could make the shorts version for Mlle Tialys the Younger to wear this Summer.

I thought you’d decided to make a blouse next.

Well, yes, but I’ve discovered I prefer making things that are a bit of a challenge these days and I’ve never made a jumpsuit before.

Perhaps there’s a reason for that,

But I’ve got the perfect jersey fabric in my stash and my overlocker is already threaded up with the right colour thread – it’s a sign.

😕

That’s it,  I’ve pressed the button, I’ve ordered it.

But how will you go for a wee?

Nooooooo! I remember now! Why didn’t you stop me?

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Tight Lipped Tuesday #6

I’m making a coat – my first ever.


This coat has welt pockets and I’m very much hoping the hardest part is over.

If only you could see them I think you’d be impressed.

 

 

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Never Say Never (Again)

With apologies to James Bond for nicking the title of one of his films, regular readers will know there are certain things I have vowed never to do.  In the sewing arena this included never bothering to make a pair of jeans.  I don’t have any problems getting ready to wear jeans to fit me properly so I couldn’t see the point and, anyway, what a faff!

In the end though, I couldn’t resist the challenge – I wanted to prove to myself I could do it so I bought some grey marl denim and some ‘only just’ contrast thread – not brave enough yet to do so much very visible top stitching – bought Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans pattern, measured the pieces against an existing pair of jeans that fit me well and off I went.

Curved front pockets – no problem (I’ve even lined them in a blue ditsy Liberty fabric just for fun).

Fly front complete with bar tacks- a doddle.

Back pockets – just a question of where to put them to enhance my ‘only just there’ bum.  This isn’t ideal placing but I had started to realise by now that these jeans were never going to be worn and I just wanted to get them attached and move on to the next bit.

I thought I might as well carry on until the bitter end and call them a muslin/toile/practice run – anything other than a complete waste of time.

So, I added the waistband, complete with fancy facing, put on the belt loops and a proper jeans button.

et voila!

All in all I have convinced myself I’m perfectly capable of making a pair of jeans with all the necessary bells and whistles.

If only they fitted me.

Totally my fault – the ‘denim’ fabric I chose has got hardly any stretch in it at all.  So, even though, when I hold them up to my favourite pair of shop bought jeans, they are exactly the same size, the lack of stretch means I can hardly bend my knees…..

….and sitting down for any length of time, if I could even manage it, might crush my internal organs.

I realised about mid-way, they were going to be too tight but it was good practice.  So, if you’re about to make jeans – they’re really not too difficult but just make sure you have the right fabric and practice your top stitching.

I think I’ll give them another go once I’ve got over the trauma and, when I do, I will be extremely picky about the denim I use.  Apparently, too much stretch is not good either so it’s a bit tricky and I’d suggest finding somebody who has made a successful pair (i.e. not me) and copy their choice of denim if possible.  If you’re in the U.S., this will not be a problem at all – in rural France it’s more difficult.

Just to be a bit more upbeat, the top I’m wearing with them is another Sewaholic Renfrew top – is there anybody out there who hasn’t got this pattern and swears by it?  I made this one using the cotton jersey I bought which had ‘Kid’s Collection’ or something similar printed down the selvedge.  Ask me if I care.

So that’s the jeans off my ‘never say never’ sewing list.

Next up is the coat.

My sewing friend Sandra and I are making this together (the unbelted version)  – or rather, we’re making one each but at the same time.  The cutting out of the interfacing was the worst bit so far.  I have a feeling those welt pockets are going to be nightmarish too and that is the point I’ve reached as of yesterday when we had our weekly sewing session.  Yes ‘weekly’ – and we spend the first hour yakking – so it might be some time before the finished article emerges.

So, that’s two sewing ‘never say nevers’ ticked off but, even though I did give in and buy a sparkly top over the festive season, I am still adamant that I am never, ever going on a sea cruise .

Have you ever said ‘never, ever’ to something – either in crafting or life in general – and then changed your mind?

