Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Plotting my Bridesmaid Dress

My little sister is getting married in September and I need a navy knee length dress because I will be one of the 2 bridesmaids. The other bridesmaid already ordered her dress in Midnight Navy Poly Taffeta from Kenneth Winston (style 5042). We plan on buying orange Pashmina shawls in case it is cold in September...

My sister's wedding moodboard

I was hesitant as to which pattern to sew so I made my own pin up paper doll (tutorials Oonaballoona and Llady Bird)... I drew the Colette Macaron, Gertie Sultry Sheath and BHLSophia and a few more options... Those below are my first attempt at using my Me-Paper-Dolls!

Gertie's Sultry Sheath vs Colette Macaron

But since I already own the pattern (and my husband voted for it too!), I will start by sewing a muslin of the Gertie's Sultry Sheath (from the book Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing). My plan is to change the back to a deep low V neckline. That usually helps to create the illusion of a smaller waist or not as overwhelmingly broad shoulders... I might shorten it quite a bit too to hit at a more flattering spot on my muscular legs.

I will probably sew mine in navy silk dupioni or shantung.  Underline in Silk Organza (or cotton fuzzy if boning show through), use steal boning and line it in silk crepe de chine maybe? (or rayon bemberg or silk habotai) I am toying with the idea to have my underlining and lining come from Dharma and to paint the lining but it will probably be too much work (but their silk are so much less expensive)...

I am 40-34-40 inches with 38in high bust (or 34G bra) at 162 lbs, 5'3" : I am tracing the size 8 at the shoulder, 10 at bust, 12 at waist and back to 8 from the hips down.

I am unsure if the dress will be too simple, so I may be adding a little drape at the waist line like the pink floral version made by Gertie herself. OR a self fabric covered belt OR pretty bows like this version of BHL Elisalex bodice and Charlotte skirt made by Katy & Laney! Here is my Pinterest board dedicate to that project.

Pretty bows from Katy & Laney (source)

I might sew 2 purses (Clutch pattern from Etsy) for me and the other bridesmaid, either orange or nude.

I plan to wear nude wedge heels ; I will go to Bottes Imperial in Montreal to have them custom made by an old-school cobbler... :D

And I will also sew my daughter's dress... But that is for another post!

Friday, May 1, 2015

I Updated my Montreal's Crafty Directory

There are floor to ceiling fabric warehouses in Montréal!!

Hello, just a quick note to let my numerous followers (ah ah ah! Hi Hunny!) that I updated my fabric stores list with addresses in my Montreal's Crafty Directory. It has now even more fabric stores listed, plus a section of "other crafts" stores like for knitting, arts/painting/scrapbooking/beads/etc and for baking!

Some fabric store owner told me I was not the first person to come to his store with my directory printed out ; I was so proud to tell him that I am the one that made it! But now I was curious as to know how many person downloaded it... So I moved my PDF to Crafsty because it was the easiest way to count how many download I get from that file and notify them of further updates... :D

PS : I also added a section called Montreal's Activities on my blog to list the Montreal's sewing schools and sewing related exhibits and activities in town...

/ Salut, juste quelques mots pour aviser mes nombreux lecteurs (ah ah ah! Salut maman!) que j'ai mis à jour mon PDF avec mon répertoire des magasins de tissus à Montréal. J'ai aussi ajouté des magasins pour d'autres hobby comme la patisserie, le tricot et les arts en général... 

Un propriétaire de magasin de tissus m'a dit que je n'étais pas la première à venir dans sa boutique avec mon répertoire imprimé ; j'étais tellement fière de lui dire que c'était mo qui l'a créé!! Mais alors j'étais curieuse de savoir combien de personne l'ont téléchargé... Alors je l'ai mis disponible sur Craftsy puisqu'il compte les download et envoie des notices de mise à jour à ceux qui l'ont! :D

PS : J'ai aussi ajouté une section Montreal's Activities sur mon blog avec une belle liste d'écoles de couture et d'activités liées à la mode ou à la couture...

PS 2 : Laissez-moi savoir si je devrais traduire mon répertoire en Français aussi... Ça me trotte dans la tête mais je n'ai pas encore buché la-dessus...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

La virée des ateliers à Montréal!

La virée des artistes @ 2065, 2205 & 2220 rue Parthenais

A quick note to let you know that it is "La virée des ateliers" this week in Montréal. Artists, artisans and fashion designers on Parthenais street open their workshop to the public from April 30th to May 3rd 2015. This 8th edition will allow you to visit more than 100 creative worshops in the next 4 days, about a dozen of which are Fashion Designers.

/ Juste une petit mot pour vous laisser savoir que c'est la virée des ateliers à Montréal cette semaine! 

