Saturday, 29 June 2013

Vintage Wolves

Dear readers,
Like most children Angélique loves books which is fabulous because the whole family shares her passion.  Reading to Angélique, however, requires concentration for she is, I believe, a child who seeks out detail.  Before each storybook page has been turned Angélique will want to read beyond the words deep into the minds and hearts of each character.  "What is he thinking?" she invariably asks or "how does she feel?" is another favourite question of hers.  Angélique's questions probe deeper than her three years in my experience and make reading an intense and rewarding activity.
If my daughter has a fondness for detail I love variations on a theme and so I have used this passion of hers to fuel one of mine.  When Angélique enjoyed Goldilocks And The Three Bears I enjoyed finding different editions of the same story relishing the styles of each illustrator and picking out the small twists in the tale which made it differ from the other versions.
 The top book, translated from German, is Angélique's favourite.  I, however, simply love Charlotte Gastaut's vibrant artwork seen below. (I have other books from the same illustrator which I hope to show you some time soon.)
Angélique's most cherished storybooks usually feature a big, bad wolf and Little Red Riding Hood is, unsurprisingly, her greatest love.  For weeks now this daughter of mine has risen from bed and asked me to snuggle down beside her to share my version of this fairytale before starting the day.  Every morning!  Back in February when there was snow on the ground I found this old-fashioned Little Red Riding Hood fabric (which also exists in blue) and decided that I would turn it into a dress from this book for summer.  I trimmed it with three 1940's red and white buttons and made two pockets from polka-dot red cotton.  And then began the quest to find a knitted hooded cape pattern on Ravelry.

 Alicia Plummer's Spritely fitted my requirements perfectly and I fell for the undeniable charms of this version named Butterflies In The Melon Patch.  I enjoyed the butterfly lacework which I knitted during my travels to England last week.  The pattern, though simple, lacks the clarity of others, and I found myself having to use my head a little when stitch numbers did not add up.  I also reached the conclusion that scarlet is not my favourite colour and that, whilst I love Madelinetosh sock yarns dearly, I cannot help but wonder why 'hand-dyed' is a good excuse for accepting a pricey yarn with a high number of white flecks in it?  Does this strike you as an unreasonable thought?

My Ravelry notes may be found here.

The past weeks have required a lot of family teamwork and detailed scribblings in various diaries to get through successfully.  With one more exam for Héloïse to go we are reaching the end of the French school year with weary heads but smiling faces.  It has been a beautiful year full of accomplishments and I am, like most parents, so very proud of my children.  I have also been suffering from migraines again and backache so I am looking forward to an appointment with my osteopath this Monday.

Thank you so much for your continued interest (and orders) on Facebook!  I am currently working on a doll which, hopefully, should be ready this week.

Finally, as may know, Google Reader will be closing on July 1st... hence the reason why so many are popping over to Bloglovin.  If you would like to follow Millefeuilles over there please just click here.

With the school holidays fast approaching I am hoping to write more frequently than my current fortnightly posts.  Fingers crossed!

A bientôt,

Stephanie (and Little Red Riding Hood)


  1. How lovely it is to read with children - and to 'make the book come true' as you have is delightful!

  2. Hello, have you read Beware of the Bears by Alan Macdonald? It's an hilarious take on the story and had me and my girls crying with laughter! :) x

    1. Hello Ada :-)

      I'll be sure to look that book up and, knowing me, I'll be buying it too ;-)

      I hope the sun is shining for you too.


  3. The books! The dress! The cape! Your daughter's sweet face! I just am so distracted by all this wonderful, I hardly know what to do with myself. The ART in that one book. It's just stunning! So so cute how she wants it read every day. I'm amazed by the questions she's been asking you....that's a lot of empathy in someone so small!

    So sorry about the migraines and back pain, either one alone is enough to decimate a day.....take of yourself and be well again soon, my far-away friend!!! xoxoxo

  4. What a beautiful little girl! I bet the cape will be her treasured possession for a long while yet ...

    love Claire xxx

  5. Your Little Red Riding hood looks adorable Stephanie, what a perfect pattern choice. And your thoughts on the Madelinetosh seem perfectly reasonable to me.

