La Réglisse - update

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Well, this is taking longer than I thought. Well, what is taking longer was getting the fabrics. I thought I would have enough time to sew this all together and I would've had, but then I realized I need to line the dress, because my fabric was kind of thin and I would wear it so much more with a lining. But then it took me forever to get the lining fabric because they didn't have what I wanted in storage. And when I finally started cutting and sewing (I could've cut it earlier...) I realized that I don't have enough fabric to make my own bias binding, so I had to order that too... Except then I just realized that since I'm lining the dress I only need the bias for decoration... And then just plain life and work got in the way of my sewing. My parents have been here and I've had some deadlines at work. So, I didn't make to the sew-along deadline.

And in the end I don't want to rush, I rather make something I would wear. So, I waited for the lining. Also, I had some extra fabric from my Pastille Dress, that I have no decided to not finish. The bodice won't fit anyway and I'm just not sewing at all if I think about it. I do think the neckline and sleeves looked quite well, too bad the bodice didn't sit right...
Pastille - bodice by RankkaApina
Pastille - bodice, a photo by RankkaApina on Flickr.
I decided to use this fabric as a contrast, so that I got something fun to my otherwise very brown dress. And I decided to add pockets, because I love having pockets. And I found a good tutorial for adding the seam pockets to basically any pattern. But now at least I have all my fabrics. The brown is for the main part of the dress, the pink I'm using for the collar and sleeves, and the beige bemberg is for lining.
La Réglisse - fabrics by RankkaApina
La Réglisse - fabrics, a photo by RankkaApina on Flickr.

Now all my pieces (except lining) have been cut. What makes life easier is this board I got while shopping with my parents:
Sewing board by RankkaApina
Sewing board, a photo by RankkaApina on Flickr.
I've had a problem with my tile floor: I need carpets, because the floor is too cold, but I can't cut on a carpet. So, I've been using a clear quilting ruler, but it's way too small. This board is 120cm x 60cm. I really wanted a 120cm x 80cm, but there wasn't one ready and I didn't want to queue. Well, that would've been perfect. But this is good enough.

In any case I don't think I have time this week to finish my Réglisse (or the flapper dress for that matter). Weekend will be used for swing dancing, so I won't finish until next week. But I'm convinced that it will look good and it will have pockets (I think more women's clothes should have pockets, if this wasn't clear yet...).

The Great Gatsby Winner!

Saturday, May 25, 2013
So we have a winner! I actually did the lottery last night just after midnight, but was too tired to write the post... But here it is and the winner is....


gjeometry.com!!!


Thanks for all participating in this. I know I don't have that many followers (well, I'm not exactly the most constant updater...), so I'm glad this reached people who were interested. I have sent an e-mail to the winner, and I'm looking forward to seeing your Gatsby dress :)

Pyjama Party!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Karen at Did you make that? is hosting another pyjama party in June (starting June 3rd - yes, I'm taking a bit of a head start, although not with sewing - June 23rd being the big reveal). This was partly inspired by the release of the new Sewaholic Pattern: Tofino Pants. If you haven't heard of the last year's party, you can read about it here. I was so sorry to miss it last year, this was the time when I was getting back into sewing, but hadn't really found the community and my favorite blogs. So, I'm thrilled I can take part this year. Especially, since I really need sleepwear. I tend not to buy too many, usually sleeping in old t-shirts and stuff, but maybe I'm getting old or something, but I really want some cute pyjamas :)

And I have acknowledged this on some level at some point, since I have actually bought a sleepwear pattern!
Simplicity 3696
And I'm thinking of using this for the pants. Or at least making one pair from this pattern. I really would love to get the Tofino Pants pattern, but I really need to not use so much money and use the patterns I have instead... But if I make enough patterns I have, I can buy it for sure in the future. Although I kind of want to know how the Thurlow's look, my waist and hip measurements are not really in the same size with these patterns...

