Ah, les livres Martine!!!
I grew up reading the Martine books so when Suz and An asked me to participate in this sewing series, I was all “Mais oui!”.
(Actually, I am lying… I said “Mais oui!” to myself … and then promptly tended to kids, went to work, battled traffic on my way home, cooked dinner, helped Maïan with homework, gave baths, got woken up at night by Gaëlle, got the little ones ready for school and daycare, went to work, made dinner, cleaned the house, drove to soccer, tossed and turned all night, went to work, etc… you get the picture. Yep, I forgot! Luckily, Suz sent me a second email and then I promptly wrote back my “Mais oui!” and the rest is history…. hehehe….)
Looking back at those amazing Marcel Marlier images, I was instantly inspired to sew.
Seriously, I’m not sure there’s another book that motivates me to hit the sewing room as much Martine does! If I have to describe my design esthetic, this would be it!
Every book, every page, every illustration is beautiful and demands to be carefully drafted and sewn. My head swarmed as I tried to pick one, just one, to make for this sewing series.
And I couldn’t pick just one… so instead, I just went with the vibe of the books and chose to make Gaëlle a beautiful yet simple vintage style dress with a cozy little cardigan.
I think Martine would have loved this, non?
Funny enough, a few days after signing up for this series, I happened to see these Martine books at Costco of all places. I snapped them up! Sadly, I have no idea where my original books have ended up…
Let’s talk pattern: it’s basically a Tinny by Straightgrain with no collar or sleeves, and a circle skirt. I modified the neckline by bringing it up by about an inch and widening it so that it would end up oval instead of circular.
As it’s getting colder in these parts of the world, I decided to line the entire dress by following the instructions for the Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations.
I added a row of checkered binding to the lining hemline… It pokes out just perfectly…
So I have a question: When you line a dress like this, should the skirt lining be facing out or facing inside. I made it face towards the inside (like the bodice) but I find that when Gaëlle moves around, you end up seeing more of the backside of the lining that the pretty ombre dots. I’d love to hear what you normally do…
The cardigan is a modified Aster. I rounded out the neckline and the hemline to give a slightly more vintage look.
Let’s talk fabric: The cardigan is from an old cashmere sweater of mine that had some holes yet still deserved a second chance at life (and yes, I should have taken a picture of it… but I didn’t!). I had the exact amount of ribbed knit that I cut off from the original hem and neckline to go all around. That was a close one! I top stitched the continuous ribbing in place.
The sleeves are the original sleeves, cuffs and all, shrunk down to fit Gaëlle’s little arms. Do you see that row of stitching halfway up the arms? I had a big hole on the back side of one of the sleeves so I ended up cutting the sleeves in half and restitching in place, with a bit of edge stitching to give it some flair and to make it look intentional.
And that big wooden button? … It’s vintage from Maman who gave me an amazing endless supply of old buttons a couple of years ago. Totally oversized in such a perfect way!
The fabric for the dress is quite special to me. I went to New York this summer and met up with fellow bloggers Lauren, Hayley, Jennifer and Farrah. It was a truly amazing trip on so many levels. While there, I had the opportunity to meet up with Kait and the crew at Michael Miller Fabrics. (I even met Michael Steiner himself, who, by the way, is half of the brilliant mastermind behind the company, the other half being Kathy Miller!!) After our meeting, I was offered some fabric of my choice… my eye instantly leaped to this amazing butterfly fabric by Patty Sloniger called Aflutter in aqua, part of the Emma’s Garden collection. It was obvious to me that it was going to become a vintage-style dress for Gaëlle…. It is insanely soft and perfect for such a special garment. I was also offered some Brazilian chocolate by Michael, LOL, and some other gorgeous fabric which I’ll save for another post… Oh, it was a goooooood meeting!!!
See below, the famous Gaëlle pout, announcing that the photo session is most definitely over… At two and a half, she gives us this pout A LOT!!!
How am I not supposed to find that just freaking adorable??? Argh, melts my heart every time…
Now I’m not kidding, you have to check out the other amazing Martine inspired garments that have been made so far… really really special!!! Just click on the links below for the ones that have posted so far…
Inspired yet? Then sew along by adding your garment HERE!!!