Author Archives: louise

About louise

Hi, Im in my early thirties living in France. I like to design and make stuff, from jewellery to pots to items with wool or fabric, basically anything crafty i can get my hands on.

My favourite dress of this summer.

My favourite summer shift dress

My favourite summer shift dress

My most favourite dress of the summer!
Also this is my favourite pic of me this summer!
This dress came about near the end of the summer but I’ve already had lots of wear out of it. I loved the fabric when I bought it and for that reason I think is why it took me months to decide what to make. After holding it up against me time and time again and asking my friends “what do you think I should make, I’m thinking a simple tunic? What do you think?”

In the end that’s what I made using a tried and tested pattern. The tunic pattern from the first sewing bee book. I previously made this dress using this pattern. Sorry i need a better pic of this one!

Shift dress

Shift dress

I found the fabric for this dress at the knitting and stitching show from a company printing their own fabric. I also love this dress. In fact I’m deciding that I prefer more simple lines on clothing. A bit of gathering is ok now and then. As I do love my Sureaus, from deer and doe.

Sureau, Pattern by Deer and Doe in Pink Liberty fabric. It was sunny in May!

Sureau, Pattern by Deer and Doe in Pink Liberty fabric.

Pattern by deer and doe, my grey spotty Sureau

Pattern by deer and doe, my grey spotty Sureau

Anyway back to my favourite summer dress. It was quick and easy to sew, I’ve used a vintage zip from my mother in laws stash, which I’ve sewn exposed. It’s a metal one and does get a little hot in the sunshine! I can live with this!
It’s not too tight, (don’t have to breath in!) just the right length for getting my knees tanned, don’t have to rearrange myself or the dress whilst wearing and I just feel really nice in it!

Summer linen shift dress

Summer linen shift dress

I would love to get some more wear out of it but I’m not sure if its too summery? Can I wear it with tights and a cardi? Maybe ill just have to make another in warmer fabric!

summerdress3

James and I get T-shirty!

One of the items my four year old and I made in the holidays was this T-shirt! It was a great little project to involve him in and he now loves wearing his new t-shirt, he even managed to dig out a pair of shorts with cars on to match.

large t-shirt to cut up

large t-shirt to cut up

I had previously drafted my own t-shirt block for James’ age which was very exciting for me as it was my first block/pattern. I was testing it out on this project.
We started off with a cheap t-shirt of mine that I hadn’t worn and probably was unlikely to wear. We cut out the fabric from my t-shirt using the new pattern.

Cutting t-shirt from pattern

Cutting t-shirt from pattern

We wanted to print something on the t-shirt. After umming and ahhhhhing I decided on using a stamp print, thinking it would be easier than screen printing.
Luckily amongst my arty supplies I had some lino and a lino cutter, we decided together on using a car for the design, drew the car on the lino thinking about the negative spaces that we needed and cut away the bits we didn’t want the paint to stick to.

Then very free hand, together we sponged the paint onto the lino cut and printed onto the front of the t-shirt. We just printed the front piece and printed one little car on the back piece. The paint we used was a mix of normal acrylic paint and a textile medium for screen printing on fabric. I’m not sure yet how long the print will last with multiple washes, we will see. I think next time I’m going to research fabric paint.

printing on the t-shirt front

printing on the t-shirt front

sponging the stamp for james to print

sponging the stamp for james to print

printed car front along with a few splodges

printed car front along with a few splodges

Using my overlocker I sewed it all together (after being nagged quite a lot by James!). I had cheated slightly as I had lined the pattern pieces up so I could utilise the original hem line. This made sewing it up quicker. I first sewed the shoulders, then sewed on the sleeves, cut a neckband from the same fabric smaller than the neckline, pinned in place and overlocked around the neckline stretching the band out as I sewed. Then sewed down the sides including the sleeves. I used my new coverstitch machine (still learning how to use this!) round the neckline to finish it off. Of course you can sew all this on a normal sewing machine using a stretch stitch or what I used to use was a zig zag stitch. Also attached a little pocket as I thought it would look cute and it covered up a little splodge!

overlocked shoulders and sleeves

overlocked shoulders and sleeves

neckline before it was coverstitched using a band of the same fabric

neckline before it was coverstitched using a band of the same fabric

I’m very happy with how this project has turned out and so is James! We will be doing more! Its something I’ve wanted to try out for ages, making my own pattern, printing a design and constructing the garment. I’m now on the hunt for a sustainable and organic supply of fabric! Also Fabric paint if anyone has any ideas, for paint or fabric?

August instagram fun!

This month I’ve been having loads a fun over on instagram (me on instagram) with possibly most of the sewing community. Rachel at House of Pinheiro has organised a daily photo challenge for the month of August called SewPhotoHop. Each day has a different sewing theme.
I’ve included some of my posts so far, its actually nearing the end of the month already!

Today's theme was summer shades.

Today’s theme was summer shades.

My fabric stash

My fabric stash

My sewing room.

My sewing room.

Boldest fabric, happened to be wearing a bold skirt!

Boldest fabric, happened to be wearing a bold skirt!

At first I was unsure of participating as I was in the depths of school holidays and dealing with our bed and breakfast. In the end I couldn’t resist and I’m so glad I joined in as its been really fun, didn’t want to miss out and all that! Its such a great way to meet other sewers and finding out more about the fab people I already follow. A photo challenge some how makes it easier to comment more freely on each others posts. I’ve been able to think and chat sewing this month even if I have not managed to get much sewing done! Great to have a cuppa and flic through everyone’s sewphotohop for that day. Thanks to Rachael for organising!

Day 14: Style?

Day 14: Style?

