A whole lotta Lottie (blouse)

Voilà! Just finished my 4th Lottie blouse, and I’m still totally in love with them.

My 3rd Lottie
French seams chiffon Lottie

It’s a great way to update my wardrobe in a classier version. I’ve decided to cut on the puffy floral circle skirt style and swap it for sexier pencil skirts and blouse… Perfect for the office (hum, even though I work from home, haha).

Of course, do yourself a favor and MAKE A TOILE! Practise on old curtains or any unwanted fabrics until the fit is perfect for your shape.

This version has previously been modified. If I remember correctly, I shorted it, adjusted the armholes and changed the sleeves to a 3/4 length. And because I’m using a sheer chiffon, I’m using French seams on most seams for a nicer finish. If you’re NOT familiar with those seams, please use regular RST (right sides together) seams, or practise on your toile first.

Then, it goes:

-assemble your patterns pieces

-assemble your supplies

-lay your pieces according to the grainline (if you’ve cut your selvedge, you can try and pull a tiny bit of thread to see its direction, hence finding the way of the fabric). Make sure to mark all your notches and darts (since my fabric is fraying a lot I used dressmaking pencils instead of clipping in the fabric). Make sure to mark all your notches and darts (yes, I repeat myself, this step is quite important!).


-if you need to overlock or staystich your fabric pieces, do it now (note that you do not want to overlock if you are using French seams; like I did. See photo below).


-the first thing you want to do is to test your stitchings and sewing machine settings  with  your fabric. Adjust the needle size/tension/thread if needed. Perfect? Ok, let’s do this! PS remember to press each seam open at every step!

-place your top piece on top of your back piece and stitch the sides and the shoulder seam (the one at the very top).

-stitch the sleeve underarm seam, repeat with the other sleeve. 

-attach sleeves to top, gathering at sleeve head.

-finish hem on sleeves and on blouse.


-pin bias binding (or self-made one) at the ‘keyhole’ part and stitch.

-assemble the neck tie at center and fold lengthwise. Stitch at end of each side but NOT in the middle part (you can measure the neckline on your blouse stopping at the bias tape and leave that measurement open on the tie).

Do note that most fabric won’t be long enough to place the neck tie on the fold. Just plan a bit extra for the seam and cut two of the pattern!



-pin only one side of the neck tie to the blouse, starting with the middle, all the way to the bias binding part. Stitch in place, being careful not to stich the other side of the tie.

-Cover with the other side of the tie opening (sandwiching the top in the middle), pin in place and stich in the ditch to close (-> stitch exactly on the seam line of the necktie but catching the seam underneath at the sale time to close the opening). Reinforce corners where the neck tie and bias binding meet.

Note : If you’re not sure about stitching in the ditch, you can also hand stitch on the inside to close the neck tie (like the last picture).


And, you’re all done! I hope you enjoy your Lottie(s)! 

Xx

Caro’

The Pilar Bear Pattern share!!

How exciting! I’ve been picked to take part in a pattern share (or International pattern swap, as you would call it)


The lovely Pilar from Spain ( @Pilar_Bear on IG) has been giving away some of her patterns… And guess what, we found out that our birthdays are on the same day, what a coincidence! She did send me a super cute little fabric for the occasion, how nice?! I think that’d be lovely as a dainty pocket lining…. Any other suggestions?

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So here I am, having to choose within those great patterns. It’s so hard to pick one!… But here are my favs.


How adorable is this playsuit from Sew Over It! I bet she was totally rocking it in warm Spain… Unfortunately for me, Scotland isn’t the most appropriate country… Sigh!


It was a very close call for the Anouk dress from Canadian Victory patterns (which I didn’t know before). The packaging is just stunning: a lovely little box with a quirky design; like every pattern should be.

But…. I heart stayed more rational (or boring, as my husband said…) and I picked the Lisette shirt dress:

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Mine now!!!!

I find it just so versatile, great for everyday and easy to accessorise if I need a ‘day-to-night outfit’ (hum, that doesn’t actually happens very often, but eh!).

I’m not exactly sure when I’ll manage giving it a go (with my sewing list already 10 pieces long… Including a special dress for the exciting #sewScottish meet-up at the end of the month!), but, as usual, I just can’t wait!!!

Also included, are some vintage ones, from the 80s and 90s (great if you’re a collector like me:


And some great basics/wardrobe builders, like the pleated Colette (before they changed the packagings!) or the va-va-vooms pencil skirts (I actually made the exact gingham one on the right a few month ago!)


