Last package

In my last post I was talking about the lovely packages I received two weeks ago. Turned out a last delivery was awaiting us that week.

Our little guy Mr E. decided to join us on Sunday August 4th. ^_^ He showed up a little after 11 in the morning, after I spent most of the night in labor (next time I’m ordering a daytime labor so that I don’t start with a big lack of sleep ;p ). He’s in good health and so are his mum and dad. We’re getting to know each other and slowly learning how to adjust to this little human being. Hence the silence around here for the last couple of weeks (I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already since his birth!). But given my irregular posting schedule you probably didn’t worry.

I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be posting in the following weeks, but I’m not planning to be totally away from here. I’d like to use some of his sleeping time to show you what I made before his birth (and continue my wedding series). See you soon!

Holidays

The past few months have been very busy, but I’m now officially on maternity leave. Friday was my last day at work. From now on I’ll try to concentrate on myself, the baby to come and our little family. We still have a few things to prepare before the baby’s arrival, and I have a good number of sewing projects on my waiting list.

But for now we’re kicking my maternity leave with some holidays. We’ll be away for a week and I don’t think I’ll have easy access to the Internet there, so I probably won’t write again before we come back. I’ve added to my suitcase my first handmade jersey top, which I’ve just finished. :) Hopefully I’ll have some picture of it worn at the beach to share with you when I return.

See you soon!

Me-Made May

I’m still here! ^^ With lots of pictures. If you don’t know Me Made May, it’s a big annual event on sewing blogs. The point is to entice people to actually wear the garments they create and make a effort to coordinate them. People who wish to take part pledge to wear a certain number of outfits each week using handmade pieces, sometimes with other constraints. And then you can take daily pictures of your outfits to document your challenge, which you can share with others through the Flickr group and your own blog. I don’t find it very hard to wear my handmade pieces, I usually use them a regularly in my daily outfits, but I thought it could be nice to try and make a special effort this month by taking part anyway. It would force me to use my imagination to vary the coordinates. I didn’t make any pledge in advance because 1. I don’t have much time to post lately (as you might have noticed) and 2. I wasn’t sure how I would do in the challenge, because I don’t have that many different pieces that I can wear right now (hence the imagination challenge) and it’s not easy for me to take pictures each day. My pledge to myself was “Try to wear at least one handmade piece as many times per week as you can, with as little repeat outfits as you can” (but there will be repeat outfits, I’m pretty sure of it). I couldn’t do a weekly round-up post before, so here is my midway round-up.

But before the actual round-up, let me introduce the main “me-made” piece that will accompany me throughout this month:

I’m pregnant! We’re having a little boy (that’s what the text in French says)! ^___^ Okay so he will accompany me for a little bit more time that just this month, as we’re expecting him to arrive in August. This picture is a few weeks old, I’m at six months today. Can you believe it? I feel like it was just yesterday that we got confirmation that we would have a baby, and there’s only three months left… So you now understand why I was afraid it would be hard to follow the challenge, as most of my closet doesn’t fit anymore (and for the stretch tops that would fit, I’m afraid I’ll distort them and won’t be able to wear them post-pregnancy if I put them on now).

May 1st:

- handmade blue velvet maternity empire dress. I finished this dress in early April, half of the detailed post about it is ready, I’ll share more details about it asap.
It turned out to be warmer than I thought it would be that day, so even though I started it with a top and a cardigan, I ended up wearing only the dress.

May 2nd:

- handmade blue velvet maternity empire dress
- non maternity shirt from Camaieu that I can’t button below the bust anymore but it doesn’t matter ’cause it’s hidden by the dress! ;p
- charter school cardigan in rust from ModCloth (love those!!)
- shoes: Eram

May 3rd:

- handmade japanese tunic. This is the first garment I made when I went back to sewing after moving to Japan, on my japanese sewing machine, with japanese fabric, from a japanese pattern. ^^ I used to wear it a lot, but it doesn’t seem to fit in as well in France as it did in Japan. Plus I have more shapes at the back than standard japanese girls (slightly curved back + bigger hips) so I probably should have changed something there, it bags a little. So I tend not to wear it very much nowadays. Thanks to Me Made May for making me remember that it exists and try to arrange it in a nice way! :)
- maternity jeans from Verbaudet
- handmade patchwork belt. I also made it some time ago, from instructions in this very inspirational book. I probably should have interfaced the squares to help them hold their shape, but I didn’t think of it at the time… I love the fabrics that went into it and love the concept but sadly I don’t wear it often either, because I don’t know how to use it in a nice way. I think it’s either too short or too long for me to know what to do with it. Now that I’m pregnant I might be able style it more easily. ^^ What do you think of this?