But, I was going to use the pattern above for the top too, until I saw this:




How awesome that it's free. And a real reproduction of a 1930s pattern! And my size! I think I will do a muslin just to be sure... But I really don't know if the pants above fit with this top. Well, depends on the fabric choice of course. But the same site has also these French Knickers:











So, I might just do those for a bottom... We'll see. I really haven't thought about the fabric, but something slinky would definitely do justice to the pattern. And then there's always The Ruby Slip, although I don't know how comfortable it would be to sleep in... I think I will go for the 30s/40s style this time. Because for me the sleepwear is all about comfort and only a tiny bit about looking good.
I'm really excited about this! First of all, I this is something I really need in my wardrobe and second, everyone seemed to have so much fun last year. Unfortunately I can't jump up and down on my bed, since I have a loft bed (I hope that's the correct term: at least that's what Ikea uses...). Or maybe I can borrow someone else's bed...

The Sassy Librarian

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So, since I'm still waiting for my lining fabric and the swimsuit fabric is currently held by Fedex (they have tried to deliver it, but since I couldn't get to the phone, they leave messages that even my French friends don't understand... they should deliver the package tomorrow), I decided to start yet another project...

Well, it started from the fact that last weekend there was a lot of Craftsy courses on sale. And I sort of splurged (been doing that a lot recently...). So, what did I get? The first one I decided to buy was Sewing with Silks with Linda Lee, since the last twitter #FabricChat was about silk and got me excited, but I know nothing about sewing silk, except that it's hard. And with that there was an offer for Pattern Drafting from Ready to Wear with  Steffani Lincecum. So, I guess I was exactly their target group. And well, since I'm on the Pants Club, I got the Pant Fitting Techniques with Sandra Betzina and also with Sandra, the Pants Construction Techniques. And finally, the one I've been craving for (mostly because the pattern is exclusive for the course:
The Sassy Librarian Blouse with Christine Hayes
Well, I was very excited about the Sassy Librarian Blouse and actually started watching right away. It was less about fitting and things I need to learn about and just basically instructions on how to construct the blouse and it's different variations. Now, I've taken sewing in school, but mostly we just got instructions verbally, although it was sometimes hard: my teacher had her favorites and I wasn't really one of them (I don't think she hated me or anything, she just thought I was odd - which might be true). So my projects sometimes worked and sometimes not. It didn't make me very excited about sewing clothes, I always had problems with the fit. In junior high, I had a better teacher, but the class was really big, so you always had to wait, but my project turned out a lot better.

So, the point (yes, I have one!) is that because there's just the teacher and the camera, you see really well what's she's doing and everything is explained very clearly. To my surprise I had learned something in school and lot of the hints were things I've been doing (yey!). But I did learn new things. And I've been lately addicted to pleats, and this has them in view 2! And OMG! How cute are the fabrics Christine is using! I need to get like all of them! Well, maybe not grey, I'm not a big fan of grey (and it looks quite horrible on me).

So, there's two views you can choose from. The view 1 has sleeves, a collar and straight front, and the view 2 has pleats, a bow, and it's sleeveless. Well, you can combine the elements any way you want. Here are some amazing examples of finished blouses (find a link to the original under the picture):
Clare Szabo
Alix B
scuffsan
jmacal9425
And there are many more...

My plan is to make a sleeveless blouse with pleats and a collar. Although I will use a peter pan collar and since I've never drafted anything and will only get an uneven result, I got a pattern for the Rosemary Collar by Christine Hayes. I will use my other set of old Marimekko curtains:
Muija by Maija Isola 1968, Marimekko
Green Muija
These are popular prints from the 70s, like Kaivo that I used in my Miette Skirt. These are Finnish design classics and remind me very much of my childhood. Muija is only available in black and white at the moment (although I did still see colors somewhere, but not on the official Marimekko site), but when I bought this there was also a lovely green version available (see the picture on the right). After thinking long and hard I chose the orange in the end. I also have some plain yellow fabric that I'm using for the bias binding and collar. We'll see how it looks like when it's done. I'm quite proud that I'm not buying any fabric for this. Only thing I needed to get was buttons. If I don't screw this up, I think I'll be using this top a lot.

