Friday, April 29, 2011

Thermal Progress and...

I totally forgot that today was the royal wedding in London! I only turned on the TV to have something on while I ate lunch and there it was. But I'm glad I got to see a bit of it.

I just got back from Paris yesterday. I had hoped to show pictures of our trouvailles in Les Puces, but we didn't end up going because of illness. So I thought I'd show some things that I (and others) have found in the past that are on display in my home.

A fashion drawing:

A lithograph:


And another fashion plate:

We didn't get to go to the flea market, but my family did bring me some wonderful things from home: several of my paternal grandmother's quilts.

Here are some photos:


Close-up on the hand stitching:

Quilt back:

And to prove that I have been working on something, even during my travels, here's my sweater in progress:

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This is just a brief note to say that I'm still on vacation with my family and that today we're headed up to Paris for a few days. Today or tomorrow we will be visiting the famous Saint-Ouen flea market outside of Paris. Here's a link to the tourist office's official web page, if you're interested: Les Puces

And here's one little photo that I took the last (and first) time I was there:

Hopefully I'll be back soon with more pictures. I could really use my pants right now, but I haven't had time to finish them yet! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


Things may be even quieter than normal around here because I have family who'll be visiting for the next week. I'm in the middle of preparing for their visit (i.e. cleaning the apartment) but I did manage to cut out the fabric for my brown linen pants.

The prep time for this project took longer than necessary because I used a pdf pattern...on accident. Printing everything out and then taping the pages together and then tracing them took a long time, not to mention materials. I'm not sure why downloading patterns is considered advantageous. I didn't mean to purchase the pdf version and I will seriously avoid doing so in the future.

Judging from this photo you wouldn't think this fabric had been ironed, but I'm pretty sure I ironed it not once, but twice! These are definitely going to be rumple pants :)

The plaid fabric is what I've chosen for the pocket lining. I've never made pockets before and I have no idea how that works. You can see I previously used the fabric to make the tortoise shell of my Henrietta Turtle pin cushion.

Incidentally, none of these photos were taken with my new camera. I just got the memory card for it last night and I haven't had time to play with it yet. Tomorrow, tomorrow!

P.S. One of the blogs I follow, Grosgrain is doing a headband giveaway from a new shop, the S.T. Collection: S.T. Collection Headband Giveaway. I love headbands.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Toys

I mentioned in my last post that my birthday is this month and my big birthday present arrived today: a new camera!

I've never had a DSLR. I've had my compact digital camera for a while now and before that I had (and still have) an SLR. So I have to figure out how this new toy works...which might be a bit difficult because I don't seem to have the manual in English. Unless that's it there as the electronic version.

And the other part of my birthday present is sewing related:

So maybe my cuffs and sleeve plackets will be better next time and I can figure out how to do a fly front (eventually). :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fait Accompli

The New Look dress #6587 is done, done, done.

It took me more time than it should have because I had massive trouble with the thread. I don't know why...I purchased the same type of thread as usual, same brand, everything. I was just using a different color than normal: the 'pure' white. And my machine did not like it one bit. It would work for a couple centimeters then get all jammed, etc.

I cleaned and oiled the machine and replaced the needle, so it wasn't that. I couldn't believe it could just be the thread, but it was, because when I changed to a different color thread (but same composition) I had no problems. But I didn't want a different color thread, so I had to go back to the store and buy a different brand. And that white thread worked like a dream. I find that very odd, but now I know. I think I'm going to use that brand of thread from now on (until I encounter a problem) as it is 'made in France,' so at least I'll be buying local. :)

Anyhow, the dress is still too big, despite my overlapping in the front. So we'll call this a muslin, shall we? I like it, despite it being too big and I'll wear it. I have to wear a slip underneath it anyhow because the fabric is see-through, so that helps counteract the bagginess. But I'd like to do one in the proper size. I cut a 12 for this one, should I go down one size or try to do an 8 and use smaller seam allowances? The 8 seems like a radical reduction, but the 12 is more than 2 inches too big. Any advice?

As I don't have the fabric for a new dress right away, my next project will be these cropped pants from Simplicity #2656:

Here's the fabric I plan on using, with the coordinating buttons. I purchased the brown linen, intending it for another pants project, but that pattern calls for a front fly and I don't feel up to it yet. So for sure I'll have fabric left over. Maybe a skirt or a top...or both if I have enough fabric. :)

I have pants on the brain though. Me Made March made it glaringly obvious that I lack bottoms and I'd like to rectify that. I love, love, love these pants (in the picture, at least) from Burda magazine, but I've heard that their magazine patterns are rather difficult to follow so I'm hesitant to try it.

I've never sewn one of their patterns. Maybe after I've tried some other pants patterns, esp. since my Burda magazines have the instructions in French!

Aside from that, I'll be starting a secret project with these fabrics:

I can show you after mid-May, but it has to stay hush-hush until then.

Finally, it's my birthday month and a package from my sister showed up in the mail today. She's aiding and abetting me in my magazine habit, yay:

Plus she got me this super cute candle:

Thanks, Sis!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I was settled down on my couch reading one of my favorite blogs: Meg the Grand and when I got to the end of her post I had a surprise. Nid de Tissus is one of the blogs she chose to pass along the Stylish Blogger Award to!

Wow; that was unexpected. I'm just happy that I have some readers and I hope I don't bore you. So, here's a big THANK YOU to Meg. :)

I'll try to think of 7 things about me that you might like to know...

1) I spent several months living in a (big) tent with 5 other women on an (otherwise) uninhabited island (Sitkalidik) next to Alaska. We were students on an archaeology expedition. There were men there too, but not in our tent. :)

2) I walked dogs full-time for a year in Chicago. This is possibly the best job I've ever had. Dogs are great.

3) I have a piece of graphite visible in my palm from where I accidentally stabbed myself during my homework for middle school.

4) I had the good luck to live in Honolulu for 5 years before moving to Orleans, France (where I'm currently living).

5) I've been trying to learn German for forever and it's not quite sticking; but I really want to learn it!

6) I grew up in Mesa, AZ (outside of Phoenix) with my mom and older sister. I should've learned Spanish, but I studied French instead.

7) When I was 12 years old, I (accidentally) broke my dad's leg in a snowmobile accident. I was driving the snowmobile and I drove us over a fence.

It's hard to come up with 7 things! And it's hard to choose only 7 blogs to pass this award to. I'm going to limit my choices to craft/sewing blogs. If you don't want to participate, you don't have to, but I'm passing this award along to you:

Modern Vintage Cupcakes
Steph at 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World
Andi from Untangling Knots
Picnic Fan
Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones
Carolyn from Handmade by Carolyn

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Dress

I've started making a dress (my first). It's a New Look pattern, # 6587, view E. I'm not using any lace, as they do in the example. I cut a 12 (which I had feared would be too small) but now it's turning out to be too big.

I was going to cut off 1.25 inches from each front side, but T. suggested that I simply overlap (since I had already sewn the front band) and do two vertical rows of buttons. I like the idea. I'll need to line it where it overlaps because otherwise the fabric shows through. And, of course, I need to buy more buttons. It would look something like this.

I've had to take a (forced) break from the Nicky Epstein sweater: I broke the needle! So I've started this one: the Thermal by Laura Chau.

Spring is threatening to arrive. The flowers around town are blooming:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Last Days of Me Made March

Me Made March has come and gone, but I'm still wearing one self-sewn item today.

And here are the last few days of my Me Made March outfits:

Last, but not least, here's a photo of my Nicky Epstein sweater in progress:

Yesterday and today have grown cold again. I hope spring comes around again soon.