Sewing Plans!

It’s getting really cold here, which means I need to start making some of those fall/winter dresses I’ve been dreaming about since July! My plans (I love daydreaming about what I’m going to sew next!) with their fabrics:


First up: the Lucille Bluth Dress (butterick 2907), view B with the collar, using a purple wool crepe (it’s so beautiful! But always looks blue in pictures, had to edit this one a bit), but first I want to make a muslin to make sure I like it (not going to waste that gorgeous wool crepe!)

After that, I’ll try to squeeze in another (hopefully) quick butterick 2952, this time another one like the pink one, but from a houndstooth wool, and with a waistband (somehow I always picture myself wearing that (still imaginary) dress in paris, with a big fancy hat on and a crocodile leather purse, walking a big black poodle. I might start calling it the Poodle Dress :)). I’m thinking about making a (removable) collar for this one.

sketch by me, Lady with the Red tights is lauriana, Ad from Chanel, dress to the right by postmodest

Then the Tweed “Chanel” Dress, which will be a slightly bigger project, because I need to draft the pattern. I first wanted to make this when I saw laurianas version, and then kept seeing more versions of this kind of dress! In Paris I finally found the right kind of herringbone fabric (it’s not tweed, but I like to call it the “Tweed Dress” anyway :)). I might also change the design to include a waistband, I’ll see if I like it on the Houndstooth Poodle Sheath first.

Gertie in her Bombshell Dress, Coco Rocha wearing Zac Posen, pattern from the bombshell course

And finally, I want to sew that Bustier Dress from Gertie’s online course! I bought 3 different colors of shantung when I was in New York, this dark seafoam one will be the one I use first. I’m excited for this one! I’m going to take my time with this one (my first time using boning!), but I’m excited to try out a few new techniques :)

Hopefully I can get started on the Lucille Dress soon! I’m a little scared of the wool crepe, pre-treating it is a little complicated from what I’ve read (steaming the entire thing with the iron…), but at least the pattern is fairly simple.

I’m in fabric heaven

I’ve spent 2 days in New Yorks Fashion District, and I don’t want to go back to Switzerlands small range of fabrics :(

I now know what wool crepe feels like! And what gabardine is! And chambray!

I bought a spiral bound notebook and started systematically working my way through the fabric stores, writing down where I saw what. Today I even got swatches! I always feel shy about asking because I know I won’t be able to buy that much of every fabric, but hey, I’m here once a year or once every two years! I need to make sure I get exactly what I want :)

So I spent the evening cutting the swatches into nice squares, stapling them into the notebook and writing down what the fabric’s called, where I got it and how much it costs. I don’t think I’ve ever been this organized haha…

I’ve only bought one fabric so far, I found the perfect one for the embellished bustier! At Parons, they’re so nice there! I actually forgot to write down the name of this fabric, but it’s a dusty pink lycra-type fabric that has a satin-shine to it. I’ll go back there soon to find out the name…

Fabrics I’ve seen:

  • Shantung! So many pretty colors. I want to get some for the bustier dress (Gertie’s Online Course), but can’t decide on a color. I’m trying to find the perfect shade of dark seafoam and I’m also considering a nice, almost tealy, blue

like this with a dash of seafoam

or a blue like the dress on the right

  • A nice deep purple wool crepe (maybe for that Lucille Dress?)
  • Gabardines for more sheath dresses? (blue and green)
  • Houndstooth fabric
  • Herringbone wool
and so many more to be honest… I have to see what my budget can manage before I buy :)

Scallops and Fabric

Corrected the back bodice pattern (I decided I’m going to leave the front as I drafted, without the under bust dart, the straps keep the fabric from folding!) and started on the math for the 3/4 circle skirt pattern today.

I don’t have enough fabric for a full circle, so I’ll make a 3/4 circle skirt. In order to fit all the pattern pieces on the fabric, I’ll have to sew the straps from 2 pieces (the back piece with the ties and the straps is this ridiculous shape that wastes so much fabric! I hope it’ll be worth it :))

Also made “test-scallops” from newspaper. I think I’m going to make the scallops about 12cm wide (the top one in the picture):

On an unrelated note, I got this large pillowcase at the thrift store a few weeks ago, and I’m not sure what I want to do with it yet (the spool is there for size comparison):

I like the stripes and the color! Maybe a romper (chevron effect)? The colors are very summery and “fun”. Or a dress with a gathered skirt? I’ll have to see if I have enough fabric.

Mint Dress – Inspiration

I’m ready to jump into the next project! I think this will be the last one before I leave for the states in August.

Last year I bought three meters of a pastel-mint colored cotton for 5 € (in the same shop I went to this year), and used some of it for my Maturaarbeit (I kind of messed up the dress and didn’t like it because it’s design and colors didn’t fit the concept anymore):

Well, I still have a lot left, and I want to make another summer dress, one with a little less going on (fabric wise) than the floral “betty draper” dress, and instead concentrate on the design and adding little details. I know I want a circle skirt with a scalloped edge, the rest I’m not sure about yet, still collecting inspiration! I’ve started using Pinterest again for this, and have a pinboard for every project I have planned (I also linked these in the sidebar ->), here is the one for the mint dress.

This is the fabric and the buttons/beads I’m considering for embellishing:

I’m still figuring out the design, more on that tomorrow.