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How Not To Make A Dress

My Wednesday sewing buddy was having a clear out of her fabric cupboard and unearthed some fairly thin stripy jersey fabric which I commandeered to make pull on pyjama pants (or slob around pants as they are known in our house) for me and one of my Madamoiselles.  There was still loads left so I thought it might make a light and easy to wear  (not to mention free) summer dress and remembered the pattern by Deer and Doe – ‘Reglisse’ – which I have made before and  is a versatile and comfy dress although it uses a lot of fabric as it is cut on the bias and the neckline and hem are finished with more than 4 metres of bias tape.

reglisse dress pattern

My tips for how not to make a dress are these:

1.  Use totally different fabric from that recommended so that the instructions don’t match what you are having to do in real life.

2. Use stripy fabric in order to make life more difficult

3.  When cutting out and trying to match stripes completely forget that the dress has darts and that these must be taken into consideration

4.  Use thin jersey fabric with edges that roll so that the overlocker does all sorts of weird things with the seams

5.  Don’t bother to match the stripes that will be visible across the front and back bodices.  After all the tie will hide the front mismatch and nobody looks at your back anyway and, if they do, you won’t see them sniggering.

6.  If you notice a tiny hole in the fabric, ignore it.  Perhaps a tiny fairy seamstress will appear during the night and fix it for you.

7.  Get the right and wrong sides of the fabric confused and have to redo one sleeve.

However, even having followed all these tips and more,  by some miracle, I did actually produce a wearable dress.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Striped Version

Some good things I did: –

By using a jersey fabric I avoided having to cut the dress on the bias and so didn’t need so much fabric.  I cut the back and front bodice pieces on the fold instead of in two pieces each which avoided the seam down the centre and the matching difficulties. As this is a stretch fabric I remembered to stabilise the shoulder seams with clear elastic tape.  I fixed the tiny pinhole in the fabric by ironing a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing on the wrong side to prevent it getting any bigger.  I decided, on several occasions, against throwing the whole thing in the bin.

Concentrating on my jaunty rear view pose, surely only the mean spirited among you would notice the fact that the waistband is plain at the front and has a stripe through it at the back.  Not to mention the stripes on the sleeves don’t match.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Striped Stretch Version

and, Oh look!  One side of the bodice doesn’t match (although the other does – honest!) and the armscye is too deep (though that is a bit of  a ‘thing’ with this particular pattern).

Deer and Doe Striped ReglisseHaving just bought a 25m roll of Liberty Lookalike bias tape, the fact that it has red in it was a good enough reason to use it to finish the neckline rather than going out and buying some plain white or red – by this stage I was past caring.  However, I drew the line at using it for the hem and finished that with a double needle stitch instead.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress in JerseyAs it happens, my younger Madamoiselle has her eye on this dress and I did actually make it in her size but she won’t model for me unless I engage in strong arm tactics and/or bribery – and even then only from the shoulders down – so you got me again.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress (2)

 This blue and white version was the first Reglisse I made when I didn’t ‘go maverick’ and I probably get more compliments on this than anything else I’ve made.  The fabric was one euro a metre in the local market and I daresay it has never seen a shred of natural fibre nor an ethical workplace in its life.  I’m sorry about that – I stumbled and fell but am only human.

Next time I will make it in my size and pay for some decent fabric – although 3 metres is a lot.  It’s probably worth it though to save having to faff with buttons and zips and such.  I am getting very lazy in that regard.

Have you ever felt like ditching a project halfway through?  Or even after you’ve finished it?  It can’t just be me can it?

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A Very French Affair

Not that sort of affair – as if I’d tell – but one where I have made a dress from a French indie designer and will be wearing it – weather permitting – to the biggest flea market in the whole of France this weekend and eating copious amounts of moules frites.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress (2)

 Lille was only known to me before as a train station where one would change trains if travelling to Disneyland Paris from the U.K. on the Eurostar but it is also host, on the first weekend of September every year, to a huge, ginormous flea market which usually sees between 2 and 3 million visitors thronging the streets in search of interesting antiques,  retro home decor, vintage clothing and everything in between.  The streets are closed to traffic and there are all sorts of vendors there from people clearing out their houses to big antique dealers.  It is the largest in France and there will be around 10,000 stalls – should keep us busy.

