FREE PATTERNS: The French Round-up!

Dear Readers,
Since I couldn’t sew for a while, and trying to avoid spending money as a way to cope (link), my only option is to talk, talk and talk about sewing. Unfortunately, neither my four-months old human or my 3-year old dog were very interested in the topic… You, readers, are my victims.

Today, I will try to do round up of free patterns available in French, some are also translated into English. The big disclaimer is that I haven’t tried any, mostly because I don’t have the time but also because the French offer often does not match my aesthetic. However it doesn’t mean that there might not be something you like and it gives me something to do during nap time, so let’s jump in!

Deer & Doe

plantain-t-shirt-pattern
Plantain T-shirt by Deer&Doe
First, there is the ubiquitous Plantain Tee by Deer & Doe. Frankly, I’ve been tempted to try it out (and probably printed it out more than once). I don’t know why I haven’t…

Pauline & Alice

bailen7a

Second and also very famous Pauline & Alice. I’m not even sure if this brand should be categorized as French… Free to download is the Bailen top & dress.

Essais & Erreurs / Festive Road

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His & Hers shirt by Essais&Erreurs
Pochette Devant petit rondnoir atténué chemise mixte
Qu’est ce que tu vends pour les vacances by Essais&Erreurs
Pochette Devant I Want Candy
I want candy by Essais&Erreurs
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Moussaillon by Essais&Erreurs
Fit but you know it by Essais&Erreurs
Fit but you know it by Essais&Erreurs
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Tamagotshi Breton by Essais&Erreurs
Brass in Pocket by Essais&Erreurs
Brass in Pocket by Essais&Erreurs
Less known are the patterns released by the Vicomte de Boisjoly on her blog Essais&Erreurs. She has a great writing style, which shone during the whole Aime Comme Marie debacle and she makes available patterns of styles she drafts for herself.

Wear Lemonade

make-my-lemonade-wear-lemonade-robe-luisa-diy-5-690x460
Robe Luisa by Wear Lemonade
make-my-lemonade-do-it-yourself-happy-couture-bianca-wearlemonade
Blouse Bianca by Wear Lemonade
make-my-lemonade-do-it-yourself-diy-frida-couture-2-copie
Robe Frida by Wear Lemonade
make-my-lemonade-do-it-yourself-diy-rita-veste-wearlemonade-1
Veste Rita by Wear Lemonade
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Jupe Ava by Wear Lemonade
make-my-lemonade-do-it-yourself-mona-perfecto-wearlemonade
Perfecto Mona by Wear Lemonade
For the risk takers, here are the free patterns offered by Wear Lemonade. I talk about risks because most of the appeal seems to reside in its gorgeous and stylish owner but after quick look at the drafting, I saw some odd things. Proceed with caution!

République du Chiffon

Dress Ludivine
Top, Pencil Skirt and Minijupe Livie
Patterns at Republique du Chiffon are probably a safer option, however reviewing pictures and my own experiment with Veste Francoise (which was 95% done when I left NY early December but you may not see until many months #lazyblogger), I’m not a fan of their sleeve/armscye draft. Make a muslin!

I Am Patterns

Robe Cassiopee by I Am Patterns
Next up is this dress by I Am Patterns (sidenote: by now you must have noticed the tendency of using an English name for those companies, but I really can’t wrap my head around this one), available at Marie Claire Idées.

Histoire de Coudre

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Beryl Top by Histoire de Coudre
Technically not free but available for 1 cent, it’s the Beryl Top from Histoire de coudre. I think this is one of the patterns I may want to give a try. I see it in a medium silk weight, tucked in a high waist skirt…

Je fais mes dessous

For lingerie makers, you have a thong tutorial available at Je fais mes dessous (I make my undies).

More lingerie (bralettes and even men underwear) at Monsieur est une trainée (which I won’t translate because I’d rather not get the traffic that it would attract…)

1083

Lastly, the jeans from 1083 that I have mentioned before. If you want to make them, please note that there seam to be a mistake in the pattern, pointed out by YOU, dear readers. Have a look at the comments!

So, what do you think? Did I miss any free French pattern? Did you make any successfully (or not)? Please share!