May 4th:

Most of the day was spent cleaning and tidying the appartment in my jamies, so I’ll share the outfit I wore at the end of day to have diner with family members. ^^
- handmade blue velvet maternity empire dress, because I wanted to show it to my family.
- non maternity striped top from Camaieu bought one size bigger to accomodate my belly.
- grey wool cardigan from Etam
- fabric flower pin
- blue & silver bracelet handmade by a friend
- shoes: Creeks for Andre bought two days before. I find them really nice, what do you think? :) Hope they’ll be around for a while.

May 5th: same outfit as the previous day for most of the day, as the diner ended later than expected and we slept there.

May 6th: no handmade pieces that day: maternity jeans + a cute maternity blouse lend by a friend. Which funnily has exactly the same kind of shape as some japanese or Citronille patterns, and is made from a rather stiff cotton (poplin?), so I actually could have made it. ^^ I’m toying with the idea of copying it in a softer fabric.

May 7th:

- handmade bear skirt. It has an elastic waist so I can still wear it, even if it looks less elegant that usual as it is supposed to sit at the waist, not the hips ;p I wanted something light and flowy but not too summery as the weather can’t decide between grey/rainy or nice.
- non maternity top from Camaieu bought one size bigger to accomodate my belly
- cardigan from gothic lolita brand Innocent World
- shoes: simple gothic lolita MJs bought in Japan.

May 8th:

- handmade bear skirt
- non maternity top from Uniqlo
- cotton shawl that I bought from someone off Ebay, handmade but not by me. ;p
- necklace handmade by me to go with the skirt. :) It has a small teddy bear and a yo-yo in the skirt fabric.
- shoes: simple gothic lolita MJs bought in Japan.

May 9th: no handmade, I wore basic comfy clothes to tidy the house (it was a holiday).

May 10th:

- maternity jeans
- non maternity top from Camaieu bought one size bigger to accomodate my belly
- handmade pullover. I haven’t shown this one here before because it’s not officially done, although it’s wearable and I’ve worn it several times. I find it’s lacking the nice finishing touches that it should have to match my other clothes, but I’m not sure of what to do… I’ll do a proper post about it later.

May 11th:

- handmade blue velvet maternity empire dress.
- striped maternity shirt lend by a friend (from H&M I think)
- wool cardigan from Etam

May 12th:

The theme that day was “cold spring candy”. ^^ Okay for real I didn’t have a theme when I chose my clothes, but those socks remind me of candies, especially with that blue top. And as you can guess it wasn’t very warm.
- handmade blue velvet maternity empire dress
- light turtleneck top (non maternity) from Etam
- charter school cardigan in peacock blue
- candy colored overknee socks

May 13th: I don’t even remember, but no handmade.

May 14th:

The weather is still very cold around here, I have a hard time finding handmade things to wear in new ways…
- non maternity elastic waist skirt from Etam, bought on sale two years ago
- non maternity top from Uniqlo
- handmade pullover
- handmade necklace, even though it doesn’t really count for the challenge. I made it during a workshop organized at a friend’s shop when I was living in Japan. The teacher gave us the pearls and a picture showing the finished necklace, so we all got the same piece in the end. I like it very much and wear it quite often.

What do you think of those outfits? I know they’re not as varied as what others are showing this month, but I’m glad I could go this far without any real repeat. :) Sorry about the blue dress showing up all the time, hope you’re not bored with it! ;p That said it’s very comfy and I feel pretty when I wear it, so it’s not going to change, unless I find the time to do much more sewing than I can do now. I want more dresses! And I need more simple tops to wear in this weird weither, that can be combined with skirts and dresses. If the weather gets better, as it’s supposed to at this time of year, I will have more things to wear. I can’t wait!

Where did time go?

I wish you a wonderful year! My grand mother would say (and would be right in saying so) that I’m a bit late, but I’d rather be late than miss this opportunity to wish for happiness. I hope 2012 ended well, that 2013 is starting nicely and wish you a lot of good things for the rest of the (still new) year.

As for me, with the new year I’d like to find my way back to this creative home of mine. So here I am! And I thought it would be nice to start with a little summary of the past year. It will be a fun way to catch up on what happened the last months. And I hope to share more pictures later. ^^

What happened around here in 2012:

  • first, this blog became self-hosted with a better handling of the different languages, which is nice.
  • I organized my first giveaway, by taking part in Sew Mama Sew!’s Giveaway Day. ^^ It was fun, I’d like to do more in the future.
  • I made my first real pdf tutorial, with detailed step by step pictures and everything, to make an adjustable fabric book cover.
  • I went for the first time to the Saint Ouen flea market and had a lot of fun browsing through the vintage stuff.
  • I started to compile a pattern brands list, that I’m using as a reference guide and which I hope is useful for others (a big thank you to the commenters who suggest new brands! ^^ )

And now the hidden face of 2012, or what happened in other parts of my life that connect more or less to what I’m talking about here:

 

  • Big project n°1: I got married !!!! That was the reason I disappeared at the end of 2011 and for the beginning of 2012. It was a wonderful and magical moment. I hope to tell more later about the things we made ourselves for the occasion.
  • We went back to Japan for a 3 weeks honeymoon at the end of the year. This isn’t closely related to the subject of this blog, except for the sewing-related treasures I brought back with me. I might share some pictures of that. I left with the intention to enjoy their fabric shops, and believe me I did! After being away for three years I had a good idea of what I can’t find here and what I miss. I came back with lots of fabric, some lace (mainly doll sized), a few tools and a few books (not too much because books are heavy and they can be found pretty easily on the Internet).

