Turquoise Diamond

Bonjour mes amis,

Finally is time to start sewing spring/summer clothes, specially wardrobe basics. My definition of basics is not necessary a solid colour or simple design. For me, basic is something that adds a certain element of effortless chic, something I can just pick it up and will take me thru my day without having to worry if I’m suitably dressed, and of course comfortable.

A few months ago my talented friend Kerry posted the Grains the Couture book over her Instagram. She posted a picture of an amazing trench coat. Instantly in love with that pattern. I girl must have a few trench coats for spring showers, don’t you think? Two clicks later I bought it with some left over christmas money.

Je ne parle french. Granted, everyone that speaks latin derivate languages has an advantage of understanding some. I could just ask my french speaking friends or look at the dictionary. No boundary for style.

The book offers both female and male sewing patterns. Yeahhh! I only have 3 men patterns in my stash (Newcastle cardigan/Albion Coat/ Cooper bag) so it was great for me to stash a few more for Hrh to pick. Each of the patterns offer a few variations, like tops into dresses etc…

Source: Grains de Couture.  Photos made by Vanessa BUREAU

The patterns come in a hard paper, printed double sided and nested (colour coded). I cannot comment on the written instructions but the illustrations were so clear I used it as my only reference.  Very impressed!

The fabric I used is a delicious wash linen. Pure luxury. I was drawn to it. My intention was getting some V&A Liberty during my visit to Fabric Galore for a complete unrelated project.

I even asked for your opinion on which one to pick. Wasn’t until a little bit of bantering with Michael and the Boss (who doesn’t take pictures), the talk about the advantages of sewing and wearing natural fabrics that this wrinkle resist fabric touched my hand.

Forget plans, forget fabric shopping ban. Give me that fabric. As I was almost running with the whole bolt out of the shop when guys decided it would be fun to set me a challenge.

Michael and my fabric

Make something that highlights how beautiful this fabric drapes with a design feature you haven’t made it yet.

Went home and decided to pull out my new shiny book. The diamond blouse totally fits this criteria.  Loose fitting, pleats on the kimono sleeves, keyhole and cross back. Perfect fabric and pattern match!

I  originally cut size 40  without realising the pattern doesn’t have seam allowance- opps, Luckily size 38 fits me perfectly. I still had to shave a little of the back.

Ivanne said that I could tack the crossing but I didn’t need to. The front button is self covered with contrasting linen.

I have a thing about not sewing kimono sleeves because of the excess fabric near the bust but as this pattern has pleats and is loose fitting, the overall shape looks good. I’m very pleased with this make.

The high low hem suits both loose fitting and fitted bottoms.

This is already packed to Brasil, where I’m hoping to take better pictures in the winter sun. Holiday cannot come quick enough!

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  • I love the back of that blouse! And I’m now totally thinking about buying this book – even though I don’t speak a single French word besides Merci 🙂
    Have a nice holiday!

  • Rachel, that’s not fair! I have been looking at that book too! Seeing yours makes me want to buy it even more. I speak French so if you have any problems feel free to ask me.

  • Rachel, that’s not fair! I have been looking at that book too! Seeing yours makes me want to buy it even more. I speak French so if you have any problems feel free to ask me.

  • What a beautiful colour on you, the fabric is perfect for that pattern, checking out the book now!!
    bestest wishes
    daisy j x

  • Beautiful details on the blouse, love it on you! I too had to google the book straight away 🙂

  • oh this book looks gorgeous! i like just about all the patterns in the picture. maybe i could brush up my rusty french at the same time?

  • Lovely! Such a beautiful color and fun details!

  • Loverly loverly! That linen makes me want to cry. And I really gotta make those pattern runway shorts…

  • puu

    love the color, and especially love the earrings – a perfect match. brasil will be so lucky to have you!

  • puu

    love the fabric, and especially love the earrings. brasil wll be so lucky to have you!

  • I’ve been trying to talk myself out of this book for the longest time as I can’t find it for sale in the US or on Book Depository. But I need it!!! This looks gorgeous on you- I LOVE the back detail!

  • Love! Such a beautiful and unusual shape.

  • Your version looks better than the one in the book!

  • This top is gorgeous! I love the cut of the back and that color is beautiful! I’m with Ginger though – really trying not to want this book because it doesn’t seem available here.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  • What a fabulous top Rachel! It’s lovely and you look great in it x

  • Love it! Turquoise is perfect too

  • Love it.. hope you enjoy your trip home.. have fun.

  • Random shorts change there! Gorgeous colour and that book looks very interesting 🙂

  • Did you make those very lovely shorts? (The ones with the curved hem)?

  • Wow. Fabulous make and pics, and that colour is amazing on you. The first photo could be on the cover of Vogue – those earrings look great on it too. I have the book, I got it from amazon.fr – not cheap, but cheaper than getting it from amazon UK or bookdepository, for a change! There are some gorgeous French sewing books and I have bought quite a few, but this top, although it tempted me, I thought was going to be the big swamping type that doesn’t suit me – but seeing yours and how it looks tucked in has made me decide to make it.
    Funny though – I don’t remember the dress (shirtdress?) in the lower left corner of the pics from the book – if it’s one of the designs, I don’t think it’s in my book!

    • Hello! the dress is made using the Amethyste coat pattern. you can find it on her blog ( grains de couture).

    • Merci beaucoup Mouette! I actually had a look on her blog but didn’t see this dress – that’s so cool, I really like the dress.

  • Really beautiful ! Well done ! I’m found of your Diamond !

  • What a beautiful top, I love the shape of it!

  • works brilliantly and you headed to my favorite fabric shop too!

  • Yup, you’re justifiably in love with this top! It’s lovely- gorgeous details every which way!

  • Your version of the Diamond is gorgeous! Mine is still in the sewing basket- can’t get the back to fall right 🙁
    However, you have inspired me to try again 🙂
    Grains de Couture is a fabulous book with great patterns.
    BTW I speak French, heck, I am French, so if you need help translating, let me know.

  • I love this book: just finished the maxi skirt and I also made a perle de nacre earlier this year! this top was next on my list! I love your version: it is going to be hard to make something as nice!!:)

  • You really can’t go past Linen – it’s a stunning fabric 🙂 Gorgeous top, Rachel!

  • So lovely! I am thinking of making Diamond in black linen and perhaps the dress diamond in crepon.
    The text in this book is as clear and useful as the illustrations. The booklet at the end is most useful for all kinds of pattern alterations – over and beyond the models from this book. What will you make next? Amethyste?

    • Second that, the instructions are like a really great sewing manual, if your French is halfway decent, which luckily mine is.
      Love the sound of this in black linen:)

  • Beautiful! The style and colour are both perfect on you!! 🙂