Cyrillus baby dress Summer 2012

Cyrillus Robe Bébé Summer 2012

If I had the time to sew a beautiful dress right now, this would be it. Underneath it has a thin, all-in-one, cotton bloomer.

But I don’t have the time. Luckily, someone else did, and I could buy it!

It is rare to find such a gem of construction on the high street – even the French high street.

It’s available online here.

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The new season of patterns has come out and McCall’s have catered for a new (and sizable, assuming they know about it!!) market – veiled ladies.

Introducing McCall’s 6521:

 

 

She is missing a turtle/polo neck here! Not much point covering your hair with naked shoulders!

Well done McCall’s! They represent a relatively wide range of hair coverings that fit with ‘modern’, day to day dressing. Nothing fancy shmanzy, but I’m rather impressed!

 

All photos are screenshots taken from Sew Direct (great for pattern deals if you’re in the UK or EU) without permission. Naughty, I know, but I’m rather excited!

 

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Froggy

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I love starting (and finishing!) new projects. One of my last before The Project (that’s the birth, folks!) was this little book. Not totally perfect, but made with a lot of love for a special little boy. It was pretty fun to do too!

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Odette's Feathers

Once upon a time there was a pretty little girl. Let’s call her Sophia. Sophia was three years old and loved ballet. She ate it, talked it and every evening Sophia dreamed the same dream. In it, she was light as a feather, glided across her stage and soared through the air in her beautiful white tutu.

In her dream, little Sophia was called Odette.

On her fourth birthday, little Sophia became Odette, the White Swan.

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christmas cake 2011

Christmas cake

Christmas changed this year. The arrival of a giggling baby is tremendous fun and being stretched out on the floor making silly voices steals more time than it should (because time stands still until the phone rings or I check the time) – and rather addictive too!

Luckily, I started soaking the fruit for the cake in August and made the cake in early October. Even if I do say so myself, this was the best fruit cake I’ve ever made and one of the best I’ve ever had! There was a bottle of whisky in it, so no reason for it not to be succulent really – not exactly magic! The icing was royal icing, but with slightly less sugar than normal, so it did not fully set. Hard icing, but not fondant and not crunchy. Bit of a mistake in fact, but then most of the best discoveries are! Will see if I can repeat the whole feat next year!

In December, a smidgeon of time was left over for making things. This year’s house was a little more colourful than previous times..although I still managed to eat a few too many of the sweets while ‘deciding’ what colours to put on.

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Gingerbread house roof. 

I thought I would save time by buying the biscuit this year. In the end it wasn’t a time saver as I made decorations like last year (no photographs – too much fun playing with baby..). I also sneaked in some time for salt dough decorations. I even squeezed in some extra ones to leave to dry thoroughly before varnishing, thus leaving even more time to play with baby next year! “Genius!” I thought, “I’m super prepared! Yay!” Leaving the drying decorations in the cold oven (out of the way) was also genius, but not mentioning to husband that they were there before he turned on the grill..less bright that move.

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Delicious imprints half-way though the demolishing process!

Ahh well. At least this year the house was demolished by various children and thoroughly enjoyed!

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Over the past few months I have been searching for nice boys’ fabric. I know there are hundreds of prints out there with tractors, robots, dinosaurs and the like, but there doesn’t seem to be anything else. Girls’ choices are incredibly wide, from hundreds of pink and lavender tones to flowery patterns that range from the cutsy to sophisticated. And that’s just it: for boys, there is nothing (that I could find) that was sophisticated.

Until now! Amy Butler’s husband, David Butler, is launching a range of “men’s” fabric under his Parson Gray trade name. I am positively salivating at this. I see multifarious blankets, bibs, quilts and clothes from his range. Just think, a sophisticated quilt for baby boy with a cool grey or a chocolate minky backing. How much more gorgeousness can there be for a little man?!

I don’t want to steal any images and I’m in a bit of a rush, so go take a look on his Facebook page and here, the fabulous U-Handbag blog for photos of the fabric and David’s utterly drool-worthy studio.

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Play mat side 1

Well, baby is rather comfortable, so there was time to whip up a play mat.

Play mat side 2

It’s not as easy finding fabric for boys as it is for girls.

Play mat side 1

This seemed to meet requirements: not froufy, no trucks, dinosaurs, puppies or DIY equipment…
Play mat side 2

..and not too much blue!

