Category Archives: Blog tour

La Maison Victor: Dolores skirt

Today I’m the first stop-off on a blog tour for DutchBelgian sewing magazine La Maison Victor, to promote the launch of the magazine in an English edition – hurrah! Each blogger on the tour, covering Australia, the UK, USA and Canada, received a copy of the magazine and selected a project to make up.


Previously only printed in Dutch and French, I have actually bought a couple of copies of La Maison Victor from the continent before because it’s got such a nice fresh, modern aesthetic. This inaugural English edition is no exception; above is a list of all the patterns that come included in this issue.

If you’ve been put off sewing from pattern mags because of thoughts of the dreaded Burda tracing sheets of nightmares, La Maison Victor thankfully provides a much more user-friendly experience. Yes, you still need to trace off as the pieces overlap, but each pattern is extremely well-labelled with which pieces you need and which sheets to find them on, and the pieces are additionally colour-coded per pattern so it’s really foolproof.

I went over the lines for my size in black marker to make them show up better, then traced onto dot-and-cross paper; it didn’t take long at all. The sheets aren’t huge, which does mean some pattern pieces span two sheets and need to be taped together, but this size is much easier to manage when tracing in a small apartment.

Also unlike Burda, every pattern has comprehensive and nicely-illustrated instructions. I didn’t really follow them as the project I chose is pretty simple but they are there to fall back on if needed. All the usual fabric and sizing recommendations are here too.

I chose to make the Dolores skirt pattern, a midi-length button-through skirt with an A-line shape and gathers into a fixed waistband. It was a super speedy afternoon type of make! I did make a couple of tweaks to the pattern: I narrowed the waistband a little and added some curve to it, as straight-cut wider waistbands don’t sit well on my frame. I also took about 4 inches off the length, and left off the pockets as I thought they might add unwanted bulk, although the pattern does include a way to anchor them into the front waistband which always help stop side-seam pockets from flapping about.

The pattern pieces all matched up perfectly and the only real fitting to do here is at the waist. I always seem to overshoot and make fixed waistbands a bit too large; I shifted over the top button here to make it snugger, hence the slight twisting, but I will go back and do a better fix; perhaps adding some elastic into the back waistband to keep it snug.

I used The Fabric Store‘s Clover rayon crepe which they kindly sent me to try out a while ago. Poor-quality versions of this crinkly, springy sort of crepe can shift off-grain if you even look at them funny (or worse, be PRINTED off-grain so you’ve got no chance at all), but luckily this one was very well-behaved and I was able to keep the print pretty much aligned. I double-interfaced the waistband to keep it firm, along with the button band, and had to trim along the hem to even up where it dropped on the bias at the sides. Otherwise it was very easy to work with and perfect for this pattern: it’s so light and swishy!

The Maison Victor site and online shop will be launching in English soon; for now you can buy the magazine online here (along with individual patterns and fabric kits) and find in in selected supermarkets and WH Smiths. I look forward to seeing projects from the other makers on this tour – including fellow Brits Thrifty Stitcher, Handmade Jane and Petite Passions coming up this week – and seeing more patterns from this mag in the future!

Sewing Around the World: Schnittchen Mary trousers

Schnittchen Mary trousers

Today’s my turn to share my contribution to Schnittchen Patterns’ Sewing Around the World campaign: a blog tour of 12 sewists in 12 cities making 12 Schnittchen patterns. You can see the other bloggers and their projects, along with my project and a short interview with me, on the Schnittchen blog.

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Schnittchen Mary trousers width=

I picked the Mary trousers, one of the new Summer 2016 patterns, a wide leg cropped pant with a gathered front, back darts and side and back pockets.

Schnittchen Mary trousers

We were given a store and budget to pick fabric, and I chose Rough Cut Arrows double gauze from The Village Haberdashery. It’s the first double gauze I’ve used that’s not made by Nani Iro: this one feels a little more substantial and stable so I think it was a very good match for summer pants. They’ll certainly never be crisp and tailored, but I like the slightly rumpled look and it’s sooo comfortable.

Schnittchen Mary trousers

Schnittchen Mary trousers

I sewed the pattern exactly as designed, except for moving the invisible zip fastening to the side seam instead of centre back. It’s the first Schnittchen pattern I’ve made and I was impressed by the fit, pattern packaging and instructions.

Schnittchen Mary trousers

I had to take a little wedge out of the straight waistband to fit my back but otherwise the fit was good right off. You can’t tell because the print camouflages them, but the back pocket shape is a bit more interesting than usual and the double darts give a good fit.

Schnittchen Mary trousers

We’re going through a heatwave in London right now so it’s too muggy to wear any sort of trouser (I changed back into shorts after the photos), but that won’t last forever!

Schnittchen Mary trousers

In the interest of whipping through sharing some other recent projects, here’s a closeup of the top too because I love it lots. It’s a modified (half-buttoned) vintage New Look 6250 in self-striped cotton voile from organiccotton.biz, one of my new favourite online stores. This is 100% heatwave-approved and has been seeing heavy rotation lately.