mercredi 23 septembre 2015

Fall/Winter (and FESA) sewing and knitting plans

Hi all!

A Negroni in the making...

I'm currently working on my boyfriend's Negroni, but already thinking about my next selfish makes for this Fall/Winter and for FESA (go check Sarah's blog if you want to know more about FESA!)!

- I've started making a knit dress based on A. Satterlund's Aiken pattern. I'd like it to have a slit in the back (maybe I'll have to reinforce it with grosgrain) and I still don't know how I'm going to finish  the border. I don't want to make ribbing because I don't want it to look like a giant sweater... Well, I'll see what I can make!

- I'd like to make a Ceylon dress. This was one of the first ever Colette Patterns I bought back in 2012 and I've never made it yet because I was a bit afraid of so many pattern pieces. I have a rather heavy viscose, with a nice drape, which I think would pair well with this pattern. The only thing is, it has a directional print which runs diagonally to the grain, so I think I'll have to cut some of my pieces (such as the midriffs and yokes) on the bias if I want to maintain some symetry and sort of break the pattern at the same time. Also, some of the pieces would have to be cut twice instead of once and on the fold...Well, that sounds like a fun project, doesn't it?
Planning for my future Ceylon...You can't see it from there but the fabric is actually a dark navy blue, and there are small, dark red triangles next to these little arrow thingies.

 - I'm not sure I'll have the time to make them before the end of the year, but I also have my eyes set on this blouse from Tonje Thoresen's Couture Vintage book, which I'd really like to turn into a dress, and on Gertie's shirtdress from her first book. What? You think I'm obsessed with shirt dresses? I'm not. *cough cough*

-I'd also like to make a BHL Anna dress, probably in a wool plaid, and with longer sleeves (alteration explained here).

-I've seen some thick knit poly grey and black houndstooth fabric at Toto which I think would make a nice wintery Moneta;

-Finally, as far as knitting is concerned, I haven't decided yet what I'm going to make once I'm done with my Aiken dress. Maybe knit a Mary Mead cardi, and/or a pair of socks?

Well, that's more than enough to keep me busy till the end of the year, don't you think? Some of these projects might get made, others...well, I'll see. I'd like to make stashbusting projects a priority, but I'm not sure it's going to happen!

lundi 24 août 2015

Some Cuisine : Black Sesame Cake

I went back to my local organic supermarket recently and was intrigued to find some black sesame butter.

As I had already tried - and loved - black sesame ice cream, I thought "Hmm...Why not?"...and so it came back home with me!
And here's my first try at cooking with it - a black sesame cake! And guess what? It's also vegan-friendly!
I made it totally from scratch, so I tried to write the proportions, but I'm not sure they're perfect - there's a bit too much flour, making it a bit compact for my taste. Anyway, here it goes :

  • 140g flour (a bit less flour - something like 100g - might actually be better);
  • 1 pack (11g) baking soda;
  • 60g brown sugar;
  • 2 very ripe bananas;
  • 100g almond butter (or any other, like cashew for example) + black sesame butter (I put something like 2 tbsp almond and 1 tbsp black sesame because I was not sure I' d like it if it was all black sesame);
  • about 10cl liquid (I used coconut water because that was all I had available, but almond milk, soy milk or rice milk would be fine too).
Mix the flour, sugar and baking soda together.
Squash the bananas - if they're ripe enough, a fork should do the trick, no food processor needed.
Add the bananas and butters to your flour/sugar/soda mixture. Then add the liquid until you get the same texture as muffin dough.
Transfer to a baking pan lined with baking paper and put into the oven at 180°C.
Let it cool, then...enjoy!

You can also make a non-vegan version if you replace the bananas with 2 eggs, part of the butters with regular butter (but still, keep the black sesame...otherwise it would take out all the fun!) and regular milk instead of almond or soy milk, and maybe a little more sugar (I didn't put much of it because I was using bananas and they're already sweet). And do feel free to change the proportions if you want something a bit lighter or a different taste!

lundi 10 août 2015

What's been on my sewing table...

I haven't been posting a lot here lately, but believe me (and you would know if you follow me on Instagram ;) ), that was not for lack of sewing!
It's not always fun to be unemployed, but I must say that having more spare time is a change for the best...all the more so when it allows me to be more productive in terms of sewing! However, what I've sewn lately is more suitable for cooler weather and I haven't had the opportunity to take photos of me wearing those garments, so proper posts about these will come later.
So here's what I've been up to lately : 
I've made this Sencha blouse ...

Embroidered neckline...

And fun vintage square buttons!

 And this Chataigne skirt, which I think will be a great match for the above top...

Admittedly, the right side may look a bit plain...

But look at this wrong side! Sacred hearts, polkadot bias, lace-trimmed lining, oh my!
I've also ordered fabric for a Bombshell Swimsuit, which I may (or may not) start this week or next week...

