Week-end abroad

Last week-end we went for a two-days stay abroad with some friends. We left on Friday evening and came back yesterday morning. It was really nice! Here is a little puzzle for you (that will also explain why I’m talking about this trip here): judging from the picture below, which shows some of the items I brought back, can you guess were we went?

So the answer is: we went to London! Our friends lived there for some years, they shared their favourite places with us. It was my first time going to England. Of course we had to go admire the beautiful Liberty shop. I’ll share a few pictures once they’re sorted. But it wasn’t there that I bought my fabrics. Liberty is less expensive than French shops, but Shaukat is even less expensive. Something I found quite funny: the place was filled with french women! There were at least 6 of us, and I’m not sure I actually saw an english speaking person while I was there. Are French people especially found of Liberty? Do all french sewers go to Shaukat when they’re in London?

I was surprised by the look of the shop, I was waiting for something fancier. Most of the fabrics are in the basement, so the ground floor seems a little empty. It was very hard to choose which fabrics to bring home. There were so many beautiful prints! I decided to stick to cold weather fabrics to reduce the choices available (cold weather => no Tana Lawn => less choice). Here is a more detailed shot of what I finally got:

1. Liberty, 2. Liberty Mollybish, 3. Liberty Martha Grace, 4. Liberty

Two corduroy fabrics (I love corduroy, and it’s not easy to find some around here, especially this cute), a cotton-wool blend and cotton twill. Now I have work to do! I hope to quickly transform all this into nice garments, so that I can enjoy pretty winter outfits. A wool skirt would be nice considering the crazy cold temperature they predict. For now I’ll just go to bed, since I caught a cold with all this walking outside with the cold temperatures we have right now. I wanted to add more pictures to this post, but it will have to wait as I’m not feeling well at all. Sorry!

Spotted: Wedding dresses and Couleurs françaises

I got my sewing machine back yesterday! And of course I didn’t need it for the project I worked on today… Here are the covers of two new french books I saw in the bookstore on Friday.

This is a book by Teresa Gilewska, author of the series about pattern making of which I showed the first two volumes last week. I found it funny that she has another book out just when I buy her first ones. Sadly all books were packed so I couldn’t check the inside, but it’s about making wedding dresses, and I guess you have all the steps from making the pattern to sewing the actual garment.

This second book is the French translation of a japanese book: フランス色の布で作るバッグと小物. It is inspired by french fabrics and is about bags, accessories (I think I remember seeing a hat) and small objects for the home. I’m not looking for that kind of projects, but I think that in this style it’s probably an interesting book. It’s separated in different sections, each related to a type of fabric: toile de Jouy, fabrics from Lyon city, florals from Paris (and I’m probably forgetting some). There seems to be some description of each fabric style, which I find nice. There are also two pages at the end of the book talking about two fabrics museums in France. I only remember the Toile de Jouy museum in Jouy en Josas, which I’d like to go visit.

New toys!

We went shopping Sunday everyning and since I had some birthday money left, I decided to make myself some presents: sewing related books! ^_^ I was so happy to finally find a book about 50′s fashion in a bookstore!!

If you read this in English you probably can’t  read French, so let me describe the two books at the bottom: they’re flat pattern making books. The first part is about shirts (with details about sleeves and collars), skirts (with details about pockets) and linings. The second part is about transformations and talks about jackets, pants, raglan sleeves, kimono sleeves, hoods, capes, bustiers and overskirts. I like that the second book talks a little about grading (I wish it were a little more detailed, but it will give me some basis). I read very good reviews of those books online, I hope they’re as good as people say and they will help me with pattern making! Some of the pieces shown (to learn how to transform your basic pattern depending on what you want to do) are a little weird and too 80′s looking for my taste, but this book is not about making things exactly the same as shown, so I guess it should be okay.

And, we also got another new toy, which will be usefull to you readers: a printer-scanner combo! I’m so happy, I finally have another scanner (my family kept mine when I left for Japan)!! Which means no more crappy photos of the books I want to share with you! Once I finish with the pictures I’ve already taken, I can share real scans with you. Isn’t that great?

Publication vintage : La Coquette

My sewing machine has been brought to the repair shop last week. I was hoping to get it back yesterday, but sadly we have only one car, my husband is working this week-end (and  goes to work by car) and they called me too late in the morning for us to go before he left for work. Since I can’t go during the week, it will be another week without my precious sewing machine. :(


To make up for the lack of completed sewing projects, I’m going to share some vintage cuteness. Before I show you some outfits pictures, I wanted to introduce you to the magazine they come from. It’s a french magazine called “La Coquette”, and I own to issues, one from 1940 and one from 1954.

This magazine is a collection of pattern illustrations. Women could then order those patterns using the given references. They were available in standard sizes or made to the customer’s exact measurements. The company even had sewing mannequins available for sale. There are also a few knitting/embroidery patterns given directly in the magazine. Inside La Coquette you could find a ticket to get one of the patterns for free.

Something I like is the fact that even if all the outfits are only drawn and not always shown on colored pages, the description that accompany those drawings is very precise: it gives you the exact fabrics used, and the amount needed of those fabrics. That way we vintage lovers have more chances to recreate the style, even if we can’t find the patterns. ^_^