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Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 will be better, kinder and more mindful for you and me both. During the holidays I received a navy sweatshirt from a person I respect and admire a lot. The only thing is the sweatshirt is a bit (just a couple centimetres) too small for me at the waist and at the sleeve cuffs. I’d like to keep the sweatshirt and wear it as much as I can so that it would remind me of the beautiful person I’ve received it from, but I’d need to do some modifications. For now, here’s what…

I recently flipped through a sewing book written more than ten years ago by Céline Dupuy, Simple Sewing with a French Twist and I wanted to make note to some of the ideas in this sewing book I really liked. Céline Dupuy is an artist and a designer and you can also find her on her Instagram or her website, where you can find this book and another one focused on reconstructing denim, as well as sewing patterns and other of her newer creations, like this repurposed denim bottle: A photo posted by Céline Dupuy (@celinedupuymllekou) on Feb 25, 2016 at 4:31am PST…

In an effort to simplify and reduce, I started a little challenge last month. The challenge itself was simple: give away or discard an item I don’t need, everyday, for 30 days. I could discard more than one item if I could, but the challenge itself was creating a habit of reducing items that are not useful, not beautiful, not essential. Some days I went through an area of my house, like a drawer and looked for items I didn’t really use, need or like. Other times looking for things to discard got me into a full day or deep cleaning my…

I noticed some time ago that drawing – even if it’s a 5 minute sketch – really helps me understand the construction details of a garment or a pattern. It also helps me remember more. In a way, for pattern drafting, sketching is like note-taking. Today, I wanted to share this interesting type of sleeve: the leg of mutton sleeve. That name! The idea for this sleeve, comes from my go to pattern drafting bible, Helen Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design.  I talked about this book before in these posts on the how to use flat pattern making to draft a bodice…

One of the things that’s on my mind lately is how do I reduce the number of garments I own to the smallest number of clothes I need to enjoy all the seasons and activities I participate it. Reducing the amount of clothes you own is not a big deal in itself. But what do you do when you hobby is making clothes? I already own much less than I did two years ago. So the questions I will need to answer in this quest are: What do I do with the garments I make and realise they don’t actually…

Like many bloggers who sew garments, I sometimes feel that this passion for making clothes is a shallow passion. I see how the idea of a hobby that is focused so much on the outside can be seen as shallow. In a passage of Les Miserables, the poor and kind Bishop is asked by Madame Magloire, who is in charge with all domestic duties, why he insists on planting flowers on a piece of land where vegetables could be planted. “The beautiful is as useful as the useful”, he replies. “Perhaps more so”. It can be thus said, that making beautiful…

Practical pattern making is the book I wish I had read a few years ago, when I first got interested in pattern making. It takes you from zero to hero in under 250 pages. I really like this book because it’s practical, yet fearless. Written by pattern makers and fashion designers Lucia Mors de Castro and Isabel Sanchez Hernandez, the book is organized in three sections: traditional patterns, geometric patterns and traditional geometric patterns. The first section, traditional patterns, includes a basic pattern for a skirt and two advanced variations of a tulip skirt: one when the front includes two…

I’ve been recently having lots of ideas to sew new things. You know how it works: inspiration strikes, you want to go to the fabric store right that moment. Once at the fabric store, you don’t find what you need, and in a fit of despair you buy three-four other fabrics that: You might want to use someday when you are really going to work on that project you thought about two years ago. This is the perfect fabric for that project. It doesn’t seem important that the project doesn’t seem exciting anymore, this is the perfect fabric for that project.…

I think with knitting, I am always an optimist. I always think everything will work perfectly, even if I don’t swatch and never tried that pattern before. I am a beginner-beginner who doesn’t want to believe it. No matter how many times I unravel and redo, I always make the same mistake of doing the least possible to make sure my future project will be a success. I just sincerely expect it to be. And it’s a pain. I’m trying to remember if it was the same with sewing; if I tried a lot of difficult things that were way…

I the holidays are here this calls for some serious funky dress. We want to look stunning. yet be comfy enough to play with the toddlers and (while) helping ourselves with a second serving of cake. What a better way to draw attention to your beautiful face and away from your happy belly than some truly radical leg of mutton sleeves. Mm…leg of mutton .. anyway! The first one is also the most striking. “This is not a winter dress! What is this?” you’ll say. But think about it. You can layer it on top of leggings. Wear a coat.…