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Friday, 20 April 2012

Joint efforts = great results

Just before Easter I published a sneak-peek of what was coming up on this blog. Finally today is the day you will discover the whole project!
It was a joint project with my mother, G., my mother-in-law, H. and myself. It was a lot of work (more than expected) but worth it! My daughter looked splendid (as per usual I would say).

Baby N. was baptised a week after Easter. For the occasion she required a lovely dress as well as a white piece of clothing which she would receive during the ceremony. 

Patterns: we used a Burda pattern (9618) which is not available any more but we were lucky to find it on ebay! and for the shoes we used a very nice website "Petit Citron" which presents this pattern.

Material: Two shades of yellow cotton fabrics, one white cotton fabric, elastic band, elastic thread, white ribbon, press-studs, machine thread, a lot of patience and two sewing-machines (to work side by side).
Those are pretty useless since, like most babies nowadays, Baby N. wears bodies, BUT I wanted to have them nevertheless because I find them very sweet! My mother-in-law made them. At first the pattern looked weird, but then it all became obvious and they were pretty simple to sew, the "hardest" pieces being the ruffles.
I chose to make them of the colour I used for the pants, a stronger yellow. They were very easy and quick to make (less than two hours), the only thing I would make different is the size of the elastic-band, it isn't tight enough. Those shoes are so easy to make that I plan on making different pairs soon, including some with leather (or fake leather) for when Baby N. will start crawling. 
  Yellow dress
 Also made by my mother-in-law. The pattern was giving the long sleeves for the long dress and the short ones for the small dress but we did the contrary, which made that she got the hassle of fitting the sleeves. It wasn't so bad. One thing we discovered while making the dresses is how to make machine smock. Easy as peas!

One "just" needs to hold a stretched elastic thread along a lign and zig-zag stitch on top of it. For the following ligns, one should stretch the fabric as well as the thread. Finally after releasing the fabric and thread it all comes together!
White dress
The length of this dress is maybe a tad too long, but I like it so. It does look a bit like the old traditional baptism dresses, but without all the different layers and the lace, it is simpler.
My little helper ♥

We are in April but the weather is very changing and last week was quite cold. To prevent Baby N. from getting cold on the way to church and back home, my mother made this lovely fleece jacket. One of the great things about it is that it is perfectly reversible! Buttons and embroidery on both sides and we get a jacket which fits more than just one occasion!
 Baby N. is quite spoiled, don't you think? The three of us, mother and grand-mothers, made those things with a lot of love and the little one looked quite gorgeous! ♥

I only wish the three of us had been able to work all together in one room for a whole week, but being in two different countries does not really help ;) .
Merci beaucoup Maman! Vielen Dank H.!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Guest post from G. from France (2nd)

Back from our holiday in France. We had a great time and I am finally going to be able to show you what I made just before going! But before I wanted to show you what my mother, G., made at Christmas (yes I am late!) for a little girl and her doll.
From this drawing:
Do I need to introduce Jasmine from the 1992 Disney film "Aladin" ?
 G. arrived to this:
 And here is the costume worn by its happy owner:
 As far as my memory goes, I have always had costumes made by my mother, mostly for end of year school shows. I cannot wait to be do the same for my own daughter but also to get G. to make some for Baby N. (who by then will be Young N.!). This costume did take a while and many efforts to make, but it looks brilliant and the little girl was very happy (cannot tell you what the doll thought of it though).

By the way, I know my guest posts are not yet proper guest posts, I mainly present pictures of what the others made (with their consent obviously!)... I am still waiting to get someone who will write one for real... Any volunteers? ;)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 7

Almost a month and a half ago now a friend of mine told me about a challenge from a French blogger, Calypso: read a book of which the title contains a specific word. Then after a month and a half, write a note about that book and share it on our blog and with Calypso.
The blog is in French but for those who are interested, just click here.

The word was "Jour" (Day) and I chose the book "Paroles du Jour J, Lettres et carnets du Débarquements, été 1944"

"Arrivé en France en octobre 1943, après avoir fait ses classes en Hollande, Franz Gockel se retrouve avec des vétérans qui ont participé à la campagne de France en 1940, puis à l'offensive de 1942 en Russie. Pour ce jeune couvreur, qui vient d'avoir 18 ans, la France est une sorte de Terre promise. Chaque soir, il écrit quelques lignes dans son journal intime sur les événements de la journée et sur le courrier reçu.
Dom Bart appartient à la première vague d'assaut qui débarque sur Omaha Beach, et raconte le détail de son assaut dans une lettre destinée à sa femme qui habite Brooklyn.
Mary Moris est une jeune infirmière anglais d'origine irlandaise. En pleine bataille de Normandie, elle officie dans un hôpital de campagne britannique au creux du Bocage normand.
Marcelle vient d'avoir 18 ans... Sa mère est couturière et son père marin. Ils ont cinq enfants. En ce 8 août 1944, la bataille de Normandie n'est pas finie mais les Américains cernent Brest. Dans le village de Plouvien, les belligérants vont s'affronter et les civils vont être victimes de l'affolement des troupes allemandes..."

Je ne citerai pas ici des extraits des lettres et journaux intimes, il est difficile de choisir, de savoir quoi dire. Ce livre, publié en 2004, m'a beaucoup touchée. Certes j'avais entendu parler des horreurs de la guerre à l'école, à la télévision, à la maison, mais de lire ces écrits qui racontent "sur le vif" les événements nous fait voir les choses sous un autre angle. Pour qui ne connait pas la guerre (ce qui est heureusement mon cas!), il est extrêmement difficile de s'imaginer la situation. Les extraits présentés dans ce livre sont souvent crus et violents.
Ce qui représente l'intérêt majeur de ce livre, d'après moi, c'est que ce nous lisons ne montrent pas que le point de vue français ou américain, allié. Des extraits de lettres et journeaux intimes de soldats allemands cotoyent ceux de jeunes filles françaises, de jeunes hommes canadiens etc. 

En fait les mots me manquent pour dire fidèlement ce qu'est ce livre, ce qu'il représente. Je ne peux que vous encourager à le consulter vous-même et de vous faire votre propre opinion.

[If anyone wants me to translate the article in English, I will gladly do it, just let me know]