Dashiki Dress: BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131

And now presenting the second of my Philadelphia wax prints in dress form.

I took a long time deciding what to make and how to place the print. Pinterest was most helpful. Also an excellent rabbit hole to fall down in.

(click image for source)

There was lots of draping myself in my fabric length. Several things were auditioned and the highly valued opinion of the craft ladies sought.

As soon as there was a hint of female anatomy from the centre motif, however, that’s all I could see. Even placed horizontally it looked like someone had been working on fit and slashed the fabric to open it up. Being hot pink was not helping.

Then I saw this

Light bulb moment: highlight the border around each panel rather than the centre motif! Use a sheath dress style so I could wear to work if I wanted too.

My version

I repeated the border down the centre back too.

The centre motif on the panels is now only very partially visible at the side seams.

This is BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131 in a size 44

It looks a little tight in the photos, and it is. But it wasn’t. This was one of those occasions when I didn’t prewash the fabric. It turned out perfectly. Then I wore it and washed it. Put it on again less than a week later and it was a bit tight.

Cutting the dress out on the cross grain probably didn’t help: there is no give at all.

(Yes, I love that this pattern has a little capelet too. I still have two panels left and am very tempted to make a matching cape, inspired by this:

For my dress, I made the same changes to the pattern as previously: moved the neckline up a few cm, added a centre back zip and slit, and converted the princess seams to darts. This made pattern matching easier.

The first time I made this dress, the cap sleeves sat out like little wings.

This time I had a very good look at the pattern, and I decided Burda had the markings around the wrong way.

Now they look like cap sleeves.

And finally. With selvedge this good, it would be a shame to turn the hem up.

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Ghost Fish dress: BurdaStyle 07/2016 #117

My love of African wax print fabrics continues to burn strongly. Even after sewing two of them up.

First up was the ghost fish.

This is based on BurdaStyle 07/2016 #117

I really liked the asymmetric and wrapped straps of this design, but I wanted to check the fit and style before committing to the fabric I had in mind for this dress. So I traced off just the right side and mirrored it.

The Fit.

Ahem.

I forgot to measure myself and measure the pattern. I just traced out a 42. Well, at least that’s what I think I did. The bodice and skirt darts didn’t match up, so perhaps I didn’t?? Any way. Whatever.

It was way too tight through the bust and a bit tight through the waist. There was no way that zip was doing up all the way.

I could have donated this dress, but I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the fabric.

What to do? I’d already faced and finished the neckline so I didn’t want to open up the princess seams. Since they were already trimmed and overlocked (I know, rookie mistake), I wasn’t going to get much out of them anyway. And there were no side seams. A lovely design feature. But not so good when alternations are required.

So, I had to do it. Had to slice through where the side seams should be, and add a black ‘racing stripe’ down the side. Right through that beautifully positioned dark vertical stripe I had spent quite a bit of time on when cutting out. Oh well. It did give me another 3 cm in width.

Now wearable. And having pockets makes it both wearable and lovable!

Plus who wouldn’t love a navy and yellow dress with ghost fish?!

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Little Christmas cakes in baked bean tins

I know. Its halfway through January and no-one. No. One. cares about Christmas cakes. But they were so cute. I just couldn’t not blog about them.

This is almost entirely the work of He who Cooks. The sewing related contribution was very minor, and only added the finishing touch. Yes. It was cutting the ribbon and securing in place with a pin.

So. What did He who Cooks do?

Well. Baked bean tins are the perfect size for cuteness optimization.

Adding exactly the same amount of cake mix to each tin is greatly facilitated by the scientific method (AKA using scales to measure mass)

Here they are, ready for the oven with their brown paper coat fastened with a kitchen string belt.

A glazed fruit and nut topping. Much easier than icing!

Viola!

Cooking and sewing!

The recipe was from Butcher Baker Baby

Christmas Cake
12 mini (small baked bean tin) cakes

200g glace cherries
500g mixed dried fruit
500g sultanas
zest of one orange
200ml sherry  (He who Cooks used a mixture of sherry and whisky)
225g butter, softened
225g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50g whole almonds

1) Put cherries and other dried fruits plus zest in bowl and soak in sherry overnight.

2) Line the cake tin: Lightly grease base and sides. Line sides with a double thickness of baking paper that stands 5cm above tin. Make 1 cm cuts at base to help it lie flat. Line base with double layer of paper.