I think the course is good for a home sewer, even if you're not very experienced. It assumes you know some basics, but things like buttonholes are explained, so you don't need a whole lot of experience. I also loved the idea of not knotting your thread, but securing it while sewing. I like the approach that even though you want to be accurate and get a finished look, if you screw something up, but it doesn't show, don't worry about it too much. And also that you don't have to have special tools for everything. I've also enrolled in some classes that uses couture techniques and I'm sure it's easier to get that look with proper tools, I just can't get everything. Things cost money, and I don't even have a good place to cut at the moment (I used to do it on the floor, well still do, but I have a tile floor, so it's a bit inconvenient), but I still manage to get things done. Ideally I would have a sewing room, but I don't see that a likely development in the near future. At the moment I live in a studio. Well, my mom managed to sew in the corner of the bedroom... well, I guess I'm doing that too. But most of the tools introduced in the course I already have!

In addition to this class, I've started few other classes at Craftsy and I have to say, I really like the format. You can look at the videos on your own time, you can make notes to them, when there's something in the middle of the video you want to get back to and you can ask questions and the teacher and other students are there to answer you. I also learn a lot from the questions of others. And then you can see finished projects other people have made, which inspires me a lot. If you haven't heard of Craftsy or never tried it, I really recommend to try one of their free courses like the Mastering Zipper Techniques (haven't taken it yet, but heard good things about it here). Well, I'm hooked anyway. Now I just have to finish them. And no, I wasn't in any way sponsored by Craftsy.

Hopefully there's some finished garments soon. And hopefully the weather gets better here, since I'm sewing all these summery things... Well, this one should work, since I already got the buttons and I have the fabric and the pattern was a pdf. Then again, I have a lot of work to do and my parents are coming to visit: they'll be here tomorrow. We'll see. I will also keep the blog updated about the other Craftsy courses I'm taking.

The Great Gatsby Giveaway

Friday, May 17, 2013
I was going through my bookshelf when I saw this book I bought last year when I was sewing my charleston dress. At the moment I'm interested in a book with more depth, although this was better than I thought (I have only looked at the pictures before...)
It's not a sewing book, but it's a quick book on the fashions of 1920s and 1930s. I think it pretty much did what it was supposed to do. It's not an extensive history of fashion and it doesn't go into details. What it does, it gives you a good idea of the fashion trends and what to look for when you want to recreate it. Whether you're buying vintage clothes or making your own to achieve the look. I think it's a great resource for someone who wants to have an period accurate costume or is starting to get into vintage fashion of these decades. It also gives a list of further information, if you're so inclined.

But, as I just ordered a more thorough fashion sourcebook and since there's the Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge and all, I thought I would offer this book as a giveaway. It is a pretty little thing, and I think it gives a good idea of the main trends in fashion especially reproducing the look in mind. It talkes about fabrics and cuts and stuff.

So, if you are interested in getting this book for yourself, leave a comment by the end of Friday 24th May (Central European time). There are no geographical restrictions, but I will send the book by cheapest method, so it might take awhile. I hope the book finds a loving home.

Pinterest inspirational, challenge update, and inventory

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Today I stumbled into this blog. I loved the style and I also found Ami's pinterest boards. Now, I've been using pinterest for awhile and I use it for all kinds of stuff, also for inspiration, but I found something in her boards I hadn't thought about. She would comment on which pattern it could be made out of. It hadn't occurred to me, mostly because I haven't been so familiar with a lot of patterns, but I'm starting to be. So when Ami suggested, that this one could be Laurel made from lace, I totally saw it!
Laurel from lace or Agata Swing Dress $420
I wasn't originally very excited about Laurel, but after seeing what people have done with it, I'm starting to see the potential there.

Then there was another pin for a trench coat, which made me think of the Robson pattern.
Robson or Topliner two-tone trenchcoat by Kate Spade $575, $202 on sale
Now, I'm not a black and white person (although I would so have shoes to go with this coat...). And I have a white trench coat, which is a pain because it gets dirty so easily, but I like the idea of the contrasting edges. I might use this at some point.