Veuillez me pardonner la description prise sur leur site, je voulais partager mais je manque de temps aujourd'hui : "Artistes, artisans et designers de mode de la rue Parthenais ouvrent leurs portes. La Virée des ateliers tiendra sa 8e édition du 30 avril au 3 mai 2015.

Aux ateliers de l’usine Grover et du Chat des artistes s’ajouteront ceux de la coopérative Lézarts. La 8e édition englobera ces trois lieux de création de la rue Parthenais dans un même évènement rassembleur. Ainsi pendant quatre jours, du jeudi au dimanche, près d’une centaine ateliers en arts visuels, en métiers d’art et en mode, regroupant plus d’une centaine de créateurs, ouvriront leurs portes aux visiteurs.

Cet évènement est unique puisque ce sont plus de cent créateurs qui ouvrent leurs ateliers, dans trois bâtiments différents. Unique, dense et varié : le public aime prendre son temps et la virée vaut la peine d’être programmée sur plusieurs heures, voire plusieurs jours!"

La virée des ateliers - Exposition & Vente/Sale
du 30 avril au 3 mai 2015
2065, 2205 & 2220 rue Parthenais, Montréal
Jeudi + Vendredi 11 h à 21 h | Samedi 11 h à 18 h | Dimanche 11 h à 17 h

Coopérative Lézarts, workshops on Parthenais Street

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Montreal Spring Sewing Meetup

Hello everyone, Shannon is organizing a sewing meeting (bilingual!) to celebrate the never coming Spring of 2015! Head over her blog to fill her survey... See you soon! :D

/ Bonjour à tous, Shannon organise une sortie (bilingue!) entre bloggueuses couturières pour réchauffer le printemps qui tarde en 2015! Allez sur son blog pour remplir un mini sondage et indiquer vos disponibilités... À bientôt! :D

PS : Aidez-nous à sauver la Gaillarde par un don, une boutique sans but lucratif de réinsertion pronant la réutilisation des textiles! Voici le lien indigogo... Merci!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring in Montreal!

Well, I know it might not feel at all like spring, but here some activities that might warm some sewists hearts...
/ Même si le printemps tarde à se faire sentir, voici quelques activités à Montréal pour réchauffer nos coeurs de couturières...

Musée du Costume et du Textile du Québec
  1. Book Café : Fashion books and collectors items sale.
    Saturday March 21rd 2015, from 10am to 5pm.
    / Café du livre : Vente de livre sur la mode et d'objets de collection.
    Samedi 21 mars 2015, 10h-17h, au Marché Bonsecours.
  2. The current exhibition "Chic & Choc" is presenting 60 garments and accessories chosen for their scintillating beads and sequins, from a Roaring Twenties flapper dress to a stunning Céline Dion concert gown created by Annie Horth.
    Until April 18th 2015.
    / L'exposition courrante "Chic & Choc" réunit une soixantaine de vêtements et accessoires tous sélectionnés pour leurs broderies de perles et de paillettes, de la robe des Années folles à l’éblouissant costume de scène de Céline Dion créé par Annie Horth.
    Jusqu'au 18 avril 2015.

McCord Museum
  1.  "Love in Fine Fashion" displays 30 elegant wedding dresses and accessories from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries are featured in the current exhibition.
    Until April 12th 2015.
    / "L'amour sous toutes ses coutures" est une exposition de 30 robes de mariée racontant l'histoire des unions du 19e siècle à maintenant...
    Jusqu'au 12 avril 2015.
  2. The new permanent exhibition "Wearing our identity" about First Nations is a must to discover ancient traditions where the creation of original garments proved a rich heritage of identities and cultures.
    / La nouvelle exposition permanente "Porter son identité" propose aux visiteurs de partir à la découverte de l'héritage des Premiers Peuples, véritable témoin de la richesse de leurs cultures et de leurs identités..

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Last Minute New Year Dress

I wish you all an happy and healthy New Year in 2015! With enough time to sew!! :D

I have sewn a dress for my Daughter, started sewing at 22h on Dec 30 and finished before lunch on the Dec 31rst! It is a super fast make for me. :D

I was so proud of my gorgeous little munchkins and received many compliments on my sewing. They were quite well behave too even with the lack of sleep and if they were so excited to play with their cousins!! I was proud of my sewing too, although my husband's uncle (a professional tailor) tactfully suggested that I buy a proper invisible zipper sewing machine feet! ;) 

Here is what I did for future references:
  1. I copied the bodice of my daughter's white RTW dress (about size 6x-7).
  2. I added a lining for the bodice only (Tutorial by Dreaming of Avonlea)
  3. I made a full circle skirt for extra swirling fun (Calculator by By Hand London)
  4. I used an invisible Zipper (Tutorial by Coleterie) with double fold bias tape to wrap the cut end.
  5. I used double fold bias tape to finish the lining bottom edge.
  6. I tried a tiny hem for the circular skirt (Tutorial by Coleterie
  7. I hand sewn a white fabric belt with a big front bow and a bow tie for her brother!
Fabric and Notions :
  • Periwinkles and White Polyester "Peau de pêche" (satin?) (remnant from my bridesmaid's dresses)
  • Lilac ultra cheap polyester lining (bought to sew an Halloween costume that I never made)
  • White invisible zipper
  • Navy double folded bias tape (remnant from my birthday dress) 

Monday, November 3, 2014

I gave in and ordered from eShakti

eShakti top with 3/4 sleeves in 41-34-41 custom size.