Home again

Well, I’m back from Paris!

I ended up not buying nearly as much as I thought I would, which is great :) I spent more money on food, and didn’t go shopping that much. Most of the time was spent walking around, talking and enjoying being on vacation. I would’ve liked fabric for the Lucille Dress though (since the patttern arrived while I was away) and the bustier. I’ll just have to find something here or when I go to NY in August.

I found 3 fabrics: a tweed-like fabric (with the exact “design” I wanted! little V’s), a red cotton-lycra fabric with a bit of stretch, and nautical print viscose!

And they weren’t expensive either :) I got all three from the “coupons de saint-pierre” shop, where you get three metres for either 10, 20 or 30 € (there was a beautiful teal silk for 30 € but it wasn’t on my list and I wanted to avoid “impulse” buying). Mine were 10, 10 and 21 € (the tweed was on sale from 30). So I have 3 meters of each so hopefully I’ll be able to make more than one thing from each of the fabrics!

I went to the Porte de Vanves fleamarket and (even though I was a little late, most of the stands were closing) found 3 magazines from the 50ies (I will be posting lots of images from there as soon as I get around to scanning them) and a few vintage sewing notions, including some embellishments for the bustier:

I love the safety pins! And the nylon bias tape in the old plastic packaging. first I thought I wouldn’t use the bias tape, but I took it out to feel it, and it so soft, thin and delicate! I’m not really a fan of bias tape, but I really like the feel of these!

So much sewing inspiration in these old magazines! And I love looking at the old ads, it’s interesting to see how advertising changes and adjusts to whatever lifestyle people find desirable. I think advertising is a good “mirror” of society, it let’s you get into people’s minds. I think that’s why I like Mad Men so much, because the whole advertising industry is just a great perspective to look at a certain era (especially the 50ies and 60ies).

If you’re ever in Paris, go to this flea market! Take the metro (line 13) to “Porte de Vanves” and when you get out, it’s really close (Avenue Georges Lafenestre and Avenue Marc Sangnier). It’s small but I like it better than the famous Clignancourt one. That one’s so touristy and last time I went there, there was so much cheap crap.

So since I didn’t find everything I need for the bustier I might put that project off for a while (after I get back from my trip to the states in august), and will instead be using the red fabric I bought, and a mint colored fabric from my stash to make two dresses.

the patterns arrived! I might even use the sheath dress pattern for the red fabric

this is a cell-phone picture of all the things I bought:

the most expensive thing was the “flowerbomb” perfume. I’ve been wanting it for a long time but it’s so insanely expensive in Switzerland… the rest is all cheap stuff from vintages stores (plus a pair of shoes that was on sale and is probably not great quality, but I like them a lot).

Going to Paris!

Tomorrow morning (very early) I’m taking the train to Paris! It will be my 6th time in Paris, so I’m going to try not to buy more than 1 garment and instead focus on buying fabric and notions for projects I have planned:

  • Pale pink stretch fabric (at least 50% stretch) for my Embellished Bustier
  • Boning for the Bustier
  • Embellishments for the Bustier
  • Red lace for the Red Lace Dress
  • Lining fabric for the red lace dress (either a little lighter than the lace or a little darker, to make it stand out)
  • a nice metal chain to finish the Muff I made for my mom last christmas but couldn’t finish because I had too much else going on… (haha, she’ll be so surprised!)
  • Blue and white striped lightweight knit (to make a “copy” of my favorite sandro shirt, cause I’m wearing it to death)
  • Tweed for a Chanel-like Dress
  • Fabric for the Dark Green Dress
  • Fabric for the Red Dress
  • Little plastic animals for an awesome DIY Toy Animal Rack (check it out!)
  • Zippers

These are in the “if something catches my eye”-category:

  • Fabric with a cool print for the Lucille Dress (no idea what I want it to look like, just going to see if I find anything)
  • Blue and white striped jersey to make a basic bodysuit (to wear with skirts and jeans)
  • Jacket or Coat fabric
  • A trim for the underskirt of my floral dress

Ok, I know that’s a loong shopping list, but I’m counting on not finding all of this stuff. Which isn’t so bad, because I’m going to New York in a month to visit family and friends, so I’ll be able to shop in that fabric district too :)

You might have heard this before, but the Montmartre quarter, right at the base of the steps to Sacre-Coeur, is the best place to go fabric shopping! The first time I went I was a little overwhelmed (that’s why I’m making a list now :)), there’s so much to choose from!

Another place I’m going to look for stuff is the Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville (or BHV). On the lowest floor there’s all this stuff to remodel your home or build stuff and they also have tons of little hooks, handles and closures for bags. My favorite thing about this corner is that the parts are loose in little wooden boxes, so you can pick them out from there, and that process makes me feel like I’m in one of those “by the pound” candy stores :) I might buy some handbag handles here, because I’m not a fan of fabric handles, and these notions are hard to get in Switzerland. Switzerland may be beautiful, but it’s not the most DIYer-friendly country (at least not when it comes to sewing or advanced jewelry making).

As for packing, I want to pack as many “me-made” items as I can (while still leaving room for all that fabric! phew…) :)

Well, I’m off to clean my room and pack!

Almost forgot: Happy 4th of July! We celebrated last weekend with the Swiss-American Club :)