December 24, 2009

Merry christmas and a happy new year!

I'm wishing you all a merry christmas and a good start into the new year! I hope that you are enjoying your holidays with your loved ones as much as I do. In fact, I'm enjoying it that much that I don't want to do anything else right now.

I will be back in January and share with you my finished christmas gifts. In addition, I also sewed a new skirt from a Patrones pattern for myself. More soon!

December 06, 2009

Any given Sunday...

In France, the event of the week certainly is the weekly market. Here in Lille it is every Sunday no matter how the weather is. Which is great because who does not have time on Sundays :-) Unfortunately, today was very rainy but that did not keep anybody from attending. I just love these markets!

If you are travelling to France, you should really find out when their weekly market is at and check it out. French markets are not like the markets you might know, where you can only buy fruits and vegetables. At the markets here you can seriously buy anything and they are a great source for sewing supplies. I'm currently buying all my notions and fabrics at the market for much less than I would usually pay in a store. Today I bought 3 different fabrics, each for 1 € a meter. You can check them out at my fabric gallery.

I hope you are also having a great Sunday!

December 05, 2009

Quick sewing update

Thanks to my recent travels and a persistent flu, I did not get as much sewing done as I would have liked too. But at least I have 2 finished sewing creations to show to you.

The first one is an old acquaintance from one of my last blog posts. It's the wool dress from BWOF October 2007 (I accidently said it's from November 2007 in my last post). I'm pretty happy about how it turned out and finished it in time to wear to my job interview. However, I would change a few things if I sew it again. You can read my complete pattern review here.

My next creation is a T-shirt made with pattern no. 125 from BWOF November 2008 issue. I was able to use some leftover cotton jersey as the pattern pieces are quite small. It is certainly a comfortable top but runs a little bit on the big side for my taste. You can see its pattern review here.

During the last couples of days I have started to work on this year's christmas gifts as I plan on doing most of them myselves. The patterns I will use are the Tory organizer for my niece and nephew and the Charlie bag for my mom and sister. I already bought the fabrics at Ikea for my gifts, you can see which ones I chose in my newly created fabric gallery.

Have a great weekend and happy sewing!

December 03, 2009

My addiction...

Pattern magazines, especially foreign ones, are without a doubt my greatest addiction. I don't even know how many pattern magazines I have altogether. It all started with a subscription to Burda World of Fashion eight years ago and went on with buying all vintage Burda magazines I could get my hands on from the 60s and 70s. Then I discovered the beauty of foreign magazines, first Knipmode directly from the Netherlands (30 minutes to the Dutch border from where I lived) and finally Patrones available at bigger train stations in Germany.

So it is not surprising that I spent my recent travels (last one last week to Germany again for another job interview) to purchase the latest issues of Knipmode (Brussels train station) and Patrones (Cologne). Here you can see a short overview and my favorite pieces from each issue:

After the disappointment of the last issues of Patrones, the current one is surprisingly good. The pattern description is back on the last pages of the magazine and not how it was before on a fold page just like the patterns. The designer names are still missing on most pages but reoccured on the pages of the children's wear and plus size patterns. There is still hope that Patrones will become its old self again :-)

The december issue of Knipmode is unfortunately rather average. The only interesting patterns I found were the blouse with the "crazy" sleeves and the slim pants which have interesting pattern lines.

If anybody has a great idea on how to organize pattern magazines, please let me know as I have totally lost the overview over my immense amount of pattern. I was thinking about scanning the technical drawings of all magazines but that will probably take some years as they are spread out in the older magazines.

Happy sewing!

November 28, 2009

The city of love & lights

Guess where I have been last weekend... ok that wasn't too hard ;-)
I spent 3 fun filled days in Paris and thought I should share some of my experiences and tips with you in case you plan on travelling there some time soon, too.

First thing you should do when arriving in Paris is to buy metro pass for as many days as you will spent there. This pass allows you to take all the metros at any time within the city of Paris and costs less than 10 € for one and 20 € for 3 days. This price does not include the outskirts of the city like Versailles but you can get tickets including this area as well or just buy a single ticket if you want to go there. With this type of metro ticket you can easily get to any sightseeing points in the city and save the money you usually would spend on one of the expensive bus city tours.

