fabric / Sewing

Made in France: Un été couture

Robes, jupes, et tops pour temps chaud

I’ve done it- I’ve started sewing again, and I think I might be addicted…all over again!

I haven’t really done any proper sewing all through autumn and winter- having not felt inspired to and preferring to snuggle down in the evenings with some knitting. But these last few weeks I feel like I’ve rediscovered sewing and how much I enjoy it! I think the Great British Sewing Bee may be largely to blame. I love this program and whenever I watch it I have hundreds of ideas I want to go away and try.

In the first episode of this series they made simple little vest tops, as a result well, I made a vest top!


This is Chemisier Berthe, a sleeveless cotton blouse with a gently curved hem that’s longer at the back than the front. The pattern is taken from french pattern book Made in France: Un été couture by Geraldine Debeauvais. I got this book as a Christmas present and it is full of great simple designs that are perfect for the everyday- all designed for summer ‘été’.

I was definitely a bit rusty starting out with this- I was so excited to get started that I didn’t really read through the pattern as much as I should have, as a result I didn’t notice until after I had cut out the fabric that you needed to add seam allowance to the pattern pieces…whoops. Luckily I’d gone a size bigger than needed so this wasn’t a complete disaster though did cause some problems.

I did also initially sew the collar on upside down- it was my first attempt at a collar though and the pattern was in french!


The main problem with missing off the seam allowances was that the top was no where near long enough at the front- it was almost a crop top if worn with jeans!

Luckily I’d planned to wear it with high-waisted skirts anyway, so as long as I tuck it in you can’t tell it’s too short at the front!


The armholes were also very tricky, you were meant to apply facings but as I’d managed to cut both the facing and the front and back fabric  without seam allowance there was no way they were going to fit together. In the end I opted for bias binding, which was so simple I think I would do this in future anyway.

I would definitely make a few tweaks to the pattern in future- much longer at the front and take some of the width out of the back and I’ve already ear-marked some fabric for the second attempt. This fabric is a floral cotton print I got in John Lewis on Oxford Street about a year ago and has been waiting patiently for the perfect summer top pattern.

All I needed now was some lovely weather to try it out- and what should we have but an unseasonably warm spring day in March??



I think I’ve got the sewing bug, I’ve got so many new ideas to make my summer a couture hand made one I don’t know where to start! Have you been inspired by this weekend of nice weather if you’re in the UK?



2 thoughts on “Made in France: Un été couture

  1. I love it! Looks so summery and elegant, I like it untucked too, it’s different, bet you get people asking you where you bought it!!

  2. Pingback: Me-Made-May week 2/3 | craft my escape

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