    Hope that long summer break hurries toward you now x

  6. Oh where to begin? Angelique is a lovely Red Riding Hood and your knitted cape enhances the effect of the very fine photographs. Yes, I also wonder about those white, undyed, flecks that luxury yarn.

    Angelique's questions are wonderful...hoping that curiosity will grow!

    Continued good wishes to Heloise on the exams. Not long now....

    I will always be so glad that my dad would read to me before I said my prayers and cut off the light. I was an early reader, and books continue to be a joyful part of my life all these decades later.


  7. It's all just too beautiful Stephanie, the fabric and the hood and then your sweet girl with her questions and thoughts. What a lovely mummy you are to make her the best red riding hood I have ever seen and to be gentle and patient with her morning story reading.
    I bought a couple of skeins of hand dyed by local women yarn today, both 4 ply and 400 m for £10 each which i thought was rather cheap and I am excited to get knitting. Unfortunately, the MT yarn is very pricey and is a real luxury if I ever purchase it. Have a lovely rest of your weekend x Penny

  8. And isn't your Little Red Riding Hood a little star, she has a very clever Mummy too ! The dress and the red riding hood are beautiful . :) I love those illustrations too!
    I had a little girl who loved fairytales too, the Little Mermaid especially! This Wednesday she marries her handsome prince in a fairytale dress with her reception in a castle so beware Stephanie where these fairytales lead you! ;)
    V xxx

  9. Dear Stephanie
    I adore fairytales and adult books with a fairytale like quality are pure delight (I am counting down the months until I feel it appropriate to read The Snow Child again.
    I hope if I am blessed with children they are as passionate about books as Angelique - I can't think of anything more wonderful than sharing a story with a little person who relishes the detail and the magic like she does. How wonderful. I hope you enjoy many more years of sharing your love of books with your daughter.....perhaps you have an author in the making????

  10. L'ensemble est superbe !!! bravo

  11. What a delightful post, such a beautiful little girl and what a lovely dress and little cape! Unfortunately I cannot comment on knitting as this is not my forte! The end of the year exams are stressful for most parents, including myself and look forward to school closing soon although that brings it's own stresses when young men have six weeks holiday! I hope your tension headaches and migraines go away so that you can enjoy your beautiful garden!

  12. I have a very deep thinking three year old bookworm too ... I am always amazed at the questions she asks and I adore reading to her ... she falls asleep most nights with a book under her arm ... and the red riding hood dress is so beautiful ... Bee xx

  13. Oh you have made me so nostalgic! I used to love reading to my children and enjoyed their interactive discussions - which often dragged us away from the texts - but now, they don't need me to read to them. Fortunately, my youngest (9) loves reading to ME! And she's an excellent storyteller. I think she'd love the idea of the same stories written in different ways.
    Angelique is a perfect Little Red Riding Hood - she must feel so very special and creative when wearing this gorgeous cape.

    On a completely different note, I too have had migraines and backache over the past few weeks and have a friend with them too - I wonder if this is a particular virus? I am now feeling much better and hope that you do too.


  14. Pretty one! she looks like she should be in a fairy tale....I envy children....disappearing into a world of magic....believing in what could be....sigh! My very very favourite tale was Peter Pan but as a runner up the Water Babies.
    The colour suits your little one and its a gorgeous outfit.

    Take care now

    Amanda :-)

  15. My dear friend,

    I have missed your visits, but I so understand the busy schedule scenario; I too have been juggling traveling out of state by car, then on Wednesday, I fly back "home" to the state of California. I have missed your posts as well, but this is SO SPECIAL.

    That Angélique loves to not only read but to UNDERSTAND is phenomenal. As a teacher, this trait in young children makes an educator so happy, filled with joy over the profession of inciting a love of language in children. That she seeks your companionship along the reading journey is a joy only a parent could fully grasp....sigh!

