Category Archives: fabric and notions

Cherished Collections: buttons and lace

For once this is only in English, the french version will come later in a separate post. Pour une fois ce post a été écrit uniquement en anglais. La version française viendra normalement un peu plus tard dans un post séparé.

The moment I read about Casey’s project of a blog tour about collections, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I’ve always been collecting things since I was a little girl. I believe there is something that we could call a “collector mind or spirit” that some people have and others haven’t. Those who don’t can never understand the reason behind collections. And those who do tend to amass things. I have several consiously chosen collections that I have built over the years, and some that just kind of built themselves through gifts and unplanned buyings. It took me a while to decide what I was going to talk about. Of course just after my teaser post last Sunday I started a new sewing project that gave me a totally different topic idea. I actually started to write two versions of this post on totally different subjects. The more I thought about it, the more I felt the new version was a better match for this blog tour. So I’m switching subjects and keeping my first idea in a corner of my head for a future post.

The collection I’m going to share is a treasure I discovered unexpectedly, not a collection I built myself, which is why I didn’t think of it as a suitable subject at first. It is hidden is those old boxes and tins. Can you guess what it is (you can actually see a glimpse of the content through the plastic boxes)? I didn’t when I first found them. They contain a nice collection of buttons!

To understand why it is special to me I have to explain how I came to have those boxes. When we arrived back in France in 2009 we were very lucky to find a temporary lodging among relatives. The people our house belonged to got too old to live by themselves so it was left empty, but wasn’t sold at first. We were allowed to live in there for some time in exchange for taking care of it. Those persons aren’t really blood relatives but I’ve known them since I was a child. I should say that the house hasn’t been emptied before we got there, so it was still full of its owners things. When we left we did a big clean up of all the rooms, going through everything. That’s when I discovered the tins, in a corner of the kitchen shelves. When I oppened them and found out what was inside I really felt like a child discovering a hidden treasure. I instantly called my mother to ask if I could keep them.


Full size pictures: First boxSecond boxThird boxFourth box

Because of this it is a “cherished” collection in many ways. First because I’m happy to have those buttons to turn to when I need some. And the fact that they have a history of their own makes them that little bit extra specials. But what makes them really special is whom they belonged to. That lady and I have absolutely no blood in common, but she saw me grow up and I love her as if she was my grand-mother for real. Not being real blood relatives make things a little less easy now she doesn’t live in her house anymore, especially since she’s now at the other side of France. So I feel happy to have her buttons, it’s like a special gift from her to me because I’m the only one who sews. And of course the last reason that make those buttons so perfect for this tour is that they have been someone else’s cherished collection before. It probably took her some time to amass all those buttons. Maybe she took some out of old clothes, she bought others, and slowly it became this collection I inherited. Isn’t it great?


There are different sizes and colours, although she seemed to like neutrals (light colors and blacks), blues and browns. Some of them seem to be the exact same design with slightly different colors. I wonder if it could be the effect of time on them or if they were different from the beginning. I love how she tied similar buttons together with a bit of thread! I never thought of that. I might do it with my other buttons. I included here a few pictures of some of the decorated buttons.

I’ll leave you with more eye candy and less talk. I took the opportunity to share another collection with you: my lace/crochet doilies and motifs collection. Those pieces come from various places (the first ones I got in Japan), some are vintage, others are new. I think the thing that started this addiction is this book which gave me new ideas on how to use lace. I love lace, I love how delicate and pretty it is. I’d love to use them as decorations in sewing projects (that’s the excuse I give myself when I buy them, I only get pieces I think I might use later).

Edit: I’ve decided to include all the doilies pictures here instead of directing you to Flickr. ^^There are not so many so the post won’t be too long and it will be easier for you.




Thank you for your visit and be sure to go to Casey’s blog to check all the other wonderful entries to the tour. ^_^

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Petit week-end à l’étranger / Week-end abroad

Le week-end dernier nous nous sommes offert deux petites journées de tourisme avec des amis. C’était très chouette ! Voici une énigme très facile (qui explique également pourquoi je parle de ce voyage ici) : à partir de cette photo qui montre des achats que j’ai fait durant ce week-end, devinez où nous sommes partis.

Last week-end we went for a two-days stay abroad with some friends. We left on Friday evening and came back yesterday morning. It was really nice! Here is a little puzzle for you (that will also explain why I’m talking about this trip here): judging from the picture below, which shows some of the items I brought back, can you guess were we went?

