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November 17th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m expecting my first batch of Au Bonheur des Petites Mains patterns any  minute now, and am beside myself with anticipation.  ABPM, as they’re known in a number of French blogs, are patterns with a very different twist.  (See the English version of their site, courtesy Google Translate, here.)

None of these happen to be in the set I’m waiting for, but they are on my short list for the next purchase.  This is, according to Google, a “cowl neck shirt”:

A “down fold shirt”  (that’s “down” as in “fold down”, not as in “feathers”):

And a “round collar coat”:

There’s more, much more!  The model garments are heavy on grays, blacks, and somber accents, all of which work well with the rather edgy, even flamboyant designs, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stick with those schemes ourselves, of course.

I first “met” ABPM through Shams’ blog, Communing with Fabric.  If you go to this link, you’ll read about the start of Shams’ ABPM adventure; if you click on “au bonheur des petites mains”  under “labels” at the bottom of that post, you’ll be taken to all of Shams’ ABPM posts.

Shams has an incredibly helpful French glossary, which I’ll be relying on, as well as a US size chart, in this post.  I don’t think there could be any better preparation (or inspiration!) for using ABPM patterns than reading Shams’ posts.  I’ve set aside the next three days so that I can make my first ABPM pattern, and, like any good marathoner, I’ve been training, first under Sham’s tutelage, and also by reviewing a bunch of French blog posts which highlight other ABPM creations.

Here’s the one that led me to the rest:  It’s  Je Couds Au Bonheur des Petites Mains (“I sew Au Bonheur des Petites Mains”), which looks like a collaborative effort, with a bunch of links to creative blogs worthy of some attention on their own.

Don’t read French?  Copy and paste any French URL into Google Translate, and you’ll see web pages that, if they’re not exactly French, will be close enough to figure out what’s going on.  As for me, there’s a stack of fabric, notions, and anything else I thought I might need waiting in my sewing room for my first ABPM project.  Tonight, though, if all goes well, I’ll be translating the instructions.  I can’t wait!


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  1. Shams
    November 17th, 2010 at 11:33 | #1

    Hehehehe. I can’t wait to see what you make with your batch of patterns!!! I have some more Au Bonheur goodness in the works too, though not until I finish my holiday sewing.

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