On sewing the basics (SBCC Tonic Tee) and having a uniform

Dear Readers,

If this was a competition about boring sewing, I believe I would win “haut la main” (I had to google translate this, apparently appropriate English translation is “hands down”, funny because in French in “hand high”, interesting…). Not only I’m showing you basic t-shirts from a pattern I used before, but I used only black and white knit. I did not even buy the fabric, I used tshirts from The Old Man. That’s not actually true, I had one cut out for months in a corner of my sewing room, but my serger was threaded in white, and the knit was black… basic-tee-2

So there you have it : 2 white t-shirts, 3 black ones. 4 made from existing tshirts. I did not even remove the labels at center back, because I got really lazy! Because it’s not that interesting, I will spare you and show you only two of them. I used SBCC free tonic tee pattern. On some I save the neck ribbing which makes it very close to the neck and on other I used the original hem and made a band out of the excess I cut off the sides. I also used size XXS or XS to have a more relaxed fit for 2 of them. It was all done in a few hours. The longest operation was probably switching the serger from white to black.

basic-tee-6This is obviously a weekend outfit for me, and they already got tons of wear, as expected. Since there is not much more that can be said about super basic tees, I figured we could talk a little about the idea of uniform. I don’t know if you noticed, but these days it feels like one cannot open its reader or Facebook without stumbling on an article about a woman who decided to wear “a uniform”. Some take it very seriously, like wearing the same clothes everyday, some a little less. The rational is more or less always the same : “I have super important things to do in my life, so I decided to figure out what to wear once and for all, like men do, (really ? do they?) and now I can focus on the rest (usually career)”.

basic-tee-3I have to admit, it is seductive. In general, radical approaches tend to do very well on the Internet. Wether it’s sewing all the dresses in a vintage book (but then you don’t finish ;-)), or cooking all the recipes, it “sells”. I love reading about those big projects but I’m incapable of making such decisive commitments. Or maybe I just don’t have time. Actually, maybe this is why they are so seductive, because we know we would do it. Personnally, I’m a good audience for them. After all, I did quit smoking with Allen Carr and cleaned my house with Marie Kondo.

basic-tee-5

 

Going back to the uniform, it looks like the latest wardrobe craze. Remember when we were looking for our “signature style”, our “10 essential” or creating “capsules” ? Well now, we need a uniform. It doesn’t matter if you actually lead 1 or 3 lives (work, evening out and weekends) or leave in an environment with 4 seasons. You just need to say that you have a uniform. Because it shows how much more focused on important things you are than the rest of us.

basic-tee-1

In Haiti, we have about 2 seasons, one when it rains and one when it does not. And you actually don’t need to dress any differently. Because it’s hot. All the time. You just add a rain coat. I have to admit, I started wearing a variation of pretty much the same thing everyday : skinny jeans/pencil skirt, button-up/t-shirt and the occasional dress. You can combine it and you will know how I’m dressed wether in the office, at the supermarket or dining out. So I guess, yes, I have a uniform. If I was to participate in Me-Made-May (I’m not), I would bore the hell out of all of you!

basic-tee-4

 

But here is the problem, I don’t want to to call it like that because it already became a cliché. Trends go so fast online that you can get tired of them before even adopting them! Just like when everyone started “curating” inspiration on Pinterest and their blog. Maybe I can skip to the next wardrobe trend ? Please jump in, do you have a uniform, or a minimalist wardrobe? What do you think will be the next wardrobe trend?

Lastly, I am about to board the plane to New York for a week, in case you are there and want to shop at Mood or just gossip email me!

 

 

Open Skirt Project: final sample in floral

Dear readers,

I have been talking about this project for a good 6 months and I think I am almost there. I showed you toiles and I felt quite of bad for not updating the blog about it… I always wanted to know what it took to develop pdf sewing patterns from scratch to a product usable by others than me. I did learn a lot and I still have a lot of work to do. So far, my 2 main take-away are:

  • It’s not the patternmaking or the grading that takes the most time.
  • Writing instructions is really really hard.

OSP floral-13
I will probably write a post or two when I have some time about what I learnt. I feel some secrecy I cannot explain around the process. For instance, the tiling in Illustrator. Nobody explains clearly how they do it. I have to say that it is a bit annoying to figure it out but once you do your grid you can reuse it for any pattern. So I decided that I will share my grid with you and maybe save some time to people who wants to tile their patterns. Hopefully it will lead to more time to be spent on the patterns themselves!

