All posts tagged: sewing

Finding Sewing and Needle Craft Supplies, Patterns, & Fabrics in shops & online in Swiss Romandy

Over the years, many shops and sewing departments dedicated to selling fabrics, patterns and haberdashery have disappeared from the Geneva-area landscape. Those that remain largely stock fabrics for home and hobby and less for couture creations, as well as basic sewing notions (thread, seaming binding, scissors, etc). It’s been a sad process to see the winnowing of quality and diversity, but I’m encouraged that a few courageous entrepreneurs have bucked the trend and opened online and even a few bricks-and-mortar shops, some offering unique patterns from small labels, as well as basic supplies and occasionally sewing classes. Below are the names and contact details of shops that I’ve come across in the past, though I haven’t checked in with them recently. As some do not have websites, I cannot verify that since writing this post, they still exist or have not changed their address. So I suggest you give them a call before heading out. Fabric, Patterns, Notions, Knitting supplies – Shops In Geneva Textiles Acacias SA at 45B route des Acacias (1227 Les Acacias) …

girl sewing

Me and my Bernina: A love affair made in Switzerland.

The chances of my being interviewed for a Proust Questionnaire–those Q&As so popular in trendy magazines wherein the celebrity being profiled dishes on their likes and dislikes, favorite quotes, the contents of their handbag and most tellingly, their most prized possession–are small to nil, yet I can’t help but ponder what my responses might be if asked.

Creative Journeys: Q&A Interview with Fashion Designer Ly-Ling Vilaysane

Award-winning Swiss designer Ly-Ling Vilaysane established her fashion brand “aéthérée” in 2006. At her St Gallen atelier she creates timeless, modern clothes for everyday wear with an emphasis on quality materials and attention to detail. In this Q&A interview she shares with us what’s important to her in life.   Ly-Ling, please describe your path to becoming a fashion designer. I wanted to become a fashion designer since I was 7 years old. It always fascinated me how thoughts can be made tangible. You have an idea and suddenly you hold the idea in your hands and then you can wear it and make people happy. After graduation I wasn’t sure if I should study architecture, but then I chose fashion and don’t regret it for a second. Being a fashion designer means being free. I’m free to express myself through my work. I’m allowed to do what I like every day and I can choose who I want to work with. In addition, I can express my personal development through my clothes.

sewing fabric

February Sewing Project: A stylish, comfy wool & faux-leather jacket

Starting a new project at this chilly, sometimes dull time of year usually lights a creative spark in me that pushes me through to Spring. I’m counting on this straightforward sewing project to do it for me this time round. I’ve been a bit slow getting to it. I found the fabrics — a lovely black-and-grey wool/viscose blend and black faux-leather with a pretty square imprint — last autumn while visiting Montreal. I intended to get it done by Christmas, but travels, unexpected projects, and my best excuse yet: carpal tunnel surgery that has left my dominant right hand heavily bandaged, have put a spanner in the works. That’s why I’m calling this a “February sewing project”, because I’m hoping that in approximately one week’s time, when the bandage is off and the wrist stronger, I can get cracking and start putting thread to needle. If you’re curious, please check back here around mid-February mid-March to see how it’s turned out. I’ve already chosen some jewellery to go with it…so now all I have to do is get going and make it a reality! At last! February March Project completed So I’m happy to finally …


Pretty abstract-print blouse that’s perfect for business or leisure time

Here I am, striking as close to a proper model’s pose as I can manage, to show the neckline gathering (front and back) and waistline tucks in this pretty abstract-print polyester blouse I made using Butterick’s See & Sew pattern B6156. I’m not a huge fan of polyester, but this one is so lightweight I think it can be worn even on a warm summer’s day. I bought the material at Fabricville in Montreal during a terrific sale in April (I had to borrow my sister Pamela’s sports bag to bring back all the fabric I purchased, mostly stretch cotton). I slightly let out the collar and armholes and added some width at the hips. A little more width at the waist might have prevented the slight forward tugging, but then the waistline would have been less fitted. Ah, the trade-offs! I think it’s great as a casual blouse with white jeans and would also be suitable paired with a deep blue blazer for a business meeting. I’m looking forward to making it again in a beautiful pistachio green fabric my sister Andrea has set aside …

sewing pattern and fabric

A cool, chic sleeveless dress that’s just right for a Swiss heatwave

Little did I know (though I might have expected) that a heatwave would be rolling our way now when back in May I ordered online this pattern by Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity UK. I was in the mood for something a little different and View B, featured on the envelope photograph, with its eye-catching cut-out sleeves, seemed miles away from what I would usually wear. When push came to sew, however, I questioned my judgement, (you do that, too?) and doubted that it would look as good on me as it would on the model. Worse, I wondered, would it just look weird? So I opted for the chic little sleeveless version, View D, and am now, in the middle of this hellaciously hot week, glad I did (though I haven’t entirely given up on sewing View B). Never forget: study the finished garment measurements! As usual, I had to adjust for my personal body measurements, which in this case meant having three different sizes, increasing from top to bottom to accomodate my pear-shaped body. I cannot overstate the importance of comparing the finished garment measurements …

sewing fabric

A ‘kwik’ Spring sewing project for a devoted fabric-a-holic

I recently returned from a trip to Montreal to visit with my family where I brought a few sewing patterns with me from Switzerland just in case there was spare time to explore some of fabric stores that I used to haunt as a teenager. Turns out that jaunts to the local branch of Fabricville were a hit with my sisters, Pamela and Andrea, as much as they were with me. Love of fabric runs in our blood: our maternal grandmother was a brilliant self-taught seamstress who made many of her four daughters’ outfits whether for everyday or evening wear. In the end, I had to borrow Pamela’s gym bag to cart back all the fabric I purchased. I should qualify this by saying that there was a 40%-off sale underway and with the purchase of a reasonably priced client card the savings were even bigger. It’s as if Fabricville saw me coming. I enjoy shopping locally here, in both Geneva and Lausanne, but so far at least, no one store has managed to include under one roof the …