  • Big project n°2: I got a dealer booth at Le Jour B 2012! It is a one day event centered around the Blythe doll, with lots of makers selling their clothes/accessories/custom dolls/etc. So for the first time since I took part in the Dollshow in 2009, I got a booth where I sold my little dolly clothes! I will probably share a few more info later (and pics !).
  • Lastly, I started to take sewing lessons. It was something I wanted to do when I came back to France in 2009. I missed my chances several time, but this year I finally decided to do it for real and subscribed at the right moment. I was hesitant because I’m not a real beginner and I was afraid I wouldn’t learn much. But I thought it would at least force me to sew for 3 hours every week. I’m much slower that I hopped, but our teacher is a professional costume-maker and it’s really interesting to be able to ask her questions. Plus it’s nice to share some time with other sewing-enthusiasts. :) The lessons are organized by Paris Ateliers, hence the logo above.

And my (completed) sewing projects for 2012:

  • I designed (that started in 2011) my wedding outfit and made half of it (skirt + top + corset embroidery). The other half (corset + over-skirt) was made by a professional corset maker. This was one of the biggest sewing projects of the year, I spent many hours on it. But it was really worth it, the result was quite nice, my husband and I loved it and I got many compliments. I really intend to share more info about this project. In the meantime you get a little fabric teaser in the picture above.
  • a pleated skirt from the 50′s with a matching belt. I have to share it also.
  • three book covers (all of which were gifts) made after my tutorial, with different embellishments.
  • a dolly dress I made as a gift for a friend.
  • for the second half of the year I mainly worked on doll clothes for Blythe to prepare for Le Jour B. Many trials and samples (some of which I still need to work on), some outfits I’m pleased with. I had never worked much for that type of doll so there was a lot to do.

I wish that last list was a little bit longer (even though there are some pretty big projects in there), I hope to do better this year. I was counting on the sewing lessons to help with that, but I got stuck with a project-that-wouldn’t-end (in French we call that a “projet boulet”, once sense of “boulet” being a ball and chain). Now that it’s finally done (pictures soon) my motivation and hope is back! I want to keep on being inspired and creative, and share my projects here as they’re completed. And I have two “big” projects in mind for 2013, we’ll see how it goes…

Independant pattern companies list

Threads magazine recently posted on their website a very interesting resource: a list of all independant pattern companies they could find. They’re offering this list as a complement to the current issue of the magazine, which has an article about lauching a pattern line for which they interviewed independant pattern designers. They seem to want to get an exhaustive list of all exhisting pattern companies. Since it adds to my own list that you can find here (which I’m updating as I find new brands), I thought I’d share the link. ^^

I’ll soon be back with real posts (and an explanation as to my silence)!

Technical note: following the blog

Hello ! I’d like to write a small technical note today on how to follow the blog. There are several ways to do so.

The one I use and prefer: using the rss feed. Blogs publish an rss feed that you can use to automaticaly get new updates. You just have to give the rss feed address to an rss feed reader, and the reader will check for new posts for you. I use Google Reader, but other softwares probably work the same. Usually you just have to copy the blog (or website) address, then go to Google Reader, click “Subscribe”, paste the address in the text box that appears and the reader will find the rss feed. If it doesn’t you have to find the rss feed address on the blog (it should be written somewhere) and give this to your reader. Then we you log on your reader you automaticaly see the new posts on the blogs you follow. Google Reader offers you nice options to organize your feeds and get the most out of them: group them in folders, star messages you want to find easily, add tags, email the post to someone… Of course you can also search the blogs you follow by typing a text query.

I know some people like to subscribe to blog posts by email. When I first moved to this hosting I installed a plugin so that people could subscribe and be notified of new posts and comments by email. I didn’t like the way that plugin worked, so I removed it and went looking for something else. I’m happy to say that posts subscription by email is now available again. When you post a comment there is a little checkbox that allows you to subscribe to the blog and be notified of new posts by email. You can also subscribe directly through the menu on the right (a the bottom). The email you will receive is writen both in English and in French, and will only show a snippet of the post. I have yet to found something that handles multilingual blogs and send the notification in the language you prefer. In the meantime just read the language you understand and ignore the rest.

Notifications of new comments is still not available at the moment.

