May 4, 2013

Une chemise Parisienne

We’re getting all Parisienne round chez Cashmerette this evening… Ooh la la!
(Ok, no more Paris jokes)
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent on a short European sojourn, and while I was undeniably spending ALL MY TIME doing the work for which I had been sent (ahem), somehow I managed to find myself in the Paris fabric district. Oops!
Delightfully, it’s nestled underneath the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre, so not only did I get to go fabric shopping but I also got to feel like Amelie while doing it.
And as the store below explains, it is indeed a ladies delight.
Particularly fun were the “coupon” shops, where you can buy 3 metre remnants of all sorts of lovely fabric. Remnants makes it sound like they’re somehow lower quality, but in fact the set up is perfect because there are very few garments for which you’d need more than 3 meters. Readers, I went crazy.
So, when I decided to treat myself to a skills-building course at Gather Here – creating my very first button down shirt from the Archer pattern by Grainline – I had to dig into my Parisienne stash. I chose a lightweight navy blue cottony-silk with big pink and red roses, which looks remarkably similar to the types of Escada blouse my mother prefers.
Under the tutelage of Virginia at Gather Here, putting together the shirt was significantly less difficult than I had anticipated. Frankly I rarely wear shirts because they never fit my unlikely proportions (hands up if you have more than a 12 inch difference between your bust and waist? Yeah, didn’t think so), so it was fun to be able to tailor a pattern to suit me. To do that, we added extra seam allowance on the side seams at bust level, and also then put in some darts from the bust to waist to ensure that it didn’t all just tent out from the top.
Overall, the sewing went without incident (it’s very satisfying to be getting visibly better), apart from the sudden and unfortunate realisation of how I’d cut the front pieces. Yes, dear reader, I had breast roses. Luckily there were still some pockets to come. Phew!
And here’s the final thing, of which I must say, I am modestly proud:
And my fantastic modelling skills exhibited here while my camera perches on a shelf.
First up: something I’ll probably never do, which is wear it done up to the neck. However, I feel the need to prove that it fits. The one thing I failed to do was check how long the sleeves were… turns out I have short arms (I did not know this). At some point I may find it in myself to undo the cuffs and re-do them…
(Apologies for the lack of hair brushing, make-up or other attempts at presentation).
Next up! A much more likely styling: rolled up sleeves, open at the top:

And finally! A combo with my bright yellow cardi. I like this!

Now, when someone asks me “hey where’s that from?” not only can I say that I made it myself, but that it’s from Paris.  Smug, but true.

6 thoughts on “Une chemise Parisienne

  1. Gillian says:

    It’s lovely! Great fabric, and looks amazing with your yellow cardi! Magnifique! 😉

  2. Jenny says:

    Thanks, Gillian!

  3. Gail says:

    Just came across this in the Grainline group on Flickr – gorgeous!

  4. Mallory D says:

    I bought my wedding dress fabric in Paris, it was magical!!

  5. Patricia Wood says:

    Your photos with your hair pulled back convince me that you would look great with short hair should you “choose to chop”. Just an option. No pressure. Lots of cool girls rock short do’s with Cashmerette designs. The Archer looks great, but I can get a similar effect with the Vernon, I think. That’s what I’ll do. So glad you developed it.

Let me know what you think!