3) Preheat oven to 150°c. Whisk butter and sugar for 5 min till light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs slowly. When almost added, whisk in some flour to stop it curdling. Fold in flour, spices, fruit and almonds. Spoon into lined tin and make a small dip in the middle of the mixture. Wrap tin in a double thickness of brown paper and tie with piece of string. Cook for 60-90 minutes.

 

 

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Christmas dresses

It’s already a week since Christmas and I haven’t posted about Christmas sewing yet. Outrageous. Anyone would think I’ve been on holidays!

Two Christmas dresses were sewn this year.

One for me. One for Felicity. Both Burdastyle patterns. Both in novelty cottons from Spotlight. Both with pockets.

Mine was BurdaStyle 04/2016 #114, lengthened to the dress length of #115 and added #115’s in seam pockets. Appropriately sack-like for Christmas dinner eating.

Felicity chose a more fitted style. But I added a bit of ease in it when I did the FBA. Christmas dinner reasons.

Felicity’s dress is based on BurdaStyle 07/2016 #111

Her version has

  • wide shoulder straps for bra strap hiding reasons
  • less full box pleats for narrow width fabric reasons
  • a shorter skirt, for fashion reasons

It was excessively hot here for Christmas. Cool cotton dresses were perfect.

And now its 2017. Thank you and best wishes to you, the wonderful online sewing community.

Happy New Year!

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Silk chiffon tablecloth dress: BurdaStyle 03/2015 #121

Another awards dinner. What a social whirl wind my life is! Ha. It is. So. Not. But it did mean that another dress required.

The wonderful online sewing community* gave me courage to cut into a silk chiffon that has been in my stash for far too long

*Thanks @bimbleandpimble for hosting #bpsewvember!

This fabric was perfect for this style (Burdastyle 03/2015 #121)

Lining a silk chiffon dress would have been an excellent idea, but instead I purchased a short RTW slip in black.

The black slip ends just above the mid thigh side slits (where my fingers are in the photo below), but all the horizontal lines in the fabric mean it’s not a sharp cutoff line

The only things I did differently to last time was to omit the in-seam pockets and use self made bias rather than a facing for the neckline. The V was a bit tricky. Best not to look too close on the inside. Oh and I also used a selvedge strip to reinforce the zip opening.

I tried not to over stress about pattern matching at seams (impossible shifty fabric to cut out..), so I’m pleased that it turned out not too bad through the centre back zip

So that’s me using the same pattern again… I’m even thinking of making a third version of this dress in a knit. Apart from basics like pencil skirts, I never do that. Have I inadvertently got older and wiser? Heaven forbid!

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Black tie: BurdaStyle Designer original 12/2013 #130

This time the fancy evening frock sewing was for me. He who Cooks and I had a black tie event to attend.

I love how this dress turned out.

I have used this pattern before: Felicity’s year 11 formal. Hers was a fluorescent abstract print. Mine is much more like the designer intended. Black.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 12/2013 #130.

Size: 36-44, I made a 42.

Fabric:

I’ve been keeping a cotton nylon self stripe in my stash for just the right project. This was it!

This fabric has great body and it wonderfully crisp, so it was perfect for the bodice and waist tucks. Plus, french seams were a joy to make in this lovely well behaved fabric.

It’s sheerness was not a problem for this design, because there’s a fitted bodice underneath the crop top and the skirt is also lined. I’m pulling the outer skirt away from the lining in the image above, and you might be able to see the slight sheerness of the crop top in the image below.

The tulip skirt shape is flattering and very easy to wear. A long slit at the back helps even though the shape is very pegged.

As you can see, I left the lining loose.

Changes I made:

The main change was to add a beaded embellishment to the neck line to accentuate the style lines.

This lovely beaded trim was from M&J Trimmings in the Garment District of New York City. Sewing souvenirs are the best!

I used two of the flowers on the back too.

The other change, and you can see the evidence (stitching!) above, was to use bias binding instead of facings on the crop top, and for the hem and slit. M of Nonsuch kindly donated the bias binding. So much easier than cutting out self bias. Thanks M!

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Valedictory Dinner in a Halter Maxi Dress: BurdaStyle 06/2016 #106

Valedictory: bidding farewell, this weekend, to secondary schooling.

Just an exam or two (or in Felicity’s case, about 14!) and it’s all over. So lets go out in style.

Technical details:

Pattern: Burdastyle 06/2016 #106

Size: 34 – 42, I made a 40, sort off, with an FBA, slightly larger waist, a bit higher through the back, plus a swayback adjustment. In other words, I adjusted the pattern to fit….after several muslins.

