Posts filed under inspiration

Modes et Travaux - Les Modèles Simples

Just a quick inspiration post from an old issue of Modes et Travaux:


Love the first two coats on the left! Also the grey, the blue and the red dress. But what's up with that blue blouse? Boob flap? Is it for breastfeeding? Or maybe you can just remove it from the dress to "go from day to night in an instant". Im intrigued.

Posted on November 10, 2014 and filed under inspiration, vintage magazine scans.

Couture - 1953 Magazine Scan

A loong time ago I posted some scans from an old magazine - I'm back with more! First, the beautiful cover:

I love the colors and textures! The vertical pleats are so beautiful, they're sort of stiff and soft at the same time. And the mohair coat! So luxurious...

Pages 9 and 13 are also interesting:

 from left to right: Dress by Georgette Rénal, Jacket (or more like a poncho, it doesn't look like the buttons go all the way down) by Jaques Griffe, Dress by (Madame) Grès

from left to right: Dress by Georgette Rénal, Jacket (or more like a poncho, it doesn't look like the buttons go all the way down) by Jaques Griffe, Dress by (Madame) Grès

 Top left: dress by Jean Dessès, Top right: Pierre Clarence, bottom: Jeanne Lafaurie

Top left: dress by Jean Dessès, Top right: Pierre Clarence, bottom: Jeanne Lafaurie

I think my favorites are the wrap dress by Georgette Rénal, and the weird print on the dress by Jeanne Lafaurie!

Reaping Dress - Wearable Muslin WIP

I've started on another dress - I know, I know, my mom used to tell me aaall the time "finish what you're doing before you start something new!", you tried mom but I guess my brain doesn't want to work that way! (but I did make a first, simple harness! that's a different post though) - and I'm not alone with this one! A quick google search will show you, that many sewing bloggers have taken inspiration from the first Hunger Games Movie, or to be more precise: the "Reaping" scene.

 sources:  1  //  2  

sources: 1 // 2 

 source  3  

source 3 

I first saw this dress on Gertie's Blog, before I even saw the movie. That's actually what made me want to see it. The appeal of the dress, I think, is how simple yet elegant it is. It looks like an old dress, just the way the fabric looks (so soft!), but the almost perfect fit makes it beautiful.

Well, after some "research" (googling the dress, looking at pictures and re-watching the scene to see the back) I made a sketch:

ReapingDress Sketch.jpg

Because I'm newly enthusiastic about shirring, I've decided to shir the waist at the back. And even though the original is probably just gathered at the neckline, I want to shirr that part too. Also, to make it easy to get into and out of, I want the button placket to extend all the way down the dress.
Before I started manipulating my bodice block, I sketched out the different steps I'd have to take. I find this really helps! I don't really reference it afterwards, but it just helps the thought process.

I spent about 3 hours total drafting the pattern (I always wonder why it takes so long? maybe listening to Harry Potter audiobooks slows me down...) today and started a wearable muslin. I plan to make it a peplum blouse.


I'm really happy with how it's turning out! I can already tell that I'm going to have to add a little more ease, especially to the back bodice and sleeves to make it more comfortable, but I even like the blouse without the neckline shirring detail.

Would you be interested in seeing the drafting process? I used a mixture of dart-splitting (front and back bodice) and changing a dart to gathers (front bodice).
I'm curious how the back bodice manipulation will turn out, I split the back bodice dart into about 5 darts, spread evenly across the waistline seam to accomodate the shirring, to make sure the volume will be correctly distributed. I didn't find anything on this on the internet, so if it turns out well I might make a little "tutorial", what do you think?

By the way, as I'm working with this striped fabric, I've found I really like it and want to try something soon with interesting directional contrasts, something like this dress from the Vanity Fair "W.E." editorial (that Madonna movie I never saw):


Isn't it gorgeous? Am I mad for wanting to sew something that's going to be a pain to match up at the seams? Maybe it's the kind of challenge I need right now, I've never worked with hard-to-match-at-the-seams fabric.

Posted on August 5, 2013 and filed under DIY & Crafts, inspiration, Sewing.

Settling in + Bought: Vintage Patterns

I have internet in my new aparment! Yes! The house is now a home :) Although to tell the truth I didn't miss it all that much, I was so busy painting wine crates, building my ikea desk and buying plants. I don't have my camera chord here yet, so the photos of the things I've made and bought will have to wait for another post. But here's a crappy iPhone picture of my new (old) bed:


The best thing about a large bed, is that when I'm on my laptop and I get sleepy, I don't have to close it and put it away, I can just roll over and doze off.  :) And my new room is so big! There's actually room for all of my stuff!