For this last (?) version of the pattern, I smoothed the hip curve, updated the vent construction and fused the whole hem and vent area. But most of the work went to the pdf, making sure that lines were showing up everywhere they should. Also it is layered, if you use Acrobat Reader, you can choose which size you want to print.

OSP floral-12I took step by step pictures of the construction and tried to write an ebook. However I am not entirely convinced that it makes the process crystal clear. Now I also started doing some illustrations in Illustrator. I have 0 drawing skills so the process is quite painful! In case you download the instructions, I would very much welcome any feedback. You will also see that I added a “reference” section to highlight blogs, books and patterns that have guided me through my choices. In a way, I think of it as something between instructions and a mini-ebook.

OSP floral-6

On the seam finish I went back and forth between serged and and snug hug. Finally I decided for the snug hug. I talked about my obsession with this tape before so I will not repeat it! I also think it will appeal to more people (who may not have a serger). But what I like the most about it is that you can construct and finish everything with a straight stitch. In my case, it means everything on my industrial Juki. Fast and pretty results!!

OSP floral-1 OSP floral-2 OSP floral-3 OSP floral-4

Sorry for the pictures on my form. The form was made to measure 3 years ago in NYC but I lost some weight since (sigh…) and the skirt cannot close, but it does close on me!! I had this fabric for a year in my stash and I love love love it. I knew I wanted to use it for something special so this project was the one! It’s a floral stretch cotton from Mood and it’s all kind of perfect. Easy to work with, does not fray, presses well, etc. I made the smallest of the 3 sizes available and it’s comfortable thanks to the stretch factor and the slightly higher back vent than usual.

Size Chart

Final words, , the PDF contains more pages than you may be used to for a simple skirt. First, pieces are divided between self fabric and fusible. All are intended to be cut single layer so the pieces for the self fabric are are laid on 21 pages and the fusible on 5.

OSP floral-5

If you are interested in downloading the pattern and receive the updates, please sign up for the newsletter (sent once a month if you get lucky). What I love the most about this project. is the email conversations I have with some readers since I started it. Feel free to tell me any of your thoughts in the comments or by email! I’m committed to making the best pattern I can with my limited time and amateur skills. What do you think, any advice already?

 

Open Skirt Project

Dear Readers,

 

I will not apologize for the long absence, as it seems to be too common around sewing blogs (especially this one). There is a flu going around Haiti and I’ve been so sick that I could not participate in round 2 of the PRSewingBee. For me, that means very VERY sick… Enough on my disappointment, let’s have a look at V3 of the Open Skirt Project! For my next versions I will start using Size 1 for myself instead of size 2 as I like a closer fit. I’m very happy with the lowering of center front:

V3 Open Skirt Project

I did manage to send out the first newsletter of the Open Skirt Project and to update the pattern based on feedback and my own toile of version 3 (up). If you are interested in trying it out check out the size chart below:

Size Chart

Please take into account that although there will be instructions in the future, currently you have to be able to sew it on your own! For version 4, The PDF layout has been entirely redone and now you can use the layers in acrobat reader to print only the size(s) that you want!

If you are interested in trying out V4 of the pattern and receive the updates, please sign up for the newsletter (I promise I’m way too busy to send it often so there is no way you feel spammed).

I will be off for a week to Dominican Republic and I have not been doing much sewing lately but hopefully I will have things to show before the end of the year…

Open Skirt Project: an update + PR Sewing Bee

Dear readers,

 

First of all, I’m super happy to report that I have passed round #1 of the PR Sewing Bee contest, along with 55 amazing other seamstresses. The bad news that the second challenge is a man shirt refashion. And I hate refashions, they don’t suit my style. So it’s going to be a real real challenge this time: make a refashion looking polished… I also needto buy a thrifted shirt in a Pèpè (second hand stuff sold on the sidewalks) because The Old Man will not commit one of his!

To keep pretending that I follow-up on my announcements, I wanted to update you on the free skirt pattern that I have been talking about here. I created the first draft from the Muller&Sohn book and ran a first toile.

photo

I decided on a number of changes such as bringing some ease at the waist and shortening the back darts. I also offset the vent by 3/8″ to make it appear more closed.

For the second toile, I ran out of muslin and used the cheap gingham reserved for school uniforms in Haiti. By accident, I created the vent on the wrong side (and realized only after taking pictures).

