Friday, April 13, 2007

What a long week

Hi everyone!
Thank you for the nice *and helpful* feedback about the new look. I'm glad you like it, too!
I've been incredibly tired this week, and as a result have felt low in spirits, as well. Or is it the other way around? Or - are the physical and mental weariness feeding each other... Hard to tell. We definitely need a holiday (the last time we had more than a weekend off was last July), but that just can't happen right now.

I did manage to add a few goodies to the Etsy shop this week... I really love making those little treats, and I *heart* the spirit on Etsy!

Oh, and a book came in the mail that did make me smile: Crafting Springtime Gifts, by Tone Finnanger.
The stuff in there is adorable without falling into the cutesy, and it could make gifts for babies as well as for grown-ups, I think. I didn't have any fabric in brown or beiges, though, so I just had my first tea-dying experiment so I can have fun with the book soon. Tea-dying turned out to be ridiculously easy, and the fabric came out just as I wanted it.
More on that some other day!

Today, I wanted to show you my almost finished square for the bourse tutorial:
Morning Berries, by LHN. Stitched with DMC linen threads.

~*~
Hopefully I'll muster up enough energy this weekend to get started on the Vintage Vogue 2902 dress. A review on patternreview.com says it's tricky, so it looks like it will require extra care! The dress is so lovely though - well worth the effort, don't you think? I'll have to see if there are more reviews online.
Oh, and I might have to make a crinoline for that one, as I'm making it in lawn, which doesn't have much body. We'll see!


Wishing you all a refreshing weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Morning Berries

Hi everyone!
I mentioned my new stitching project yesterday, but didn't show a picture, and I realized this might have been a little frustrating for you...
So here's my progress on LHN's Morning Berries.

Stitched on 28-ct Calico evenweave
with DMC linen threads (don't have Crescent Colors)


It doesn't look like much, and I thought the tree would be finished by now... The truth is, I stitched all the leaves in the train back to Paris yesterday afternoon, only to realize last evening that the whole right part was off by a couple of stitches... Ack! That's what chatting non-stop with a friendly seat neighbour does to you! ;)
I unpicked all the leaves on the right part and re-stitched them last night, along with the trunk. Barring a new mishap, the other berries and bunnies should stitch up rather quickly. I love that design, it was a perfect start on an Easter day!
I'm not sure I'll stitch the "berries" next to each bunny. They look like blue carrots to me, which is weird! Has anyone stitched those and wondered?

Hope everyone is having a lovely day - I need to work extra hard today to make up for taking yesterday off, but it was totally worth it as it meant more time with Robin - having one's hair, nose, glasses and necklace pulled by a beaming little guy of a nephew is priceless, isn't it!



Oh, and look what my sweet Seb brought me form the bakery on Saturday!

I haven't managed to bite into it yet... It is way too pretty!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Aubergine Dress

Hi everyone. Thank you so very much for your wonderful comments to the previous post... as well as for the kind emails... I treasure them so much. Thank you!

On Thursday evening, I finished the dress I might wear at church tonight, and shall wear at my parents' on Sunday. I'm not sure yet whether I'll wear it tonight, as it might be a bit chilly by the time the Easter Vigil begins (9 pm). I'll be one of the two cantors at the Vigil, and you can't sing right if you're shivering! I wore it at church yesterday evening, and it was colder in the church than outdoors.

I didn't think the Floraison dress would be quite right for church. It is gorgeous, and I love it (and thank you for telling me you loved it too! ), but I don't want to be too conspicuous, you know? Besides, although the neckline was raised a fair bit as compared to the original pattern, it remains pretty sassy, and I don't think I'd be comfortable, wearing this in front of a whole congregation.
You may remember I got New Look 6429 a few weeks ago. I decided to use that pattern, along with a very dark mauve jersey I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love the colour because it is just as classy as black, yet more original than black. (it's close to DMC 3802, antique mauve v. dark, for you stitching friends!)

*Pattern*
My, that pattern runs large! I was warned by some reviews at patternreview.com, so I made it in the smallest size. I still had to take another 1.5 cm off each side, and then some. This is good news for plus sizes: even though the pattern goes up to a size 18, it will probably fit sizes 20-22, as well.
Apart from that, and as many of the ladies at patternreview.com acknowledged, too, the design of this dress is original and classy, especially for a cheap New Look pattern. There are no side seams, which is a nice change and gives a flowing figure.

*Alterations*
Besides the aforementioned fitting alterations, I altered the neckline and bodice. First, I raised the neckline (again!), and I raised it more than on the Floraison dress. Second, I used another one of Ann's great tips, this time to elasticize the neckline. That means even though this is a (mock) wrap dress, the wrapped bodice can absolutely not gap - it will stay snugly wrapped against my chest.
Once I did that, and tried the dress on, I realized I needed to take in the top bodice parts a bit more so that the elastic would be taut, instead of rippling. (I just wanted to take in the elasticized top edge, not the whole bodice).
Another thing is, the drapé didn't look quite right to me, partly because it started a bit too low, partly because altering the neckline so it wouldn't ripple had, well, ripple effects on the gathered part. I ripped that part at least six times (which is not funny, on that type of fabric, and with an elastic seam!), but still it wasn't quite right. It was OK, I guess, but not perfect, and I knew I wouldn't wear the dress if it wasn't.

I almost gave up, then took a deep breath on Thursday night, made myself some herbal tea and put Cecilia Bartoli on (ah, she always helps!). Then I totally undid the seams on that side (you have 3 layers there: side part, right gathered bodice, and left bodice, which sits underneath the right bodice in real life, and is therefore over the gathered part when the dress is inside out). I flipped the left bodice over to see the gathers and basted the whole thing by hand, rearranging the drapé as I really wanted it. Once I was sure it worked, I sewed it one last time, and it finally looked fine.

As you can see, the back construction is interesting as well.
(the spot at the bottom of the dress was on the camera lens)

~*~
I also added a reversible Toile de Jouy tote to the boutique:

Two styles in one tote!
I plan on adding more goodies today.

~*~
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.
It means so much to me, singing on the Easter Vigil tonight. I was baptised during the Easter Vigil 9 years ago (can it really be nine years?). I just hope the emotion won't mess up my voice! My singing friend Cathy told me bananas would help me control my nervousness. Thanks, Cathy!

I'll be spending Sunday and Monday at my parents', celebrating my brother's birthday and playing with my nephew Robin. Can't wait!
Have a great weekend everyone.