• Tops, blouses and shirts

    Park Life

    Don’t let the blog post title fool you, I was never really a Blur fan. I was never really an Oasis fan either.

    I wanted to share a few pictures of my first RDC Berthe blouse from this book which I made as a straight muslin, primarily to see if I could even cope with sewing a shirt but also to test the fit.

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    Turns out I could make a shirt. Wahey! It’s not perfect though. My Birdy version turned out much better but I like the print and the black buttons on this version so it still gets worn.

    I used the last of my polyester from this dress which gave the shirt a nice drape.

    The only alteration I made up front was to level off the hem. I can’t seem to get behind all these high-lo shenanigans.

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    We took these photos while out at Roundhay park.The weather was amazing so we strolled around the lake and ate some ice cream.

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    almond rock berthe republique de chiffon shirt

    This wasn’t the post I intended to share this weekend but don’t you hate it when you download your camera photos and it turns out you had something stuck to the lens of your camera that has ruined all your photos?!

    I had some kind of fluff on the lens that made all my dress photos blurry and rubbish but clearly didn’t notice when looking at the viewing screen. Lame!

    Anyway, I hope you had a fab weekend in the sunshine. Fingers crossed this weather is here to stay.

  • Tops, blouses and shirts

    Pink Parrots and Ugly Pelicans

    Holy Moly! What a weekend!

    I’m aching all over but I am busy typing up a summary of the awesome Minerva Crafts meet up event, ready for you later this week.

    Now for something quite different.

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots

    This is the Berthe shirt from Republique du Chiffon. It’s my third version of the shirt but my first blogged one.

    Here are three favourites from other bloggers: Blousette Coquette, Nette, and last but not least Jolies Bobines

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon un ete couture

    This pattern is from the book Un été couture and is a boxy sleeveless collared shirt with hi-low hem. I’ve almost nailed the fit now. Just those pesky armholes are still a little tight. I’ve left off the hi-low hem in all my versions.

    I used an awesome cotton lawn from Ebay (sold out now but Marie found another colourway in her local fabric shop). I’m not sure if you’ll recognise the print? It’s used on Modcloth’s Tropic the Charts Dress. It’s probably a bit pale for me, but it made me smile!

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots

    The body of the shirt does look a bit better in viscose (which my first two versions were made in) but I love how good my collar turned out thanks to the cotton.

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots

    The Prym point turner I got from John Lewis was an amazing help to getting a crisp point and a nice round corner on my stand. It’s amazing how you can make do with a chopstick for years and suddenly a bit of carefully shaped plastic can make your sewing so much nicer and stress free!!

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots modcloth

    So why the ugly pelicans. This fabric has awesome birds BUT in the midst of them there is one ugly as sin pelican.

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots

    He makes my skin crawl and makes me think of this Shoebill video clip from Attenborough’s Africa. *SHUDDER!*

    Anyway… Along with my beautifully neat collar, this shirt has some of my best topstitching work. It also has hot pink bias binding around the armholes and hem, plus hot pink buttons which both match the lovely pink parrots.

    almond rock berthe republique du chiffon parrots

    All this makes me very happy.

    PS. I’m fairly certain this will be the first and last time you’ll see me in braids hahaha.

  • Dresses

    Meet Melanie

    I’m not a graceful elegant French woman. And pending some kind of life-transplant, I don’t think I ever will be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wear chic French patterns and frolic around pretending I am. Anyone else feel like this some times?


    Meet Melanie; She’s one of the patterns designed by Géraldine of Republique Du Chiffon, from her book Un été couture (A summer wardrobe), the French pattern book I got for Christmas. Oh yes the irony of buying and making a summer wardrobe during this horrible weather, but hey it’s on the turn isn’t it? This is really a spring frock!

    I chose this dress for my March Minerva Blogger Network make. I was optimistically hoping for better weather. Don’t get me started on how wrong I was but I did end up with a sweet little dress. The fabric is a lovely glossy rust coloured cotton lawn.


    Melanie is a zip fronted dress with split cap sleeves and waist pleats. She’s cute, rather short but lots of fun to sew. She has a nifty zip facing that keeps everything looking neat and the split sleeves are fully lined which looks nice and tidy.


    I really wish this dress suited me a little more. I think the colour is excellent but I don’t think the silhouette is the most flattering. A little too “up and down” for me if that makes sense?


    I do love the zip and the finish you get on the inside. Those skirt pleats are very cute and there’s definitely cool factor in the split sleeves.

    Maybe I just need to introduce Melanie to some warmer weather and we’ll get along better. What do you think? Would you wear a zip front dress?

    There’s no denying how ace Julie’s version looks and Magali’s version in another atelier brunette fabric. I also like Mel in a solid colour like this.

    Don’t be put off by this pattern book being in French. Everything is understandable using poor high school French mixed with Google translate. Plus the diagrams are pretty good. They double up across the book you see. You look at a pattern and think “hmmpf why am I only getting three diagrams?” but the diagrams to other steps are included in other similar patterns from the book: Very clever and space-saving.


    Right. Back to sewing! My other half is on a three-day golf weekend and that means pure indulgent “Amy time”, full of my favourite things — Sewing, silly telly, curry, salmon with pickled beetroot and possibly some gin*.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone!!

    *Not necessarily in this order.