Yes, still need to wait a bit for my finished challenge garments: I still don't have the lining fabrics! And I got an update on my order that the lining for Réglisse will be late... So, I might not finish in time... Hopefully I get it for next week.

While I've been waiting for my fabrics and things I've done some inventory on my stash and realized I have more fabric, than I thought... and things to refashion and/or repair. Out of my 4 boxes (one contains mostly patterns) I need to get rid of 3. I decided I need to get rid of at least one box this year. And if I don't make anything myself, I can always offer them as giveaways... But there's no point in hoarding it if I'm not making anything. Hopefully there will be an actual sewing update soon...

SwimAlong2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My sewing challenges are coming along, I did some fitting with my mother while I was in Switzerland. I didn't really have to change anything. Except keep the bodice with extra length for Réglisse. But I had forgot to order lining for my flapper dress (and the zipper!) and I realized that with the fabric I bought for Réglisse, I need to line it too. So, I'm waiting for some extra material now. But hey, I decided to go for another sewalong...

Katie at Kadiddlehopper and Leila at Three Dresses Project are hosting a swimsuit sew-along. I have a hard time finding swimsuits and/or bikinis I like, so I decided to give it a go. Also, it's on till the end of June, so I have time even if I don't start sewing before June... But I got my pattern already! I went for Mrs Depew Vintage's One-Piece Bathing Suit. I was looking at the lovely 40s pattern as well, but this has my size. So, if this goes well, I might try that as well.
I also ordered a fabric:
Fabric from Spandex House
I'm thinking of making the halterneck version. I think I will like the feel of it more. I'm quite excited, although a bit afraid as well, since this will look horrible if it doesn't fit well. I'm also really happy about the pattern, although I really wanted to make this:
Hollywood 1341
But I couldn't find where I could buy it. Or I did (and it was the right size!), but it was $85 + shipping, so I think not... I will keep a look out for this, however, since I'm totally in love with it. But I think I'll be happy with my current pattern as long as I can make it fit...

Réglisse trial run

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Woohoo! The muslin for Réglisse is done!!! Well, it was done on Sunday, but I just hadn't taken any pictures of it.
I was too lazy to do anything to the picture... It was already a job to get a picture of me were I didn't look like I was drunk. And sorry for the mirror, the better one (without the butterflies & stuff) is currently occupied behind drying laundry...
It looks like there's not too much to change. It doesn't have the rubberband in the waist yet, so it will get some shape with that and I didn't bother doing the sleeves and collar. Those I think won't be a problem. I thought I would've had to do something about the waist length, since I cut out the size 38, but my waist is more like 40. But there's totally enough fabric and I think I prefer little bit less fabric there anyway. I did add 3/8 to the bodice length, but used the 5/8 seam allowance (I'm trying to get used to inches since I'm using the English instructions, the cm are in the French booklet... luckily I have a measuring tape with both measures in it). It's weird, even though I'm short my bodice still needs lengthening... But the bust looks good and the darts are exactly were they're supposed to be! I think it turned out pretty good, and I think the only problem is my scoliosis, so I will try to fix this when I fit it with my mother next week in Switzerland (sometimes you need to go far for fitting help...).

I decided to take this whole week off from work, because I have things to do at home and no one's at work anyway, since 8th and 9th are holidays in France. I got my flapper dress patter in the mail and I already cut out the muslin and I will sew it tomorrow. And I have one swing dress that I've the muslin (well, muslin sounds too fancy, I just use old sheets, hence the weird looking fabric) cut out like 2 years ago, and I try to sew that tomorrow as well, if I have time (I also need to clean a bit and pack and catch the train...). I will get my dress form tomorrow from the post office, so I should be able to do my own fitting when I get back from holidays :) I don't know how well it adjusts to the crooked spine thing, though, but it's not something people tend to notice (except when I'm tired, then they ask me if my leg is hurting...), so I think I'll be ok, even if the fit isn't perfect on that part.