100% cotton with nice, soft, organic cotton filling.

 

 

 

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 The bump

 I’ve been working hard on a number of projects over the past few months, most of which have not (yet!) made it onto the blog. The biggest of these projects is ironically the one that has required the least amount of conscious effort from me: baby bananna!

Baby bananna is due in the next couple of weeks, so I am going to take a little pause from making tutus. In the meantime, there are currently four ready made tutus available:

Lavinia Lavender Puff Puff tutu, size 2-4

Dandelion Clock  Fairy tutu, size 4-6

Apple Blossom Fairy tutu, size 4-6

Pink Lily Fairy tutu, size 4-6

Images of all the tutus are available in the tutu gallery.

If you would like one of these tutus, please contact me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Perhaps it’s best to keep in mind that it may take me a little time to reply, so if you are in a rush, I might not be able to meet your schedule. These tutus will be sold on a first come first serve basis.

See you soon, lovelies.

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A spot of tea

Take some pretty hand-painted antique tea cups rimmed with 24 carat gold.

Cakes

Add a pyramid of lavender mini cupcakes.

Mix together with some new friends and what do you get? A lovely spot of morning tea.

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The skeleton of a shirt

I have a bump. It’s growing every day. Bump needed to have some PJs that accommodate it and Mr S had a shirt sitting in the Shirt Graveyard. A few measurements, some basic drafting and a pattern was created.

Maternity PJs

The shirt was laid on the cutting table for dissection. Side seams were carefully removed and reincarnated as shoulder straps.

 

Maternity PJs front

The shirt fronts became the bustier front..

 

Maternity PJs back

..and the back.

The body is made of a soft, thick Egyptian cotton jersey from my stash.

 

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Ines

As much as I adore geometry and love to look at the artistry in quilts, they are not (yet, perhaps?!) something my passions lead me to make.

My lack of quilting desire does not, however, extend to quilter’s shops!

Yesterday I visited Inès, a quilter’s paradise in Paris’ 11th arrondisement.

Christmas fabric

I couldn’t resist an “investment buy” (do snowflakes ever really go out of Christmas fashion?). Just two metres of one fabric – considering the sales are currently on and their fabulous selection of US and Japanese prints, I was rather restrained!

Big pat on the back for Anna!

 

You can find the shop here:

Inès
37 Rue St. Ambroise
75011 Paris
France

Telephone: 01 43 38 54 86

Website – http://www.evrypatch.com/

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Le Supermarket seems to have been a beautiful weekend. I was in stocking up on fabric at the time, so didn’t make it this year. The organisers have put together a little montage so we can see what we missed!

le SUPER MARKET#2 -merci à tous! from pierre.feuille.ciseaux on Vimeo.

Doesn’t it look great? The colour palette and the attention to detail around the room..GORGEOUS! Something not to miss for Spring 2012!

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moonrise sky

On a clear summer evening the desert sun sets, twilight touches the edge of the sand and rising into the darkening night sky, a round moon beams bright. For only a few minutes the sky glows in the moonrise. Exquisite moments indeed. Moonrise sky: a special colour for a cherished little girl.

Moonrise sky tutus are now available in the project mozzah shop or check out the colour gallery to get ideas of what colour you can mix with it to create your own tutu – either way 100% of profits go to FACE charity.

 

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wool silk fabric

Close up of my soft wool and silk ‘essential’

I don’t buy t-shirts. I don’t buy statues. I don’t buy clothes. When I visit a new city or country, I head straight for the fabric shops – not always to the delight of my travelling companions!

cotton shirting

Very fine, long staple cotton twill with a soft sheen – unironed!

Sometimes, I buy my husband something. If he’s lucky. If he’s even luckier, I will make it into what I promised him when he asks what I’ve been buying.

silk twill scarf

A quarter of my silk twill scarf-to-be

I have been looking for a soft camel coloured wool/silk fabric for a pair of winter trousers. I adore masculine styles with a simple, but feminine jumper. I hadn’t been looking for a butterfly print scarf fabric, but it was irresistable! So, former was an essential, the latter a gift. The cotton shirting will, hopefully, become a shirt for my husband.

Fingers crossed!

