Monday, May 05, 2014

FO: Robe Eleonore from "Un Ete Couture"

Ceci n'est pas une blouse!
I was all set to spend the weekend sewing blouses for work.
Then I went to my interview, wearing a dress rather than a dull business suit... and I suddenly thought "Soddit!  I don't want to sew a boring blouse!  I want to make something exciting and new!"
So I challenged myself.
I bought a new sewing book.
"Un Ete Couture" is by Geraldine Debeauvias, the indie designer behind Republique Du Chiffon (RDC).
There are 19 patterns in here:  mostly dresses, but also a couple of tops,skirts, and a handful of collars.
Right upfront I will tell you:  these styles are aimed at the youngsters! But I was feeling in need of rejuvenation :)
 Stats:
Pattern:    Robe Eleonore from Un Ete Couture size Small
Fabric:  2 metres of unknown peached-finish synthetic, from Scruffybadger - I believe she bought it at Birmingham rag market?  Winnie - thank you my dear!  I finally accepted the dare to sew something slippery!
Other:  4 cover-your-own buttons, from stash;  thread; narrow elastic.
 Process:
Very French.
I immersed myself in the book before I started, and scoured the interwebs for successful examples of the finished dress.
I would advise you to proceed with caution if your French is a bit rusty.  Sewing-blog French is a whole different language!  The book itself is beautifully written and clear, but if you miss out the "how to sew" bit at the front, you might not realise that you are expected to add 10mm seam allowances and deeper hems.  Or that the facing pieces are drawn "in situ" on top of the bodice pieces, and have to be traced separately. I have scribbled notes to myself all over my tracing, ready for next time.
I learned lots of new words!
The channel for the waist-elastic is formed by folding the dress inside itself and stitching 17mm away from the fold line.  I wouldn't fancy trying that in a thicker fabric.

 Verdict?
OMG.  Perhaps I am especially vulnerable right now, but I almost cried when I tried this dress on for the first time. It swishes!  It flows!  It dances all by itself!
These wind-ridden pictures are maybe not the best to show how elegant it makes me feel.
Elegant?  ME?! It's a whole new sensation!
As I was making it, I kept thinking that Kirsty of Top Notch would wear something like this. I had to laugh when I saw that she has ordered a couple of RDC patterns herself!
I added the macrame belt as an experiment for these photos and it is perhaps a mistake.
My overall impression of this dress is of almost-1930's-style sophistication.  Bloomsbury?
That's why I tied my hair back - to suggest a bob.
It would be delicious with a pair of cuban-heeled gold shoes!
I love the cross-over neckline.  I've never tried that style before.
I was dubious about the elastic at the waist - "sack of potatoes" was my fear - but it seems to work in this fabric.
And the sleeves are such an unusual length - just below the elbow - very lady-like!
I added at least 6 inches to the skirt, as I was aiming for a garment I might wear to the office.  I am really glad I did - there are some very mini versions out there in blog-land.  I might make another tunic-length one myself, to wear over jeans, but this was always intended as a grown-up's garment.
It is definitely the sort of thing I could wear Through the Double Doors if I get the job I went for...  oh lord, the suspense is killing me!

26 comments:

Wakeymakes said...

Good luck. The fabric is gorgeous and that style really suits you. Well done K xXx

Panda Head said...

I think that is one of the loveliest dresses I've seen on the wide and wonderful world of sewing blogland for quite some time. I love the fabric and you look fab x

Sarah said...

C'est une robe tres jolie, Madame! C'est magnifique! Une triomphe! Vous etes tres belle! J'adore la robe!

Colleen said...

Oh, it's beautiful! My French is so poor, I just don't think I could handle an entire book! But I adore their patterns!

I so so so hope you get the job you went for. You deserve something really good in your life. (And, I use the same labels....don't you love that they come from Bath?)

Kirsty said...

It looks beautiful and is a perfect make for you. This is one I was thinking of making! Thanks for the tips.. might just move this up the sewing list x

beate grigutsch said...

if you want to look elegant and young and fresh and grown up at the same time - go for french :-)
beautiful dress! the print and colors are perfect with the cut and all together flatters you very nice!!!
bravo!!
xx

sewingslowly said...

Je n'ai pas besion de plus des patrons.

Je n'ai pas besion de plus des patrons....

sewingslowly said...

Et bien sur... BONNE CHANCE!

christinelaennec said...

Wow! Quel chic! I love that your dress looks like it's covered with Monarch butterflies. They used to visit my mother's garden in Oregon, and sometimes her butterfly bushes were covered with them, very like the print of your dress.
Fingers crossed for the job. In the meantime, you have a beautiful dress that makes you feel happy inside too. X

poppyinstitches said...

its fabulous, tres elegant!

dottiedoodle said...

Ooh, gorgeous! I have that book but haven't been brave enough to try any of the patterns yet. I will now! Thanks for the warning about the instructions.

Rachel said...

Wow - this is a great dress, especially in such a lovely fabric and with the beautiful neckline. I've just made one of RDC's PDF patterns and certainly found sewing in French to be an interesting experience too! I'm definitely spurred on to my Un Ete Couture now after seeing your dress as it's one of my favourites in the book!

jessica said...

Looks divine! Too bad I don't read a lick of French, or I'd be off to copy you in no time at all :-). Ah well, I guess I just gotta live vicariously through you then!

Fingers crossed for you and the job interview! (And the crochet blanket looks sooooooo cheerful and fun! Love it!)

Cazz said...

Love it. That fabric is gorgeous.
Lose the belt though. Would look fab with a little blazer.

Linda C said...

Very Bloomsbury! I also am thinking of Downton Abbey - the more recent ones.

LindaC

colesworth said...

Well done on your sewing slippery challenge, great match of pattern to fabric and it really suits you ;o)

Linda said...

Looks fab on you! I love the fabric:)

MaryinTN said...

Lovely dress. Inspirational, as always!

Ruth Wilson said...

Tres elegant and lovely fabric. I don think the belt adds anything though.

Scruffybadger said...

Tres chic!! I love it Roo, it really looks stylish and I hadn't recognised the fabric at all until you said! ( it was from Manchester , Abakhan ). I think the elastic waist channel is a very good idea...and it really works as a look! Now I hope it did it's magic for you at the interview.

verykerryberry said...

I too am relying on google translate and working with a French book- with it when the results are like this! So elegant.

Minnado said...

Oooh, love it. The fabric colours are lovely and I like the cross over neck. It looks stylish and grown up but not stuffy. :) Good luck with the job interview. xx
Ps: I am catching up on reading blog posts.

Lynne said...

This is GORGEOUS! I adore the fabric, and the style is lovely. Extra bonus sewing points for using a pattern that's in French. There's no way that I dream of tackling that!

sewstyled said...

Lovely dress and brave to make it in French. Hope you get the job. It must make the waiting even worse knowing the day they make their decision.

MaciNic said...

This is all kinds of wonderful - congratulations x

MaciNic said...

This is all kinds of wonderful - congratulations x