Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Book nook or pj storage cushion

Reading Cushion

The pattern is from Heidi Staples’ book (Fabric Mutt), Sew Organised.  I’ve made several pincushions (here, here and there) using this same pattern.  On this instance, I had to adapt it a bit in order to fit with my fabric choice.

Reading Cushion1

I did some Ninja quilting, not very visible on my pictures – some organic straight lines, some highlight lines around some of the pictures.  The cushion has a big pocket perfect to store books or a pj.  It is large and hopefully comfy, perfect for a Ninja boy :-)

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Garment gratification

I still have a few finishes to show from 2015.  Is it to late to blog about them?

Have you heart of Cashmerette? Or the Curvy Sewing Collective? Jenny is behind both Cashmerette and Curvy Sewing Collective blogs. I didn't know who she was until I listened to the first podcast of Steamwork (from the Colette’s team).  While listening to her discussing her experience, I had been taken by her enthusiasm. I also really like how she embraces her curvy shape and sews garments that work for her and her lifestyle.

I've been very interested by her Sketch book. I want to keep a physical journal of what I make and hope this will help. I ordered my copy at the time Cashmerette launched her first pattern and there might have been a glitch in the fulfilment department and instead of receiving the sketch book, I received the Appleton dress pattern.  (In the end I received the book and was offered to keep the pattern – nice, very nice!)

Appleton dress

I love wrap dress, wrap top - it is normally forgiving (knit + extra layer = perfect hiding place).  I picked a nice jersey from my local fabric shop. Juliette thinks it a bit too plain, but I wanted something safe, no massive flowers on awkward places.  Furthermore, I really liked the weight of the fabric and thought it will drape nicely.

Size wise, I cut a 16 with cup C/D (that's where this pattern is clever, the front of the dress comes with 3 different cups' options).  My measurements put me between 2 sizes, I cut the smallest one. I was counting on the stretch-ability of the fabric or I was too vain and wanted to ignore the tape measurement.   As a result, the dress is a tad snug, and there’s some cleavage on show (well, I’m French, so it’s OK.  By the way, did you know that when asked ‘Do you prefer paintings which depict one person or a group of people, nude, partially clothed, or fully clothed?’ 68% of Americans reply fully clothed against only 27% of French – thanks TED Radio Hour for the info).

Appleton dress1

Construction-wise, it was SUPER easy, no tricks, no head-scratching.  I think I pulled it up in less than 3 hours (after cutting).  I did not even used my serger, the knit I used was that easy to work with.

I’ve posted a review in Pattern Review.  Conclusion, I really really like this pattern and I’m ready to sew the next dress as soon as I found the right fabric.

Now, the fancy T-shirt.  I ‘needed’ a party outfit, but I’m not a party girl.  So the outfit needed to be 1) not expensive, 2) recyclable, something like black pants-fancy top.  A quick visit to Joann’s and I was back with Simplicity 1063 and some sparkly metallic jersey (all in all, with coupon and everything, something like $20).  The construction of the top was quite straight forward, no real difficulty, just follow step by step.  I modified the neck line which was far to high for my liking.

The fabric, however, was challenging, a bit like rubber, making my needle to bounce back and my thread to break.  I’m glad I used my serger for the main construction, and only had to use my machine for the finishes.

Party T

The result is sparkly, floaty and easy to wear, paired with black pants and high heels and it’s party time.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Picky reader but happy podcast listener

OK, I’ve started this post long long ago.  I spent much time trying to explain why I did not like this or that.  Then I had a realisation: Why spending this time on things I don’t like when it could be spent on things I like?
So to be short, unless you don’t mind lame reading, skip Millennium 4 (not worth the paper is printed on).  You might want to avoid La drole de vie de Zelda Zonk and Hanna from Laurence Peyrin, it made me realised that I don’t like romance book especially when it ends well, anyway the characters were not very powerful and I wanted to slap them at each turn of a page.
Now the good stuff: The night manager – it’s a mini-series produced by the BBC based on a John Le CarrĂ© book, and it is extremely good: arm trafficking, middle-east setting, beautiful people, very bad people, lots of suspense.  DO NOT miss it, it is coming on AMC in the States.  If you start to watch it, you might want the weeks between each episode to go faster and you will certainly experience withdrawal syndrome at the end.  So much so that I had to start a John Le CarrĂ© novel: A most wanted man.
TV wise, we are watching the Americans and still loving it.  I am getting over How to get away with murder, Scandal and Limitless.
Recently, I’ve been all about Podcasts.  In not specific order here are my preferred ones of the moment:
000 Temp14
Modern Sewciety (the Orlando MQG has been feature recently), American Patchwork and Quilting, Serial, On va deguster (in French), Seamwork, Quilt your heart out, Thread Cult, Never Not Knitting, Crafty Planner, While she naps, Sewing out loud, Morning on the dock.
I know that’s a lot… and it does not leave much time for ‘real’ radio or the news (mind you, at the moment, I don’t think I am missing much on the news!)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Selfish moments

… and not feeling guilty about it!

I’ve been in London for a few days last week. Alice had broken her leg during a rugby game (women rugby is not a gentle sport!). Philippe was with her for her operation, her boyfriend took care of her next (nice guy, he looked after her when she was still under the influence of strong painkillers and to top it up he had to meet the parents). Then it was my turn and it looks like I got the best deal; Alice was better and apart from the occasional shopping and spring cleaning, I wasn’t really needed.

So I decided to escape and enjoyed some time on my own.  I also decided not to feel guilty about it…

London with broken Alice

For once, I did not go to my usual places and decided to explore Camden Town and Islington.  I’m not a Museum kind of person and I prefer to wander around, walk and get surprised by what’s at the corner.  And I LOVE street art.  So much inspiration!

London with broken Alice1

Another non-guilty pleasure was to go to this restaurant: My little Viet Kitchen.  Actually, I planned to take the kids and my sisters-in-law but they all preferred to go to the pub to watch the rugby game (France vs England – France lost).  So I went on my own.  Oh my goodness me! It was so good, so fresh, so pretty.  The restaurant is tiny, the deco is perfect. Such a pleasure.

London with broken Alice2

More snap-shots of my days: yes, Victor is drinking a beer, it’s England and the drinking age is 18; bicycle for rent and interesting carry on bike; an elephant on LSE campus; early morning ride to the airport.

London with broken Alice3

And I got this little note from Philippe on my car waiting for me at the airport.  Sweet!