Monday, September 29, 2014

I (heart) Marcel Marlier: Made by Sara

Hi there:) I am excited to introduce our first two guests for An and my new sewing series, I (heart) Marcel Marlier.  Sara writes the blog, Made by Sara and I have come to know her a little over the past couple of months.  Sara lives in Portugal and is a keen sewer for her three children.  Check out this gorgeous Meridian jacket she shared recently. It so happens that Sara is a big Marcel Marlier fan and loved reading these books as a little girl.  I can't wait to see more of what she made her youngest daughter here.

And made sure you head over to StraightGrain to see what Ines from La Folie Sewing Booth has made!! Her sneak peek is below...

If you are inspired to sew along, please read how here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I (heart) Marcel Marlier Sew Along!

Two days ago, An and I announced our sewing series I [heart] Marcel Marlier.  And yesterday we both shared our creations for the series. We've been excited about the enthusiastic responses, and couldn't help but notice how many of you wanted to sew along.

So by popular demand, we're launching the I [heart] Marcel Marlier Sew Along! Sewing along is really simple: just upload your finished creations via the link party below. The party ends on November 11 (noon Brussels time) and on the 12th we will do a wrap up post. If you're planning to join us, you can include the button below in your sidebar (but this is not an obligation).

Are you sharing pictures of your plans, creations, or maybe of your stack of Martine/Tiny/Debbie/Anita books via Instagram or Facebook? If you use the hashtag #iheartmarcelmarlier other sew-alongers will more easily find you.

We're really looking forward to all your creations. Have fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I (heart) Marcel Marlier: sewpony & straightgrain

I am very excited today to show you my creations as part of our newly announced sewing series - I (heart) Marcel Marlier. 

I am opening the series today along with the very talented An from StraightGrain. You can read the introduction to the series here.  Put simply, it is a series inspired by the beautiful illustrations of the late Marcel Marlier.  I poured over Marlier's illustrations before settling on two dresses to inspire a dress each for my eldest daughters, Isabella and Juliette.  The yellow dress on the left and the blue striped dress in the picture on the right.


It was a lovely sunny morning, so Isabella and Juliette decided to go for a ride on their tricycle.

Isabella rode in front, while Juliette rode in the back.

They cycled up the road outside their house past the empty paddock and the sheds.  They were excited to pass the house next door to visit their neighbours...

Isabella loved animals and the goats always came up to the fence when she came to say hello.  
They ate grass from her hand.

Juliette came to see too.

But she preferred to stay by the bike.  She liked its shiny red paint. 
And she especially liked how it matched her shoes.

Isabella said goodbye to the goat as it went back to its herd.

Since Isabella's dress was reversible, she decided to change it up and turned her dress inside out.  Then the girls road on to collect the mail from the letter box and headed back to their house.

Juliette picked forget me nots...

While Isabella paused to smell the daisies.

The girls ended their pleasant adventure by reading some of their favourite books together. 
They were written in Dutch (sent by a special friend who lived far away), 
but the sisters didn't mind that hey did not understand the words. 
They loved to make up their own stories by looking at the lovely pictures.

Just as Isabella and Juliette finished their stories they heard their mum call them in for dinner, so the tricycle was put away for another day.

So now onto the dresses!!

Garment Details:

Isabella's dress: I drafted this dress myself. It is fully reversible and features flutter sleeves, a bias bound neckline with tie at the back and elasticised waist.  The yellow side features two rows of white eyelet lace trim.  The yellow fabric is 'citrus' cotton couture solid from Pink Chalk Fabrics. Lovely and soft! The daisy fabric is vintage purchased from a thrift shop. Isabella wears fucshia saltwater sandals.


Juliette's dress: Also self drafted. It features a diagonally split bodice, half collar, small capped sleeves, buttoned back, gathered skirt with origami pockets. The dress is made from my late Grandma Mary's tabecloth!! It is a lovely weight and seems to be a cotton/linen blend.  


You may have read earlier today that An and I have an exciting giveaway to present to you, generously donated by Fat Quarter Shop and Pink Chalk Fabrics.  Simply enter the widget below to be in the running to win one of these lovely prizes!!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can enter many times throughout the series by visiting the blogs on our fabulous guest list...

And now I can't wait to see what An has made. She sent me this picture as a teaser.  Head over to StraightGrain to see!!

And please come back on Monday to see what Sara and Ines have made for I (heart) Marcel Marlier!!

A new sewing series....

