Oh la la!

I made french darts! And belle shaped sleeves (if you call them belle rather than bell it makes them french too.)


I drafted this off my main top block and re-positioned the legs of the dart to the waist rather than under the arm. My totally-non-left-brain really rebelled, but I kept sketching and playing until I got it working the way I wanted. (Shout out to Emily Ann of Retro Glam for the encouragement to give this a try!)

I also flared the sleeves into a bell shape – just free hand, and it worked.

ECU french dart

This fabric is second hand fabric from my local op-shop, a cotton stretch of some type. It grew like nobody’s business as I sewed so this fitted top turned itself into an effortless, unfitted top with less of a boat neck and more of a scoop as it went. C’est bon, french tops will do what french tops will do n’cest pas?


For  my birthday, husband had some clothing tags made for me (what a guy). This top is the first of my subsequent makes to sport a custom label!

While I know I have more work to do in the perfection of french darts, I happily wore my new top out on a lunch date with one of my besties. It went well with the mushroom & blue cheese risotto cakes and two glasses of rosé  ❤

Oh the joie de vivre!

Outfit details:





41 thoughts on “Oh la la!

  1. How sweet. I just got home from dinner with my besties so I enjoyed keeping the vibe going. My brain always rebels when I try to change darts and the like. I am always trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. That said, I need to actually get out of the theoretical and sew something… I also like the touch at the end with the lovely jewellery. Nice to be inspired by the personal touches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to use the body to dominate the brain isn’t it?! Brain doesn’t always get to be in charge!
      I am very lucky in that I have awesome jewelry I’ve inherited from my grandmother especially who had great taste!


      1. Yes, you are lucky! I also have some interesting piece that my grandmother made (she was a mean hand with a blowtorch). I need to clean some of them so I can wear more of them. Always love the posts – you exude marvelous energy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! It’s easy when the sun is shining and it’s your day off!
        (And I would love to see the pieces of your grandmother’s. Mine was did sculpture as a hobby but I don’t have any of her pieces of that 😦


  2. This top has a kind of je ne sais quoi (in a positive meaning) about it. It’s always great to try new tricks. French darts are a good way to make a fitted garment. Your new labels are fantastic. The whole outfit is well chosen with all the lovely pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merci beaucoup! It was good to try a new skill, and next time on a fitted garment will be fun too. I wore the top again today with a different outfit so I can see that, although it’s different than what I imagined in my head, this top will get a lot of wear!


  3. You’re self-drafting too! It’s fab and so elegant. Loving your labels too by the way. My father-in-law got me mine and it’s so nice to know people are thinking about what you love. Anyway, I reckon I’ll have a go at those darts myself. Consider me inspired!x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the belle sleeves 🙂 and the french darts! Some fabric just has a mind of its own, eh? Impressive use of your ‘block’ to self draft!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kudos to you for pattern drafting! I’m actually learning how to pattern draft right now. And the clothing labels are really sweet. My mother in law, so to speak, designed and made me labels last Christmas. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Congrats on the French darts. As you work with them you’ll find other garments to use them on. For a 1960s look try an A-line tunic. Long bell sleeves will add to that era’s look.

    I love the way the blue in your pants works with the top. All your heirloom quality accessories add to the ensemble. I don’t know what your new labels look like but hope you enjoy working with them. It’s a terrific feeling to see your name on the garment, isn’t it?

    Happy Birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Naomi, next time try a double French dart. These are soooo figure flattering and a little sexy, too. If you need the transformation info I’ll look to see if I can post a screen shot for you.

        One of my vintage books has a triple French dart I’m longing to try out. So you may see me do this in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My job really keeps me busy so my sewing progress is slower than a turtle. But I’m considering this. Even if I just experiment with a drape in muslin, it would be very educational. I’ll see what I come up with on the triple French dart. If I can share online I’ll do so, if not I’ll email you the material.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Are those daisies?! Tiny daisies growing all over the lawn? They look magical!
    Very nice darts too, this must’ve been a super satisfying project.
    Magic all around!

    Liked by 1 person

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