{ ISHI dress pattern tour }

jeudi 18 juin 2015

Meeting An from Straight Grain in Paris last April was delightful. And when she asked me to take part in her much anticipated Ishi pattern release tour, of course, I joined happily. I had seen sneek peaks of the dress on her blog and thought it was a pattern my girl would love: princess seams and big pockets are bound to make little girls happy! 

When we were in Paris I found the perfect combination of 3 fabrics with my Ishi in mind: I found the floral and pink neon stripes at the Petit Pan shop and what I believe to be silk lawn at La droguerie. 
I was so happy because , really, the 3 are a perfect match!

The dress is a very easy sew. The only tricky part is the princess seams, but An takes you through it with tips and tricks.
However, I would not be able to tell you how long it could take on average to make this dress: the last few weeks have been quite nightmarish for me, with so much work and 2 displaced vertebraes! so I really took this dress one seam at a time: and it took me a whole 3 weeks to complete. But I would say that it took about 3 hours maximum to make it altogether!!

I thought this very special dress needed a little accessory: I made a headband in 15 minutes to make a cute outfit.

Because my girl is so thin , I cut a size 6 in all widths and added 2  3/4 inches  to all hemlines following Julie from our chez nous advice (yes there are some real conversations happening on Instagram! if you have not joined that amazing community, I can only encourage you to join us in the fun!!) .
 The fit is perfect that way!

The head band is reversible: the other side is made out of the neon stripped fabric. 

The result is amazing: we all love this very special dress here: the fabric is extremely beautiful and precious and the cut of the dress is something quite unusual too. 

One more happy sewer and one more happy girl in this world! thanks An for inviting me to be part of this tour!
Today you can also check out Kelly's version on her blog here. 

{ The panda Rowan Tee and a bit of life }

mercredi 27 mai 2015

Real life has been taking over in the last week or so.
Work and rehearsals for my kids circus performances and, well , you know, marking worksheets, household chores, ....... well: LIFE!!

The whole thing left me quite exhausted.
And there is one lesson I learnt in the midst: never cut a pattern when you are that tired! 
I was making this cool Rowan Tee for my girl, because I needed some creative time.
I felt really tired but I thought I really needed to cut and sew!
I realized when I was almost finished that I had cut the sleeves wrong and that they were not symetrical at all!

It was one of these "argh" moments when I could beat myself up for messing up  such a cool fabric and such an awesome pattern.

I was really really unhappy with myself! I had no more fabric, and there was just NO WAY I would undo all these serged seams! NO WAY!!

But in the end the girl loved it so much and did not even notice the sleeves.
Plus all my friends on Instagram were so kind to me and did their best to make me feel better: I came to accept the idea that it was a "beautiful mess"!

The Panda fabric was gifted to us for our Paris sew Social event by Alles fuer selbermacher. I love it so much.
The pattern is the same Rowan tee by titchy Threads. I cut in 6 and added length to meet the 8th length.

We went for a long walk by the lake on sunday , the kids rode their bikes and I couldn't have been happier! I had long forgotten my failure.

That boy loves his new big bike: check out this face!!

 The kid's Circus performances at our local theater was beautiful: here is the girl before the "première": so excited!

She got to play a fun part in one of the interludes:

Drawing seems so much easier and convenient in times of long working hours. It is so much easier in the evenings  to pull out a pen and draw than to have to match seams perfectly!
I did find some time to do some quick drawing in my sketchbook:

a flock of birds

And learning to draw feathers:

Playing and experimenting with watercolor:


and finally dreaming of some hot weather through cactus!! they still need  color though!

We have 6 weeks to go until summer break.
I truly cannot wait!

{ More Paris sewing: the R-OAR-wan Tee }

lundi 18 mai 2015

When I was in Paris, I met the über cute Laura of Titchy Threads. She is the sweetest lady and such a talented pattern designer. 
When we came back, she offered us a pattern of our choice in her shop and I went for the Rowan Tee knowing that it would be a staple I would like to re-use many times. 

The pattern: I chose this pattern because it comes with many options and I love that! 
You can add long sleeves, a hood, pockets, ... value for money let me tell you!!
It is also great both for girls and boys.
I love that the explanations come with photos and many very clear diagrams. 
I also love that you can select which size you want to print. 
It is a great pattern and the cut is perfect. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a cool top for their kid:) 

The sizing:
I was really frustrated when spring finally sprung here, to find out that most of the clothes I made last spring-summer were already too small for my little boy. 
So I decided that I would cut and size his clothes on the larger side this year.
For this tee, his measurements for chest and waist put him in a size 4, but his height in a size 6. So, just as I did for his latest Ottobre trousers, I simply cut in size 6 and it is perfect. 

