Les Menuires

We are halfway through our week at Les Menuires (which for a first timer outside Australian ski slopes beginner skier is a bit overwhelming..in a good way).  I am also probably half way through my scarf for Elliot.  I'm calling it my sampler scarf because I'm making it up as I go along and I thought I might try out a few different stitches on it but so far I've only had the courage to use stockinette, knit and moss stitch.  Oh and today I put a button hole in it so he would be able to wrap it through. The hole is super dodgy so I might need to reinforce it.  Notice, I've just gone for the arty snow shot (with my phone sadly rather than my camera) disguising the button hole for now.
Despite Mademoiselle La Droguerie suggesting that the Alpaca would be the right wool for the scarf I am having my doubts about the itchiness on a 4 year old.

My interest in knitting as my holiday sewing replacement might be waning however as I have now become fascinated with embroidery and particularly after seeing the work of Penny Leaver Green on Kickcan and Conkers last night.  I might need to see what I can find in Strasbourg when we return...

But regardless, my list of sewing projects in the pipeline continues to grow as more and more great patterns are released.  Social media is awash with excitement over the new Deer and Doe patterns and with good reason.  They are so lovely.  I will probably buy the Datura, but could easily buy the others.. particuarly the reglisse dress.

FINISHED! Baby leg warmers in Bleu de Genes Bamboo

baby leg warmers legs
We have been lazing around on holidays, the weather has been average, so the kids have been playing with Hero Factory so I have been trying to knit. It's the right kind of holiday really, especially when visiting family. Imagine the damage I could do with all this spare time if only I had my sewing machine!  By now you must be sick of these baby leg warmers, but I have to close them off and post them as a finished present.  So here they are in all their wobbly lo-fi glory. I bought a little 'body' from Petit Bateau to go with them as they looked a bit lonely on their own as a present.
In the end I used about 50grams of the bamboo/linen wool.. so if you need to weigh your wool for this project that's how much you'll need!
Originally these were going to go to a little baby boy due in April, but I think now I'll swap this present with the beanie I made earlier in the year. Anyway, for now let's pretend it's going to the April baby.  His big sister received this quilt from us back in May 2011.  I could hardly call it a quilt because it is so simple, it is hand quilted - but only minimally.  I do love it though and the fabric is from the delightful MummySam on Spoonflower.  I love her love letter fabric.
Did anyone buy the new pattern from Colette the Laurel?  It is growing on me and now I'm hatching a little plan for a winter one to make on my return to Australia.  The sun is shining here - finally - so it might be time to get out of the apartment and walk around Strasbourg, maybe down along the river to Petite Emilienne to see what fabrics they have in store.  How cute is their little bunny bag for Easter?

French knitting, d'accord!

We returned to the La Droguerie earlier in the week.  I admit to being just a litle bit intimidated by La Droguerie and the whole process of asking for the wool so ended up calling Ben back from the toy shop with the boys to help me translate.
Purchases from la droguerie
At the time I wished I'd taken some photographs of the process, because the way they actually wind the wool off the main roll onto a smaller roll and weigh as you go is super cool.  It is just so cute and seems very old school.   I chose some very cute wool: 100g each of this bamboo/linen combination.and also some Liberty piping - because they have SOOO much Liberty binding and piping. The lady kindly asked if I knew what it was used for, at least that's the translation that came to me from Ben.  
So, using my newly bought wool, I finished one leg of the leg warmers.  Yes, I started in a different wool before leaving Austalia and finished one leg in different wool earlier in the week, but hey! I'm on holidays.  I will definitely finish the other leg in this wool. I promise myself.
Ben also bought me this 100% wool beret from La Droguerie.
Yes, that is Oliver in the blue jacket racing off, desperate to find a shop with lego, not fabric, not wool, lego!
We went back to La Droguerie today because, well let's face it, I'm getting a bit over the leg warmers.  Don't get me wrong, it is a super cute pattern and I really enjoy (!!!!) knitting with the double pointed needles, I really do, but I feel a bit like I'm 'French Knitting' . Like I'm 7 again and knitting tubes. I'm going to finish the other leg and then move onto something else.. a scarf...? Well that's hardly exciting but Elliot needs one.  If you have any ideas of something that's easy but is a little bit of a challenge let me know.  I went back to La Droguerie today and bought some Alpaca because the ladies said it would be warmer.  Again, I think that's what they said! Yes, I've got a bit of a blue thing going on at the moment.  I asked if I could take a photo of them winding the wool but they said photos were forbidden.  

P.S.  Do you like David Sedaris?  I love him and think he is just so funny.  I am always reminded of this piece of his when in France... my French is not great, so find myself saying "d'accord" quite a bit! If you can find him reading it is even funnier. 

la droguerie Strasbourg

We arrived into Strasbourg yesterday through Frankfurt airport, which had snow!  As I mentioned on twitter yesterday: it was nice  to finally watch The Sapphires.  What a lovely Australian movie.  I managed to convince Ben that he should watch it too and he loved it and had a tear or two.  I also managed to watch two out of four parts of a documentary on Bill Clinton, This is Roller Derby and Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.  All highly recommended. Not bad in flight entertainment really.
So, now we settle into le Tour de la Famille (though we have next week off le tour for ski-ing).  As you would expect it is all wine and cheese and bread and wine and cheese and chocolate.  I am posting quite a lot of photos on instagram so follow along.
We did manage to pop into le centre ville this morning to do some errands where I stumbled across this store, la droguerie.  I was transfixed.  This is a new store for Strasbourg and wasn't here last time we were here in October 2011.
From the few seconds I was able to gaze in and snap a few quick phone photos it seems to sell fabric, wool, cute cute notions and a whole lot of other lovelies which I was only able to glimpse at as the boys (one big, two small) dragged me off.  A visit without the family is in order.