In any case my challenges look pretty good at this point. I still haven't gotten my fabrics, though, but I expect to have them when I return from Switzerland. I'm getting a bit sick of sheets and would love to have some other kind of fabric...

It can be Christmas every day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Well, especially if you're me and forget about what you ordered. So, the Couture Vintage by Tonje Thoresen (in French!) was a nice surprise.
In my letterbox today
Photo by rankkaapina • Instagram

And they all look so wonderful! The Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer is a technique book, no patterns there, I've just been drooling for it for a long time. I bought it together with Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing (Check out Gertie's blog also) which actually mentions my old sewing book that I got from my mother (it's from the 80s, but awesome) and you can actually still find it in English (Reader's Digest Complet Guide to Sewing).  The one thing I love about the Finnish version is that the name is "The Great Sewing Book - Sew and Save". Yes, saving has been a big thing in Finnish sewing at least in the 80s. Well, I know my sister also makes a lot of clothes for her girls and saves up a lot.
The best sewing book ever, and better yet: in Finnish!
The Couture Vintage book looks amazing! It's exactly what I want: not sewing technique, just the patterns and the instructions. With craft books I really like when they keep these things separate. I mean I have the Colette Patterns book and Gertie's book which both have technique and patterns, but I have good technique books, so I'd rather just have the patterns and specific pattern information on those books. Well, of course, they are more beginner friendly. But back to my French book, you can see a review and the pictures of all the clothes here (in French, but you can always look at the pictures if you don't know French). I would like to make at least these:


I mean how perfect are these!? Well, it does help, that the model is awfully pretty, but that's the beauty about sewing: you can actually make these fit you, and if they fit, they'll look great.

And something about this book and also the Réglisse pattern that I got today (I'll be off to make a muslin after I write this): the patterns are on a thick paper, so they will be easier to preserve! I think this might be a European thing (I might be wrong), because before Colette patterns I had never seen the thin pattern paper. Of course I will transfer these to such paper, but the originals will be intact! The book uses the same technique as many pattern magazines: you have a bunch of patterns on top of each other to save space. This just makes me so happy! And the Deer and Doe patterns have the instruction booklet both in French and in English (so there's really no excuse not to order these patterns). But if you like vintage style, I really recommend the Couture Vintage book. It's only in French (I think, I didn't really search for it), but I think the pictures are pretty clear and you can always look up techniques on a book in your language. Plus you might learn a bit of French :) And the clothes just look SO pretty!

Great British Sewing Bee (SPOILER ALERT)

Friday, May 3, 2013
I wanted to post about this earlier, but I was behind with some other posts, so this had to wait. Many people have already talked about this, but I just have to add my own: Finally a reality tv series I LOVE! Of course it's the Great British Sewing bee, which have been renewed for second series (yey!). Now, if you haven't watched it, go and watch the first episode now: Great British Sewing Bee - Episode 1. I was totally hooked after 2 seconds... If you don't want to be spoiled, I suggest you watch all the episodes - there's only 4 of them.

The contestants, presenter, and judges
I first heard about this, since Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons announced that she will be a contestant. This was enough for me to check it out. I really like her style: both the blog and her clothes. And it didn't take me a long time to get hooked. Now, it's not your every day reality show. It totally didn't have any drama between the contestants, everyone seemed to think everyone else was awesome. Maybe because they seemed like people who love to sew and were there for that and not because they wanted to be on tv. Maybe there are people who think this is boring, but I just totally loved it.

The judges really knew their sewing: May Martin is a trained teacher of needlework and home economics and has been teaching sewing for 40 years. Patrick Grant has no formal training in tailoring, but bought the Savile Row tailors Norton and Sons in 2005 and since then has been surrounded with some of the best hand sewers in the world. I also liked the presenter, Claudia Winkleman, who has her own radio program and has been hosting Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two for 7 years. She had the ungrateful task to harass the contestants while they were working...
From the left: May Martin, Claudia Winkleman, and Patrick Grant 
The contestants were varied in experience and personalities as it tends to be with reality shows, but I think they really came together because of their love of sewing. And here they are:

Ann Rowley, 81, widowed housewife, mother of 5, grandmother of 7
Has sewn all her life since she was 6-years-old and besides sewing enjoys yoga, cooking, knitting, and gardening
Sewing style: elegant, timeless, and chic

Jane Lake, 57, retired school photographer
Has sewn since secondary school and also enjoys knitting, netball, and classic cars.
Sewing style: retro-inspired, love of vintage fabrics, often flamboyant

Lauren Guthrie, 27, renovation project manager (opened her own haberdashery after the show aired)
Has sewn since she was 6, is a trained physiotherapist, and enjoys running, cooking, growing vegetables, and knitting with her knitting group.
Sewing style: feminine and quaint

Mark Sanders, 41, HGV mechanic
Mark's mom taught him to sew, but he really started sewing when he started to attend steampunk events with his wife (and you can check on Tilly's blog, those costumes are amazing!). He had only ever sewed 2 zippers before the show (the historical costumes are from an era before zippers).
Sewing style: historical costumes, pirate outfits, and the use of heavy duty fabrics

Michelle Osbourne Matthiasson, 35, manager at Centrepoint charity
Michelle learned sewing from her grandmother and now in case of confusion she refers to YouTube. She loves to go fabric shopping with her mom and to create fitting, unique clothes.
Sewing style: classic, tailored, and fitted

Sandra Lavender, 48, cleaner
Both Sandra's mom and grandmother used to sew and she has lot of inherited vintage patterns (she's sooo lucky!). She has 3 girls and she has always sewn clothes for them as well as things like curtains for the home.
Sewing style: flouncy, frilly style, and love for flowery fabrics

Stuart Hillard, 41, sales manager
When Stuart moved into his first home, it inspired him to start sewing. He has since then sewed a lot of things for the home and has 'run out of beds to make quilts for' (he could totally do one for me!). Stuart had the least experience with garments, but he's a fast learner and has a sense of fun in his sewing.
Sewing style: quilt-maker, home furnishings

Tilly Walnes, 32, film festival project manager
Tilly started sewing 2 years ago and 'it was love at first stitch'. She writes a blog about her sewing projects and has quite a following (I read her blog regularly). She also meets like-minded crafters in a local pub.
Sewing style: film noir -inspired, 1960s chic

I wish we could've kept everyone for the whole series, which anyway was way too short. I did have a favorite from the beginning: Ann. I just thought she was awesome, and how many reality shows could boast a winner like her? But even this didn't worry me too much: I didn't hate anyone and wouldn't have been disappointed with anyone as the winner. Sandra held a second place for me and of course I was rooting for Tilly, as I've been reading her blog for about a year now. But I really love that there is a show that shows how awesome older women can be, since in tv it sometimes seems that when women hit 35 they pretty much disappear. And this is a part of what I love about this show: it celebrates a traditionally female skill, which has been undervalued for so long. When Ann actually won the title (and Sandra was in the finale!) she said to Patrick:
You know, it's a real boost that for all these years I've been doing something right.
And I love that she's getting the recognition, but I also think it's a bit sad that she hasn't gotten it before. But in any case I love the way she was just ecstatic about winning:
This is absolutely brilliant!
Oh yes, it was :) I so have a new role model (well, in addition to my own grandmother).


Check out Tilly's experiences of the Sewing bee on her blog. She has also interviews and guest posts from the other Sewing Bee members.
Also check out Lauren's post of the opening day of her new haberdashery. Pretty much everyone was there!

Some MAJOR shopping

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Well, I start with the challenges. I of course needed to find a suitable fabric for both of them. Even though the patterns haven't arrived yet... I thought I would go to Paris on Thursday or Friday to do this, but decided that it was ok to do it at home on Wednesday when everything is closed due to 1st of May. Well yes, I actually found something I liked. Then finding the fringe for the flapper dress was another matter. I still didn't quite find long enough (or wide enough) fringe, but at least it's 4" which in my head translates to about ~10cm. Which is not too bad, but I really wanted something along the lines of 30cm. And I still have the option of doing my own fringe (which I will need to do, if the color is wrong, we'll see).