The fabric:
Between this fabric and I, well, it was love at first sight! true love! I am so glad I got so much of it ! I can actually make another hoody version of this tee with long sleeves for him for this autumn!
it is so soft and we all reckon here that those tigers are the coolest on earth!!
It was gifted by our Paris sponsor NOSH. Thank you NOSH!

Yes it is knit, and yes, I know some of you are very scared by knits!! but I must admit I used my serger to make it. 
What I find is not so nice on my regular machine when I sew knits is the hems: because I am too lazy to put a double-needle to sew the hems, I usually use the lightening stitch which I also use for all the other seams. BUT it sometimes creates waves on my hems! 
However this patterns solves the problem : the cuffed hems!! yay! no more wavy hems.  I am pretty sure that you could sew this on any regular machine and have great results, especially if you make the cuffed hem options. My opinion.

The boy is so happy with this tee. When he first put it on he just prawled in the garden roaring like a tiger!

Love him!

{ Sewing with fabric from Paris: a pair of Ottobre trousers }

mardi 12 mai 2015

The fabric:
This is the first item I have sewn with some of my Paris fabric. 
I am crazy about the fabric: it is a gorgeous linen I bought from La Droguerie. It is light enough for summer clothes and has this gorgeous stone gray I love. 

Un nouveau pantacourt pour Max, avec un tissu en lin acheté à la Droguerie à Paris. 

{ A scrapbook layout and a few thoughts on motherhood }

dimanche 10 mai 2015

It is not Mother's day in France, but I know it is in many other parts of the world.
On instagram I see beautiful photos and thoughts on motherhood and I am always touched by these testimonies.
So I thought it was the prefect timing to post this layout I made before going to Paris. It documents a photo from my 37th birthday, back in december. 

The layout:
I am using April's kit from Hip Kit Club. 
I used a lot of Amy Tan's papers and embellies and the grid paper is Elle's Studio, if I am not mistaken. 
Somehow, it took me ages to make this layout. I think the colors in the photos did not make it easy for me. But I am happy with the end result and the fact that I was able to incorporate a long journaling. 

On motherhood: 
I love being a mother to these 2 beautiful kids.
A lot of the time I feel like a failure, when they fight or winge about the smallest thing.
But most of the time, I look at them and I am overwhelmed with pride and joy. They have inherited my taste for crafts and my love of stories. They are kind and sympathetic to those who suffers.

There are things that still don't come easy to me: I am not always very patient and I really suck at doing my girl's hair! first because it is thick, curly and wild. Second, .... well... because I suck at it!!

and success!
So yesterday with the help of Pinterest (thank God for Pinterest!)  I managed this totally imperfect "Twisted french Braid" (why "french"???) . It worked and my girl and I were so happy! I felt so proud of myself, like I was finally a "proper" girl's mum!!

So I was inspired to document this moment of utter joy and pride! and for once I thought I might try drawing rather than scrapbooking! I used Micron pens and I love the result.

I am a learner and a crafter. The two combined together results in an addiction to classes of any kind!! I learnt to quilt by taking a class on Craftsy! Really! the best class ever by the way, taught by Camille Roskelley.
Right now I am totally addicted to learning to paint with watercolors and also with pens. I am taking 3 different classes and loving it! there are all available on Creativebug:
Two of them are taught by Lisa Condgon. I fell in love with her work as soon as I saw the classes and now I am following her blog and work. The third is the watercolor class and I love  it.

As a kid, I used to draw all the time. But as I grew up I kind of started to think that drawing was not a serious matter for an adult woman, mother and teacher. But now, I really feel this urge to make time and explore the possiblilities.

As my children are growing up, I am able to find more time for myself and my crafts. And I like that they know that Mama needs her creative time in order to be a happy mama! especially my girl: I like to model for her that a woman needs some time to herself from time to time.
 I usually take this creative time in the evening, when all the rest is done and when I am not too exhausted from my day at work. I love that in the morning, when they wake up, the first thing they like to do is run to my studio to see what Mama has been going up too the previous night!

{Paris sew social & a giveaway }

lundi 4 mai 2015

There are no words to truly capture the feeling I have about the trip I took to Paris 10 days ago.
It was just an amazing experience from beginning to end.
The whole idea of having a meeting of sewing bloggers was initiated by Sweet Annika and Gioia (Dotta) a few months ago. They organized it with patience and a lot of commitment! they were amazing.
When I finally took my seat on the train that would take me to Paris aftern months of emails, it was finally getting real!!

