Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fluffy Fibers: Episode 13

By Hand London - Anna Dress

Download the episode (39:00) here.
Here is the direct feed and the iTunes page for the podcast.

I am Kittystitches on Ravelry and the podcast also has a Ravelry group and forum. Social media links are in the blog's sidebar.


1. A bit of Sewing (3:19)
I mention the Sewcialists community, By Hand London, Deer and Doe, Fehr Trade patterns.

1.a Finishes
Duvet cover

- Duvet cover for my daughter
- Matching aprons for my daughter, her doll, and me - out of Simplicity 1936.
- Aubépine Dress for me, by Deer and Doe. Blogged here.

1.b In progress
Anna Dress, by By Hand London. In a Kaffe Fassett Millefiore Blue print for Rowan Fabrics. WIP pictured at top of shownotes.

1.c Upcoming
Sureau Dress, by Deer and Doe, out of a light plum chambray (a fabric named after Cambrai, a town in Northern France).

2. A bit of Knitting (20:03)


2.a Finishes
Idlewood, by Cecily Glowik McDonald, out of Cascade Eco + in Lake Chelan Heather.

2.b On the needles
- Honey Cardigan, by Veera Välimäki

2.c Upcoming Projects
Finish up more UFOs; make a pullover for my daughter matching my Idlewood.

3. A (wee) bit of Crochet (23:46)

Crochet Cowl

- Cowls #1, #2 and #3 for my daughter's childminders.
- I've been making two-legged bunnies for newborn babies out of a free design by Lucia Lanukas.

3. A bit of Reading (28:17)
Opening pages of D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love.

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Aubépine Dress

Hello everyone!

Yes, I am back already. Thanks to an impromptu photo shoot on a late-day outing after work on Thursday, I can show you my Aubépine dress, sooner than I was hoping. And with truly beautiful pictures to boot. The lighting conditions were simply ideal, with the late-aftertoon light skimming over us at the end of a gloriously sunny day, and in a beautiful natural setting. I owe my patient photographer a huge thank you for being so inspired and prolific with these pictures.

Aubépine Dress
Aubépine Dress, by Deer and Doe - outer fabric in rayon, lining in cotton voile.

Aubépine is the first challenging dress I've managed to sew for myself since I had my daughter over two years ago. I did make a dress for my sister-in-law last summer, but I used a TNT pattern for this, so it was a no-brainer (plus I will confess, it does feel more exciting to have a new fancy dress for ME!). With Aubépine, things were completely different. New pattern, from a new-to-me indie designer (who publishes in both French and English, by the way!), with quite a few details that are more complicated than average - but also make this dress stand out in the crowd.

Aubépine Dress

The rows of pintucks on the sleeves and bodice are what made me fall for this pattern in the first place. Tastefully cute, right? (what a pain they were to make right though, in this super slippery, slinky rayon fabric!).

The other design elements I really like are the scooped neckline and the care that was given in avoiding the maternity look that is often the bane of empire waistlines. This is achieved by having the waistline fall slightly lower than just below the bust, and discreet box pleats in the skirt that take away from the potentially ballooning effect of a gathered skirt.

Aubépine Dress
Oh, and pockets, of course! I love me some pockets.

Eléonore Klein, the designer behind the Deer and Doe company, put a lot of thought into making this design a beautifully finished dress, with the full lining and the enclosed casing. I will definitely be sewing more from Deer and Doe - would love to make Réglisse for summer.
I substituted the tie at the waistline with an elastic, for a more streamlined look.

My only regret is that the dress is definitely too large - I made a size 36 based on my measurements, but even the 34 (smallest) size would have still been roomy. Thanks to the gathered waistline, however, which allowed me to tighten it up, I do feel it works, even though I know the fit could be better, and will definitely size down in the next one I make. I do really want to make this again - possibly in a floral print, and leaving out the pintucks, which would get lost in a busy print anyway.

Aubépine Dress
The size issue is more apparent in the back, as you can see above.

This dress is definitely elegant, but can totally be worn when having fun with a toddler, as evidenced below:
Aubépine Dress

Aubépine Dress
Cath me if you can! Showing the tan-coloured lining in cotton voile.

Aubépine Dress

Aubépine Dress

Another highlight of that afternoon: our matching blue shoes.
Matching Blue Shoes

I cannot express how supremely happy I am to be back to sewing - even in small increments, as was the case with the Aubépine dress.

I do have lots of work piled up for the weekend, BUT I did cut out the Anna dress by By Hand London yesterday night, and am hoping to manage at least a short sewing session some time before Monday - if only to cut into the fabric.

I hope you are all having a magnificent weekend, with floods of sunshine as is the case here!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Look 6225

Hello, hello!

I have such a huge backlog of projects to document here that some of them probably will never make it to the blog. Let me start with my latest sewing finish - yes, sewing! My mojo came back with the new year!

2014-02-20 New Look 6225

For the first time in years, I ordered a few patterns in February. With my sewing time being still very limited I feared I might never get around to using them - but I've made two of them already (on of them tree times!), and a third is under way. That is a sure sign that things are definitely getting better, time- and energy-wise.

This is New Look 6225, a very easy pattern for a loose-fitting top with raglan sleeves. It is designed for woven fabrics but I wanted something extra loose and oversized, in keeping with the current trend, so I used a knit fabric. I also lengthened the top into a very short dress/tunic to be worn with very dark tights or leggings.
I really like it - it is super comfy while being quite edgy, and I've been wearing a lot.

I hope to see you soon with pictures of more of my finished projects. For my daughter's birthday in mid-February, I sewed not one, nor two, but THREE identical pinafores - one for her, one for her favourite doll, and one for me.

In progress at the moment is a dress from a pattern by Deer and Doe, a bilingual indie designer based in France. I am sewing their Aubépine Dress. And since I am actually sewing up my new patterns, I decided to delve into the new (to me!) independent designers, and just ordered a couple of dress patterns from By Hand London. So exciting.
I'm telling you - the sewing mojo (or is it rage?) is back, and this spring I am obsessed with dresses.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Here, Now

A Day at the Beach - Feb. 2, 2014

Living fully in the hic et nunc... A constant endeavour of mine since Madame Choupie was born.
Everyone have a wonderful week!