But so, what did I choose... For my Great Gatsby challenge I found a lovely turquoise satin. I'm very into turquoise at the moment. Especially when it comes to satin. And I finally, after looking for a long time, found some turquoise fringe at fabric.com! I could've taken silver as well, but somehow the fringe seems more likely to come in gold. Well, this might still change, but I will have to see the fabric and fringe together before making any decisions.
Satin for the Great Gatsby dress
Fringe for the Great Gatsby dress











If this dress becomes anything like I imagine, I will totally love it. And with less fringe I just have to make the dress a bit longer (which might not be a bad idea).

The fabric for Réglisse was also fairly easy. I was not really happy with anything, until I saw this:
Fabric for Réglisse
I can't help it, I love chocolate brown. I hope the real color is as good as in the picture. I got both of the fabrics at Hall du Tissu which seem to have a nice selection. Well for this anyway, I'm having a whole lot of trouble with fabric in general, every time I find something I really like, it's completely wrong type of fabric. Well, so far I've always managed to find something I like in the end, so I just need to look around a bit.

Lady Valet by Adjustoform
Well, my shopping spree didn't really stop here... I recently found out that I'm getting a major tax refund (well, the money will come in december) and in addition to a trip to Doha to visit my cousin, I decided I could buy a dress form. Well, I took a bit of a head start with it and ordered one today... I ordered a Lady Valet from Mercerie Durand. I did a bit of research in the net and I actually would've liked Uniquely You dress form (mostly because this video by Shona: she has a scoliosis too and it showed on the form!), but I could only find it at US Amazon and they didn't deliver to Europe. This seems like a good option as well, they had it on sale at Mercerie Durand, and my budget was ~200 €, so this was ok concerning that as well. This one has 12 buttons to fit the form to one's measurements, you can pin on it and it has a hem adjuster. And people who have it seem to like it a lot.

My Sewaholic patterns + the Pavlova
This is totally my guilt trip post, because my shopping doesn't end here either... I bought some patterns... Well, that was about a week ago, but I kind of splurged there. Well, they do ship from Canada, so I decided to buy the ones I wanted with one sitting. So, I got the Renfrew Top everyone seems to love, as well as the Cambie Dress (there are some amazing Cambies around like Scruffy Badger's, I especially like the polka dotted version, Miss Crayola Creepy's Yellow version, Karen's fruity one, and Amanda's Muddy Waters: I just love that color!), and then I need more pants, so Thurlow Trousers were an obvious choice, Alma Blouse is just so cute, Karen convinced me of Hollyburn Skirt, and who wouldn't love the Robson Coat? And then I blame it on Gillian: I also bought the Pavlova by Cake Patterns. It looks kind of vintage-y so it would be perfect for dancing. The wrap shirt would probably flatter my figure and even though Gillian didn't like hers I think it looks good on her! And I also got the two books I've been drooling on for the longest time: Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing and Couture Sewing Techniques.










And then I have some other plans, but at least I didn't buy any more patterns... I'd love to make the Abbey Coat for winter. Can you think of a more perfect coat? Well, maybe Robson ties the race, but this is completely different style, so they are in a different race. And I can't help: I love that blue! Although I think mine would be some other color... like chocolate brown or mustard (70s) yellow... And then there are the Colette patterns. I haven't forgotten the idea to make the whole book, although I think I will leave the Pastille until my fitting skills improve a bit (or I get the dress form!), and then there are some that I'd love to get: Ceylon, which I didn't think much of until I saw Lauren's version, I've always wanted to do Macaron, and Chantilly looks like my cup of tea. Also Beignet, Sencha, Jasmine, Iris, and Ginger look fun. Just when do I have the time for all this...? We'll see. At least now I'm having fun with planning. And the next projects to be completed are the two challenges. And I do have some plans for other Deer and Doe patterns, like Chardon, Belladone, Airelle, and Bleuet... And I think I should prefer French patterns, since I am in France after all ;)