Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Provencal fabrics

Here are the fabrics I bought in Arles.
Provencal fabrics
I bought about 2 meters of each except for the small prints on the right - the ones that coordinate with the stripes on the right. I bought 4 meters of those because I had in mind that I might make placements and napkins with them and so I needed two sides to the mats and napkins to match one of the sides. The four fabrics on the right strike me as essentially Provencal, with their patterns and rich colours.

I also bought all of the fabrics except the two on the left at one shop in Arles and they cost 9 Euros per meter. I bought the two on the left at the Saturday market in Arles for 6 and 7 Euros per meter and they seem a little less substantial than the slightly more expensive ones. Also, I bought them first, before I went to the one shop. I am pleased with them but I could have bought more, I am sure. I think I got a little less of the market fabric so I got about 19 meters in all.

To answer Heather's question from the previous comments, I carried them home in our back packs! We are allowed 12 kilos for one carry-on piece of luggage and when I left Canada, mine weighed 7 kilos and Peter's weighed 8. When we came back, they each weighed almost 10 kilos but we were still under the limit. Amazing what you can do when you find a laundromat and do two washes in two weeks. Of course, in most of the photos of me in France I am wearing the same yellow jacket! But you can't have everything. The weather was quite nice, even if it did rain a little here and there and it was warmer than it is at home right now. We went down to 3C last night and are only getting up to about 17C today, but in Provence, it was over 20C every day.
ceramic cigale
After I spent so much at the fabric store, I saw the woman who cut my fabric put a wrapped thing into the bag as a bonus or treat but I didn't think to look at it until I got home. It is a ceramic "cigale" or cicada, which has become a symbol of Provence. You see them everywhere and they are quite attractive, even if they are insects. The thing is, I can't figure out what function mine may have.
ceramic cigale
It is hollow and fairly large but it doesn't stand up on its end.
ceramic cigale
Underneath, there is another small hole as well as the large one where the "mouth" would be and it is unglazed on the "belly". So if anyone knows, let me know!

Other than place mats, I really haven't thought what I might make with all this fabric. Most of the things already made up were household items and not clothing. There were some very cute little girls' dresses made with this fabric but no clothes for grown-ups, except for the cowboy shirts. Apparently, the Gardians of the Camargue wear shirts made from these prints, although I didn't see any actually being worn while I was on a "safari" there. So I am planning to wash and dry it and hang it over the railing along with the red linen I got as a present, and try to think what shall I do with it all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm back!

Great time! Will expound on the subject over at my other blog, some time soon. In the meantime, I learned some more (clothing) lessons on travelling and will write about them somewhere.
Here are some outfits (there may be notes on them over at Flickr, if you want to click on them and go there):
Outfits I made that I wore in France
The yellow jacket and brown skirt. Great skirt pattern, very comfortable and only blows up in a very strong wind, like we had that day in Avignon.
Outfits I made that I wore in France
The red polyester jacket and print skirt (same pattern as the brown one). The only bit of polyester I took with me (other than convertible MEC pants) but it never wrinkles and looks good.
Outfits I made that I wore in France
The yellow jacket with the red print skirt. The skirt has some yellow in it and I thought they went well together. I think I might be adjusting my bra. :)
France 2008
The same yellow jacket with the other print skirt. It brightened up a rainy day. The reason I am speaking with these nice Parisiennes is because the one nearest me has an 8 week old chocolate Labrador puppy. She was so soft! The dog, I mean.
Outfits I made that I wore in France
The brown safari jacket, standing in front of Provencal fabrics. I got a few yards at this market but then I got 16 yards at a store later. Pix of those soon!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ready to rock 'n roll (almost)

safari jacket
I'll wear this on the plane with pants, I think. Warmer on the legs than a skirt. Now to pack!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Brown outfit done!

brown jacket
I have to cut the buttonholes open and sew on the buttons but I have time to do that tomorrow morning. The skirt I finished earlier today. So my brown outfit can go travelling with me! I bought this fabric for the colour and because it was a substantial cotton with a touch of Lycra but with its peached finish, I am surprised how much like faux suede it looks. It's my neutral with all the bright colours I am planning to pack. Of course, once I start packing and see how little space I have, things may change.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"safari" jacket
Peter came home as I was toiling away and snapped this photo for me. Why is my face always so red? Anyway, I was putting the pocket flaps on. I think it's an optical illusion that the jacket looks so long, but time will tell. The skirt is about half done. I may get this finished yet!

The brown outfit

I'm doing my assembly line kind of sewing, where I pin together as many things as possible and then run them all through at once, so I don't even cut the threads between pieces until they're all sewed. Once I amass a pile of sewed pieces that need ironing before I can attach them to other pieces, then I turn them if they need turning right side out and iron them all at once too. So far I have done the four pockets, their flaps, the collar, the front facings and four tiny darts in the jacket fronts. I could have done the sleeve vents but I forgot. No time for pix! But later, maybe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Yellow jacket finished!

Well, I guess it's like watching water boil. Nothing happens for the longest time and then suddenly, there it is!
yellow jacket
I am happy with how it turned out, collar issues notwithstanding. I had to whip-stitch where the collar joins the body to cover up the "issues" but I can't even see it now. The sleeves are about 1/2 inch too long but so what, it's a casual jacket.

Now I have cut out the brown fabric. I am making the safari jacket with 4 pockets and long sleeves but no belt, and the flippy summer skirt that I have made several times now. I won't have to wear a slip with the skirt as the cotton is quite substantial. I think it's good that it also has a little bit of Lycra in it too. If I can get these made by Monday, I'll take them on the trip!

Yellow jacket

I am not making much progress!
yellow jacket
Here, I have put the sleeves on. Now I have also added the cuffs. But when I went to put the collar on, I didn't read the instructions and did it "my way" instead and now I am having issues with the front bands. Argh. More sewing, less talking!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Yellow jacket

red coat
I am working away on the yellow jacket but on Friday, I wore the reversible coat I made a while back. I haven't worn it since I made it because it was too tight (it looks like it fit in the original pictures but it really was too tight)! Since I have been working out however, it now fits. Peter snapped this photo on Friday after work. The background is just the small mall near where we live and he chose it because the red complimented the coat.
yellow jacket
I wanted to try to get an accurate photo of the colour of the yellow and realized that it is a little lemony and makes my mouth pucker but what the heck - I like bright. These are swatches from the two skirts I will wear with it.
yellow jacket
I put this photo in because when I sewed the top of the pockets, I continued sewing a line of stitching all around where I would fold the raw edges in, to make it easier to fold accurately.
yellow jacket
Finally, this is about the best colour representation so far. It may be a tad warm. I have the sleeves on and now have to do the cuffs, collar and front bands and the buttons last.