Happy birthday little blog!

Today my blog is three years old. Happy birthday to it! I wanted to do a little something for the occasion, but time hasn’t been with me so far. I’ll have a suprise for you as soon as I can finish it, so don’t go too far.

In the meantime I’ll let you enjoy this picture of a beautiful (and more important… yummy!) cake a japanese friend made for my birthday a few years ago. She is a pastry-cook and she is very talented! I’m getting hungry just to look at it… The writing says “Happy Birthday” in French.

Giveaway winner!

Hello! It’s now May 27 and I guess you’re all wondering who won the giveaway. First I want to say a big thank you to all who took part in it and left nice comments. I was happy to see that most of you took the time to leave a little something book related. I read each of your comments as I received them and it was really fun to read about what you like to read, which authors you recommend or the little stories you shared. Some books and authors I know and love also,others I don’t know and will check. So thanks to all!

It was my very first giveaway and I have to say it’s hard not being able to send the cover to each one of you. ^^; But it’s how it works (and I don’t have enough of the two fabrics to make another identical one), so here is our winner as decided by random.org:

I contemplated going with little papers with your names on them, and having my husband pick the winner from a hat while I was taking pictures, but even if Random.org is less fun we thought it best so that we wouldn’t waste paper. Commenter 27 is Snoodles:

Congratulations! :) I love old books too, love the smell and the nice covers. I have to say I’m more drawn towards sewing or fashion related old books though. I’ll send you an email to get your shipping info.

Now as promised it’s my turn to share something, since you all did. If you can understand French I advise you to go read the French version of this post (just click on the French flag at right), since I’m talking about a book I loved. This book is only published in French, so it didn’t seem fair to talk about it here, since you can’t read it. Instead I’ll give you a very happy book-related memory. Reading is something we love in the family. And both my father and I really like science fiction books. When I was in highschool a friend of mine’s mother was working with an antique dealer. One day she tells me that he received what seemed to be the whole content of someone’s library, with only sience fiction books, and maybe we would be interested. You bet we were! We took an appointment with him, and since it was during the week I was allowed to skip school (something my father never allowed!) and go with him to check the books. We came back home that day with the car chock full of boxes, themselves full of books. We removed the back seats, so you can guess that even if the car wasn’t very big, it was still a lot of books. We spent weeks after that browsing through the books and choosing which ones we’d keep and which ones we’d give away or sell. I got to keep many books that my father wasn’t interested in. I still haven’t read all of them. ^^; It is one of the best book related memories I have!

I hope you liked this story, and again a big thank you to everyone who entered! And if you sew yourself you might want to come back next week as I might have something interesting concerning this book cover…

New page: pattern brands list

Thank you to all those who entered the giveaway so far, leaving nice and interesting messages. ^_^ You officially still have until 5p.m. Pacific Standard Time tonight to enter (that’s about 2a.m. here in Paris…).

Today I’m adding a new page to the site, which provides a list of pattern brands I know. A colleague and friend of mine recently started sewing. We have sewing sessions at my place every wednesday, it’s really nice. It’s fun to have a sewing buddy with whom I can talk about blogs, patterns, outfits, fabrics and all without being afraid of being boring, and to go fabric shopping with during lunch break sometimes. Since she’s new to sewing she doesn’t know much about pattern brands and was asking me for some info and some links. I thought it would be nice and useful to have such a list here. I can give the link to her, go back to it later if I’m looking for a pattern company’s website and anyone who stops by can read it and maybe discover new interesting patterns! I tried to organize them by types for easier search. I’ll add new pattern brands as I discover them. And of course if you want to share a pattern brand you know that isn’t in the list, please leave a comment on the page. You can even add some background info or customer feedback.

The link to the page can be found just under the header image.

Hello!

I’m sorry for the unplanned break I took from blogging lately. I got overwelmed by all the things I had to do and couldn’t find time to write any posts. The end of May was really busy at work, plus I had to organize a few things and finish my “frankenstein” dress (which was ready on time), then I left for Bordeaux (south-ouest of France) for a few days to attend to my oldest friend’s wedding, came back to Paris with a cold that left me very tired, went to another wedding, prepared my other half’s birthday and finally took it easy for a week so that I could get some needed rest. But it is sad because there were quite a few things I wanted to share here, so I’ll have to catch up.

I have several garments to show you, some flee market finds that I have to share, my series on gathers to finish and a blog-anniversary to organize. Yes, this blog turned two at the busiest time so I couldn’t even write the tiniest post for the occasion. Since I didn’t do anything last year either, I’d like to do something nice this year. As soon as I get the time, I’ll set up a unbirthday party. ^_^ In the meantime I want to wish a very happy birthday to this tiny blog, and say a big thank you to all those who are ready it, be it followers or occasional readers. And please leave me comments when you stop by, I love them! ^_^