Akira Isogowa
On Saturday night I went to a breast cancer fundraising event and decided instead of wearing one of my handmade dresses that I would wear one of my dresses from the archives.  An Akira Isogowa dress, which I bought in 2007 for my sister's wedding.  
Akira is a Japanese born, Australian designer who shows his A/W and S/S collections at Paris.  His designs have been shown in galleries and he has also designed costumes for the Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet. 
Back in February Gillian posted an article on whether Clothing is Art.  Good question and I must admit that I was one of those people that said yes and no.  There are definitely some designers that I consider to be Artists (with a capital A) and Akira Isogowa is probably one of them.  His fabric is just stunning.  The material used in this dress for example has been pintucked (all around), printed and them embroidered.
I really encourage you to visit his website and look through his collections. 

Trip Planning

Today I was off work with one of the boys so spent a little bit of time planning the clothes I would pack for our trip to France next week .I've always loved Carolyn's posts about what she takes on holidays so thought I'd have a go. This isn't the final list - it's still a work in progress.
The first thing you'll notice from this photo is that there isn't really a lot here.  We try and get most of our things (for the four of us) into one and a bit suitcases as we always end up bringing stuff back so need the room. The other thing is that this time we are also going ski-ing so one whole suitcase will be packed with ski stuff.

At home with sick boy so may as well fix some dodgey shirringI haven't photographed any of the ski specific clothes and I've left out underwear. Have I got all the bases covered?  I'm assuming I'll cover off on the cold by wearing my big coat but may need to put in another smaller jacket for less cold days.  I still love stripes with tartan hence I'm taking my tartan scarf.

One good thing was that doing this planning exercise forced me into fixing the dodgy shirring I had done on this top.

I'm a bit disappointed with the amount of handmade in this collection.  Most of the tops are handmade and one jumper but nothing else.  I suppose almost all of the outfits here will include at least one handmade item so I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

The other thing I've been thinking about is what on earth am I going to do without my sewing machine for 5 weeks?  I suspect I will be putting a lot of ideas up on my sewing plans page!

I guess I'll keep trying to knit. I have another baby boy present I could make, so thought I'd try these cute little baby leg warmers from purlbee.  The thing is that I have to use double pointed needles to do it.   EEEEEEEEEK,  They look so menacing.  Anyway, I'm going to try and make these leg warmers and also make a little kerchief using the Liberty of London Tom's Jets fabric in the background which I've had for ages but have never done anything with it. Probably when I get back.   First I will need to master those double points.  Oh, and I'm assuming that I will be able to take them on an airplane???

FINISHED! Marion Mini Moss

Last week, having so much fabric left over after cutting out my Charlotte skirt, I decided I needed a Grainline Moss Mini and here it is!
Grainline Moss Mini in Marion Denim 
My first finished item for the year was a pair of Grainline Maritime Shorts which I made in a size 6, as at the time this was closest to my waist measurement. The fit of those was way too big despite taking them in on the sides. Clearly I'm not too worried about fit as I still wore the shorts a lot in Summer (two days into Autumn and it already seems like a distant memory).
Grainline Moss Mini in Marion Denim
For the Moss, I cut out a size 4.  Again though, I had to take them in quite a bit on each side.  The fit post adjustments is ok but they are still a bit loose around the waist and the adjustments down the side aren't as neat as I should have made them (I'm blaming the fact that I couldn't see the thread on the denim - I know I know poor excuse).  On the size guidelines for the pattern, my hips sit at the 0 but my waist sits at 4 so I'll have to rethink the size I cut out next time I make this skirt.  I had the same fit problems with the pleated pants I made last year when I went off the waist size.  Perhaps there's something in this that I should investigate.  Having said all that, I do like the skirt, I think it looks pretty cute and it will definitely be going into my suitcase.  These photos show a crease in the front but I think that is also partly to do with how I'm standing and with my hands in my pockets.

The pattern is easy to follow and Jen's zipper instructions are great.  It still seems a bit like black magic how the zip goes in, but as long as I follow Jen's instructions I'm ok and I end up with beautiful zipper.
Grainline Moss Mini in Marion Denim 
I'm wearing it here with my Grainline (copy cat) lace scout tee. I wore it around the house a lot prior to taking these photos hence the crinkled back.

I think it will look fantastic with a Briar but I just need to find the right material.  I'm thinking that a Briar to go with this skirt, will be my last sewing project prior to our holidays.   I had hoped to make another Mathilde and a Grainline Archer but I just don't think there is time and plus the Archer looks hard, so will need the hand holding of a sewalong I think.