Burda 7517

Burda 7517 is done. Pfew!
I may be reconciled with Burda patterns, thanks to a good idea I had before I started the project. 
When I was showed how to make a Burda, I was taught to cut the pattern and then mark a 2cm seam allowance on the fabric. For some reason, that method didn't work for me. The results were baggy, needing lots of alterations and I ended up with a UFO pile of Burda fitting issues.
I am not quite sure of the nature of this thrifted fabric, it looks like "polyester acetate whatever" and is shifty as hell, so I thought that if I marked a 1,50cm, allowance on the paper and then cut it, it would be easier for me. It was and I will be working that way from now on.
The fabric stank so I washed it and it lost all the protective coating that made it sewable, so meet my new friend : Fabulon's fabulous starch!

I don't recommand doing this to every fabric, but on polyester "whatever", starching works. 
I also found a new colored washable glue at the supermarket which I really like because it's cheaper than buying the japanese import one and it was a great help with the zipper.

The dress is comfy, I am not sure I like it all that much, it doesn't fall like on the enveloppe, but it's grown on me. What I like most is the fabric's motif which, a friend rightly pointed out, is layed out like Monet's nenuphars. Wearing a little art makes the day go brighter.

Costumes Bretons

Yesterday, the village where I live was having it's annual Fest Noz, girls and some boys were dressed in their best Brittany dresses and danced traditional dances.

After the French Revolution, sumptuary laws regulating "Superfluity Of Dress" in France were revoked and Brittany women took that as a cue to embellish their frocks. All of a sudden, they could use gold thread, beads, lace to show off and by gosh they did!

Highly codified and regionalised, your social status dictated how high on your skirt the black silk velvet could go or if you could embroider the top of it. It dictated how many button you could put on a men's coat. The handwork is exceptional and some details of construction were very interesting. 

Do you see these handmade ruffles? Amazing. Look at the bodice, hand picked shaping. I had a grand old time, talking to the older women, how they got their dresses from their mother, an aunt, heirlooms, passed from one women to another. 
And I got to touch black silk velvet, the feeling of which is now engraved on my fingertips. 

Prom Dress Update

Prom dress, refashionned

Tasia of Sewaholic, whom you should read because she makes very pretty clothes, just showed her prom dress and it reminded me that I promised a picture of mine way back in May. My sister was nice enough to scan some pictures of her wearing it in the short cut version. My Mom bought the dress for me on a trip to HawaĂŻ. It was japanese influenced had a long slit on the side and had little surfers and palms trees in black and gold print. 
I can't beleive how elaborate Tasia's dress is. I couldn't have tackled that at 16. No wonder her sewing chops are so sharp! I did make a black satin jacket with red satin piping to go with it (Butterick 6571 view C) and that was difficult enough for me. 

Any of you living in 1979 will know this outfit was quite radical, punk even, the aesthetics of it, no ruffle, no frills, no petticoat, no pastel, no chiffon, was just reaching our far away St-Lawrence River shores. 
Just so you know, that year, being the rebellious silly youngsters we were, we boycotted the yearbook, the official photographs and we gave a piglet to the valedictorian. Carole, Lucie, Louise and I showed up unaccompanied as a small feminist stance. There are no records of that evening.
The satin jacket has long been lost but the dress is about to be passed away to my nieces if they want it. Isn't it neat that 30 years later, my prom dress will get a third life?

Leftover Fabric

"You must have some leftover fabric, why don't you sew me a (insert a garment here)".
As I am starting to hear this more and more, I thought I'd address this issue once and for all. I mostly sew for me and my very close family. In other words, if Junior here marries your daughter in 20 years, I might consider making you something eventually.
Also you should stop refering to my leftover fabric as scraps. I don't keep scraps. The pieces left after a project are big enough to line a pocket or a collar, make some bias, a small pouch for Pokemon cards, a muslin and so on. I might not have use for them now, but I will, one day. They are valuable and will not be wasted on you!
Bring your sewing machine, I'll show you how to use it, I'll show you how to follow a pattern, hem your pants, fix your rip but I won't do it for you. Go seek a professionnal if you need one.
There I have said it. The Selfish Seamstress is on to something and I should listen to her.

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