    OK, now for this masterpiece, ce COUP DE GÉNIE of yours....what an adorable little cape for a Red Riding Hood in training. She is lovely with her little hand on her hip, as if she knows she is playing the role (she probably DOES know she is playing the part!) and then your magic stitchery. Bravo dear one, you have done it again. I will follow Mille Feuilles as the wind blows......

  16. Dearest one,

    I am going to post a new post, and may I use the photo without Angélique's face to show the detail of your knitting? I would use a link to your blog....let me know? I will be posting in just a few minutes, but I will be linking to you with reference specifically to your blog and name. Anita

  17. what a little princess you have there (little red riding hood was a princess in disguise, wasn't she?) and just in case she owns an 18" dolly, there is an adorable little red riding hood hooded cape for dolly on ravelry (that I've made several times for granddaughters-- a very quick, appreciated knit!)

  18. As always I have been enchanted by your beautiful post x

  19. Precious! Thanks for sharing and Blessings to all,

  20. That is the most darling little red ricing hood I have ever seen. To be young and to feel you are part of your favorite story is so special. I made my son a dinosaur costume when he was 4, he slept in it every night. I had to wake him each morning like he was a baby dinosaur breaking out of his egg. It was magic.

  21. Little Red Riding Hood looks so adorable in her new dress and cape. What a delicious colour combination

  22. Oh sweet Stephanie!!!!!!

    SO GOOD TO SEE YOU TODAY! I will snatch one of your photos for your work is so masterfully crafted and oozes with soul and love. Thank you for coming by, but most of all, for your commitment to creativity and following your heart. Your little RRH is the most precious I have ever seen. Be well and yes, I so wish we could meet over a cup of tea in the garden. I am doing just that this very moment, in MINE, within the lovely confines of an enclosed garden/tea room with billowy sheer white curtains, dancing in the wind.

    Hugs to you sweet friend, Anita

  23. Angélique makes such a lovely red riding hood and she is always so good at modelling! I love looking at books for children even now with my children all grown up! I'm glad Angélique loves her books too, although hope for you she chooses a different book soon. Hope you get some relief from the doctor on Monday.
    Sarah x

  24. the cape is magical! I think that would be the perfect knit for any girl with an imagination and a fondness to fairy tales :)

  25. Hello my dear Stephanie! YES! I grabbed Angélique's sweet photo, and added your link. This was such a dear post, but of course, I love ALL of your posts! I just came in from the most delicious time out in the garden. I just may go out there again tonight!

    Giant hugs across the pond, Anita

  26. I love the little red cape

  27. Beautiful books and what an adorable outfit on the princess.

  28. I love this magical post Stephanie...Beautiful little Angélique's dress is so pretty and the little red cape is perfect (I do agree about the yarn though and have found this myself)
    I miss reading with my girls...these days do pass by so quickly!
    I'm following you on Bloglovin!
    Happy New Week to you,
    Susan x
    P.S How lovely is your last pic of Angélique...it makes my heart sing!

  29. Angelique looks so sweet in her dress and cape. It is beautifully made!

  30. ~ An enchanting post, Stephanie! YOU reminded me of reading with my children, when small...And of their curiosity and the magic found in the time spent together! Olivia LOVED, Red riding Hood too! ~ must mention your beautiful little girl, so cute in the pretty scarlet cape! I am wondering whether you make the fabulous dress with those 'wolves', in BIG girl sizes! hehe.. Its wonderful! I have followed you of course on blog loving, my friend! Hugs Maria x

  31. oh like a vintage fairytale very sweet and girly love the little redridinghood dress so cute and pretty youre dauther looks so pretty in it very nice love the childeren story books like the drawings very sweet leon10

  32. simply adorable ...
    is the fabric japanese?

    enjoy the school holidays and hope you feel much better soon ...
    Barbara x

    1. Hello Barbara!

      How lovely to see you here! I've just popped over to your blog and have feasted my eyes on green apples - I have a thing for apple green at the moment - and stars So lovely.

