FINISHED! On the Line Veste Michelle

This project has been hanging around so long I wasn't sure I would ever do it. But I finally just knuckled down and did it. It is of course the Veste Michelle by Republique du Chiffon.  It is made using some denim stripe that I bought at Tessuti in January called 'It's on the Line'.  It's lined with some cheap yellow lining (the same as my Bomber). On the advice from my friend Jen (who has a great new blog btw!!), I turned the fabric around so that the stripes run sideways. I was worried that because there is a bit of stretch in the fabric that it might distort but so far so good. 
There are heaps of great versions out there of the Veste Michelle and if you ever decide to make a Republique du Chiffon pattern a great place to stop by is the RdC Made by You blog. It goes without saying that Julie has made one, well 4!! lovely versions in fact and Ginger Makes also made one.  
So, straight up, I'm not sure if I'm wearing the jacket or it's wearing me. It's a straight size 36 with no adjustments. It's supposed to be oversized and it is definitely that helped along by my height.  I debated making it smaller but on all the versions I saw they were reasonably oversized, just not as long perhaps as mine. I feel that it's ok when I'm accessorised up with my every day winter additions of beret and scarf, but without them, I'm not sure that it's balanced. I need to play around with some Spring styling. It's a bit of a different style for me, although despite that reservation I like it. I wore it as photographed this morning to a 6 yr old birthday party and I have to say those oversized pockets were fantastic for popping lolly pops and things in. 

I cheated a bit on the patch pockets.  The pattern calls for you to line them but I didn't.  I feel patch pockets are very 'home made' looking but I hope these look ok. I double stitched around them. There is no pocket placement on the pattern piece (that I could find) so I just winged their placement. I've noticed on other makes that their pockets are about the same place as mine. Phew. I omitted the tiny pocket on the top because I felt it didn't look right. 
The printed pattern is in French but there are detailed (French) instructions including photos on the RdC blog  These were both a hindrance and a help and some bits (like the collar) I should have worked through myself rather than trying to decipher the at times odd google translate description. Despite that it is a straightforward make and the lining comes together nicely.  The best I've ever done!
The only real problem I had was 'drooping' of the back facing once the lining was in.  There were some photos of this on the RdC blog but I couldn't understand what I was supposed to do to fix it. I ended up hand stitching the bottom facing to the back under the lining in places.  It solved the problem but I'd love to know what the real solution is! What do you do for the back of jackets to stop the bottom facing 'drooping' down?
So, it's good to have this one finished and wearable! It might even get quite a bit of wear as the weather moves from mid winter to very early spring.  I'm still fixated with Winter sewing at the moment, it might have something to do with the weather, but it's also because we'll be spending 6 weeks in France over Christmas - so double Winter for us this year!  

FINISHED! Wildflowers Peplum

Last weekend I spent some time working on a pair of Anima pants in a very cute houndstooth knit. The story of that make, which was unnecessarily tortured, is for another time (or not at all) but I'm sad to say, they look horrible on. So after such an unsatisfactory dalliance I felt like I needed to come home to some Liberty.
Liberty Art Fabrics Wild Flowers D Tana Lawn Cotton
The fabric I came home to is Wildflowers D from the 2014 Autumn Winter collection of the same name 'Wild flowers'.

Here is the fabric story:

Wild Flowers by Su Blackwell is a recollection of early childhood journeys across the British landscape in discovery of native flora. This joyous Liberty fabric was initially inspired by illustrations from an early 19th Century book, 'Field Guide to Wild Flowers in Britain'.

I'd also recommend going to Su's site for more in depth information on the print and the original inspiration.

All the designs are stunning and beautiful, of course, but I think there is only so much flowery Liberty I need and there seems to be other Liberty fabrics being released that are more interesting to me at the moment (that are part of other stories for the Autumn Winter 2014 collection, like Laurens Leaf).  I did buy this one though from Tessuti with the original intention of making a Veste Bernadette, but when the fabric arrived, while I liked it, I just didn't feel it was right for that jacket. Too much somehow. So it sat in the stash for a little while I contemplated what to do with it.
I became inspired by a very loose peplum style top. My journey started with the Chemise Maeva and while I'm not 100% sold on the button down for me, I love how floaty it looks. In more Republique du Chiffon love, I have also been covetting the Robe Lucie, especially Joe's which looks gorgeous.  We are in the middle of winter here so the Lucie will need to wait for now. Finally I'm sure you are all familiar with Debbie from Lily Sage and Co.  Not only do we share a love of the drop waist, but that lady knows how to do a structured peplum, but this fabric needed a gathered one.
So it was set: a loose peplum top with 3/4 sleeves.  I used the pattern from the Burda Wrap top as the basis as I like the 'kick' that this top has and just cut the front on the fold. I then roughly worked out where the gathered piece was going to sit and sewed it on. Nothing complicated.
I have a bit of excess fabric under the arm at the back, but I don't mind as it is a loose top. The result absolutely matches my vision. It's got the right shape, which is unbelievable. I've already worn it heaps and I love it with my pants and work shoes as much as I love it with my jeans.
I struggled with photos of this top.This is one of those makes that looks better in real life (I think - I hope!). Also because of the colours, when I stood in my usual spot in the front garden I was camouflaged. So for once I used our 'handball' wall - hence the chalk lines! Sorry.

Next up - I'm going to work on my Veste Michelle, it's been half traced for weeks now so it's time I got on with it.

THE WINNER! Basic Black - 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway for Sato Watanabe's Basic Black - 26 Edgy Essential for the Modern Wardrobe.  There was a lot of love for this book with 71 entries!! Almost too many for my beret. Easily my biggest giveaway ever. Thanks again to Brandon at Tuttle Publishing for asking me to review the book.

So, without further ado, the winner is:
Sarah T!!! Contact me on email at kirsty dot bunfield at gmail dot com and let me know where you live and I'll pop it in the mail asap.

I'll be back tomorrow with a simple make, you might just be able to see a sneak of the fabric in the photo.

GIVEAWAY! Basic Black - 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Tuttle publishing to see if I wanted to review the new book by Sato Watanabe: Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe.  Having grown up (in a sewing sense) with Japanese Pattern Books I was super keen to have a look at this latest offering (especially in English), so I said yes.
Sato Watanabe has also written: I am Cute Dresses and Stylish Skirts so is no stranger to putting together patterns which will appeal to a wide audience.
The 26 patterns in Basic Black, cover blouses, vests, jackets, skirts and dresses and there really is something in here for everyone, even if you don't wear black! 

The book isn't as cute and quirky as "I am Cute Dresses" and in talking about the 'Asymmetric Jumper Dress' Sato says "I like things that are just a bit different, but am not fond of anything that's too way-out" and that pretty much sums up the patterns in the book.
The subtle originality is paired very much with classic design and my particular favourites are the Tailored Jacket with Raw Edges, Polka dot Jacquard Dress and the Gathered Dress with Shawl Collar.
There are short but clear instructions and the book comes with the full pattern sheet at the back. Patterns are embedded so there is a little bit of 'locating' required before tracing but that's normal for this type of book.

I think you will all find something to like in this book which is releasing on the 8 July. 

For you lucky readers, I have one to give away! If you would like a copy, please leave a comment.  The giveaway is open to international readers as well and I will do a random number draw on 11 July 2014.