Voici la réponse, pour ceux qui ne serait pas accro comme moi au Liberty : nous sommes partis à Londres ! ^_^ Nos amis ont vécu plusieurs années là-bas et nous ont fait faire un petit tour de la ville. Bien entendu ce petit tour se devait d’inclure une visite à Liberty, qui est tout de même un grand magasin emblématique de la ville même si l’on ne coud pas, et qui est très joli. Je posterai les photos dès que j’aurais eu le temps de faire un peu de tri. Ceci dit ce n’est pas là que j’ai craqué sur tous ces jolis tissus. Mes emplettes ont été faites le matin chez Shaukat, qui fait des prix beaucoup moins élevés que ce que l’on trouve en France (et chez Liberty). Petit constat qui m’a faite rire : il n’y avait pratiquement que des françaises dans la boutique ! On était au moins trois groupes de deux françaises. Je ne suis même pas sûre que des anglophones soient passé(e)s pendant que j’y étais. ^^; Serions-nous spécialement accro au Liberty en France ? Toutes les françaises qui font de la couture qui passent par Londres se retrouvent-elle chez Shaukat ?

So the answer is: we went to London! Our friends lived there for some years, they shared their favourite places with us. It was my first time going to England. Of course we had to go admire the beautiful Liberty shop. I’ll share a few pictures once they’re sorted. But it wasn’t there that I bought my fabrics. Liberty is less expensive than French shops, but Shaukat is even less expensive. Something I found quite funny: the place was filled with french women! There were at least 6 of us, and I’m not sure I actually saw an english speaking person while I was there. Are French people especially found of Liberty? Do all french sewers go to Shaukat when they’re in London?

La boutique ne paie pas de mine de l’extérieur, j’ai été surprise. La plupart des tissus est en fait au sous-sol, du coup le rez-de chaussée fait un peu vide. Choisir ce que j’allais prendre fut très difficile même si j’avais fait un repérage sur le site avant, il y avait tellement de belles choses ! Je me suis forcée à me restreindre aux tissus de saison, ce qui a aidé à pas mal limiter le choix (pas de Tana Lawn => moins d’imprimés possibles). Voici le détail de ce que j’ai ramené :

I was surprised by the look of the shop, I was waiting for something fancier. Most of the fabrics are in the basement, so the ground floor seems a little empty. It was very hard to choose which fabrics to bring home. There were so many beautiful prints! I decided to stick to cold weather fabrics to reduce the choices available (cold weather => no Tana Lawn => less choice). Here is a more detailed shot of what I finally got:

1. Liberty, 2. Liberty Mollybish, 3. Liberty Martha Grace, 4. Liberty

Deux velours côtelés (j’adore ce type de tissu et ça n’est pas évident d’en trouver dans le coin, encore moins des jolis), un mélange coton-laine et du twill. J’ai du boulot maintenant ! J’espère pouvoir rapidement transformer tout ça en jolis vêtements, histoire de rentabiliser l’achat et d’avoir de jolies tenues d’hiver à me mettre. Vu les températures qu’ils prévoient, j’ai hâte d’avoir ma jupe en laine ! Mais pour le moment je vais aller me coucher, parce que bien entendu à passer le week-end dehors par ce froid, je suis tombée malade (d’où le peu de photos de ce post, je voulais en rajouter mais je n’ai pas le courage).

Two corduroy fabrics (I love corduroy, and it’s not easy to find some around here, especially this cute), a cotton-wool blend and cotton twill. Now I have work to do! I hope to quickly transform all this into nice garments, so that I can enjoy pretty winter outfits. A wool skirt would be nice considering the crazy cold temperature they predict. For now I’ll just go to bed, since I caught a cold with all this walking outside with the cold temperatures we have right now. I wanted to add more pictures to this post, but it will have to wait as I’m not feeling weel at all. Sorry!

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Spooky mailday!

J’ai eu la grande joie de trouver un paquet qui m’attendait dans ma boite aux lettres ce soir. Un paquet que j’attendais avec impatience, à l’ambiance famille Addams. ^_^

I had the pleasure to find a package waiting for me tonight in my mailbox. A spooky package I couldn’t wait to receive. ^_^

J’ai craqué en début de mois et passé ma première commande de tissu sur Etsy, et ma première commande de tissu de designer américain: The Ghastlies, de chez Alexander Henry. J’étais tombée totalement amoureuse de ce tissu lorsque je l’ai aperçu pour la première fois, sur le blog True Up. Comme pour beaucoup de tissus américain, je me suis laissée freiner par le prix, me disant que “Je le prendrais un jour, j’ai le temps…”. Et puis finalement lorsque j’ai eu une idée de tenue pour la fin du mois j’ai fait quelques recherches et je me suis aperçue qu’il avait presque disparu des boutiques Internet, donc je me suis lâchée et j’ai passé commande.

I gave in and placed my first fabric order on Etsy at the beginning of the month. It was also the first time for me to order fabric from an american designer company, after admiring a lot of them on the Internet. I fell in love with this fabric the first time I saw it, in a preview post on True Up. As I always do with the american fabrics I like,  I let the expense frighten me and I thought I would wait, I would order it someday, later… But then I had a project idea, and I looked for the fabric online, and realized it was almost sold-out. I couldn’t let it pass, so I ordered some before it disappeared completely.

