Berlin Winter Coat – pattern by Straightgrain

 

Alix (1 of 1)-6

This is the Berlin Winter Coat from StraightGrain.  It had been a while since I had undertaken a more complex sewing project… and I loved every second of it.  The finished product is impeccable, and something to be very proud of.  It’s described as a warm winter coat but in Ottawa, it makes a perfect spring jacket, ideal for a temperatures between 0 and 15 I would say.  Alix has been wearing it everyday this spring, as Canada is still quite chilly.

Alix (1 of 1)-2

J’aime Marcel Marlier! A Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan…

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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….)

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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.

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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?

 

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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…

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 

 

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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.

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 

 

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 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…

Modified Tinny Dress, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 

The cardigan is a modified Aster.  I rounded out the neckline and the hemline to give a slightly more vintage look.

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 

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!!!

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

 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…

Modified Tinny Dress and Aster Cardigan, inspired by Martine books, sewn by La gang à Nat

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…

StraightGrain

sewpony

Made by Sara

La Folie Sewing Booth

Compagnie M

Stitched Together

La Inglesita

 

final calendar

 

Inspired yet?  Then sew along by adding your garment HERE!!!

And finally, there are amazing prizes to be one so make sure to enter!

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Lua Sleepsack – A Pattern by Straightgrain

 

Lua Sleepsack 3

I was recently selected to test Straightgrain‘s latest pattern… the Lua Sleepsack!  The timing could not have been better, as little Gaëlle had by far grown out of her 12-18 month old “gigoteuse” and needed a much much longer one.  When I saw that An had created a pattern that was not only lined but also went to size 2Y, I applied immediately to test.  I was still expecting however that since Gaëlle had just turned 2 and is actually tall for her age, I would have to add a few inches to the bottom of the sleep sack.  Nope, not so.  An has taken toddlers into consideration and has ensured that there’s lots of room for their little toes.

button slaapzak

As with all of her patterns, An explains all steps in great detail, throwing in tips and tricks along the way.  The instructions are meticulous, leaving your with a well crafted garment you can be very proud of.

Lua Sleepsack 1

The Lua Sleep is lined with a layer of batting, and has a long zipper at the side for ease of use.

Lua Sleepsack 2

Although walking around in a a “gigoteuse” is not the easiest thing to do, I thought this illustrated well the size of the garment and the wiggle room for the feet.

Lua Sleepsack 4

Bonjour petite Gaëlle!  Réveille-toi!!!

Lua Sleepsack 5

On te sort de ta gigoteuse? Ah… tu étais bien au chaud n’est-ce pas ma cocotte!

Lua Sleepsack 6

Lua Sleepsack 7

Head over to Straightgrain to see all the lovely sleepsacks made by An’s testers…. the amazing choices of fabrics will astound you!

Lua Sleepsack collage