Fabric:

The outer fabric is a digital printed polyester chiffon from my local fabric store: Ferrier Fabrics. It had a slight crepe-y feel and wasn’t totally terrible to sew with, like polyester chiffons are wont to be.

The inner bodice/underlining was constructed from a remnant of navy polyester taffeta, leftover from an evening dress I made and wore when I was pregnant with Felicity (lots of lovely memories sewn into this dress!). The skirt was lined to mid thigh with acetate lining in navy. I used a simple A-line skirt shape for the lining.

It’s a good design: boning in the bodice give the structure needed, and then the draped and twisted and crossed over, over bodice, adds the softness.

I did the cross over opposite to the design, because this worked better for Felicity.

It was a very lovely evening. Even bad iPhone photos taken in the semi dark can’t take away the smiles!

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Liberty Love in a blouse: Burdastyle 10/2012 #122

I finally did it!

Did what, you ask? Cut into my Liberty of London fabric.

It only took two and a half years.

Purchased in London in April 2014.

Sewn and worn in Adelaide in October 2016.

I’ve understood the love for Liberty prints for a long time. Now I totally get the love for sewing Liberty.

Especially this print. I can have hot pink buttons and yellow button holes.

And look how good it looks without proper ironing… this was photographed straight after the blouse had been to craft night to have buttons sewn on, then folded up and squished in my craft bag for a couple of days.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 10/2012 #122

Size: 36-44, I made a 42, with a 1 cm sway back adjustment – I added a centre back seam for this.

I’m not convinced it made a lot of difference. This style is loose fitting

Changes I made:

I modified the yoke flaps like last time when I used this pattern for Felicity. They are cut out doubled so they end up with a fold at the lower edge. Burda says to finish and turn in the neck edge so they’d turn out like a loop, but I sewed the neck edges together with right sides to right sides. Mine look more like gun flaps from a trench coat.

I added little slits on the ‘cuffs’

I love this fabric

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Sequins: Burdastyle short swing jacket 11/2013 #115

I’d overlooked this design when I’d received this issue, and hadn’t considered it since. Something about the scratched old photo look, beanie and graffiti just didn’t appeal.

But look at the line drawing.

Perfect for sequins….a minimum of seams for which sequin removal would be required, and a drape-y style that would allow lots of movement.

And then I saw what Tanja W. created from this design!

Image from Tanya’s ‘Karl meets Coco’ project page on Burdastyle.com 

No more hesitation! This was clearly an excellent pattern for what I had in mind for some sequined mesh in the stash.

I wanted a light topper for a sort of boring evening frock I’d worn to the same event the year before.

The event was a black tie affair in the Great Hall of our National Parliament, so I figured a bit of sequined bling would work.

Lets talk about the fabric.

My sequined fabric is not your traditional sequined number. It is made up of clear plastic sequins sewn onto mesh, and then the whole thing is printed in an abstract almost wood grain pattern.

As you can see here where I’m part way through removing sequins for the neck binding strip, the sequins weren’t all beautifully lined up before printing, so there’s a bit of extra randomness to the design.

The colours are muted greens and browns, but the shininess of the plastic catches the light, so there is an overall silver-y fish scale-y effect.

I removed sequins from every seam allowance and from the hem. It took a very. long. time. And I chose a design with very few seams and then omitted a few more (like the centre back pleat and seam).

I omitted the facings too. The back neck was faced with a strip of the mesh cut across the grain so it was stretchy (after removing all the scratchy sequins). The fronts were cut out with a straight çut-on facing using the selvedge. The selvedge had a wide non sequin part, so that worked well.

I am still finding sequins everywhere.

I don’t think I’ll be sewing with sequins again in a hurry!

But it is a fun jacket to have in my wardrobe. I might even wear it with non evening wear

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Philadelphia and African wax prints

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while you know I have the greatest job in the world. I work with wine and I get to travel to science conferences in all sorts of interesting places. This year has been exceptional.

My latest trip was to Philadelphia.

I managed to squeeze in an afternoon at the Creative Africa Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The textile exhibits and the African wax print fashions were wonderful.

Love the use of the border print up the side of this princess line dress, and through the yoke.

And how can you not love a coat with enormous balls of wool, a chicken family dress or a dress featuring huge shoes?

Embellishment details

The fabric designs are so clever, and fun!..

Love these sewing related ones! And the hand bags.

I came home with some African wax prints of my own from Fabric Row (4th St).