J’adore ces sorcières !! Elles ne sont pas géniales ? Et cette maison hantée ! Les tissus typés Halloween ne sont pas toujours de mon goût, ils ont un peu tendance à tirer sur le kitchouille. Mais là j’avoue que c’est du grand art. Attention en revanche si vous songez à le prendre, les motifs sont vraiment très grands.

I have to say I’m really happy I did. I love it! Look at those witches! Aren’t they great? And this haunted house! Halloween fabrics are not always to my taste (at least to use for garments), they have a tendency to look very costumey. But this one is perfect! Okay maybe most people will think this is costumey also, but I hope I can make something nice and wearable from it. Be careful if you like it and haven’t seen it for real, the print is really big.

J’ai également reçu ces jolis boutons en laiton (ou effet laiton) dont j’avoue je suis très fan. Ils sont encore plus chouettes en vrai qu’en photo, et j’aime bien leur poids.

I also got those nice brass buttons, which I like a lot also. They’re even nicer on person than they were on the pictures. And I like their slightly heavy weight.

Maintenant il ne reste plus qu’à se mettre au travail ! Il va falloir être efficace parce qu’il ne me reste plus beaucoup de temps si je ne veux finir pour la date prévue.

Now I have to get to work, I don’t have much time left before the end of the month…

La commande a été passée chez Voodoo Rabbit, et sils sont plus chers que d’autres d’un autre côté le service était nickel, donc je les recommande (en l’occurrence ils étaient les derniers à avoir la version blanche en stock).

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Mentalist & Liberty

Une petite photo pour étayer mes propos de l’autre jour. Je ne sais pas pourquoi je n’ai pas pensé à la chercher le jour même pour illustrer l’article (article que je vais de ce pas éditer du coup).

Here is a picture to confirm what I wrote about the other day. Sorry I didn’t think of looking for a picture the day I wrote the post (I’m going to edit it right away).

En la revoyant je comprends pourquoi je l’ai repéré si facilement : c’est du Liberty Lauren ! J’aime beaucoup cet imprimé, c’est l’un des premiers Liberty que j’ai aimé et donc appris à reconnaître.

Looking at it I understand why I recognised it so easily: this Liberty is called Lauren and is one of the first Liberty print I liked and learnt to recognise. It’s so distinctive from other kind of prints, it’s easy to spot (unlike some of their more traditional floral prints).

(j’ai trouvé la photo sur le net via Google, je ne sais pas trop sur quel site. I found the picture on the Internet through Google, I don’t remember where it comes from)

PS : la vente BikNok a commencé !

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You know you are addicted when…

Comment savoir que ça y est, c’est fichu, vous êtes bel et bien accro à ce qui touche aux tissus ?

Facile ! Lorsque vous vous écriez, au milieu du premier épisode de Mentalist, faisant fi des gens parfaitement normaux (entendez non atteints par le virus couture) qui vous entourent : “Oh mon dieu c’est du Liberty ! Elle porte un chemisier en Liberty, j’en suis sûre !”… Là si vous n’êtes pas entourée que de personnes très proches, c’est fichu, vous être grillée. ^^ Dans mon cas heureusement il n’y avait que cher et tendre.

J’ai ensuite fait un petit Google pour vérifier que je ne suis pas folle, et j’ai pu constater que d’autres accros comme moi ont relevé ladite chemise. Cela fait plaisir de savoir que l’on n’est pas seule. Et vous, ça vous est déjà arrivé de relever le tissu utilisé pour un vêtement dans un film ou une série ?

Edit du 6 mars : voici une petite photo témoin pour illustrer ce que je dis.

How do you know that yes, you really are addicted to fabric?

Easy! When watching the first episode of The Mentalist on TV, you suddenly exclaim, in a very excited voice: “Oh my god! It’s Liberty fabric! I’m sure she’s wearing a Liberty blouse!!”. If there are people in the room who are not very close to you and used to your weird interests and habits, I think your reputation might suffer a little… ^^; Luckily for me I was alone with my husband.

I googled it a little after, to find that I’m not the only one who noticed. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. ^^ And you, have you ever spotted that a particular fabric was used in a movie?

Je suis désolée de n’être pas plus présente en ce moment, mais je suis en recherche très active d’un emploi dans mon domaine initial, et cela me prends pas mal de temps et d’énergie. D’autant que ma moitié a commencé son nouveau job, qui l’oblige à se (nous) lever très tôt. Mais ne vous en faites pas je ne disparais pas !

I’m sorry that I’m not blogging more lately. I’m very actively looking for a job and that takes most of my time and energy. Plus my husband started his new job last week, and we need a little time to adjust to the new schedule. But I’m still here!

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