For all of you that love fashion as much as I do, I can highly recommend the exposition of the work of Madeleine Vionnet at the art museum "Les arts décoratifs". The exhibition will still be there until the January 31 and stretches over 2 levels to show Vionnet's spectacular fashion and pattern making skills. I was so impressed by this display that I had to buy the related exhibition catalogue. You can find more info about this exhibition here.

Of course, you will have to visit all the important sightseeing spots such as the Eiffel tower, the Champs Élysées (which is nicely decorated during christmas time), Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame etc. (just to name a few).

Once it gets dark, you should take part in one of the boat tours on the Seine as the city is especially beautiful during night time. From the boat you can see most of the important landmarks and get a good overview over the city. Make sure that you get a tour without food or drinks as both are highly overpriced and are better taken in one of the typical Parisian restaurants.

For a typical Parisian/ French restaurant, I can highly recommend "Je thé ... me". This is one of those tiny restaurants that you won't find in any travel guides. We only found it through the recommendation of friends of my friend who live in Paris and are chefs themselves. The restaurant is small over 2 levels and has a nice vintage charm (reservations are a must as it really is tiny). For 38 € you can get a 3 course menu and it is so worth it as it was the best food I ever tasted. The chef mixes common dishes with uncommon spices which mix in your mouth to an ultimate sensation of taste. French cuisine at its best!

Instead of waiting hours in line to mount the Eiffel tower, you should ascend the tower of Montparnasse, the tallest skyscraper in France. First of all, it is much cheaper and actually get to see all of Paris including the Eiffel tower.

If you have another day left after visiting all sightseeing spots within the city, Versailles and its gardens are certainly worth a visit. Unfortunately, we had bad luck with the weather when visiting it and couldn't see much of the gardens due to the rain. Hopefully, you will have more luck than moi!

Happy travelling!

November 16, 2009

First finished creations for Wardrobe Refashion

Oh no, I'm starting with the same bad habit like last time I did the pledge...posting 2 creations every 2 weeks instead of 1 every week. I really need to work on this. It's not that I don't refashion anything, it's just that I'm a little lazy to post.

Firstly, the grey sweater that needed lots of repairing. I used an applique to cover up the hole. It sits a little high on my shoulder but that's unfortunately where the hole's position was at. In order to repair the unravelling neckline, I sewed on a velvet ribbon. Additionally, I also resewed the sleeve seams where they were opening up.

The next creation is not a refashion but sewn from scratch using stash materials. I only had to buy a zipper and lining. Yeah for using up stash materials! The pattern is from BWOF November 2007 pattern no. 105. Like you can see by the pinned needles, it is still not completely finished and needs some hand sewing at the hems and to fix the lining to the zipper. Hopefully, I get this done tonight while watching TV. My plan is to wear it on Thursday at my interview for an internship. Keep your fingers crossed for me ;-)

Even though I already started my next creation, a T-shirt from leftover jersey, I will probably not have the time to post it until next week. I will spend the night after the interview in Germany, as no trains are going back the same day, and then travel with my friends to Paris to spend the weekend there. I sound like such a globetrotter...

Happy sewing and refashioning!

November 06, 2009

Here we go again...

As I have been spending way too much money on clothing, I decided to go for another round of wardrobe refashion. Here is my pledge:

I, Julietta, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed Julietta

In addition, I will try to use fabrics from my stash and to create most of this year's christmas gifts myself. As you can see, I already have my first refashions lined up. The black shirt with purple stripes will be lengthened with a piece of black jersey from my stash. I seriously wonder whether I bought that shirt that short or did it shrink that much in the wash? I purchased the grey sweater at a thrift store in North Carolina and it is a prime example for the shoddy quality of mass produced clothing. It has a hole at the shoulder, the neckline is unravelling in several places and the sleeve seams are opening up in due to the tiny seam allowance (less than 5 mm). I hope I can rescue this sweater even though it turned out to be a lot more work than I first anticipated. The red cardigan was purchased at the same thrift store but is a rather easy refashion as it only needs buttons and buttonholes, so I get more use out of it.

Currently, I'm also working on a grey flannel dress which needs to be finished as soon as possible as I want to wear it to a job interview this month. The fabric is already cut, I just need to purchase the zipper and lining and I'm good to go. Happy sewing & refashioning!

