3.19.2015

The Mini Marthe Tunic

Well, guys, we finished the declutter and it turned out to be a major undertaking... but it's done!  It took 8 days and there was not much free time in there to sew at all.  It's surprising how much we've managed to accumulated over the years, especially considering how much I dislike shopping.  Except for fabric shopping... obviously.  :)

swingy 

I didn't think we were that bad off.  All of our kids' clothes are in labeled in tupperwares, by age and category, with pretty stamps even.  On the surface, we had it together.  But we suffered from what we like to call avalanche syndrome.  I'd be searching for herbs and spices ever so carefully so as not to knock one over and get avalanched.  Same thing with our pantry.  And our kids' toy closet.  The kids had a dump-and-mix going on with some of their toys (and even some of their puzzles!) so there was so much to sort through.  And these kids of mine - they're packrats I tell ya.  They don't want to throw anything away.

sisters sweetly 

But we got it done and it feels so, so good.  Our house is more peaceful.  I feel like I can be single-focused during the day instead of feeling like I'm being pulled in a million directions... like worrying if I'll get avalanched.  Or having that nagging feeling like I should  organize this or that space.  So yeah, it's great.  I highly recommend it.  And we celebrated with Make Your House a Hotel Night.

make your house a hotel night

The declutter freed me up to do some weekday sewing for a change, so I made this Mini Marthe Tunic.

mini marthe tunic 

I absolutely love Sophie's version.  Then Lorene also recommended this very same pattern to me and I figured the top was begging to be made.  I had no choice in the matter. ;)  I really love this style so much.

mini marthe tunic 

The pattern is written in French and Google Translate didn't do a great job of translating for me.  For example, it told me to put the fabric 'in law to in law' which I'm assuming means right sides together. (?)
But most of the instructions were lost in translation. Thankfully it's a pretty simple pattern.

mini marthe tunic 

I got the feeling I was suppose to add a seam allowance.  There was a double negative in the sentence, something like "Do not not add the seam allowance" which I assume means add the seam allowances? Not sure.  So I did.

mini marthe tunic 

The finishing instructions were sparse.  To finish the back it simply said, "Finish the back using your preferred method : zip, button, etc."  This normally would not be difficult for me, except that this dress is not lined.  I'm used to working with lined bodices.   So I used the same method as I used for my Hattie dress which was also unlined.  It worked and it's easy.

mini marthe tunic 

One technique I learned while making this dress was to finish the neckline with an invisible binding using Rae's tutorial.  Her tutorial was written for knits but works for wovens, too, except you don't stretch the bias.  I would never have thought to finish it this way, but I kept studying Sophie's dress to see how she finished it.  I think this is the method she used.  (Am I right, Sophie?)  I really like this method.  It's a clean finish, similar to a facing, but easier.

mini marthe tunic 

 I cut the size 6 in length and the sleeves were a little bit short, even though Tia is on the shorter side.  So if you planned to keep them unrolled you may want to keep that in mind.


mini marthe 

I would have preferred to make this a dress instead of a tunic but I keep forgetting that my girls need more than a yard of fabric for dresses these days.  And being it felt a bit like an experiment, I didn't want to use my more expensive fabric until I was sure it would work out.

mini marthe back

I like it, but we're moving out of long sleeves weather and I think it might be weird with short sleeves.  A short sleeved raglan?  Would that be weird?  I think so, right?

In any event, I need to start sewing for Indigo (which means ordering enough fabric!) because her closet is so bare.  Tia's closet and dresser are packed to the gills, but she is always so, so appreciative when I make something for her.  And she loves to wear her mama-mades.  So I can't resist.

tia my dandelion picker

13 comments:

  1. How hilarious. I love it when people have obviously used Google translate but are trying to impress with foreign language skills and it just. doesn't. work.
    I'd be worse with French patterns than the Japanese ones as I'd feel I should be able to understand the written word (no fooling myself that I can read Japanese!) I think looking at the pictures and doing your own things works best. And it did! Gorgeous tunic and Tia looks lovely as always.
    Hope hotel night was fun and no one threw a tv through a window rock star style!

