Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Quickie

Here is a top I made a few months ago, after the Cyclamen Top. It is the same pattern - New Look 6470, this time with bell sleeves.
Apart from the first one, the pictures were taken (not by me, for a change) a month ago. I was sorting through some files to get ready before my new computer arrives, and realized I never published these here.
This is the Canal Saint-Martin... One of my favourite spots in Paris.

I've been working on a black lace blouse this week. The sheer and delicate fabric requires extra care - but it's been fun and rewarding so far.
The pattern is Newlook 6660. Don't laugh - it is designed for juniors, but I fell in love when I saw the envelope in a fabric store, and didn't realize it was a junior pattern. Doesn't matter.

I'm still without a stable computer, by the way, and trying to be patient about it. :)

Happy weekend, everyone!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Burda Blouse - "L'Été enfui"


Burda World of Fashion June 2008 (Burda Tendances Modes juin 2008) - Blouse 107 B

I traced this pattern and cut out the blouse at my parents' country house last month; but I sewed it only this week. It may appear a bit outdated, given it's now autumn in France (and a cold one at that). I don't care. This symbolizes the summer I spent while not seeing much else than my computer screen - the summer I spent finishing my PhD thesis. I just had to make this light, summery little thing - and live summer through it, vicariously, and belatedly. My office is always hot anyway, so I'll definitely get to wear it soon.
My Mom gave me the fabric a couple of Christmases ago. You know how it is with fabrics loved ones give you - either you make something from them straight away, or they start daunting you. What pattern would be worth this meaningful fabric, we wonder? How may I best tell the giver how much I appreciated his or her gift?
I long thought this fabric was meant for a dress. You know, the full-skirted, flowing, summery kind. It decided otherwise after I packed it along with a number of patterns - and the June issue of BWOF.
I must confess to loving everything about it - the blue, of course; the fabric's lightness, which is reminiscent of Liberty lawn; but also, the tucks at the waist, front and back; the elastic shirring; the adorable semi-raglan, bias-bound puff sleeves.
This is an instance when I actually like the French sewing vocabulary better. "Bias-bound sleeves" translates to "manches gansées de biais". I just love "gansées" - don't you?

A word of warning about the sleeves, though: there is very little ease at the armscye and the bust may therefore end up a little crushed when moving the arms. I remedied that by adding as much from the seam allowance as I could into the armscye, and sewing the seam with a tiny SA (it is only 5 mm). It just about works, although a little bit more ease there would probably be better.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Simplicity 4020 - Take 2

Hi everyone!
Thanks for the good wishes that you sent my way :)
[...]
Bad news is, I have no computer anymore. It was kind enough to let me finish my thesis and write up my conf. paper, but too much was too much. I have lost many emails and it's obviously been very difficult to get online and everything.

Apparently, though, I am so addicted to blogging that I found a way to load my pictures and blog no matter what.
Here Simplicity 4020, once more.

(Ah, yes... frantic rhythm + not enough sleep = tired-looking Isabelle)

Looking at this, I realize the bustline is perhaps a bit too high. I'll have to remedy that next time I make one of these.
The fabric comes from Amsterdam and has been absolute heaven to sew and wear. You may not see it on the pictures, but the background is a pale blue-grey. Gorgeous. I'll be certain to stock up on similar fabrics next time I'm up there. Especially as my favourite fabric store in Paris, Bouchara, is now no more. Sigh.

For a more relaxed look, I made a matching hair scarf with the fabric remnants.

This top hasn't got a name yet, so feel free to throw in ideas! :)

That's it for tonight. I can't stay online long, plus am in a state of too much exhaustion and slump to be much chatty.
But - I forced myself to shake off my lethargy and make a Burda blouse over the past few days. It felt like a downright pain when I started, but I knew I'd feel better after I got going. Sure enough, it worked. It is blouse # 107 from the June 08 issue, and turned out real cute, if I may say so myself.

Normal life is slowly resuming its rights... be prepared therefore for regular updates and for little notes on your blogs, as soon as the computer is replaced - if not, probably, earlier. Miss you guys too much!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hello from Zombieland

Hi everyone,
I hope this finds you all well, happy and enjoying all your favourite creative activities! I have really missed checking up on you all.

What have I been up to all this time, you may wonder?

I ended up taking only a week's break this summer; we spent it at my parents' in a very rainy countryside. Needless to say, the Curaçao swimsuit has yet to serve.

I printed and submitted my thesis last week.
Am leaving for a 3-day conference in England tomorrow.

After a few weeks of absolutely frantic work, though, I put the final touch to my paper this morning; and then felt that the best way to relax was to get reacquainted with my sewing machine, which I hadn't touched in months. I am making a new kimono top (Simplicity 4020), in a gorgeous fabric bought in Amsterdam. It is almost done and looking very promising; and I am feeling another woman already.

To keep this sewing-related, and because this makes me smile, here is the wardrobe I'm packing:
These are: the Burda wrap top, my Japonaiseries kimono top (along with the matching skirt for the evening), and my sable blouse or my new top, depending on my mood. Over all these, of course, my beloved Black Amethyst.

I am so glad that everything is handmade - barring the black pants I'll also be wearing, which, sadly, are store-bought. I lost weight and none of my (few) handmade pants fit anymore. Knowing (and grieving) I wouldn't have time to make a pair before I left, I bought one, shortened it, and am about to do a sway back adjustment.

I'll be back real soon - provided, that is, I come out of this alive. And sane.

I've missed you friends. Can't wait to be back and see what you've all been up to.