So, since my semester started I have barely time to breath, let alone sew!! But I did the next best thing, design a top for my custom measurements and had it sewn and shipped to me ;)

eShakti is a web only shop for very nice dresses, tops and skirts ; with some retro flare and a lot in natural fibers. What is special about them is that you can order an item to your specific measurements and customize the sleeves, neckline and hem length... All for a very reasonable price I think.

I tried a knit top first, just to test their customize size options in a top I wouldn't necessarily need to pay to return... When you register you get a welcome rebate and I bought my top at 30% during a promotion weekend... So it was 38$ before tax but I paid 28$ with taxes and shipping for a custom made top. It arrived VERY fast 5 days later! Here is the review I sent them after washing and wearing my top 1 day :

The original top

"I love the color, the material is a medium-thick interlock knit, the quality of the sewing is perfect. I order to my measurements, I am 5'3", (34G) 41-34-41, 165 Lbs.

The bust fits me very well, the waist/hip hem is just too wide for my taste. There is more ease than I would have sewn in a knit (too boxy for my shape ; I need the top to come in below my bust to be more flattering).

I am considering adding thin darts vertically under the bust and taking the side seams in a little.  Meanwhile I will wear it tucked in only.

I would have loved a thin black elasticized sleeve hem or cute cuffs for elbow or 3/4 sleeves...

I love the options for sleeves and length. I wonder why all dresses in poplin are not offered in all colors? Maybe you could ask the customer's preferred fit for knit garments ; this knit top has too much ease for a knit but a similar woven might be fine... The packaging smelled bad (plastic smell) but I washed the top so it all went away..."

I didn't received anything from eShatki, I am just posting my review here in case crazy ladies like me stalk the web to see what they want to buy on someone else before committing to a purchase! ;)

I am not convinced yet that their sizing is good (nor bad), maybe the style was just not the most flattering on me... The real test would be to order a sheath dress without stretch!! I am quite smitten by this one even if it is polyester...

quilted jacquard dress
Diamond quilt jacquard sheath dress

Friday, July 11, 2014

Montreal's Costumes Exhibits

A quicky post about 2 sewing related activities in Montreal this summer :

Musée du Costume et du Textile de Montréal
 1) The Museum of Costume and Textile is having a 70s exhibit now / Une exposition sur la mode style macramé des années 70 au Québec, designer Francine Vandelac : Totalement Maille! (20 juin au 12 octobre 2014)

Université de Montréal, François Barbeau

2) The University of Montreal has an exhibition about a designer of costume for the theater, ballet, cirque du soleil / L'Université de Montréal offre une exposition sur le travail de création de costumes du designer François Barbeau : François Barbeau Créateur de Costumes (25 mai au 7 décembre 2014) 

Montreal's summer isn't just filed with awesome festivals! ;)

Friendly Reminder for Next Week

Fabric Shopping on St-Hubert

(FRANÇAIS PLUS BAS) Here is just a friendly reminder for our date next Friday July 18th at noon to have a quick lunch & coffee at Tim Hortons, shop for fabrics, have a drink afterward to unwind and swap patterns/fabrics/notions! :D There is parking available on Chabanel and in underground Parking (333 and 555 Chabanel). Please, make sure to bring cash if you plan on buying fabrics.

Tim Hortons St-Laurent/Chabanel - 18 juillet - 12h

Friday July 18th on Chabanel

  • 12h - Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent (métro Sauvé)
  • 14h - Start shopping at Cuir Boilard, 185 Louvain.
  • 5@7 - Rapahël Bistro, wine bar,
    8497 Ste-Dominique (corner de Liège)
    (15 min on foot)
    Reservation under "Caroline Côté" at 17h15 (10 pers.)
  • Friday itinerary  in google map.

On Chabanel, it will be the perfect day to shop for :
  • leather skins (Cuir Boilard and 2 stores at 99 Chabanel O.)
  • swim/sports fabrics at the unique SuzieSpandex on St-Laurent, corner Chabanel.
  • bargain priced fabrics everywhere (apparel, home dec, not much for quilting) 
There is parking with parcometer on Chabanel (credit cards accepted, can be paid with smart phone App too) and paied parking at 300 and 555 Chabanel O (about 4$/h, max 10$).