I am very excited today to introduce to you an upcoming sewing series hosted by myself and my blogging buddy, An from StraightGrain.  A series called, I [heart] Marcel Marlier....
The seed for the idea for this series arose over a year ago when I sent An an invitation with this button attached asking if she would like to take my part in my first series - When we were young.  An said she would love to take part... and where did I find that picture? I told An it was an illustration from one of my favourite childhood books - Debbie's birthday party (which also inspired my first pattern). An as it turned out was about to release her second dress pattern  - Tinny, which was also inspired by Marlier's illustrations and one of the main characters he illustrates - Tiny! And so began a conversation about the illustrator, Belgian born, Marcel Marlier (pictured below with one of his characters and sweet puppy).
An and I both love Marlier's illustrations and although I only have a few of his books, I have found myself flicking through pinterest for sewing inspiration from his beautiful drawings.
Marcel Marlier was born in Belgium in 1930. He entered a drawing competition in his young teens, which he won. This propelled his super productive career as one of the world's most famous and recognisable children's books illustrators. He illustrated works written by Gijs Haag and Gilbert Delahaye for decades. The books Marlier illustrated were translated into over 20 languages and are still sold around the world. The names of the characters were changed to suit the country of translation, so you may be familiar with Debbie, Tiny, Anita, Martine, depending on where you live in the world. Marcel Marlier died in 2011 at the age of 81.
So to pay tribute to this extremely talented artist who has given us much inspiration, we are very excited to have bloggers from all over the world who will be sharing what they have sewn inspired by Marcel Marlier.
We can't wait! In addition, we are also organising a huge give-away. Two generous sponsors provided us with $300 dollar in prizes! There will be six winners, with one of them winner no less than $150 in fabric vouchers. An and I are also giving way three vintage Marcel Marlier books to one lucky winner.
How can you win these fabulous prizes? Make sure to visit the different participants in the next couple of weeks. They will each include a personalized Rafflecopter widget in their I [heart] Marcel Marlier post. From the entries in all these widgets, we will randomly draw the 6 winners. You can enter multiple Rafflecopters to increase your chances, so make sure not to miss a post :-)
We'd like to already thank our two sponsors, Pink Chalk Fabrics and Fat Quarter Shop, for their support and generosity! Many of you will already know these fabulous shops, but we'd like to present them to you anyway.
Pink Chalk Fabrics was launched in 2008 with the mission to provide the best cloth, pattern, and tools available for modern sewists. Shop owner Kathy Mack's motto is Do What You Like, Like What You Do. Pink Chalk Fabrics sells fabrics from some of the top designer brands (e.g. Michael Miller, Cotton + Steel, Alexander Henry, Cloud 9, Echino, Moda, Riley Blake, Liberty of London) as well as patterns (e.g., Oliver + s, Amy Butler, April Rhodes, Sew Caroline) and tools. If you like Marcel Marlier style clothes, you will surely appreciate their extensive range of designer solids (e.g., Cotton Couture Solids, Kona, Moda Bella, Robert Kaufman Essex Linen). Pink Chalk Fabrics ships internationally.
The Fat Quarter Shop was founded in 2003 by Kimberly Jolly. An avid quilter, Kimberly began her shop as a side business while still working a corporate position, but as The Fat Quarter Shop grew, she decided to make it a full-time operation. Kimberly's shop offers fabrics from top brands such as Cotton + Steel, Dear Stella, Bernatex, Cloud 9, Art Gallery, Free Spirit, and many more. But you can also find a great range of books and patterns (e.g., Indigo Junction, V and Co, Blackbird Designs) and threads and notions in their shop. The Fat Quarter Shop too sells a great collection of designer solids (e.g., Cotton Couture Solids, American Made Brand, Moda Bella, Kona). The Fat Quarter Shop ships internationally.
We hope you are excited about this series and that you are ready for some sweet vintage sewing!! See you tonight!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A 'wintery' Sunday best dress and CALL FOR PATTERN TESTERS (CLOSED)

Here is the third Sunday best dress I have made - this time with no buttons, and with three quarter length sleeves.  You can see the summery version I made here, and the original dress here.

I am really pleased with how this one turned out.  I had been on the lookout for a cool butterfly (specimen style) print for a while and was really excited to find this one at Spotlight a couple of weeks ago.  I paired it with some watermelon cotton collar and piping. I love how wintery this dress can look with tights and the longer sleeves (there is also a full length sleeve option in the pattern). 

I wasn't sure Juliette would co-operate for photos today. As I finished up the dress I showed it to her and she said,"I don't like that dress".  I bribed her with extra pocket money and some chocolate and she decided I could twist her arm to try it on.  Then she checked herself out in the mirror and decided the dress was "beautiful". Phew.

Juliette insisted on using flowers as props so I just had to go with that.

Can you spot Juliette in this photo? If is was not for the red shoes, she could be mistaken for leaf mulch!