      Yes, I do believe the fabric is Japanese. It's a heavier weight cotton than usual but drapes well, I believe.

      Than you for your well wishes. I feel so much better already thanks to swimming and my osteopath.


  33. Oh my goodness!!! I need that outfit in big - for myself!!! :-)
    That fabric is amazing!

  34. Oh Stephanie, what a beautiful outfit you've made Angelique, who models beautifully. I love that fabric and the cape is fabulous. My son is currently transfixed by all fairy tales and asks many, many questions throughout...testing and fun at the same time. x

  35. Dear Stephanie,
    Angélique is the most charming little red ridding hood ever. What a wonderful outfit. I'll have to show it to Elsa who - although much older- will surely ask for the same.
    We also like to gather different editions of a story... Goldilocks, Cinderella, Snow white...
    Happy July!

  36. Hello dear Stephanie! I've made it back. I too have always loved fairy tales, but was never lucky enough to have one on a dress. Little Angelique looks lovely and very Red. Funny, I came across some old photographs of my younger childhood and, looking at the pictures of her now, my hair used to look almost exactly like hers.
    Good luck to Heloise.


  37. Your little girl is simply beautiful in her sweet dress and little red cape.

  38. I found your beautiful and enchanting blog...via Castles, Cottages and Crowns. Reading through your posts I am mesmerized by your lifestyle and commitment to... and appreciation of... creativity. Visiting here is a transcending experience...I thank you.

    1. Oh Tamera, your words have touched me enormously! Thank you so very much. I am a little lost for words but I am quite certain I will be visiting your blog as soon as possible.

      Happy weekend to you, Tamera.


  39. Oh your daughter looks absolutely adorable Stephanie :) Regarding the books you showed here, I am so happy that you showed a Charlotte Gastaut - my step-sister is an illustrator, and I came across Charlotte's work in her beautiful children's book collection, I look forward to seeing more of her work on your blog :)
    Em xx
    P.s. my step sister says that French illustrators are the best in the world!

  40. Not only is your daughter beautiful. She is a very deep child, and very intelligent. my daughter was the same way. She could not get enough detail. You will have your work cut out for you...This is a good thing.
    What a precious Red Riding Hood costume...You did a great job on it.
    Happy days to you and your family,
    XXOO Marie Antoinette

  41. What an adorable Little Red Riding Hood, I must look out for that book too.

  42. Thank you for this post. I love the cape and will be making it for my daughter, who absolutely loves this story. I only wish I had it a few years ago. I have however got a beautiful niece who would love this when she is a bit older so I will also be making this for her. I love your blog, your needlework is such an inspiration. Thank you.x

  43. After three weeks or so of absence I am catching up again with my favourite blogs. I loved your description of riding with Tristan, the beauty of the photos of Heloise and the cape for Angelique. I really need to stop being overwhelmed by how much there is to do and how thoroughly I am not doing it and just be.

  44. Hello Stephanie, I do miss reading to my smalls, alas they are grown now for stories and I guess it will be a few years yet before I am reading as a nan. Some of the illustrations in childrens books are so beautiful I have quite a collection for someone with no small children!! Oh my goodness I can only imagine how much your daughter loves her dress, and little cape, it will be one of those special memories for her when she is older...
    good luck with the last few days of term and hoping your back and migraines are better soon, take care of you xx

  45. She is so adorable!
    ....and as you say ahead of her years imagining herself in the place of the characters?
    I too miss reading fairy tales...as my boy is almost 12, but he still loves a story.
    Treasure this time with her..so magical.

    ....I am presently working on a darker version of little red riding hood costume...we are producing a musical in November. It is Stephen Sondheim's "Into the woods"
    I will keep you posted.
    bestest as always
    daisy j x

  46. Divine Stephanie! The cape, the books, your beautiful words and your adorable little Angelique. I actually just want to jump on a plane right now and immerse myself in all things French!!!

  47. Read your article I know you is how much of the hard to write this article, looking forward to your more good article. and here lots of cheap air jordan shoes for you !


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