Braderie Lille

I’ve fancied going there since I heard about it a few years ago and now I have a willing accomplice who is coming with me.  We are actually flying up as we are in the south of France and have already started panicking about the luggage allowance –  2kg in the hold and a 55x40x20cm cabin bag allowance – how will we manage when we just know we are going to want to bring back much more?  The alternative would have been to drive up but that would take around 10 hours and add another day on to either side of our trip so we abandoned that idea.  The hotels fill up really quickly but we found an apartment to stay in  which is right in the centre of the activity – – the owner is fleeing the place for the duration!

Mussel Mountain Lille

Apparently moules frites must be eaten and the restaurants have a competition to see who can build the biggest mussel shell mountain outside of their establishment.

We will arrive on the Friday and settle in ready for the onslaught on Saturday.  Apparently, making use of the streets being closed to traffic, a half marathon is run through the city on the Saturday morning – we won’t be participating in this needless to say as I haven’t got any room in my case for unnecessary things like running shoes and lycra shorts.  Shame, but there you are.    The market goes through the night and all through Sunday and I expect to be thoroughly exhausted by the time we arrive back on Monday afternoon not least because my friend who is coming with me is French and takes no prisoners with the speed of her speech so I will be suffering from French Language Overload a condition none the less real just because I’ve made it up.

Thinking ahead about treading the streets of a city shoulder to shoulder with a couple of million other people, I have chosen my armoury.

Comfy shoes – 3 pairs

I have heard much about these Swedish cloggy things and understand that they are very comfortable and made for people who are on their feet all day.  We will see.  I hope it is true as I’ve bought two  pairs – the other pair has higher heels and a completely wooden sole.  They are not my ‘go to’ style of choice if I’m honest but, on the day, comfort will be paramount.  I will also put my beat up pair of Birkenstocks in as they are very light and I can carry them around in case I need to change halfway through the day.

Lotta of Stockholm Soft Sole Clogs

Bag on Wheels 

Oh look it matches the shoes.  I hope this isn’t too far down the road towards an old lady bag in tartan with a rigid handle but it’s a cabin bag that I can also use as a flea market shopping bag.  It was designed specially to fit Ryanair’s cabin bag size restrictions and, although I’m not flying with them, it suits the other economy carriers too.  I like the way the manufacturers have printed the dimensions on the front of the bag as if to say  ‘so there!’ to the check-in staff.   The plan is to carry it around the market over my shoulder until I can bear the weight no longer and then wheel it.

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which brings me to

Portable Weighing Scales

To weigh any prospective purchase if it looks like it  might take up too much of my allowance, and to ensure my suitcase, which will be stuffed to the gills, doesn’t go over 20 kilos.

Bum Bag (or Fanny Bag *snigger, snigger* for those of you across the pond)

To keep the thieving buggers, who are bound to be there preying on the crowds, out of my cash.  This, after my mother had her shoulder bag split open from behind and her purse stolen whilst alone in a Spanish market – she’s 82, have they no shame?  (Just a mini rant there, sorry).

To save space in my case on the way out (it will be packed with bubble wrap), I will wear jeans and just take a couple of tops.  However, if we venture out for our banquet of Moules Frites in the evening, and it is warm, I will wear my new dress that I finished yesterday.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress 1

This is the Deer and Doe Reglisse dress.  Deer and Doe are a French indie design company so it was good to be able to buy ‘local’ and get free postage -a rare thing in France unless you first spend gazillions of euros.

As you know, I will do anything to avoid buttons, zips and other fiddling about but, in order to do so, I generally have to cut on the bias and buy multi metres of fabric – this dress takes around 3 metres – but I love the resulting swishy skirt.   I made the dress according to the pattern without any alterations.   I’d already made a blouse from the pattern using a hack from another blogger so I knew what size to make.  However, the pattern calls for cotton chambray or similar and I thought it would look good in a drapier fabric so, instead of putting bias binding round the hem I did a rolled hem on the overlocker to avoid it looking too ‘weighted down’.  Apart from that, no changes.

Deer and Doe Reglisse Dress 3

I think this is a dress I will get a lot of wear out of.  It’s comfortable and can be dressed up or down (usually down in my case!) and I think it will be ideal for taking this weekend as my one and only ‘frock’ as, if the sun doesn’t shine, it will look fine with a thin jacket or cardi over the top.