An Angelina print, for my very own dashiki dress perhaps?

and another yellow ‘plaid’ design

My fashion critics at home have already named this one ‘ghost fish’.

Have I convinced you that wax prints are awesome?

The Creative Africa exhibition is still on for a few more days until September 25. If you’re in the area, don’t stop to think about it…. just go!

And then visit the Thinker afterwards. He’s just down the road from the exhibition.

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Is it Winter or is it Spring? BurdaStyle 01/2016 #115 and friends

It’s that changeable time of early Spring. One day is wonderfully sunny and legs and arms are barred. There’s a promise of summer in the air.

The next day its back to grey skies and rain and 15°C as the maximum. All those winter clothes that you are tired of wearing have to come out again.

My last lot of sewing has been a bit like that. Two tops, both in similar styles pattern wise, but worlds apart in expression.

Exhibit A. Winter. Made in a viscose knit from Gay Naffine

Exhibit B. Yeah! Spring! Made in a rayon challis from Britix Fabrics, San Francisco

Both have bows at the neck and full sleeves gathered into a cuff, and both are prints, but one is so much lighter in spirit than the other!

Lets talk about Winter.

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 9/2007 #101

This is an ancient pattern in terms of the internet sewing community. Nine years old! It’s a BurdaStyle pattern before downloadable PDFs and when BurdaStyle was still called Burda World of Fashion. There’s not even an electronic line drawing!

It’s designed for knits, but I know others in the sewing blogosphere have made it in wovens too

I made this up first forever ago in a synthetic navy knit. It really is forever ago because it predates me posting to Pattern Review. And I started doing that in 2010. It’s still one of my go to work tops. The fabric is amazing. Indestructible.

I’ve been promising myself to make this pattern up again, but the indestructible nature of my first one had conspired against me. No longer!

This pattern has some nice details

A deep V neck with a tie and gathers from the center rather than side bust darts,

and soft gathered sleeves. I added a cuff rather than using elastic. I don’t love elasticized cuffs on sleeves.

I love this fabric, despite its wintery tones. It has silhouette peacocks and a building that looks like Sacre Couer! And birdcages. What’s not to love?

Here’s a back view to show off that fabric a bit more.

Lets digress a bit about the skirt. This is a recent make too. It’s the last of some boiled wool in my stash. This is the third skirt I’ve made from the piece. Felicity has one too, and I used to have another one too. There was a laundry misadventure with that first one.

The notable points about the skirt are the exposed zip, with its zipper guard from novelty fabric

and the lack of a proper hem or seam finishes. Boiled wool. Great stuff for not fraying.

Its lined, and the exposed zip was reinforced with fusible interfacing. I used Tany’s great tutorial for inserting the zip.

Lets move to Spring. Some skirt, different top.

Also, sunlight!

This is from one of this years issue of BurdaStyle. It’s the 01/2016 #115 dress shortened to top length and without the drawstrings on the yokes.Thanks to M of Nonsuch for doing all the tracing work for me. She made a delightful silk version which has sadly not yet made it onto her blog..

EDITED TO ADD  Now blogged at Nonsuch. And with a blog title of One for SewingElle!

The tie neck is lovely and the sleeves are fabulous.

And while they might look ridiculous, the drafting is superb. You really do have to try very hard to drape them through your salad dressing or in the dishwater in the sink.

It must be something to do with their length (not quite full length) and the pronounced curvature of the bottom of the sleeve.

So, my new fruity and floral spring blouse has won my heart, but I think I’ll be very glad of my new winter top, when its cold again.

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Turning souvenir fabric into a winter Tee-top: BurdaStyle 06/2016 #101

Yes I did bring back some fabric souvenirs from Philadelphia. I’ll tell you about them later.

Today is about souvenirs of Brighton.

In particular, a lovely grey and baby blue boiled wool.

I scored the last of that fabric on the roll, and it was only 1.2 m of 120 wide. Options were limited.

Should I make a jacket with contrast sleeves? Or that really simple T-Shirt top in Burdas June issue?

You know, the one that should be made with soft or thin or drape-y fabric.

In other words, all the things my fabric was not.

You know where this is going don’t you?

I give you winter sweater with ridiculous wide and short sleeves

I like it! Despite its being a catalogue of all the things poor fitting: draglines and excess fabric under the arms.

And the pooling in the small of my back (or is that just me trying to stand up too straight?)

