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Downton Sewing with Jeanne Lanvin

Who here is a fan of the t.v. series Downton Abbey? I think it's the only television show I watch,  besides the wonderful drama and characters, what can I say I am a huge fan of the clothing. I kind of wish I was born in the 1900's. So it's no wonder I accepted to be on Elisa's, of Charming Doodle, sewing series dedicated to t.v. show : Downton Sewing. 
I am a little, actually very disappointed I wasn't actually able to sew for it, instead I hope to bring you some inspiration and share one of my favorite designers- Jeanne Lanvin. 

source: Vogue

The best way to get inspire to sew for a series like Downton Sewing is to go to the source, I love to do research about the era and study the different looks. If I am sewing for my children I like to see what they wore at the time. So today I would like to introduce you to an amazing trail blazer when it comes to children's fashion and woman fashion designers in general: Jeanne Lanvin. 

Jeanne Lanvin started started working as a seamstress and millinery apprentice at the age of 13, it wasn't until her mid 20's that she opened her own millinery shop and The House of Lanvin opened in 1909. Jeanne Lanvin had 2 loves, her daughter Margueritte and her business. 

When her daughter was born, she became Lanvin's source of joy, pride and inspiration. She started making her daughter clothes which began to attract lot's of attention. Soon she was making and selling children's clothing- she was one of the first children's wear designer and couture house for kids. 
It wasn't long until she was making dresses for the mothers too and so began her journey in the world of fashion. There were also very little successful woman's fashion designer at the time. What I admire the most about Lanvin is that she was foremost a mother and that she was able to turn that love and admiration for her daughter into a creative force.

You can see some of her designs in the illustrations up top. The big bows, hats and coats. Lot's of A-line cuts, drop waist and pleats, as well as full skirts. Many amazing details such as intricate embroideries and flowers adorned the clothes. As for the colour palette, I find it interesting, there are lot's of pinks and whites as well as reds and dark blues and blacks.
You can see one of Lanvin's dresses in the photo below and a close up of one of the flowers on the dress as well. I highly suggest you google Jeanne Lanvin, not only will you see some amazing children styles but the best in fashion of the times. Since she started as a milliner you will be inspired head to toe.

So many of the Lanvin style are very adaptable and would make some lovely clothes for todays market. A few of my favorite designers, such as Pale Cloud, Caramel Baby & Child, Marilyn Tov have done a great job at borrowing elements from the Lanvin times and making them contemporary. Albert Elbaz has recently re-launched the Lanvin children's line which you can see here or to see some editorial photos check out Bellisima.

Perhaps you are like me and love the styles of the 20's and 30's, then I think you will love this book by Lanvin, most of the images came from that book.  It's one of my favourites. Every time I flip through it I am amazed, the details and work that went into clothing then is breathtaking.

So what will you be sewing for your kids inspired by Downton Abbey? I love it all, although I absolutely love the green dress with the scallop edge and the big bow on the pocket, I might have to make my own version of that.

Elisa has put together some really amazing giveaways during her tour. I strongly suggest you check her blog CHARMING DOODLE for all the details and some amazing inspiration too.

Here is what you can win today…
There will be THREE winners and each will receive a different package of fun goodies! All three winners will be given a copy of Violette Field Thread's Coco Mittens pdf sewing pattern. In addition, one winner will get a yard of fabric from Andover Fabric's Downton Abbey collection, one will get a hat pdf sewing pattern of their choice from Elsewhen Millinery, and the third winner will receive a copy of The Ultimate Apron pdf sewing pattern from CharmingDoodle.

So what are you waiting for and enter the rafflecopter below….

You can sew along using the #downtonsewing and don't forget to check out everyone's posts…. just click on our photos!

Image Map



Nice to Meet You: ANDREA LAUREN

I wrote a post on Babyccino this week about a really cute brand called Sweet Kiddo and I got this nice comment from Andrea saying how nice it was to see her prints on such cute stuff. WHAT? These prints are available for purchase? I can make my own fox sweatshirt. I can hang some adorable swans on Miss E's wall?  I couldn't believe my eyes.

Andrea Lauren is a super talented illustrator and pattern maker. You have got to go and check out her Spoonflower shop as well has her print shop. Print Making + Pattern Design at it's best. I am so pleased to have discovered her wonderful world.
Don't you find it hard to find prints you like? I really need to spend more time on SpoonFlower, but I think I found a treasure box here. The best thing is that I can choose what fabric you want the prints to go onto. Just in time for KCW- kids clothing week...

Speaking of which, have you passed by the KCW blog this week? I am their guest of honour! You might recognize a pattern in todays Inspiration post.

Alright, I am off to shop and read up on Andrea Lauren's blog and check out her portfolio



Coup de Coeur no.18

... Print by Marc Johns ...
... There isn't an illustration, print or art work I don't LOVE in his shop ...
... This one is dedicated to my Little Miss E...
... If she believes she might find a cookie, I know she will reach a little further ...



Nice to meet you: SARAH JANE

What do the walls of you kids rooms look like? Do like to leave them blank or hang all of your kids drawings? Perhaps you have a favorite artist and have some of their art framed! Or is it like me, a little bit of everything. I wish I had more wall space to hang even more art and lovely prints such as those of Sarah Jane. Her illustrations make me smile and so I'm sure they would enlighten any kids room. A little bit retro, a little bit classic, lots of soft colors punched with wonderful brights- so so sweet.


There are many Prints to choose from- great for boys and girls.


Some with cute sayings.


You can hang one or more together.
Look how cute they are with washi tape.
On a side note- how did we ever live without washi tape?

And so much more to discover in the Sarah Jane shop... Look out for her new fabric collection too! I just know it's going to be so sweet.

You might want to check out the blog as well, there some free downloads and DIY projects I am sure you'll enjoy.

Oh! and Sarah is offering all of my readers a discount now through Saturday! Use the code SPRING15 at checkout in the online shop or the ETSY shop. Enjoy!



Nice to meet you... Andrea Kang

I "met" Andrea Kang through Tumblr, I'm not quite sure how I landed on her Tumblr (I think she might have found mine first) but I instantly enjoyed it, every bit of it! So, naturally I looked a little further and discovered her website, Andrea isn't just a blogger, she is an illustrator, an artist, a product designer and toy maker... Everything she creates is delightful.


Here are a few of her toys...


And a few of her illustrations...

And some of her gallery work...

I had such a hard time choosing my favorites and there is so much more to discover on her website...

You should follow her on Tumblr too... I do!

Know if only she had an online store... Hint hint :)


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Nice To meet you: KATY SMAIL

Have you noticed all the illustration popping up in editorial shoots, I'm loving this trend and I just love the illustrations by Katy Smail! She has a really great fashion illustration portfolio as well as a great children's selection. Her little animals are so cute and her girls are so gorgeous...

Perhaps you remember her illustration from this little video I posted a while back... I just couldn't resist posting it again!!! A Katy Smail, Amanda Pratt and Wovenplay collaboration, it doesn't get much better than this!!!

WOVENPLAY from papier mache magazine on Vimeo illustrations by Katy Smail.

See what KT does here, or on Kate Ryan for her portfolio.

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