A bientôt .

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Posh Oilcloth – Who Knew (and why didn’t you tell me)?

I was recently on a quest to see if I could buy 20 metres of oilcloth fabric for a ridiculously cheap price as I need to cover 10 x 2 metre length tables for a charity event and didn’t want to use paper cloths.   Being in France, where the oilcloth tablecloth is king  I have plenty of choice.  However, none of it is cheap enough for me to buy 20 metres of it.   However, when I was searching the internet for the elusive 2 euro per metre repellent (in a good way) stuff, I came across this

liberty oilcloth 2]

looks a bit like Liberty

and this

liberty oilcloth 1

I’m sure that’s a Liberty design

and this

liberty oilcloth3

Liberty of London make oilcloth fabric?  Why was I not informed?

 Obviously not for the fundraiser, but I was suddenly determined to have 2 metres for my summer dining room (which is what I, rather grandly, call my conservatory – a room full of  hibernating plants and hopeful cats during the winter months).

It must be easy to get in the U.K., I thought, considering Liberty of London is there but no mention of it on their site and nowhere to be found in any of the U.K. shops or none that I could find.

The only place I can find it is here in France and it is 34 euros a metre!!  So my tablecloth would be 74 euros (after shipping) which is nearing 100 U.S. dollars (I’m kind and did the calculation for you so that you could join in my shock).  What happens?  Does somebody in France buy up tana lawn and render it plasticised in some underground factory?  Does Liberty of London know?  Why don’t they sell it themselves?

For the moment at least, my own table will be covered with this which was 6.99 euros a metre.

DSC_0004

On the sewing front, I decided to do a pattern hack of  Deer and Doe’s Reglisse dress pattern to make a blouse and, such is the charm of  The Little Tailoress on her blog and in her tutorials, I decided to do it without even owning a copy of the pattern in the first place.  Anyway, pattern ordered (hooray, they are French and, a rarity for sure, the shipping within France was free – other French companies please take note!), I decided that, as I like the dress too, I would do a toile to make sure my selected size fits and then I’d make both blouse and dress.  On my quest to find cheap oilcloth, I went to my local market and although they didn’t have anything suitable of the oiled variety,  I did find a stall selling all things middle eastern, lamps and dried beans and spices and….. fabric.  Some of it looked okay and so I asked the price.  It was 1 euro a metre.  Now, I don’t know how many people are working for barely anything in a  factory somewhere producing this stuff and I could probably contribute a fair amount to the National Grid judging by the amount of crackling electricity I generate each time I move but, you have to admit, it is hard to resist such a bargain. (In my defence, this pattern takes a lot of  fabric as the bodice section is cut on the bias and that collar/pussy bow combo is fabric thirsty too).  So, I made the toile, it is the right size and I like the shape and I will make it in some Liberty tana lawn (if I can forgive them for their secret stash of oilcloth) but this toile is wearable and Mlle Tialys the younger has bagged it as the fabric has an oriental (as well as electric) feel to it which she likes.  She won’t model, so here it is on one of my lovely vintage Stockman mannequins.

Toile for Reglisse Hack

Here is some more 1 euro fabric which, as you can see, I couldn’t just leave there.  These feel like a poly cotton and are missing the frisson of static.  The purple one is for my sewing buddy who loves all things purple.  The navy one with slightly deformed spots would make a good dress for me.

Bargain Fabric

Speaking of my sewing buddy, even though she has been sewing her own clothes for years,  I had to show her how easy it is to sew with knits the other day.  Lots of people seem to be wary of  knit fabrics but it is actually very easy and there is no fraying and usually no need for zips, buttons or other fiddly bits and pieces.  I took a piece of spotty interlock jersey fabric round to her house – cunningly already cut in the shape of a Coco top – and made her sew up the seams on her overlocker.  Then I bought it home to do the hems and, voila, a top that reminds me so much of  Minnie Mouse I will probably never be able to wear it and so will offer it to one of the Madamoiselles.

Coco Top Minnie Mouse Style

 Back to the fund raising event and the 1 euro fabric.  I am thinking that I might, at that price, buy 20 metres of it to cover the tables.  He might even give me a discount!

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