Paris in itself is amazing. I had never been there and I must say,  I fell in love at first sight. 
I adored Notre-Dame and its island. I fell in love with its small streets and gorgeous ancient monuments. I will never forget my walks along the Seine in the warmth of April's sun, and especially my first visit to Notre Rame with Annika. I was so lucky to be able to spend a lot of time alone with her on the first day!

Then we met Marta who is so lovely and fun. In the evening Victoria arrived from England. Oh , it was really getting real!

                              Darling Annika and I

 Marta and I!! This girl is so much fun!!


 lunch Place des Vôsges!!

And then: the next day all the other arrived! And here were we: 14 bloggers from all over Europe meeting for real for the first time! It was amazing!

 I was really scared at first they would not appreciate me, you know, the real un-edited me, slightly crazy and totally loud! But they did not seem to be put off ! strangely!!!
And I must say I left 13 friends behind, 13 ladies that I truly respect and appreciate. We had so much fun, we talked and laughed so much together I lost my voice and it took me a whole week to recover it. My kids say I left my voice in Paris, but I believe i left a piece of my heart too!

We stayed in a dormroom  in St Christopher's Inn, a great place, perfectly placed in Paris. They were so kind to offer to each of us a 50 % discount on our rooms! and the view from our roof top room was just AMAZING!! bonjour PARIS!!!!

Of course there was a LOT of sewing talk involved: I mean a LOT!! It was so cool to be able to be around ladies who would wonder at the fabric or the pattern you are wearing!! So relaxing let me tell you!! I felt like I could really be myself, especially with no children around!!
And of course , there was a lot of fabric shopping involved too!

My favorite spots were Petit Pan and Atelier Brunette.
Petit Pan has the most beautiful and colorful fabrics and notions. I adore the japanese feel of their patterns and we were just "ohs and ahs"!!

I snapped this photo of my dearest Annika from Naeh-connection: she is the most wonderful lady and she was such a great leader during our trip!

There was a wall covered with piping and bias tape.... swoon....

Atelier Brunette was also a fabulous moment in our trip: the adorable owner and designer of these  well known fabrics opened her shop just for us and it was so great to get to choose and to be the first to see her new collection of fabrics! Bernina offered to each of us 28 euros worth in fabric in that shop!!
Maria from La Inglesita and I wore some garments made with Atelier Brunette fabric that day. You know, just because we love to be the teacher's pets!!

On saturday we also went to Montmartre and I must say the Sacré Coeur moved me to tears. I was just so beautiful and surreal.
Victoria from As it Seams was my companion that day as we split in small groups to wonder around Montmartre. We walked the cobbled streets of that gorgeous area and had a coffe in a very french café! so cute! We had a very special afternoon together, I will never forget.

Walking back along the Seine, we found this giant blackboard and left an ephemeral mark of our passage there!!

  Olu from Needle & Ted: she is so witty!! 

Beautiful shy Nina

  Maria, La Inglesita

 Marte from Compagnie M : she is such a clever and creative woman: she was always so well dressed!

Olu and An
                                                                             Darling Laura!!

                                               Gioia from Dotta. 

On saturday night we had dinner at Les Quilles, along the canal Saint Martin. The food was delicious and the owner was so very welcoming!

 I came back home exhausted but so happy. And my suitcase was full of marvelous fabrics and notions!!
Here is a part of what I took back home:

I am going to combine these three prints to make a dress using a pattern by Straightgrain patterns:

And this cute panda print was included in our sponsors bag of goodies: Alles für Selbermacher:

I will never forget these four days, and the special women I met. All so talented and creative, all so kind and generous.I miss them already and our wild sewing conversations!!

Now onto the fun part! All of us, are having a giveaway for you!
We have 3 prizes to give because we love it when more than 1 gets to win!!
So here are the 3 prizes:

The first prize includes jerseys from Lillestoff (the rose print sponsored by Lillestoff, the ABC print sponsored by joy fits), a Andrea Lauren bag filled with goodies from Alles für Selbermacher, an Ottobre magazin, a 15$ voucher for Imagine Gnats Shop and a sewing magazine from Stoffe.de.

The second prize includes a jersey with roses from lillestoff, a fun dinosaur fabric sponsored by mon depot, some pink ribbing from Nosh, a lace zipper from Snaply, nice spools from Aurifil, a paper pattern by Compagnie M. and a sewing magazine from Stoffe.de.

The third prize includes a flowery popeline from Lillestoff, white jersey from Nosh, blue Lycra (?) with Cupcakes from mon depot, a paper pattern from Compagnie M., spools from Aurifil and a sewing magazine from stoffe.de.

In order to participate enter in the Rafflecopter below:

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