In its defense, it really is lovely fabric.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 06/2016 #103A

The line drawing is not distorted… The top really is that shape

Size: 36-44, I made a 42 and added 5 cm to the length. The fabric has some mechanical stretch so I used a shallow zig zag stitch for construction.

I finished the neck edge with a bias strip of cotton batiste (a remnant from I’ve-done-all-the-dumb-things-dress)

A ‘tag’ to make it easy to tell the front from the back

Outside

and inside views

No need for seam finishes or hems on the sleeves (selvedge) or the bottom ( just a cut edge)

And I love the way it can be folded up with such simplicity.

So, the last word?

Very happy this sweater is in my wardrobe. It’s a reminder of Brighton, and of accepting diversity in all aspects of life, even pattern styles.

Plus its cozy and warm and some of my favourite colours.

 

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In London with Felicity

Warning. Another image heavy post with only a small amount of sewing content.

PSA over. Still with me?

Okay, lets start.

Felicity and I continued to pack a lot in to our remaining 5 days away. World’s best tourists? Most walking between the sights as possible? Most use of bandaids on feet? All of the above? Perhaps.

Big Ben and Westminster

This was our first afternoon in London. We had beautiful sunny weather most days, and this was no exception.

There were one or two rowdy protesters (Tony Blair and the Iraq war was the issue of the day), and a sobering tribute to Jo Cox among the statues of Churchill, Gandhi, Mandela and other famous leaders of Britain and the Commonwealth.

Westminster Abbey

This is a must see even if you only have a passing interest in English history. The audio tour in the interior of the Church is excellent. The cloisters are beautiful. Even the tiles are great!

Tower Bridge

“A more absurd structure than the Tower Bridge was never thrown across a strategic river” said Frank Brangwyn soon after it was built. Really??!

I love the blue paint. It’s been painted in this colour scheme since the Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977, and was most recently repainted for the Olympics in 2012.

The Tower of London

Another must see.

The tour led by the Beef-eaters is fantastic. The Crown Jewels are magnificent. All of the buildings are fascinating and the level of detail provided in exhibits and signs is great. Well worth the entrance fee.

Our accommodation in Wapping

We stayed in another excellent Airbnb property in London. This was in a block of flats in Wapping, with several good local food shops, including a butcher, just around the corner, and very close to the Thames. There was a festival in Wapping Green on the weekend, which added a lovely vibe. And the local fish and chips were pretty good!

Our flat’s front door was a good blog photo shoot opportunity for BurdaStyle 03/2016 #113 shorts, as was platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross.

I’ve blogged about sewing these shorts, but this is the first time I’ve had a photo of a real life model in them. The scallop pocket detail is very cute.

Buckingham Palace, Green Park and the Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade

Pomp and ceremony, splendid palaces and lovely green parks. How delightfully English!

The National Gallery

Our love of art continued in London. So many glorious paintings.

We were not the only ones enjoying the gallery: we overhead the following at one of the school group sessions.

  • Guide: Have you been to other art galleries?
  • Students (in chorus): Yes.
  • Guide: What have you seen there?
  • Student: Paintings.

Felicity is wearing BurdaStyle 06/2013 #120 (the lobster dress) under Simplicity 2603.

Kensington Palace

This is lovely to visit just on its merits as a royal palace. There’s rooms to explore, exhibits about famous royal tenants, fabulous furniture to look at, clothes to try on, cards to play, beautiful gardens..

..and special exhibits like ‘Fashion Rules Restyled’: four decades of dresses from the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana.

That orange caftan style dress of the Queen’s from the seventies is pretty fabulous.

Portobello Road Market

This is a fun place to visit and browse.

Among the alternative fashion, second hand goods and antiques…

..I found some fabulous lace and antique buttons and notions

Afternoon tea in Harrods Food Hall

What better place to have a cuppa?

I’m wearing my chambray jacket made from a Japanese sewing book over a RTW Liberty fabric shirt. The jacket’s roomy pockets and easy going style are perfect for being a tourist. Yes, that’s a Beefeater lapel pin. Newly purchased. All style, that’s me.

A stroll along the Thames: Cleopatra’s Needle, Millennium Footbridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

Shakespeare’s Globe

A clever reconstruction of the playhouse originally built in 1599. It even includes standing only “seats”, to give the authentic Elizabethan experience (2 to 3 hour performances too – so that requires stamina!). We ran out of time this trip, but attending a Shakespeare production at the Globe is now on my bucket list.

Lunch and Liberty

Our last day had more of my favourite things: a long leisurely lunch with Australian friends now living in London and a trip to Liberty. Perfection!