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minty shminty

Fresh and cool – a new tutu colour! Minty shminty. Yum! Add a spot of chocolate and watch her twirling around the sunny garden before collapsing on grandma’s quilted picnic blanket for afternoon tea with her dollies.

Minty shminty tutus are now available in the project mozzah shop or check out the colour gallery to get ideas of what colour you can mix with it to create your own tutu – either way 100% of profits go to FACE charity.

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smiles

Smiles and smiles: you don't really need a photo of a smiling Egyptian orphan to know what a happy child looks like!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that 100% of profits from project mozzah tutus go directly to FACE charity. Hopefully, you’ll also know that FACE only has projects in Egypt, which is one reason I chose to work with them.

Perhaps you have heard in the news about the sectarian clashes in Egypt. The exact cause of them is not confirmed and may never be, however, what is sure, is that these relatively infrequent incidents get a lot of media attention and serve to provoke future problems.

Having lived in Egypt for years, I can testify that the majority of Egyptians are like you and me: they love their families, they work hard for a living, they want the best for their children, they like to meet their friends and they enjoy watching shows (and football!) on TV. There are some really interesting people, some boring people, some intellectuals and some downright stupid people, just like there are in our country, whatever nationality we hold.

One undeniable difference, especially since 25 January 2011, is that Egyptians have lived under a corrupt regime for at least the past 30 years and many have suffered as a result.

FACE has worked in Egypt since 2003 and currently runs four orphanages, a project for street children and a child support centre in an extremely poor area of northern Cairo. FACE has always supported the idea that Egyptians are entirely capable of fixing their own problems and does not have foreign staff working in the country.

Most crucially, given the highly publicised recent incidents between Salafists (extremely conservative Muslims – not representative of Egyptian Muslims) and Copts (Egypt’s ancient Christians), FACE’s work specifically does not and never has discriminate between the religions: a human being is a human being.

You can find out more about FACE’s work here or on their website.

If you are looking for a gift for a special little girl or two, why not also help out a FACE’s work in Egypt? It’s true, 100% of profits from project mozzah tutus go to FACE charity. All tutus are handmade by anna after you choose your colour(s).

If you have no little girl in your life who would like a tutu and you would still like to help FACE, you can donate via the FACE website.

 

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Want to see over thirty of France’s best independent doll makers, clothes makers, cake makers, shoe makers, textile designers and more? Easy, come to Paris on 28 – 29 May for the second year of Le Super Market!

Unfortunately, I shan’t be here, so shall have to rely on you to tell me how it was!

You can find it at:
Espace Commines
17 rue Commines
75003 Paris

Saturday 28 May: noon – 9.30pm
Sunday 29 May: 11am – 7pm

 

PS Did you see that the entry fee is 1.99? It must be the most reasonably priced anything in the whole of Paris!

 

 

bird of paradise

Perhaps she has just a smidgeon too much energy for early on a Sunday morning when you’re trying to squeeze in several more minutes of shut eye, but after hundreds of kisses, you succumb and awake with a smile at her persistence.

Full to bursting with love and kindness, she was born to wear orange!

Bird of paradise tutus are now available in the project mozzah shop or check out the colour gallery to get ideas of what colour you can mix with it to create your own tutu – either way 100% of profits go to FACE charity.

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My grandfather after joining the navy.

Aside from having fun with tulle and tutus, the studio has been home to another project over the past months..and yet I have very little to show! My darling Grandfather has written up what he calls “my notes” which are what I call “the story of his life”. He rather trustingly handed the first volume over to me in the beginning of January when I announced that rather than have someone photocopy the 100 or so A4 pages to share with the family, I could make them into a book.

I find things always seem so simple when I’m on holiday…

Granddad saving a goal!

I return home and suddenly life eats more time than I expected or, for instance, I find out I’m pregnant and a million other things need doing..including the odd nap.

I have finally finished the first draft, electronically sent it to the printers and am excitedly waiting to receive the hard copy. Then I need Granddad’s feedback, make his changes, and re-e-send it and voila! The Story: Part I will be complete.

With any luck, he’ll entrust me with Part II: 1975-2011!

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little robin's egg

Fresh and straightforward, she loves wear this with pinks, lots of pinks, on fluffy days and when her mood is a little more pensive, grey or white are cooler – whatever the mood, her little robin’s egg tutu is for having fun!

