Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sewing in French

Elsie 1
We're still waiting for the snow, but I did finally manage to finish some sewing projects this weekend. My first finish of the year is this sweet top for Florence. It's the Elsie tablier by Citronille. Clothes for children in France are gorgeous, but not cheap, so when I found this book in our local bookshop, I was excited to find it full of patterns for simple, stylish designs that I could make myself with the added benefit of requiring me to practice my French! This design is a classic and it couldn't be simpler. Just one pattern piece with a long curving seam and a couple of buttonholes.

Elsie 2
The fabrics are two Anna Maria Horner solids that I stocked up on before we moved. Purple to match Florence's beloved first shoes with a splash of pink for the lining.

Elsie 3
Elsie 4
I love the way the straps cross at the back.

Elsie 5
By far the trickiest part of this pattern for me were the buttonholes. My sewing machine has an amazing automatic buttonhole feature, but the narrow straps on the 12-18 month size left no room for error. It was difficult to get the buttonholes centered in the space and they're still not perfect. But after unpicking the first try on both sides, I decided this was not supposed to be an heirloom project and that I should get over it and move on! The buttons are my favourite part, a little bit of Liberty that picks out both fabric colours perfectly.

Elsie 6
And this is what this handmade looked like after the end of the day! Not normally a messy child, the day I dressed her in an apron, Florence managed to cover it in juice, blood from a cut finger, chocolate and teething dribble. It looks like I might need to make one for every day of the week!

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