Since I took the Traveler’s Lisette dress, I replaced it with one of mine: Project Runway (go team Laurence Basse!) K1913, feminine & easy to wear, with lots of fun options

it could be yours….!

If you want to take part, here’s how to proceed:

leave a comment below or on my instagram page to let me know you’re interested. I’ll put your name in the raffle and hopefully destiny will pick it!!! The draw is being planned for this Sunday the 6 of November 2016.

Please make sure you agree to share the bundle once you received it, taking and leaving only one pattern, and posting it (nationally or internationally) to the next person 🙂

Good luck and happy sewing till then

Xx

Caro

—> goodbye Project Runway/hello Lisette!

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The Pilar Bear pattern share!!!! Where will it go next?

Lucille, the making of…

Back to my Lucille dress (previously mentioned here), from Simple Sew Patterns, and how gorgeous it is.

First, a bit about the package:

 [Lucille] features a cleavage-enhancing pleated cross-over bodice, and the choice of either a fit-and flare half-circle skirt or a sexy fitted pencil skirt (from the Simple Sew Patterns website)

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I was looking for something stylish and not needing so much fabric, to use the beauty I acquired in Japan (while on honeymoon) four years ago. It’s a floral cotton, from Tomato fabric store in the Nippori area (ohhhh if I could only go back!….).

Buuuuuut, as I only had one backpack which was pretty full of souvenirs, I sadly had to take it easy on not getting mental with my fabric purchases. Here are my lovely purchases, getting used little by little.

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Japanese floral, Yuwa fabric, Hawaiian made in Japan, Japanese wool (plus checkered print and Toile de Jouy, bought during the overnight stay in Paris on the way back)

 

 

Because I only had 115cm x 114cm of that fabric, it seemed like mission impossible to begin with,… But with a bit of perseverance, a contrasting waistband (and quarter-scaling), it all worked out perfectly.

Making a draft of your fabric, and your pattern if a great way to check your pattern placements when you don’t have a lot of fabric.

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When low on fabric, a little bit of planning goes a long way!

One of my only concern with this pattern was the instruction talking about back waistband, which obviously doesn’t exist (there’s a front yoke waistband, but it stops at the sides). Once you pass that, it’s all good and matching perfectly.

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Forget the back waistband 🙂

Like on every project I sew, I began with staystitching the sides to prevent stretching, and overlocked the pieces that were going to be visible (but neeeeevvvveeerrrr the waist! You don’t want to add any bulk there!).

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inserting a staytape in the neckline

I also inserted a staytape in the neckline to prevent gaping (with always occurs on me). Now, I am new at this staytaping thing, and I find it a bit confusing. I have to admit that I’m not 100% satisfied with this one, as I pulled it a little bit too much to make sure it’d stay as close to me as possible. Plus, my tape was probably a tiny bit too wide as it added a bit of bulk on the seam. Conclusion, more practice/testing/reading about it needed (and let me know your tips about it!)

Some other of my “regular” sewing habits, that you should include too if you don’t already, are

-pressing the seams open, e-ve-ry times!

-pressing the darts toward your belly button

-clipping and notching where needed (armhole people!!!!! It’s so important!)

-and…. Well… I just love a garment as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. So, I did my best to make it fully lined, but, it wasn’t really a piece of cake…. And I had to use some hand sewing here and there (!!!!!).

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beautifully fully lined
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darts adjustement

I also reinforced the back slit opening, with a bit of organdie -> thanks to Pinterest!

Verdict, a very good 8.5/10. I will probably do it again, but maybe with my own pencil skirt pattern. The pleats are quite nice and original, but I think it does add a bit of volume to my hips…

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and I finally have an event to wear it too (Scottish McOpera Benjamin Britten ‘s Noye’s Fludde I’ve been helping doing costumes with Carys Hobbs!).

If I could only convince myself to wear my Japanese shoes with it now… But I may still be a bit too shy for them! 😉

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Ta-da for now!

Caro’ (and Petite-Moi, my 1/4 scale me!)

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Quickie du week-end

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How was everyone’s week-end? Did you end up sewing something amazing, or just finishing UFOs? (UnFinished Objects if you haven’t heard it before!)

A few days ago, after a conversation on vintage patterns and how beautiful older patterns are, my colleague Sheila (who had been working in House of Worth in the 60s….!!! I know!) came over with two gorgeous Vogue pattern from the 40s…. and in such an immaculate condition I almost refused (specially with an 18 month old baby at home…).