Openskirt V2

I decided to bring the front darts a bit closer and to change some of the construction details of the vent. Also, the back is a bit big on me but I am a slightly smaller than my sample size.

I have been exchanging emails with Miranda, a super nice reader, and a New York patternmaker friend about this project. Their input have been invaluable. Thus, I would like to extend the discussion to whoever is interested. I have a lot of questions about what would people prefer (serged edges, favorite zipper type, number of pages for the PDF, etc.) If you feel like telling me what you believe is the best way to sew a vent, to layout a pdf or you just want to sew the pattern for yourself, let me know. The pattern is currently available in my sample size (that I’m arbitrary named size 2).
I already able to send V3 of the pattern in the sample size. Measurements are the following:

Sewing Tidbits – Skirt 1101 – Size 2
Cm Inches
Body Measurements
Waist 63 24 6/8
Hip 90 35 3/8
Hip Length 20.5 8 1/8
Finished Measurements
Waist 65.4 25 6/8
Hip 94 37
Skirt Length 55 21 5/8

Ultimately, i want to release 3 sizes, 1 up and 1 down from the sample size. If you want to participate in this discussion, please email me. I promise to send a weekly update on the project.

Wow, promises… Dangerous.

Colette Madeleine bloomers

Losing focus part II: one distraction after another

Dear readers,

The reality is that unlike some prolific bloggers (yes Lladybird, I’m looking at you), I can only sew on weekends. And even then not the whole weekend (hello power cuts…). So between monday and friday, I usually get excited about projects and the one the most recent excitement is usually the one that receives attention over the weekend.

Case in point : after coming from holidays I set to work on a modified Archer shirt, the following tuesday I got distracted by Lekala 4362. I ordered it and print it out. Unfortunately on Friday I got distracted by the idea of making cute cotton shorts as sleepwear… I reviewed all the PDF patterns available, almost bought Grainline Lakeside pattern, but my walllet got lucky and the shop was down for update. BTW, talking about distraction, have you seen the Alder shirtdress ? I can confidently say that this is pushing all other projects on the side and will get done in the very very near future…

Going back to sleepwear, I then remembered the cute cute version the free Colette Madeleine bloomers made by Peneloping. What she talks about in her post is exactly what happened, a pattern you looked at a million times, even printed and taped but suddenly YEARS LATER, you need to make it. And you need to make it NOW. I went to Pattern Review to check the comments because I remembered some useful insights about the fit. Reviewers mention the very low waist, which is what I wanted, and the lack of coverage, but considering that I was going to sew an XS, I figured it would be ok.

Colette Madeleine bloomers

As you can see, it is not bloomers at all. Call me weird but I could not imagine sleeping with ribbon tying my thighs… That required some pattern adjustment which I will probably detail in another post, as I plan to make another pair very soon (this weekend if I don’t get distracted by friday!). For this test version I used a Theory shirting cotton that I bought in Moods while still living in NYC.

IMG_3744

I used flat-felled seams everywhere and the whole process from taping to hemming took less than 2 hours. Bonus, The Old Man loves them (understatement). Extra bonus, they are comfortable and I’ve been wearing them every night (and day, humhum #sundayinyourpjs…).

Now, on sunday I’ve been good and I dedicated all my sewing time to Lekala 4362. After quite some work and alterations, this is where we are.

Lekala 4362, in progress

I will write a whole post about my modifications for this pattern so stay tuned!

Free pattern alert: the French Jeans edition

I am usually a bit lazy when it comes to reading french sewing blogs, but I was catching up on Threads and Needles today and I discovered the French brand 1083. For the explanation, 1083 km is the longest distance between 2 french towns/willages, so it’s all about Made in France jeans and sneakers. Their jeans are made of organic cotton and are affordable. I have to admit that I am quite impressed with the business model.

Now comes the best part, the jeans patterns are under Creative Commons so they are free!! You can find them on this page, or you can click on the links below and be directed to the PDF in case your French is a bit rusty

Straight jeans for men W26-40 L30-36

 

Straight jeans for women W24-36 L30-36

A bootcut for women W24-36 L30-36

Now, there are no instructions but hey free pattern!! The pdf is tileable with adobe acrobat pro… Enjoy! I don’t plan on making them because 1/ I can’t locate the notions here and 2/the waist seems a bit high for my taste but I would love to see what you will make out of it!!