Thursday, September 30, 2010


Readers, I found a sewing machine today! I saw an ad in the local paper for a 1980's Singer.

I really like the Eighties-style instructions!

Alice, the seller, lived in the lovely town of Hessel, which has a nice church.

Surprise-surprise, it was rainy today.

My large table will be delivered tomorrow, which will make me even better equipped than I was in Ottawa. I can't wait to work on my shirt project in the flowery fabric!

By the way, sorry about the quality of the pictures. I forgot my camera at home and had to take them with my phone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


By the way, it might be the end my my Seven-Week Challenge, but it is NOT the end of my blog, au contraire!

You can see that I've changed my tag line and description (on the right), because I am no longer a "Translator by day, designer by night"! I am now a student again, which means I will have loads more time to sew. Yay!

Also, I want to thank Diann Chea for taking some of the pictures of the Black Bow Dress (the nice ones are hers).

And finally, I am not sure when it is that I will find a sewing machine, so bear with me... But it is definitely a top priority on my list.

The End of my Seven-Week Challenge!

And now, the 8th and last project of my Seven-Week Challenge (drum roll)...

a baker's hat for aspiring-baker Céline!

Readers, you were probably curious about the "secret project" I wrote about in a recent post. I'm sorry I made you wait so long! I couldn't talk about it because I didn't want to spill the beans for Céline's birthday gift.

Céline seemed soooo surprised and touched by my present, which made me really happy.

You can see that I've used some left-over fabric from my yellow dress (and added brown bias), some left-over fabric from my green retro top, and a new fabric I bought for the occasion. The three hats are all so cute and I feel like the pictures don't really do them justice... Maybe Céline will indulge All Style and All Substance with more pictures? Maybe she will also bake us some croissants?

I made the pattern myself and I'm pretty happy with the result. In fact, I was thinking of posting the tutorial online for you people to make your own (if there is an interest).

Also, some of you might be wondering what has happened to the flowery fabric that was supposed to be Project #8. Well, I'm making something with this fabric and you will see it as soon as I find a sewing machine here, in Hull, UK (by the way, can anyone help me with this?). I just didn't have enough time to do the baker's hats AND project #8. So the baker's hats became project #8. :-)

Would anyone rent me a machine for 10 months?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Black Bow Dress

To answer your question, yes, I have finished my Seven-Week Challenge. What a sewing marathon!

In the whirlwind that has been the last week, I flew to the UK, looked for and found a place, among many, many other things. I'm very happy to now have time to focus on All Style and All Substance!

To update you a little bit, in the few days prior to my departure, I worked very very hard on projects #7 and #8. I would fit in about 5 hours of sewing every day -- on top of continuing to go to work and everything else. One night, I even sewed until 2 am! Only when I stepped on the plane, did I feel like I could finally relax.

As you may or may not have noticed, I have granted myself a little extension on the 7-week challenge, which was technically supposed to end on Septembre 17th. I was planning on giving myself a few days to relax before I left, but some problems in Project #7 turned into huge time sucks.

I don't know how I managed to keep sewing, but I did. I resisted the temptation to botch my projects by repeating to myself: If I’m going to make something that looks cheap, that is poorly crafted, or that doesn’t fit perfectly, I better just go out and buy it at the store.

This was the first version of the dress. I think the gold was not a bad idea in itself, but for some reason, it did not look right. I don’t know if it was because of the quality of the lame, or the way I sewed it... I even tried to remove the bottom layer, but it still looked so homemade and crafty!

At this point, I was feeling really discouraged. "I'm never going to have time to finish and I'm going to let everyone down..." Thankfully, a good night’s sleep eliminated my negative thoughts and I came up with a wonderful solution: cute little bows!

The lining almost took more time than the dress, but it makes it so luxurious!

Voilà! I nice addition to my Fall wardrobe!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moving and (some) sewing

After an extremely hard weekend of moving everything to Northern Quebec for storage, we had a bit of time to enjoy the cottage and sew.

What more could I ask? An actual TABLE, a VIEW, a lot of LIGHT?

I did work on my last two projects, but I must confess that I mostly focused on my new, secret project. Is that reasonable considering I'm soooo close to my deadline? No! But you will know all about it very soon and you will understand.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

From Amish to Amazing

6 projects done, 2 to go, and 10 days left!

I had purchased this skirt at a vintage clothing store on Queen West in Toronto. It's hard to believe I actually wore the skirt in it original form in high school!

From Amish... amazing!

It's all just a matter of measuring...

...and cutting. (Can you see my feet through the glass table?)

Making of "Teal with it"

Hello readers!

I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog in the past while. I've been uber busy planing and packing. We're putting everything in storage this week; there is a lot to do.

You can still rest assured that I haven't forgotten about sewing and my last three projects (it's always on my mind). I am still confident that I can make it. ;-)

Here is something to snack on until my next post (very very soon) -- the making of "Teal with It".

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