FO: Robe Eleonore from "Un Ete Couture"

Ceci n’est pas une blouse!

I was all set to spend the weekend sewing blouses for work.
Then I went to my interview, wearing a dress rather than a dull business suit… and I suddenly thought “Soddit!  I don’t want to sew a boring blouse!  I want to make something exciting and new!”
So I challenged myself.

I bought a new sewing book.
Un Ete Couture” is by Geraldine Debeauvias, the indie designer behind Republique Du Chiffon (RDC).
There are 19 patterns in here:  mostly dresses, but also a couple of tops,skirts, and a handful of collars.
Right upfront I will tell you:  these styles are aimed at the youngsters! But I was feeling in need of rejuvenation :)

 Stats:
Pattern:    Robe Eleonore from Un Ete Couture size Small
Fabric:  2 metres of unknown peached-finish synthetic, from Scruffybadger – I believe she bought it at Birmingham rag market?  Winnie – thank you my dear!  I finally accepted the dare to sew something slippery!
Other:  4 cover-your-own buttons, from stash;  thread; narrow elastic.

 Process:
Very French.
I immersed myself in the book before I started, and scoured the interwebs for successful examples of the finished dress.
I would advise you to proceed with caution if your French is a bit rusty.  Sewing-blog French is a whole different language!  The book itself is beautifully written and clear, but if you miss out the “how to sew” bit at the front, you might not realise that you are expected to add 10mm seam allowances and deeper hems.  Or that the facing pieces are drawn “in situ” on top of the bodice pieces, and have to be traced separately. I have scribbled notes to myself all over my tracing, ready for next time.
I learned lots of new words!
The channel for the waist-elastic is formed by folding the dress inside itself and stitching 17mm away from the fold line.  I wouldn’t fancy trying that in a thicker fabric.

 Verdict?
OMG.  Perhaps I am especially vulnerable right now, but I almost cried when I tried this dress on for the first time. It swishes!  It flows!  It dances all by itself!
These wind-ridden pictures are maybe not the best to show how elegant it makes me feel.
Elegant?  ME?! It’s a whole new sensation!
As I was making it, I kept thinking that Kirsty of Top Notch would wear something like this. I had to laugh when I saw that she has ordered a couple of RDC patterns herself!
I added the macrame belt as an experiment for these photos and it is perhaps a mistake.
My overall impression of this dress is of almost-1930’s-style sophistication.  Bloomsbury?
That’s why I tied my hair back – to suggest a bob.
It would be delicious with a pair of cuban-heeled gold shoes!
I love the cross-over neckline.  I’ve never tried that style before.

I was dubious about the elastic at the waist – “sack of potatoes” was my fear – but it seems to work in this fabric.
And the sleeves are such an unusual length – just below the elbow – very lady-like!
I added at least 6 inches to the skirt, as I was aiming for a garment I might wear to the office.  I am really glad I did – there are some very mini versions out there in blog-land.  I might make another tunic-length one myself, to wear over jeans, but this was always intended as a grown-up’s garment.

It is definitely the sort of thing I could wear Through the Double Doors if I get the job I went for…  oh lord, the suspense is killing me!