Alright, lets look at those fabrics a bit closer.

The blue and red small floral is a silk, the other two are lawn. Fabric has got to be one of the best souvenirs.

 

And speaking of that, this Saturday I fly to Philadelphia for another conference and some work meetings. I know. Ridiculous amount of flying this year.

It looks like my schedule will include a few hours free on one of the days. I’m thinking of getting to the Vlisco exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Or should I perhaps check out Philadelphia’s fabric shopping (not that I need any more fabric). Decisions, decisions. Any advice for me?

 

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Sew, a needle pulling thread

..and following on from talking about some of my favourite things and other quotes from Sound of Music..

I give you dresses made from curtains for attending the Sound of Music this week in Adelaide.

We thank IKEA for supplying the raw materials

and Nanette for organizing the tickets (and photobombing on the night)

The musical was fantastic.

We had a ball.

Thanks to the awesome ladies at the bar who instantly got why we were dressed like this. Our night would have been complete if we’d also managed to get a photo with the two guys in lederhosen…

Technical details

Patterns:

Burdastyle 02/2011 #101

Burdastyle 03/2015 #121 with the in seam pockets of #122

Sizes:

42 for mine, with no changes

38 for Felicity with an FBA and raised neckline. I’d made this dress for her previously in 2011, she still wears it (despite my prediction, this turned out to be a much loved dress) and it still just fits so I used the previously adjusted pattern.

Not a perfect fit, but well and truly fit for purpose

Fabric: Ikea cotton curtains. It’s a somewhat loose weave, so I used strips of interfacing to reinforce the neck lines of both, and the raglan sleeves on the bodice of my dress. I know. I probably will never wear it again, but I couldn’t help myself.

The hems and side seams of the curtain were repurposed as the hems and side slits on my dress, and the eyelets and rings made a nice feature on Felicity’s dress. Also, no hemming by me at all of both dresses. That’s got to be a win!

Yes, the side slits do come up quite high.

And how great is my daughter? How many eighteen year olds would be happy to wear matching mum and daughter floral frocks?

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Paris with Felicity

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my crazy cat coat. Now I need to tell you about Paris.

We had a superb airbnb apartment in Le Marais district.

The view from our studio window into the central courtyard was charming. The apartment itself had delightful exposed beams, not quite straight walls and low ceilings. Le Marais is a very interesting district: aristocratic, wealthy (yes that blue sports car was on our street!), bohemian, ancient, jewish, gay, and with great boutiques, bars and restaurants. We loved it.

We had 4 days in Paris, and we wanted to see a lot, so we packed a lot in.

Musée du Louvre

Magnificent, over whelming, and a must see.

Even waiting in line is not so bad.

We started in the Babylonian antiquities

And that’s Simplicity 2603 waterfall cardigan in black wool merino being worn in way not depicted on the envelope art (back to front).

We enjoyed the interior design section

And we braved the crowds for the famous exhibits

Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées

Yes of course we went there too!

After all that war history, and live army presence, we need some sustenance.

Versailles

We managed to visit on a day the palace was closed.

Those golden gates were shut, which ever way we looked at it!

I know. Bad planning! We did have a train strike that constrained the days we could go. But still. I think I might be fired as tour guide.

What that meant was a lot more time in the gardens. Like the lucky people who work here.

And the gardens are fabulous. Win win I say.

Someone might want to go back one day and see whats inside.

Tour Eiffel

I love the Eiffel Tower. I know it is clichéd and crawling with tourists, but still, there is something fabulous and wonderful about it.

Palais Garnier

With bonus street style (well, perhaps more like bonus ‘going out to the opera’ style)

Musée D’Orsay

This really is the best art museum

It’s in a re-purposed train station with a view across the Seine, and has Van Gogh.

Oh you want more than van Gogh?

No problem

There quite a few other famous painters there too. Like Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas…

And interior design too.

Loved it!

Almost enough to leave a love lock further down the river

BurdaStyle 10/2012 #122 blouse made in fabric from Scotland being modeled in this photo

Sacré Coeur and Montmartre

No visit to Paris is complete without macarons for afternoon tea after visiting Basilique du Sacré Coeur, and a visit to Marché St Pierre, Montmartre for fabric shopping.

These lovely African wax prints followed me home.

Notre Dame

And lets finish this blog post with one of my favourite things.

As Felicity reminded me, Maria in the Sound of Music says ‘When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window’.

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