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Clockwise L to R: Vogue 505, Vogue 274,  Maudella 5014, Hollywood 1982

So here I am, on Saturday morning, contemplating them (and some of my own stash) pondering whether to give it a go, finishing  what I was working on, or creating something I really need (hello coat with a hood, I’ll regret you when it starts raining!). But eh, a toile can be quickly done, right?

I carefully opened Vogue 274 (unprinted, from 1939!) and traced around the pattern pieces with a spiky wheel (and holding it with weights. No way I’d put pins in that pattern!). To save paper, fabric and time, I only constructed to top half (Front, Back, Vestee -> how cute is that word!). Buuuuuut it was sooooo nice (and almost perfectly fitting) that I decided to add a little peplum (from the skirt pattern)  and made it a wearable toile. Oh, and it has darted sleeves! I just-cannott-resist them.

The fabric isn’t that great, but it totally works for now until I find a fabric that’d be good for it (any suggestions?). I also think the vestee should be cut on the bias (which wasn’t the case on the pattern, but you know, 1939…..) in order to drape even better.

So voilà, I’m so happy I manage to do something so fast and yet so elegant (and old!).

I totally recommand it.

What’s the oldest pattern you’ve ever been working on?

xx Caro’ -pretending to work in an office…

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Oh Lucille! (Won’t you do your Daddy’s will?)

Ouiiiiii!

It’s my first blog post (at least in a while) and I really want to make it special… just for you!

As many of you sewing bloggers (and readers), I discovered Simple Sew Patterns last year with a Love Sewing magazine (and, I have to say, thanks to the lovely  Amy Almond Rock on IG).

I had tried many (many) commercial patterns before, and always (always…) had to tweak around to make the fit perfect (hum…. special mention to Butterick recent ‘retro’ line here, that has a huuuuuuuge amount of ease). Anyway, here I was, toiling my Bardot dress, and what a wonderful surprise it was to see the top was fitting perfectly on me; well, a bit short (because of my long torso/short legs ratio), but nonetheless, almost perfect for a toile!

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Cherry print Bardot dress in Avignon, France
Then, it was Lottie’s turn:

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French-seamed Lottie in white chiffon
I had been looking for a nice-elegant-and-classy-not-too-uptight-but-still-sexy kinda blouse, so, I gave a shoot at the Lottie Blouse…. Since then, I made 3 of them, and planning my 4th (and 5th, and….)

So, despite my recent knowledge in pattern making (I graduated last month from Nat.5 Fashion & Textile Technology, hum, with an 80/80 A score; -insert claps here, thank you!- ), I couldn’t resist the lovely cross-over shape and waist belt on Lucille.

The toile turned out great for the top, and I just had to enlarge the hip part a bit.

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Quite happy with the toile!
The explanations were great (I have to confess that I’m really really bad and usually not read them), except for the back belt part that didn’t exist in the pattern (the back bodice is in one piece, well Left and Right!). I got a bit confused with “cut 1 pair”….. because I usually just write “x2”, but it’s all logical at the end.

And of course, because I like to make it harder than it is (you know….) I decided to add a staytape in the neckline, understitching, clipping and notching the armholes and making it fully lined! That’s it! Lining the top was quite a nightmare to bag-out; but, I manage to close it after a while!

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Next, I’ll talk you through the fabric (which is very dear to me), the pattern, and I’ll introduce you to Petite-Moi! Stay tuned.
A+

Caro’

I’m Back Chéries!

 

Hello my lovelies!
Well, I have to admit I thought blogging was dead…. But, How wrong was I… long live blogging!

So, during these absent years,I’ve been twittering some, facebooking a lot, but Instagram won the social network battle. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you!), I feel I need to give you more details about my sewing projects; and gathering everything in the same place would be ideal!

Alors voilà, here I am, back with more and more dresses!
Enjoy, and please let me know about you 😀

Xxx
Caro’

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Bonjour mes amours!
Voilà, après quelques années d’absence, je suis de retour sur la blogosphère…. Et moi quoi croyait que blogger était mort, vous m’avez prouvé le contraire! Longue vie aux blogs!

Depuis tout ce temps, il ya eu du twitter par-ci par-là, pas mal de facebook, mais surtout plein de photos Instagram (pique et pique et colegram?!!!). IG est super, mais ca manque un peu de details et d’explications… Surtout quand il s’agit de couture!

Alors me revoilà parmi vous, en espérant échanger plein de bons tuyaux et idées couture 😀

Xxx
Caro’