I must say that putting this pattern together has been an altogether more calm and enjoyable experience than making my cosi pattern.  I put myself under pressure with dates with cosi which was unnecessary.  This pattern has also come along so much more quickly and methodically with the great help of Lauren Dahl's pattern workshop course.  I love it!

My pattern will be ready for testing by the end of the weekend and I would love to know if you would like to test my new pattern? Testing will run for one week (from Monday 15 - Monday 22 September) and will take place via a facebook group.  I will notify testers by the end of the weekend via email and then testers will be invited to the tester group where they will find the test pattern and can ask questions, share photos and give feedback. Please only apply if you can fulfil these requirements and also if your child fits closely into one of the age/size bracket listed below.

If you would like to test, please fill out the application form HERE.  

Thank you!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Flip this pattern: SEPTEMBER SHOWCASE

Hi there! A couple of months ago, I was asked by Emily and Ashley (the sisters who write the blog Frances Suzanne and Flip this pattern), if I would like to take part in a spin on the monthly flip this pattern series. This month Ashley and Emily are hosting September Showcase.  The idea behind this month is to promote small indie pattern designers (with five or less patterns) and to share what you have sewn (flipped or not) over at Frances Suzanne (all the details are in the link above).  There will also be bloggers showcasing a heap of patterns from indie designers (my cosi pattern included).  This is not a competition, more a sharing month...but here are prizes!! Until September 20th you can receive 20% off my patterns with the code: SHOWCASE20.  You can also enter the rafflecopter widget below to be in the winning for a tonne of free patterns!!!

Good luck! And thank you Ashley and Emily for inviting me to take part!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sewing for kindergarten

Today I am joining in with Mie from Sewing Like Mad's series, Sewing for kindergarten.  Now, a bit on Australia, or Victoria at least, kindergarten refers to 'pre-school' - the one to two years prior to school where children attend kindergarten for 3 - 15 hours per week, depending on their age.  Children generally start school aged five.  So 'kindergarten' in the US relates to the first year of school in Australia which is usually called 'prep' here, although this year they have started a new term for the first year of school (which I don't like) - 'foundation'.  

Anyway, this year my eldest daugher Isabella started school!  In Australia, the school year begins in the final week of January or first week of February - after the six week summer holidays.  A logical time to start a school year I think!  So Issie has been at school for seven months the time has flown!  

Now onto the sewing...In the vast majority of schools in Australia (both primary and secondary), children wear a school uniform.  Isabella's school sports a very common gingham summer dress for girls and the colour scheme for the uniforms is green and white with a bit of bright yellow (for t-shirts).  I actually began this school dress in February when I was like, "I can make Issie a nicer dress than that!" looking at the summer dresses available.   Oops, I only finished this dress two days ago!!  Thanks Mie for hosting this series to make me finish my unfinished project!  The pattern is An from StraightGrain's tinny dress - the skirt is a big longer. I modified the sleeve cuffs to look more like the generic uniform.  The perfect pattern for a school uniform! I found the gingham at my local fabric store.  

My Mum is contributing to this post too!! She knitted Isabella's lovely school cardigan which has kept her warm all through winter.  Thank you Mum!!

Each morning I drive the girls to school and Isabella and Juliette always insist on escorting Issie into the classroom and they love saying hello to all the big girls! Emily has become a celebrity at Issie's school with her vocal talents and cheeky personality!  She loves joining in with the national anthem at assembly on a Monday morning, "golden soil" and "girt by sea" are the only words she knows.  Aussie's will know what I mean!

Mie asked me to answer a few questions about Issie starting school and about my own first day of school...

Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten/ school? Yes!

Do you feel like crying or celebrating?  I didn't just feel like crying, I cried.  I missed Issie for the first couple of weeks!!

And what about your child? Isabella cried too. She was a little unsettled for the first week.  We moved a few weeks prior, and Isabella had only visited the school once the day before starting.  Luckily she made some sweet friends right away and now she loves it!

What type of school (public, private, homeschool) does your child attend?  Isabella attends the local state school.  If is a four minute drive from home and has about 160 children. 

What was your own first day of school like (if you remember ;-)?  I do remember my first day of school, mostly because (as far as my memory tells me), I got a fly stuck up my nose.  Yep, that's right!!  I had to pick it out!!  I was pretty nervous for a the first few weeks of school and I remember telling Mum I had a tummy ache.  Luckily I had two big sisters and a big brother at the school already to look after me!!

Issie loves school now and she loves learning.  She can read simple books and her writing is coming along. She has lots of lovely friends and her teachers are all great.

Thanks for having me Mie!! Head over to Mie's blog to see what everyone else is making their kids!!