Nearby streets offer free parking, just mind the "resident only" signs to avoid a parking ticket... It is sometimes confusing as alternating sections of both sides of the streets requires a parking permit.

From the Tim Hortons to the wine bar afterward, it is only a 15 min walk...

If you want to walk more, the shopping center (Marché Centrale, on l'Acadie) at the West end of Chabanel has free parking too.

RSVP - Confirm your presence at cotc03 at hotmail dot com.
Do not hesitate to invite friends! I will update the bottom of this post with a list of the confirmed attendees.

See you soon!

Un petit rappel amical pour notre rendez-vous vendredi prochain, le 18 juillet, à midi pour un diner rapide au Tim Hortons, un après-midi de magasinage et un 5@7 pour faire un swap de tissus/mercerie/patrons autour d'un bon verre! :D Il y a du stationnement sur Chabanel ainsiqu'au 333 et 555 rue Chabanel. Apportez du liquide si vous prévoyez acheter des tissus.

Vendredi, 18 juillet sur Chabanel

  • 12h - Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent  (métro Sauvé)
  • 14h - On commence par Cuir Boilard, 185 Louvain.
  • 5@7 - Rapahël Bistro, bar à vin,
    8497 Ste-Dominique (coin de Liège)
    (15 min à pied)
    Réservations au nom de "Caroline Côté" à 17h15 (10 pers.)
  • Itinéraire du vendredi  sur google map.

Chabanel est l'endroit idéal pour trouver :
  • Du cuir (Cuir Boilard and 2 stores at 99 Chabanel O.)
  • Tissus de sport/costume de bain (SuzieSpandex, Globetext, StretchText)
  • Des bas prix imbattables! (tissus mode, décors, pas de coton à courte-pointe)

RSVP - Confirmer votre présence à cotc03 at hotmail dot com. 
Passez le mot à vos amis! Je vais tenir la liste des confirmations à la fin de ce billet.

à bientôt!


Friday / Vendredi - 18 juillet 2014
12h @ Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent (métro Sauvé)

  1. Caroline @ Sew Eng. 
  2. Mélanie, my sister!  
  3. Suzy, ma mère!
  4. Kay Young @ The Sewing Lawyer
  5. Claire @ 1 seam at a time
  6. Anne-Marie L  
  7. Rhonda @ PR and Rhotos Rag
  8. Renée B.   
  9. Vicki @ Another Sewing Scientist
  10. Julie @ SurMesure on Burdastyle

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Plan for a Retro Inspired Bikini


I have been obsessively researching the web for inspiration to sew a retro inspired bikini since my last panties sewing last month... Here is my Pinterest board : inspiration for sewing swimwear and lingerie.

And a few of my favorites :

Black and Floral by PettiBear

Key hole by Halia Mia Swimwear



My husband, tired of seeing me obsess over this hypothetical project, sent me fabric shopping yesterday. I went shopping for nylon lycra in the Chabanel Fabric District. I bought some super wide black nylon lycra for a little less than 8$/m at Globe Text for muslin. Then, I bought lovely fabric : 1m of solid magenta (12.50$/m), 2m of black/white/magenta floral (13.50$/m) and 2m of black power mesh (9.50$/m) at StretchText on 9320 St-Laurent. Then, I went to Trimcity for elastic at 7381 St-Hubert. I bought some picot edge, smooth edge, clear elastic and regular braided 1/4 inch black elastic all around 3$/4yards to try out... I should have plenty to make 2 bikini and a one piece and several of top trials!

Power mesh, Floral and solids nylon lycra
Floral Fabric Scale
Various Elastics

Patterns Plan

Bikini Bottom

I plan on using my TNT pattern for the bottom : the Vera Venus Grannie Pannie, free one size pattern (size 10-12). It is fast and only have 2 seams : the crotch and back seams. For more elaborate designs, I will either use the side seams line to cu it or use my bought pattern, the Oh Lulu Betty Undies...

VV Grannie Pannie

Bikini Top

After agonizing an entire evening about which pattern to use, I finally chose Wearing History #4003D 1940s Brassiere, 5$ one size pattern (bust 32-35) after a good night sleep, filled with bikini sewing dreams! Mostly because I really like the long line and lack of underwire, it is a instant digital download and not expensive. But it is made for woven fabric. Since it is a little on the small size for myself, it might be not too bad. I will probably need to increase the bust cup size anyway... But a close second choice was Burdastyle Bustier 5/2011 #127 ; it just wasn't as long below the bust but can be made as a swimsuit by using interfacing in the front...

WH 1940s Brassiere
So now I just need enough alone time and/or quiet nights to sew it before the end of the summer!