I love Instagram and being a part of the great positive inspirational people I find there.

Me made May

Just a few months late! This year I participated in Me Made May which is now rather big in the sewing community. Its a challenge about wearing items that you have made yourself. A way of improving your relationship with stuff you’ve made and to actually wear it! Its up to you how far you want to go with your challenge. I choose to try and wear something I had made every day for the month of May. The challenge is hosted by Zoe from her fabulous blog sozowhatdoyouknow

Flowery silk blouse. i think this originated as a colette sorbetto!

Flowery silk blouse. i think this originated as a colette sorbetto!

Pink silk top. Pattern is Wiksten Tank top

Pink silk top. Pattern is Wiksten Tank top

Firstly it made me get on with my ironing! I had to think about getting dressed a bit more than usual, jeans were worn less! I feel that I succeeded in my challenge in that I did wear something handmade every day. I actually discovered that I have amassed quite a few me made garments. There was one day when I really wanted to wear a ready to wear a denim dress that I had bought so i did and put on some handmade earrings instead to make me feel like i wasn’t going to fail my challenge. Ive added a few photos of some of my handmade clothes that got posted on instagram. My instagram account!
Having dressed myself for a whole month in hand sewn clothes has encouraged me continue in this effort. Most days now i will wear something hand made and it feels good!

Plantain pattern by Deer and Doe. love this t-shirt

Plantain pattern by Deer and Doe. love this t-shirt

Pattern by deer and doe, my grey spotty Sureau

Pattern by deer and doe, my grey spotty Sureau

Bit of sewing occured in May. First pair of shorts! Also wearing loose silk top which I love.

Bit of sewing occurred in May. First pair of shorts! also wearing loose silk top which I love.

Blue silk polka dot top!

Blue silk polka dot top!

Sureau, Pattern by Deer and Doe in Pink Liberty fabric. It was sunny in May!

Sureau, Pattern by Deer and Doe in Pink Liberty fabric.
It was sunny in May!

Second Lilou dress

Thought I’d post a squiffy photo of my second Lilou dress from Love at first stitch. I wanted to remember to take a photo before I went out and drank lots of fizzy! When I wear the dress again I’ll try and get another shot.

The fab fabric which is covered in swirling airplanes was a present for my birthday. Luckily there’s some left over that I can use to make something for my son. I get nagged every time he see’s it. 
Dress is based on the Lilou pattern with a circular skirt attached in place of the skirt on the pattern. It took a few attempts to attach the skirt to the bodice but that was mainly because I wanted to shorten the bodice so the waist was a bit higher. 
I love it and can’t wait to wear it again. Maybe out to lunch tomorrow!

My first Lilou dress

Thought I’d post my new Lilou dress as I have managed to have a picture taken of me in it! 

The pattern is from Tilly’s book Love at first stitch. It’s a fab book that to start with I wasn’t sure if I would make all of the patterns. However I’m indeed having a good bash at most of them. I’ve made the pj trousers, a Mimi blouse that I love, the delphine skirt and now a Lilou dress. I think actually that is nearly all of them. 
I was given a brilliant airplane print fabric for my birthday that I’m in the process of using to make another Lilou bit with a circular skirt. Hope it turns out ok. Just the back seam and hem to go.

Maxi skirt

From this 

To this!

An unloved linen sheet dyed blue and made into a long gathered skirt. I think I like it?!
My idea for a linen skirt came from a burdastyle pattern. Linen maxi skirt #122. I didn’t use the pattern as I thought I could work it out with just a simple made up waistband pattern and rectangle of fabric. Although I’m not sure how to add the bottom bias piece. I might still have a go. 
I’ve got fabric left for a little dress using this pattern.

I’ve already made the top using the fabric underneath the pattern and it worked out ok. Wiksten tank top is the pattern. http://www.shopwiksten.com/product/tank-top-sewing-pattern-downloadable-pdf

It’s quick and easy with little fitting required!

I can bake bread!

Ha ha, I can bake bread. I can’t believe how successful I was and without my bread maker. The bread maker is going to find a new home in the dark basement! 

I am now making bread a couple of times a week. It does mean we eat it all…with butter and jam!
The recipe uses 500 grams of any mix of bread flour/strong flour. 7g of quick dried yeast. (I use half of a little fresh block of bakers yeast), 1 teaspoon of salt, 300ml hand hot water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon runny honey.
Mix it all up or bung it in your mixer with a dough hook, kneed for 5 minutes in mixer, longer if kneeding by hand. 
Squash dough into a loaf tin, leave to rise  covered with oiled cling film in a warm place. It takes about an hour then bung in oven at 180c for half an hour. It should sound hollow when tapped when its done, including the underneath. If its a bit squishy and not crusty underneath put it back in the oven with no tin for a few mins. When I remember where I got the recipe i will post the link!

A diy that didnt last!

A diy that just didnt last! I painted my kitchen chairs to try and give them a new lease of life, they looked good for a while but now they have gone to basement heaven! They ended up looking quite scruffy with chips, scuffs and showed up all the dirt from my busy kitchen. a bad kind of shabby chic. Not sure if painted furniture in the kitchen is the way to go!
I have now kind of given up and bought some new cheap chairs to grace my kitchen. Not very exciting but maybe they will last a bit longer and look better for longer!

Like my chicken table cloth?!

Alpaca hair clip



Had a little alpaca yarn left over from a slouchy hat I made. Knocked up this little cutey hair clip. Idea from a fab crochet book called Geek chic crochet by Nicky Trench. It’s a good book! I want to make many of the patterns featured.

Anyway, quite pleased with my new hair clip! Alpaca wool came from my Aunty fran at abravoalpacas.com