And I'm also planning to make a Negroni shirt for my man.

And also, in other words, this is post #100! Woohoo!

vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Finished : An unplanned Moneta

Here's another sewing project which wasn't part of my plans for this summer/year, but it still happened!
Sorry for this unglamorous grocery bag! Although, I hadn't noticed until now, but it's got stripes, like my dress - and in that crappy artificial light, you could almost think the stripes on the dress are the same color as the bag's! So...not so unglamorous I'd say!
This is Colette Pattern's Moneta, made in a cotton jersey I got at Toto for something like 3€.
It's going to be nice to wear in this hot weather, but let me tell you folks...this fabric was a BITCH. As it's super thin and shifty, it took me hours to try and match stripes on my folded fabric, until I finally decided to cut it flat. As I thought it would be too much trouble to try and lay the skirt's pieces on my fabric and keep the stripes matchy, I decided to just cut two gathered rectangles. Even that, though, was not easy ; as I couldn't match my stripes at the selvedge (no matter how hard I tried!), I tried to make them match at the fold and in the middle of my fabric, by sticking random pins in the middle of my fabric (see picture below).

Can you spot the pins?
The final garment is a bit short compared with what I'm used to wear, and I think there is a thread tension problem around my sleeves and skirt hem - the upper thread - or should I say, one of my upper threads (how weird is that, seriously?!) - looks like it's too loose. 
Ugh, that's an ugly hem...

But I like it anyway, and I hope it's going to last the whole least! If not, I can still redo my hems!

mardi 14 juillet 2015

Outfit Along : all done!

You've already seen my here's my (almost) finished cardi!

This is a Hetty. Nothing particular to say about the construction. I put loads of markers to mark the lace repeats and everything went fine. As I often do with Andi's designs, I just added one lace repeat so the length fit me better. It took some time to finish because of the heat wave - not the kind of weather that makes you want to knit!

I used these gorgeous black glass buttons which I got on A Little Mercerie. They're beautiful but quite fragile - I broke one as I was sewing it, thankfully the lovely lady who sold them to me added 2 spare buttons just in case. I'll try to be very careful, but I hope they'll stand the wash!

And may I say, I think Hetty really pairs perfectly with a dress that's meant to show off a bit of skin!

lundi 13 juillet 2015

Finished : Dolores the 3rd

Yeah, I know. You're getting bored. Thing is, I can't even promise you this is the last Dolores I'm sewing. We'll see!

As you can see, this is totally unplanned sewing. So much for trying to be organized!

Anyway, back to business. As I wanted it to be slightly more fitted in the bust area, I actually cut a size 10 at the top (just kept the sleeve length and neckline at my usual size 12), graded up to 12 at the hips, and then tapered back to 10 around the hem.
And I think it works quite well!

It looks pretty casual in this pic, but I think it could totally look more stylish with a wide belt and black flats. That would totally be an outfit I'd wear to a job interview!

Look at this stripe-matching!

Only trouble I had was when finishing the neckband. My fabric was very thin, and no matter how much I pressed it, it kept curling back when I pulled on the neckband to make it match the dress's neckline. I finally solved this problem with some knit binding bought from my local fabric shop, which I sewed on my neckline and then turned to the inside. And once again, I didn't use the band to finish the arms - just turned the hem under and stitched it with a twin needle. I like it better this way.

And here's one more dress, stylish and easy to wear, in my closet!

lundi 6 juillet 2015

Outfit Along : Finished dress!

For the Outfit Along 2015, I chose to make a mashup between Colette Pattern's Lily (it's currently Colette's Pattern of the month, so head over to their website if you want to grab a copy for 15% off!) and Tilly and the Buttons' Picnic Blanket skirt.
As I didn't have to underline my fabric, this dress was much quicker to make than my first version!
I used the pattern I had tweaked after my first version, but it was too I had to take the bodice in at the side seams by 3cm (1.5 on each side). I still think it could stand to be a little tighter, but it looks OK this way and at least my dress is not uncomfortably tight!
I used a black stretch cotton sateen for the bodice and pockets, and a watermelon print cotton for the skirt and flaps at the neckline and pockets.

I added a notch at the neckline flap and made halter straps instead of regular straps.

My zipper would be more invisible if I had bothered to give it a press...but one part of it is black on black, and the other is hidden in the skirt's gathers. Soooo can we say it's *almost* invisible?

This pic gives a better view of the pockets. I used the original pattern piece but made my pockets 5 cm shorter so they're not so deep. Even though, they're still roomy enough to contain my phone and keys! 
Here's my faux waist stay. I even made a facing of sorts to hide the zipper edge and center back seams.
And here's the hem!

I've just finished knitting my OAL cardi, but it's still waiting for its buttons and reinforced button bands. I hope I get them soon enough, and I hope the temperatures are going to drop's currently far too hot to wear a cardigan, even just to take a picture of it!