First Skirt of Fall // Les Fleurs

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

When new things start hitting the sewing scene, I usually don’t get swept up into the hype. You’d be hard pressed to find an indie pattern that I’ve sewn up in the same year it was released, and am totally cool with leaving newly acquired fabric in the stash piles for months on end. I have too many things in the queue before I can move on, so new releases and fabric tend not to be much on my radar. But when Rifle Paper Co. comes out with fabric…things change.

At first I was actually pretty chill about the collection from Cotton + Steel. I saw the announcement and a few posts and thought it was gorgeous, but since I don’t often sew with floaty rayons and want to move on from quilting cottons, I didn’t think I would actually get anything. Then I saw a post on Colette highlighting the different C+S substrates and saw a full-bodied skirt using the linen canvas fabric. The wheels started spinning. Then more people started sharing their sneak peeks, and pre-orders, and shops posted that they were already selling out in pre-order. It sort of looked like this: Day 1: So pretty, maybe I’ll get some later. Day 2: PANIC! I NEED THIS FABRIC NOW FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS TEXTILE.

Ahem.

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

I settled on 2m of the beautiful floral on natural linen (and a yard of the flamingo lawn for a yet to be determined project – it was just too cute). The weight and structure of the fabric was perfect for what I wanted. It fit right into my autumn silhouette, just in time to kick off the first weekend of fall. In the summer I tend to wear longer dresses and skirts, in softer fabrics. But when the temperature dips, ironically my hemlines rise in more structured garments (and plenty of woolly tights). I knew this skirt would beautifully play into this plan.

From the pattern depths I dug out my trusty B5285 pattern (seen here) and cut out the box-pleated view B. I had toyed with the idea of making the Hollyburn skirt instead, but I really wanted the extra body that pleats would give. I still preferred the open pocket shape of the Hollyburn (as opposed to the in-seam pocked of the B5285) so I simply traced & cut along the pocket curve onto my front pattern piece and used the Hollyburn pocket bag pieces. I ended up having to shift over my front pleats toward the centre by 1 cm so it would all fit in, but the front pocket method is super easy to do and I think adds a nice extra touch of dimension.

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

To avoid skirt-to-tight stickage, I lined the skirt with a rayon lining I had lying around the back of my stash. The deep green was a perfect match to the print (don’t you love it when that happens?). To reduce waistline bulk and avoid pleating more than I needed to, I folded the pleats in on the pattern pieces before cutting out the lining. I then sewed it up separately and attached it to the skirt after the zipper, but before the waistband. Once everything was in, I hand stitched it down to the zipper for a cleaner finish (I mean, as clean as one can be when using contrasting thread).

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

Once again, even though I matched the pattern measurements perfectly, the skirt could have been about 1-2 cm tighter along the waistband. Constantly in the struggle of having skirts sit snugly on your waist where it’s supposed to vs too tight you can’t breathe. I suppose I could take off the waistband, take the skirt in at the side seams and reattach a shorter waistband but nobody got time for that. I just pulled the top closure over a little further than intended, and luckily the pleating hides the bit of bunching. I might sew in a second row of eyes to allow for multiple skirt tightness for say, in the situation I wear it to Thanksgiving dinner…

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

It may seem silly to put a label other than your own on your makes, but the selvage of this fabric was just too pretty to let go into the scrap bin. I saved and fray-stopped this piece to prove that my skirt is authentic Rifle Paper Co. 😉 .

With the leftovers of this precious fabric I had juuust enough to eek out a cover for some of my couch pillows. Thankfully the print happened to match totally with the other pillows (and even if it didn’t, I totally would have done it anyway), so now I have an extra fashionable couch, too.

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs // Boots and Cats

Taking the photos of this project was so much fun, because I really enjoy wearing this skirt. You know some garments you make and you just feel so sassy and awesome in it? This is one of those. It was also my first time shooting photos at Golden Hour (right before sunset) and oh my goodness, what a difference it made.  The lighting was so interesting and flattering, plus bouncing off the warm colours of the neighbourhood, it was an autumn dream. It’s moody, warm and cozy and everything I know my favourite season to be.

Have a lovely fall weekend; enjoy those pumpkin spice lattes  ☕.

Autumn Leaf Illuminated Garland

Autumn-tissue-garland

This year, I am falling head over heels for…well, fall. Everywhere I go I see inspiration about this time of year and an opportunity to make my space a little warmer (Both figuratively and literally…) This glowing falling leaves garland is just what the season ordered.

Last week I had to stop at the dollar store for a few odds and ends and noticed the huge tissue paper section. Every color imaginable. So of course I grab a few armfuls. Walking home I started brainstorming what to do with it all as the leaves fell overhead.  This idea instantly popped in my head and I just had to do it. I already had everything else I needed and in total it took about 30 minutes to complete!

supplies // Boots & Cats

What you will need is simply:

  • Autumn toned tissue paper
  • Matching washi tape
  • Scissors
  • A pencil (not shown)
  • Fairy lights (optional, not shown)

sketch

The first step is measuring the length of the space you plan on hanging the garland so you can make the strands long enough. The section of wall where I planned to hang mine needed two lengths of the tissue paper to hang nicely.

Then start sketching shapes for your autumn leaves. You may need to go outside or check Google images for reference or a tracing template. A good diverse mix of leaf types will be best.

folding

From the tissue, cut strips with the depth of the leaves you’ve sketched (for best results, use varying dimensions for each color). From here fold the strips accordion style, like you are making a paper doll chain!

IMG_9251

Trace one of your leaf designs onto the top piece of your accordion.

The trickiest part of this project is cutting the tissue paper without tearing it, especially with more detailed leaves. Time and patience, friends.

repeat // Boots & Cats

Repeat the first steps for each color and leaf design you’ve chosen to make! (I made three types)

washi-tape

If you need multiple strips of tissue for length like I did, fasten the strips together with matching washi tape. It becomes nearly invisible on the wall.

enjoy // Boots & Cats

Now hang and enjoy! I first hung the fairy lights behind so they would glow through the paper and then layered each color layer on top. To create a more natural ‘pile of leaves’ look, fluff the strands and weave them within the different layers and through the lights.

how-pretty

I am now fully prepared for cool evenings sipping hot cocoa by a warm autumn’s glow.

Warm Glow // Boots & Cats