October 23, 2009

Flight outfit

Scarf: H & M
Turtleneck: H & M
Dress: Selfmade
Tights: Aldi
Boots: Jonas K (France)
As promised, here is my flight outfit including my new dress made using pattern 121 of BWOF September 2007. Love how it turned out and it's perfect for my flight from Paris to Frankfurt. On the next pictures you can see the dress in a little more detail.

Hope you like it. See you in a week!

October 22, 2009

Back online

Velvet jacket: Comptoir des Cotonniers
Scarf: gift
Skirt: Selfmade
Tights: H & M
Boots: Jonas K (bought in France)

The internet has not been working for the last couple of days within the whole dormitory and so I was not able to upload any new content on my blog. Today's outfit finally includes a selfmade piece. The skirt is made from grey wool fabric using the skirt pattern 108 of the September issue of BWOF from 2008. The picture also features my new most favorite item, a velvet jacket from Comptoir de Cotonniers, by far my favorite French brand. I bought the jacket in an outlet and so it still was pricy, I just couldn't resist.

I also added a little sneak peek of the dress I've sewn last weekend. Pictures of it will be taken tomorrow as I will wear it when flying to Germany for my fall vacation from college.

Pictures thanks to Burda

See you tomorrow! Have a great day!

October 14, 2009

Tired, tired, tired

Necklace & cardigan: H & M
Top with frills: Mango
Leather belt: Target
Black jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Jonas K. (bought in France)

I thought, before getting here, that the exchange semester would be lots of free time and overall of piece of cake. How wrong I was... Today, I spent from 8 in the morning until 6.30 this evening in the classroom listening to one lecture after the other. In all that in French, truly tiring! So, excuse the tired look on my face today. At least my French is improving and now I understand around 90% of the classes. Though still a little scared of talking...

Have a great evening, I need to do nothing now!

October 13, 2009

Purple day

Cardigan: H & M
Top: Mango
Skirt: Mango
Tights: Aldi
Boots: Strauss Innovation

The daily outfit posts only seem to work, when I don't have classes early in the morning. On those I usually miss my and have to run out with half wet hair. So you will probably not get to see one every day but several times a week. Certainly working on my frequency of posting.

Today's outfit consists mainly of Mango due to there being a huge Mango outlet next to my school (why oh why?). Let's just say it like that it's about time again that I do another wardrobe refashion in order to save some money. Just can't resist the French fashion stores right now.

On the upside, I have started sewing again but it might take another week until you get to see results. So watch out for more to come!

Bonne soirée!

October 11, 2009

Catching up - Part 1 France

As promised, here is a quick overview of what has been going on since I moved to France.

The first 2 weeks here were for introduction and filing all the paper work necessary for starting my studies in France. Quite complicated when everything is in French I can tell you. The introduction weeks were great because the student organization arranged a lot of different events for us such as bowling or picnics. That was a good opportunity to get to know other foreign students and French students that I will be studying with.

In addition, I was lucky enough to be in Lille during the time of the "Braderie". The braderie is the biggest flea market in Europe and takes place every first weekend of September in the entire city of Lille (fourth-largest metropolitan area of France). We spent 8 hours there and I still had not seen all of it. Certainly a crazy event and if you happen to be in the area you should definitely not miss it.

On the first picture you can see what the braderie was looking like. Yes, it really was that full and every once in a while you got stuck like cattle in the smaller streets. On the second pic you can see what I got: 2 vintage silk scarves handrolled and a vintage leather belt. Additionally, I also bought a pair of black flat boots but they are new.

After those first 2 weeks I travelled to the US as my classes were not starting until the beginning of October. I will tell you more about my time in the US in one of my next posts.

Bonne journée et à plus tard!

October 07, 2009

Daily Outfit

Linen jacket: Camaieu
V-Neck sweater: Camaieu
Scarf: Diesel
Watch: Dolce & Gabbana
Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger thrifted
Boots: Deichmann knee high

Time has been flying by like crazy, with no time to write anything on my blog. I'm starting a new category now, showing my daily outfit. As I don't have a full size mirror in my tiny dorm room in France, this is the only way for me to see how I actually look like that day. Sorry about the bad quality of the pics but my room is so tiny that I have to take them from the other end of the room. Let me know what you think!

Most I'm wearing today is from Camaieu, a French brand, which you should definitely check out when in France. They have great basics. I got the jeans for a whooping 8$ at a thrift store while being in North Carolina. Ain't that a steal?

