Friday, February 1, 2019

Literary Sewing Circle: Inspirations

Today's inspiration comes from the setting of The Painted Girls.

There are lots of great patterns that are either designed in France or that evoke France in many ways!

Let's start by exploring the offerings of our sponsors, all French pattern companies.

Louis Antoinette has many designs that could be made up in a lovely print such as this one, which comes as a kit with the perfect fabric & haberdashery included (and it's on sale). You'd have to add on the pattern for the Robe Lolita here.

Or you might want to go more 19th Century with a Gotham Cape to wear over your frocks on a cold Parisian night...

Orageuse has a modern, no-nonsense style that might represent a menswear element -- for example this high-necked view of the Prague Blouse in a lacy fabric plus the high-waisted Acacia Trousers and Amsterdam Blazer along with that very cute hat, makes for a very vintage inspired look.

And Deer & Doe offers up some choice dresses as well: the Centaurée Dress in its long view almost looks like something that might be worn on stage by dancers.

And their pretty Airelle Blouse could easily pass for a turn-of-the-century top if styled with a long skirt and button boots rather than bright short shorts!

You might find some ideas from other French pattern companies as well, like Ready to Sew -- their free Justine Skirt is a long front buttoned one that could have a shirtwaist added to it and instantly look quite 19th century!

Their Jolene Shirt Dress is also a vintage feeling one, less 50s retro, more turn of the century retro (I love it)

You could also check out English designer Tilly and the Buttons, as she has many patterns inspired by French style, even in the names she's chosen for them -- like the Coco Dress or the Francoise Dress -- and check out the styling of the new Nora Top pattern!

Maybe you'd just like to make some French style accessories, using this free tutorial for a stylin' French beret by Erika Bunker, on WeAllSew or this free head scarf pattern for the Brigitte Scarf from Tilly & the Buttons.

And if you want a whole lot of new ideas, try looking for this book: Home Sewn French Style by Amelie Morin-Fontaine for ideas ranging across France and from home decor to garments.

To find even more French pattern inspiration, you must explore this wonderful resource of French pattern designers compiled by Rachel of House of Pinheiro -- make sure you have enough time as there are tons of great links to explore. You've been warned!

Our next inspiration post will look more deeply into the characters for ideas about what to sew. Do you have any ideas yet? Share them in the comments!


  1. Now I want a Cape...a fill length one. And a capulet too for more informal wear.

    1. A swirly full length cape :) Imagine how dramatic that would be.

  2. So much inspiration! Where to begin. It is lovely looking through the sewing patterns of Independent Designers, particularly from another country. I really think the style lines are different and interesting. Maybe we just think that any ideas other than what we are always presented with are different and 'need to be tried'. I would just love to purchase one of the patterns with kits in a box, so beautifully presented.
    However, oddly enough I like the Justine skirt, although I lack much of a waist, and I am not sure how that would go. Plus I rarely wear skirts. I had to look up the expression 'shirtwaist' in your discussion, as I had never heard it before. Very interesting.... it appears you would mean a front opening blouse of a sort tucked in? I also had in mind, before this inspiration post, a comfortable wrap ballet style top/cardigan, but with more length than usually associated with 'ballet tops'. I thought that could have some relevance. So, still thinking.
    Thank you for going to all the effort of finding these links. They really are inspirational!

    1. I also enjoy looking at the styles from different countries -- there is a different aesthetic, even if only just a little. So interesting!

      Yes, that's what I mean by a shirtwaist. It was so convenient to wear separates that gave a dress impression. I also love the Justine and want to make one but also wonder if it would flatter my waistline. Hmm. I still don't have my project picked out!


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!