New books

Before sharing my current projects with you I thought I’d show you pictures from my last japanese books. Or should I say french book? Those are actually popular japanese sewing books that have been translated and released by french editors.After being able to resist them in Japan and for months since, I finally gave in when they appeared in France. Here are my favourite pieces from those two books.



I got this one a few months ago. The bag I posted about before is made from it.


I got the book because of this pattern. I’m so in love with this apron (which would make a great skirt too)!


The bag



What thing I find funny: the original (japanese) cover shows patterns pieces with writings in French. And for the french version, they changed this to show a japanese girl. Isn’t it ironic?


La couture au féminin (original title: “feminine wardrobe”)

This one is very recent, it just got out last Saturday. I was really excited when I heard it was going to be released in France.

The cover dress have been tempting me for a very long time. It’s my favourite from the book.

This is a picture I like of a similar dress. The sleeves are longer. Isn’t this picture poetic?




The top part of this dress is made from a knit fabric.



This book gives you seven basic patterns and explains how to make three garments from each, most of the time by changing the length, sleeves or small details.

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. ^_^

Vintage inspiration: 1953 Simplicity Sewing Book clothes pictures

Here is my first post around the Simplicity sewing book I talked about last week. I’m starting with the few outfit pictures you can find in the book. If you click on the picture you’ll go to their Flickr page where you can view them in bigger size.

The cover

A really cute outfit

Variation on the previous blouse

A simple yet elegant skirt

Have a nice autumn!

Vintage sewing books

Recently Barbara from Moxie Tonic was organising a give away on her blog. She was offering two sets of two vintage sewing books from the 50′s. I’m right in the middle of a crave for inspiration from that time, so I took part in the give away… and won! I was surprised and really happy. I couldn’t wait to get the books.

I got the package at the end of last week. I had the pleasure to receive those two books: “Simplicity Sewing Book” from 1953 and “Singer Student’s Manual of Machine Sewing” from 1954. I didn’t have time to read them entirely yet, but you can guess that I had a first look at them right away!

I was thinking there would be more pictures or drawings of actual garments than there actually is. But they’re quite interesting even without much outfits being shown. Less inspiration, but useful tips! I already learned a few things from the Simplicity book. It contains the usual sections of a sewing book: choosing a pattern, alterations, sewing techniques… I haven’t read much of the Singer one yet. It’s really more oriented towards using and maintaining your sewing machine. It might proove itself usefull if my dream of getting an old sewing machine is fulfilled. ;)

Thank you very much Barbara!

Of course I’ll share a few pictures from those later. ^_^ And since I’m in this “I want vintage inspiration” mood, I’ll have other vintage publications to share with you!

Spotted: Kawaii felt no komonotachi

In the early stages of this blog, I was talking about felt stuffies and how you can make really cute things with felt (and sometimes useful stuff too!). This book is a perfect example of adorable felt stuff. They have actually quite a number of books here about felt or felted wool stuffies, but I don’t find so many that really appeal to me. But things in this one are sooooo cute! There is a reason why there is the word “kawaii” (= cute) in the title. I almost brought it home with me the moment I looked inside. I didn’t because of you-have-to-be-reasonable reasons, but I’m still considering it.

The cover is a good indication of the styles of the items. No realistic animals, but cute big eyed ones. It’s been quite a long time since it was released (sorry I’m late!) so I do not remember everything, but I think there were many animals and also some cute little characters (fairytale inspired?). There were also some pouches and small bags. You can see one of the fringe bags on the cover. I don’t personnaly like the fringe, but it can be an inspiration for other bags. Also some flowers that you can see on the cover. I just went to check the Amazon page, and you can see a few pictures of the inside of the book there.

I thing this book can be really useful if you like to work with felt to create cute non-realistic things. It can serve as pattern but also as inspiration. The patterns are given of course. If my memory doesn’t trick me I think some of them have to be enlarged but most are the right size. ISBN n°978-4418092192.

A book and a picture

I’m sorry for the lack of updates lately… I have a huge amount of work that cannot wait. I wish I had better organisation skills so that I wouldn’t find myself overwelmed by work from time to time like I am now. :s

I just posted pictures from the above pattern book on my Flickr, because someone was looking for them on a French community I’m in, and I thought I’d share the info here in case anyone is interested. ^^ You can find all pictures here.

This is a picture of the project I’m currently working on. Maybe some of you can guess what it is about. I hope to post the answer very soon!

Spotted: Sewing Pochée Special

As promised here are some other new releases. Two at a time today! I previously talked about the new book in the Pochee Special series, so here it is. And this time I even went crazy and took some pics, even though I didn’t get the books. But just a few, because I don’t think it really is allowed… ^_^;

Pochée Special “Linen & cotton de tsukuru, natural fuku to haorimono”

The last Pochee issue and this book are partly centered around the same theme of natural clothes and outer clothes. They say on the cover (if I got it right) that those clothes are okay for all year round. You get 40 items inside (clothes or accessories). Same principle as always: several designers, each of them offering one basic garment and two variations. Plus a few coordinating pieces (skirts, pants, stoles, bags…). Now let’s see some pictures and the table of content!

Peitamama’s style

- basic: stand collar coat onepiece (see pic)- arrange 1: front open onepiece with flat collar- arrange 2: 3/4 sleeves tunic onepiece- short pantsFor all designers there is a design of each piece (basic/variations) under the picture so you can have a better idea.

May Me’s style

- basic: shawl collar onepiece (short sleeves, opens in front)- arrange 1: stand collar coat onepiece (see picture — shows the back)- arrange 2: hooded jacket- reversible jacket (shown with the basic onepiece, looks quite large and thick).

anon ketto’s style

- basic: round neck onepiece (see picture)- arrange 1: tunic onepiece (shorter than the basic piece)- arrange 2: scallop no sleeves tunic (seen on the cover)- stole vest (see link just below or picture at the bottom of the post)Those tops by anon ketto have something special: the back is open and asymmetrical. The right part goes on top of the left part and seems to be attached at the top. You can see it on this picture (or at the bottom of this post).

Nature*’s style

- basic: U-neck onepiece- arrange 1: long sleeves onepiece- arrange 2: frill onepiece (see picture)- scallop capeAll three dresses seem to have a gathered neckline judging from the designs.

rossa’s style

- basic: V-neck coat onepiece- arrange 1: V-neck tunic onepiece (see pic)- arrange 2: V-neck blouse (see picture, the small white part belongs to it)Both variations are shown on the same pages. They have the same shape, the blouse being smaller and having this white part at the neck. See designs bellow the picture.


The last picture on the right show one of the coordinating pieces: a cardigan. Some other accessories are: the bag on the anon ketto’s style picture, the scarf on the Nature’s style pic and a petticoat/skirt made in the same fabric. I don’t remember what the other items are, sorry.

The basic garments by Peitamama, May Me and Nature and the cardigan have their own “sewing lesson”. That means there are very detailed explanations on how to make them, with step by step pictures. The other clothes listed under the designers names above have color explanations with drawings among the pictures. Some are very detailed, some only show the cutting layout and steps order. The other garments/accessories are described in black and white at the end of the book with the same kind of drawings.