Hopefully, I will find some time this weekend to do some catching up on what has been going on. À plus tard (see you later)!

August 25, 2009

Paris on my mind...

And apparently not only on mine. As I keep on distracting myself online from packing for the big move to France (I hate moving), I stumble on a lot of Paris themed fashion. Here are just some examples

T-Shirt from Forever 21 Hoodie from Old Navy

Additionally, Burdastyle (formerly Burda World of Fashion) has dedicated a whole spread to Parisian fashion in its August issue. Here you can see some pics
Pics thanks to Burda, more here

So, is Paris once again the fashion capital of the world? Let me know what you think.
I'm definitely excited about moving to France soon, even though it's not directly Paris but just one hour away is not that far. The next weeks will be busy for me and probably won't get close to a sewing machine for some time. However, I will keep you updated on what is happening during my semester abroad. During the first two weeks of September I will attend the introduction program of my new college, ENSAIT at Roubaix. Then I'm off for two weeks until the lectures start in October. I will spent this time visiting my sister in North Carolina. So looking forward to this as I have not seen her for almost 2 years. Hopefully, I will also find the time to visit North Carolina State University in Raleigh, which is heaven for everybody studying textile technology. You will hear all about it over here.

Have a great day!

August 23, 2009

Latest read - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Picture thanks to Amazon

Who doesn't love the movie? And so when I got my hands on a beautiful hardcover version of the book, I just had to read it. It's a novella, a short novel, and easy and fun to read. However, it is one of the rare cases when the movie is actually better than the book.

The book does a great job at introducing the character of Holly Golightly, which was used as basis for the movie. The movie was able to expand the story and make it more interesting as the book is lacking the happy end (I'm such a girl) and of course the beautiful clothing of Givenchy.

Concluding I have to say that the book is well-written but when you know the movie you will probably be disappointed.

August 17, 2009

Pics, pics, pics

As promised yesterday, here are some pics from my latest creations. Currently, I'm trying to sew pieces that can be worn right now but also once it gets a little cooler with a cardigan on top or shirt underneath. My favorite color at the moment is purple in case you can't tell ;-)

First up is a grey jeans skirt with white topstitching from the January BWOF issue of 2008. The fabric is another find in the remnant bin. The only change I made to the pattern is that I closed the slits in the back as they kept on flapping open. Now, it is a little tight at the bottom but nevertheless I like it a lot and can see me also wearing it during winter with stockings and boots. Very versatile skirt and I think the lines are kind of slimming.

Now to creation no. 2. I've already made a top from this jersey fabric but ended up not liking it at all. So I ripped it apart and luckily had enough to make this top from the BWOF issue of June of this year. Love how it turned out and finally the fabric gets some use. I'm liking the lines of the top so much that I will probably also make the dress version of it sooner or later.

Last project is from the April issue of BWOF of 2008. A very comfy jersey dress with a nice neck detail. The purple is actually a lot brighter than in the pics. Looks much better in reality and I like it a lot.

Let me know what you think. What are you working on?

Happy sewing!

August 16, 2009

Long time no see

So I survived 3 weeks of exams and the partying afterwards. After that I just needed to take some time off to see my family, organize my exchange semester to France and work a little. However, I have not been completely lazy on the sewing front, just lazy when it comes to taking pictures. Today, you are getting a little sneak peek of what I have been working on. Tomorrow I plan on posting pictures of my finished new pieces.

Pictures thanks to Burda

All patterns used are from BWOF. More tomorrow. Have a great day!

June 30, 2009

Last day of wardrobe refashion

I can never walk by a piece of jersey in the remnant bin and this time it turned into this top from BWOF July 2008, total costs 3,50 €! I love working with jersey, it's so easy and quick once you get the hang on it.

Today is my last day of my 2-month pledge over at wardrobe refashion. The time went by really quickly and I didn't not crack down and bought any clothing. Yeah for me, however I could not keep my promise to buy no new fabric and only sew from my existing stash. Well, another goal to reach for my next time around. I won't sign up for the next round because I won't have any time posting for the next 3 weeks due to exam and after that I cannot promise to keep my hands from the gorgeous French fashion once I move there. Nevertheless, I would like to do this again as it was lots of fun, a good experience and wardrobe refashion certainly has a great sense of community.

Have a great day and keep your fingers crossed for me ;-)