Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Olive in Red Roses

Hello everyone ! I am back today with another great blogtour !

A few weeks ago, Amity from Lolita patterns contacted some members of the Curvy Sewing Collective to see if we would be interested in trying her brand new pattern: the Olive . I, of course, volunteered !

First, let's talk a little bit about Lolita patterns. Amity's designs are directed for a professional wardrobe. They are also super cute and girly. Now, they are pioneers in catering for us curvy ladies with patterns up to a 24 ! Their latest creation, the Olive is a beautiful blouse with two views. The bust piece is shaped with princess seams, a waistband and a pleated peplum is added below. There are also 3/4 sleeves.

Now, as you know, I am trying to focus on certain fabric colors for the summer. I promised Mister I would not buy anything extra but I really needed another fabric for this project. I directly thought of some pieces of a beautiful Liberty fabric I had in my stash. For the little story, I had made a maxi dress with it but I was quite disappointed with the end look (I never blogged about it). This blouse was the perfect time to finally use it !

I cut a size 16 at the shoulders and bust and graded up to a 18 at the waist. I kept the 18 for the peplum as it has quite some ease. I did not have to change anything to the fit. The princess seams fell just right and the ease in the peplum was enough to accomodate my wider lower stomach/hip line.

I chose View B because I did not have enough of my beautiful fabric for view A. And the busy print of the roses would not show the flouncy details well enough. I also added some piping along the seams of the waistband to mark the line a little bit more.

I really like this blouse. Here, I wear it with black trousers but it also works great with a pencil skirt. I wore the Olive tucked in a maxi skirt the other day and it is a great option too ! I love the hourglass shape it gives me !

My favorite details are the sleeve caps. They are very girly. I also really like the neckline facing. I made mine in a skin color lining fabric.

We took the pictures in our garden. It is now full with beautiful roses everywhere !

I will probably make the Olive again, but this time with short sleeves for the summer. I would also add a couple of centimeters to the bust pieces.

Now, if you want to see more creations, please check out the other blog tour participants ! And if you feel that this pattern is something for you, Amity offers a 15% discount during Sewing Indie Month !

Leila 13th
Carolyn 14th
Maria 15th
Ping 16th and 24th
Hannah 19th
Laurie 21st
Katrina 22nd
T 23rd

Who is planning on making an Olive?
Have you ever salvaged the fabric from a failed project?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Making it work, Mabel edition !

Hi everyone !

The Curvy Colette blog tour is finished and Jenny wrote a wonderful round up post. I had a lot of fun in the process of sewing my Mabel and Moneta. It has been a great experience and it is only the start of something much bigger that will come to you very very soon !

Now ! Time for a little behind the scenes oopsy. My first attempt at the Mabel went slightly wrong. I do not have any photo to document the « before » stage, mainly because it was hurting my vanity. Now, as you saw on our posts, we all used a pretty thick knit to smoothe the curves and lumps. Well, I got a bad start, completely ignoring the idea. See, my approach was to go for a print that would take the eye where I would want the eye to go. I thought I found the perfect print : a beautiful pannel with amazing colours. Well no...

It went very wrong. The fabric was way too thin to wrap smoothly around my curves. It clung to them instead. Even if I had cut a size larger. You must already understand how sad I was... I loved that fabric but it was amost impossible to salvage anything or rip out the stitches. Due to the pannelled nature of the print, I only had barely enough for the skirt, and no leftover. I racked my brains and tried to remember if I had a pattern that would fit within the leftover parts. Nothing...

Then I started thinking that I really liked the waist peices, with the lining. Would there be any possible way to keep it ? Than I flipped it over and I had a eureka moment !

What if it became a top ! What if I did not have to rip any stitches ! Yes Yes Yes ! It could actually work ! What if I stitched my former hem on the sides, to create shoulder seems... And what if I cut armholes on my former side seems ???

It took me 15 minutes to flip this skirt into a top ! And you know what ? It worked magically... The pannel print work beautifully as a blouse. The fabric that was the source of the skirt clinginess became the reason why this top has a beautiful drape. The waist stayed a waist. The stripes along the form hem became a great shoulder line. I am so happy about this mishap turned success !

A shoe parting shot :)

What about you lovely ladies (and gents?), have you ever had a "make it work" moment? If so, it would be great if you could link it, I would love to see where your imagination led you!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shorts: Chapter 1 closed

Hi everyone !

Do you remember my struggles with shorts ? Well, I have not abandonned ! The muslin stage was very painful and I needed to close the difficult chapter with a temporary happy ending...

Erlier this month, I attacked the mythical shorts with my usual optimism. I thought that using four different patterns would at least bring a couple of successes. From the bunch, I only liked the version with 3 pleats : Burda 7/2013. But still, they were riding up. So many of you sent me tips and tricks and I decided to apply some of them to the shorts I found the best original fit:
  • using a heavier fabric : beige denim
  • lower the crotch length

I was not expecting much but I was pleasantly suprised with the result ! In this case, the weight of the fabric makes a huge difference. And there is almost no bunching thanks to the changed crotch length. When I put them on, I was pretty surprised.

I had no great expectations but now I know that I will get some wear out of them, Even in public !

To be completely honest, I will not be able to wear these for my hiking plans. I think they are not long enough. But they will be perfect for the warm summer days at home, even with guests, on vacation, or gardening.

Now, this first chapter is closed with a happy ending. But there is still a lot of pages to be written ! I am trying another pattern at the moment and it is quite promising. I have also ordered the Chataigne from Deer & Doe. This shorts adventure promises to deliver much more surprises !