Little robin’s egg tutus are now available in the project mozzah shop or use the colour to create your own tutu, either way 100% of profits go to FACE charity.

 

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smokey tanzanite

She is an unusual beauty, soft and subtle. Smokey tanzanite knows what she wants and gets it, gracefully, without ruffling any feathers.

Smokey tanzanite tutus are now available in the project mozzah shop. 100% of profits to FACE charity.

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Vivid, vivacious and eternally pretty, camilla camellia bounces into afternoon tea, hides behind the sofa then jumps up, steals a slice of cake and gives you a beautifully cheeky smile before running back to play.

Camilla camellia tutus now available in the project mozzah shop.

 

 

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There is a fabulous exhibition of the work of the sculptor turned legendary couturier, Madame Grès, in Paris.

My little visit today was a sheer delight. Millions of hand sewn gathers in flowing silk jersey..

..in creams, soft pastels..

.. sophisticated blacks..

..and striking bolds..

..followed by less pliable wools that are beautifully displayed between the sometimes giant and always surprisingly frozen in time sculptures of Bourdelle.

 

The exhibition is housed at Musée Bourdelle and runs until 24 July. Entrance €7. Closed on Mondays.

 

Picture 1 from Paris Musees Picture 2 from fashion versus art Picture 3 from Fashionphile Picture 4 from nel mondo online Picture 5 from Tom & Lorenzo Picture 6 from Gg à Paris Picture 7 from Shala’s Rabbit Hole

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eau de nil

What more appropriate colour for a project mozzah tutu could there be than eau de nil!

Now available in the project mozzah shop.

 

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wispy smoke

Long summer evenings with family and friends. Cool air warmed by a crackling bonfire and marshmallows toasted on pointy sticks. Looking upwards, the stars start twinkling in the darkening sky and wispy smoke dances up to greet them.

Wispy smoke tutus now available from the project mozzah shop.

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snow drop

New colours have arrived! This is Snowdrop.

An “angel on a snowflake”.

Soft and ethereal.

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Cherry blossom raw silk

Cherry blossom raw silk

A trip to the fabric area of Paris. Not too different than Cairo, just more space, less crowded and higher prices.

Flamingo silk crepe

Pink flamingo sheer silk crepe

Got what I needed and these three beauties that I will need..

Penguin silk crepe

Penguin sheer silk crepe

..one day.

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tutu stack

Two years ago I dreamed of selling tutus with the profits going to a charity called FACE that works exclusively in Egypt. Getting married, serious health concerns and an international move all conspired to delay what some days seemed impossibly out of reach.

Over the past few months, I have been beavering away, determined that it was ‘now or never’..and today ‘now’ has arrived!

Project mozzah is the arm of anna bananna that will sell my tutus, with 100% of profits going to FACE charity. The tutus are fully sewn – no knotting or elastic threaded through the tulle –  with smooth satin elasticated waistbands and ribbon ties to adjust the fit. I only use soft, fine tulle so little waists and legs don’t get scratched. Colours? Choose from an example, or you decide – colours will be updated regularly.

For more information about FACE charity, project mozzah, the tutus and the shop, check out all the links on the top of my pretty new site!

 

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ruffles and tuffles

The tutu making has recommenced! A corner of the studio is full of pastel ruffles and tuffles. Every time I glance over, my heart skips and a smile sweeps my lips. Gorgeousness!

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Gingerbread heart 2010

So, after being attacked by a horrible bug, the blog is back! What’s been cooking over the past few months is, primarily, this new site. There have been a few moments when I was away from the computer and had time to use my hands, most of which were around Christmas..

Gingerbread Man 2010

..hence the pics.

Gingerbread star 2010

We moved to Paris in October. After finishing the unpacking, I realised I didn’t have Christmas decorations.

The Christmas Tree 2010

There was so much shopping to be done (things for the house, clothes, Christmas presents) that I could not face the shop for decorations..

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..and then I remembered my favourite decorations of all time!

Gingerbread Lady 2010

The gingerbread house got made too. I only managed to snap one photo this year – which is in no way representative of the time it took!

gingerbread house 2010

I found a sweets wholesaler just near our apartment. It seemed like a good idea..but did I really need a kilo of those red sweets? Hmmm. Next year I might just stick to buying small packages.

On the upside, I managed not to pick sweets off the roof this year!

Gingerbread two hearts 2010

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