In other news, I'm finally feeling inspired to sew again! A big part of that was Rochelle's post about a 40s dress she made. The bodice of that dress is the perfect blouse! And the buttons are amazing! I tried to find the exact pattern she used but no luck... and in the process of searching for a similar one (it wasn't that easy! kimono/cap sleeves, no yoke, gathers a the shoulder seams, tucks at the waist, button front, cute collar), I came across a couple other patterns that I needed to buy (obviously):


The first pattern is the closest one I found to the one Rochelle used, and I love the striped version, especially the contrasting pockets! I'm usually not so much into stripes, but in that shade of blue... hmm. But I should really be using up stuff from my stash. The second pattern is very similar to the first, but comes with an original embroidery transfer! Plus it has set-in sleeves, so it's totally different, right? :) The third I got because of the gathering detail at the collar and the turned up cuffs. Maybe I could even make a coat from that pattern? The fourth one isn't exactly special, but I love the artwork and design of the envelope, and I like that the tank has a wide neckline. I really need more sleeveless tops. And pants! I've never made pants (or well, not wearable ones...), so that's always a good pattern to have on hand. Oh my god, the fifth pattern is exactly like a dress in one of my vintage magazines!! I posted it here, I'm talking about the Jean Dressès one. So of course, I had to have it. The last pattern I though might be good for a cowgirl type blouse, another thing that's been on my never ending "to sew" list for years. Maybe something very lightweight with some embroidery?

I'd also like to share the ones I ended up not buying (mostly because they aren't my size), because someone should!

Most of what attracts me to these patterns are neckline/bust gathering details or pocket details. The pocket flap and seamline on the second to last pattern (simplicity 3224) remind me of downward hanging flower petals! The last pattern is a knitting pattern, and I'm not sure if I have the patience to knit something with such a small gauge, but the result looks beautiful...

I hope my patterns arrive soon so I can get started! Anyone else find some nice vintage patterns lately? 

Old Family Photos

Hello! I've been quite busy this week with stuff unrelated to the blog or shop - but never fear! I'm feeling inspired to get started on a dress next week, using some old patterns and trying out hand dyeing techniques.

You may have noticed that I've added category buttons in the sidebar (I recently changed the layout in order to have a sidebar, it just doesn't feel like a blog without one!), and I wanted to share a photo I used for the "personal" button, along with some other photos.

 my dad with his mother and sisters (I'm guessing this was taken around 1958?)

my dad with his mother and sisters (I'm guessing this was taken around 1958?)

I love love love this picture! It's so real and I thinks it's really Swiss. I can't even say why exactly. But look at those socks my dad is wearing! SO CUTE! And my grandmother looking so stylish and understated with that scarf tied around her head. And the way my aunts are looking at the camera, like they're fascinated by it and don't quite understand that it's taking their picture that very moment. Their round little faces and the swiss countryside. It's just a small photo, but I'd love to print it out a lot bigger and hang it on my wall once I have my own place.

This photo also reminds me of a picture I found at a fleamarket in Paris a couple years ago:


I found this one digging through a box of what must of been hundreds of photos. It was one of the first few I took out and I fell in love with it. I wonder who these people were.

I know it's kinda stupid in a way, but I really miss pictures like these. Nowadays it seems like everyone is constantly posing, or else the opposite - pretending they don't know someone's taking their picture. Is it still possible to take real candid photos?

 my mom, at about 3 years old, rockin' that fascinator like Isabella Blow

my mom, at about 3 years old, rockin' that fascinator like Isabella Blow

Then again, posed pictures like this are adorable! These were my mom's first ballet shoes! She told me how disappointed she was when she got them and they were black and not pink like she'd imagined (but I think they're kinda cool!). What makes this picture extra special is that this little girl that dreamed of being a ballerina, did actually grow up to be one! She danced her way from NYC (she danced under George Balanchine in the New York City Ballet, and in Radio City too!) to Switzerland where she finally opened a ballet school earlier this year :)

 my mom and my aunt, ready to party!

my mom and my aunt, ready to party!


And I couldn't leave out the cat photos. I've kept my cat-obsession at bay on this blog, but what can I say, I friggin love cats. I mean, look at that beautiful creature! Look at those eyes!! I'm especially obsessed with siamese cats (ummm, have you met Mr. Minkleton?), so these pictures of my mom's cat Pasha are some of my favorites! I'm so jealous. I still secretly hope someone will just give me a friggin siamese cat for christmas or my birthday already! Come on! Pretty please?

Anyway, thanks for taking a look at some of my favorite old family photos. I love looking at old family photos, they inspire me! So let me know if you have any on your blog!

Posted on March 22, 2013 and filed under personal, inspiration.