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour : Monochrome Mabel

I am already back with my second entry in our Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour. This time is all about the Mabel!

The Mabel is a skirt pattern made for knits. The skirt will hug your curves. A few versions are available : short, longer with a vent, with or without a front pannel or placket.

When I recieved the picture of the pattern, my first reaction was to panick a little bit. As you may know, the area of my body that causes the most problems is my lower stomac area. I named it my kangaroo pouch. I usually try to hide it as much as possible. With the Mabel, this is the first occasion I had to embrace my morphology.

After reflexion, I decided to go for the version 1 : it is shorter and a simple front pattern piece. The coral version worn by the Colette model completely convinced me ! A shorter version would also work better with leggings in the summer. I also thought : « If I go for a figure hugging skirt, let's embrace it to the fullest and go for shorter !

I cut the size 2XL, grading half a size down around the waist. I also chose a fairly thick jersey I had purchased as part of my mini-capsule haul. The pattern makes the skirt very interesting. And I am not exagerating, within 2 hours (including drawing and cutting the paper pattern pieces), the Mabel was finished.

I learned a lot with this project. But what I learned was about myself ! For the first time, I am wearing a very tight fitting skirt. It leaves very little to the imagination. You can see the bits I usually try to hide. Wearing this skirt actually felt very liberating. I have a larger lower stomac, so what ? In the same time, I can show off my muscly legs and my waist. I am also very happy with the back view... So is Mister !

This is such a funky skirt ! I love the fabric and it can be paired with many tops. I am planning to make a peplum top in the same fabric. Wouldn't that be awesome ? Also, isn't that a great print matching?

Mary has already revealed her beautiful polka dots version as well. If you haven't seen it, go and read. It looks beautiful on her !

So ladies, are you planning on trying out the Mabel ?

If you follow our Blog Tour, you will see 6 beautiful versions :

Wednesday, April 16th -- Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday, April 17th -- Mary at Idle Fancy (That's me! That's tomorrow!)
Friday, April 18th -- Exclusive interviews on Cashmerette and Idle Fancy with Sarai and Alyson
Saturday  Sunday, April ; 20th -- Laurence at Quirky Pretty Cute
Monday, April 21st -- Tanya at Mrs. Hughes
Tuesday ; Wednesday, April 22nd; 23rd -- T at UandMii
Thursday, April 24th --Jenny at Cashmerette
Friday, April 25th -- Mary at Idle Fancy
Sunday,  April 26th -- Sophie-Lee at Tworandomwords
Wednesday, April 28th -- Mary at Young Broke & Fabulous

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour : A Broderie Moneta

Hello everyone ! I hope you are having a great Easter Weekend. Mine is proving to be extremely exciting ! I am sure you read all about it on my fellow Curvy Sewing Collective members, today is my turn to feature in our Curvy Colette Blog Tour.

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride ! Jenny contacted me and asked if I would be interested in taking part of a blog tour involving the two new Colette patterns. My husband can bear witness, I didn't stop talking about it for days ! Colette has been my favorite pattern maker since I made my first Beignet. I was alread super happy when they announced they were working on a larger pattern block AND on knit patterns. This means a well deserved rest from upgrading for me !

Today, I will reveal my version of the Moneta.

The Moneta is a lovely and flattering dress pattern for knit fabrics. It is nicely fitted on top and loose in the bottom. It comes with different sleeves options and with free bonus collar versions !

I decided to do version 1. I need a summer dress I will be able to wear during my vacation next month and I was very interested in the lining technique explained in the instructions. I picked a lightweight Borderie Cotton Knit in a off-white color. I used a coordinated Stretch Silk Charmeuse for the lining. I cut a size XL from the shoulders to the bust and graded up to a 2XL from the waist down.

I used the pdf pattern version and for the first time in my sewing life, I could just cut the pattern along lines without having to upgrade anything ! It made me feel so good ! The sizes I picked fit really well and I did not have to do any adjustment.

This project was also a great learning experience. I have used a twin needle for the first time and could not stop playing with it. It is so cool and created such a clean finish on knits ! I was also amazed by the armhole seaming technique described in the booklet. It was magical !

I am extremely happy with the end result ! The dress is comfortable, pretty and can be dressed up or down with high heels or simple sandals. It will look great with a straw hat during warm summer days. It also feels precious with a simple cardigan. You can add a belt too. I think I will try to wear it with opaque tights as well.

As always, pockets are welcome ! It means that I will not hask Mister to carry my phone and keys around when we go for a walk or run errands.

I will use this pattern again, for sure to make some cool winter dresses with longer sleeves !

And this is not over ! I will come back tomorrow with my version of the Mabel skirt ! I can also completely recommand the posts written by Jenny and Mary and their interviews with Sarai and Alison.

Also, if you are not following the other menbers of the Curvy Sewing Collective, please do so to not miss their versions of the Mabel and the Monetta !

Wednesday, April 16th -- Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday, April 17th -- Mary at Idle Fancy (That's me! That's tomorrow!)
Friday, April 18th -- Exclusive interviews on Cashmerette and Idle Fancy with Sarai and Alyson
Saturday ; Sunday, Aprl 19th ; 20th -- Laurence at Quirky Pretty Cute
Monday, April 21st -- Tanya at Mrs. Hughes
Tuesday ; Wednesday, April 22nd ; 23rd -- T at UandMii
Thursday, April 24th --Jenny at Cashmerette
Friday, April 25th -- Mary at Idle Fancy

Sunday,  April 26th -- Sophie-Lee at Tworandomwords
Wednesday, April 28th -- Mary at Young Broke & Fabulous

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