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  2. You should have asked Sophie or me for the translation (or to Reverso, which helps me a lot !), but you did right : you have to add the seam allowance. And invisible binding is really a technique I use a lot whenever the bodice is not lined. Like the one million rompers I have to sew during the next days...
    Anyway your Mini marthe is gorgeous, and Tia looks gorgeous as usual. The point with this pattern is to choose a very fluid fabric (still avoid silk for it is awful to work, I've almost got crazy trying). Lorène

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    1. Thank you for telling me about Reverso. I had never heard of that before. And, yeah it's a great technique. Being we live in Texas, I don't always want to make everything lined, especially if it's fully lined. It's just overkill, you know? That's the great part about trying a new pattern that stretches your skills or knowledge - you are sure to learn something new!

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  3. you did such a great job with that french pattern especially as the explanations are really not in depth. I don't think I used the same method for the neck binding, I can't remember really (doh!!) but it looks really similar except my binding was folfded in half from the beginning, I used the method given in the "charlie dress" pattern as far as I can remember! I love the fabric you chose! and well done on your decluttering. I am hoping Richard will be up for it this summer as our house needs it so badly and I have the same feeling of beeing pulled in a million directions alle the time!! hugs

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    1. Actually, Sophie, I'll bet that would have been even easier! Next time I will try it that way! Thank you! xx

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  4. In law to in law! Doesn't sound like a great idea to me :D Oh I do love Google translate sometimes. I really like the way you have combined a 'girly' pattern with a very non-girly fabric. Haha, I hear you on the growing kids and growing fabric requirements. Oh and de-cluttering... well done... I only ever seem to get to a small corner of it and the rest re-builds in the meantime. Where oh where is that extra day in the week?

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  5. I also have the spice cabinet avalanche problem though, in my case, I think it is due to the cabinet being too small ;) The tunic is very cute and I also really like the green jumper Tia is wearing in the first photo.

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    1. Oh thank you, Masha! I made that for Tia two years ago for Ethiopia Day - the day we first met Tia in Ethiopia - and it just now fits!
      http://www.stitched-together.com/2013/02/a-cord-pinafore.html

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  6. So cute!!! I love the simple style, and bias facing/binding is one of my favorite ways to finish a neckline. It's common in vintage patterns, and it's so easy and gives a clean finish. I really don't like big floppy facings.

    I am so impressed that you've purged your whole house!!! WOW! Ours is such a project, it would take us eight days to get through our back room alone. :cry I've made a lot of progress, but there is still much to be done.

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  7. So you can sew in another language too? You are amazing ; ) Darling little top. Looks great on her. Enjoy your clutter free house ; )
    I need to do my bedroom.....

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  8. Oh Tia! Her smile just lights up a room (backyard?). Love the dress, the raglan sleeves are cool and I love the fabric you used. Funny how ambiguous the directions were, but it looks like you made it work!

    I know the avalanche feeling allllll too well. Blugh. Good for you guys finishing up your declutter!

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  9. I'm anxious for my copy of the decluttering book to arrive from the library. I think there are still a few hundred people ahead of me. We have a few avalanche areas, although my sewing supplies are the biggest issue.

    And the top is so sweet. I think an elbow-length raglan works (like the O+S class picnic top) and some people have even sewn that one as short sleeved as it seems to work. Either way, beautiful sewing!

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  10. The tunic is lovely, the colour looks perfect on Tia. She sounds like such a sweet child :) I have seen this pattern used a few times and every garment I have seen looks very comfy and cute, which is oh so inportant for kiddos. I worked as a translator in my previous life, and for one of the jobs I had there was a period when they did not have a translator and used Google translate function... I laughted to tears reading correspondance from that period! So I get the idea how frustrating translating sewing instructions was!

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