segunda-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2014


Last spring my good friend Asmita from Elephant in the Study surprised me with the Liebster Award. I was so surprised! Thank you so much Asmita!


If you have never heard of the Liebster Award, let me try to explain what it is about… It is a virtual award passed from one blogger to another with the aim of promoting blogs with less than 200 followers. It’s kind of a chain thing where the awardee has to answer five questions and provide five facts about himself or herself and then chose five other bloggers and pass the award. And so on, and so on…

So here are my answers to Asmita’s questions:

A. What’s the one thing that you have been really wanting to make but hesitate when it’s time to actually do it (I mean in terms of sewing, but feel free to interpret it as liberally as you like!)
I would love to start quilting! I never did because I know I am not good with long and repetitive projects. But I just love quilts and I would be thrilled if I could ever make one from start to finish. Plus, my home needs handmade things. (Well, that’s the other way I could interpret your question, Asmita!) I’ve actually been postponing properly decorating my home since we’ve moved…

B. How do you get out of a sewing rut?
I actually don’t have a planned sewing routine so I think I never get actually tired of sewing. During the weekdays I mix sewing with architecture (my daytime job), gardening, surfing, windsurfing and playing or studying with the kids when they arrive from school. I am really lucky to be able to work at home so I can manage my time and that gives me a lot of freedom to do what I really love at my own pace.

C. Favorite summertime activity?
Definitely going to the beach! We live just a steep away from one of Europe’s best beaches so we go to the beach all the time. I’ve been windsurfing for several years now and I just started surfing. These sports, like sewing, are really addictive!

D. What’s the one thing you cannot go to bed without doing?
Checking out the girls sleeping is something I always like to do before going to sleep. (And pee and brush my teeth, of course!)

E. Five random facts about yourself.
1. Besides Portugal, I´ve lived in Italy (Venice) and Spain (Barcelona) while I was studying architecture.
2. I sleep like a stone! During the night, once I get to sleep there is now way anyone will be able to wake me up.
3. I used to drive a big bright yellow wv transporter van and I had all my windsurfing gear inside all the time. When Ines was born I sadly had to sell it as there where only three seating places on that van.
4. I’ve been a vegetarian most of my adult life. I restarted eating meat when I got pregnant but I still prefer vegetables and fruits to any kind of meat or fish.
5. Right now I have three sewing machines (and I sew with all of them all the time): an old Pfaf from the ´50 that used to belong to my grandmother, a Singer Tradition I bought last summer to sew knits (because the vintage Pfaf doesn’t like modern stretchy fabrics at all!) and a brand new Singer Serger I am completely in love with!

And here are five of my favorite blogs. (It was hard to pick only five!) So the award goes to…
3. Nutta!

And finally here are my questions:
A. What is your favorite and less favorite part of the sewing process?
B. Do you have any real life sewing friends?
C. Where would you like to go on your next summer vacation?
D. What is your family’s favorite meal or dish?
E. Five random facts about yourself.

And, because a blogpopst without photos is not a blog post, I’ve got a couple of skirts to show you. They were made with one of the wonderful fabrics my dear friend Asmita has sent me a couple of months ago so this is the perfect timing!
Isn’t this block printed / quilted fabric amazing (and gorgeous and special and unique...)?! I was completely in love with it since I opened the package my parents brought me from India. Yes, they were lucky enough to visit India and meet Asmita!  I wish I could have been there too…

Pattern: Self drafted (inspired by the wonderful Spin Skirt by Elegance and Elephants). For such a unique and busy fabric I wanted a very simple design so these skirts are not much more than a couple of simple rectangles sewn together. I’ve made a couple of skirts just like these last year and they have been worn again and again so I knew I could go wrong with this pattern.

Fabric: quilted /block printed cotton that came all the way from India and polka dot cotton from my local store. The skirts are reversible because the quilted fabric has lots of raw edges on the wrong side and I didn’t want that to show. I think the quilted cotton side will be worn most of the time but I might go for the polka dot side once or twice too. Reversible clothes are really fun!

Thank you so much Asmita for the Award and for the wonderful fabric you have sent me! (By the way, you can see all fabrics Asmita has sent me on my Instagram. Look for “martadoguincho”.)

domingo, 14 de dezembro de 2014


So today I am really happy to announce my giveaway winners!
I was so excited when I was at the rafflecopter page picking the winners that I got carried away and picked four winners instead of only two!
So the winners are:
1. Meg
2. Diana Pais
3. Isabel A.
4. Patrícia

I have already sent you a copy of the Bubble Shorts Pattern so check out your email, if you haven't done it yet.
And thank you so much to everyone that has participated!

terça-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2014


Yesterday Sew Mama Sew started her annual Giveaway Day.
I know I am a little bit late but I decided to join hundreds of bloggers, designers and shops and organize a little giveaway on my blog. Better late then never, right?!
So I am giving away 2 copies of my PDF pattern, the Bubble Shorts. The giveaway is opened to everyone in the world until  next Friday, December 12th, 12am GMT and winners will be announced on Monday, December 15th.
Good luck!
 Winter bubble shorts...
...or summer bubble shorts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh! And don't forget to head over Sew Mama Sew to check out all giveaways (here and here). Maybe you get really lucky and score some fabric to make the shorts...

domingo, 7 de dezembro de 2014


My good blogging friend Shino, from the sewing blog Nutta, has just opened a fabric shop where she sells gorgeous Japanese fabrics. I am so happy for her! And for us too because now we can buy super-ultra-special fabric from her.

I think I was one of her first costumers when, a couple of months ago, I bought this amazing quilted cotton. (I already have the perfect pattern for it so stay tuned!) Soon after that Shino contacted me asking if I would like to be part of her shop tour and, of course, I couldn’t say no. Since I had already bought fabric from her shop she also asked me if I wanted her to refund me from the money I had spent or if I would like her to give me another fabric. What a question?! Of course I wanted more fabric!

So I picked this amazing printed interlock. So special! So unique! I was in love!

Pattern: Hemlock Top by Elegance and Elephants (for Ines) and Climbing Flowers Tunic by Ottobre – Winter 2014 (for Teresa). Since I saw Rachel’s Hemlock tops I knew I wanted to make similar ones for my daughters and this was just the right fabric and print to do it. But Teresa wanted a simpler (no ruffles mum, please!) design… I knew I didn’t want to make just another regular tee so I picked Climbing Flowers Tunic from Ottobre’s new issue and turned it into a long sleeved tee.

Fabric: The “star fabric” is, of course, this printed interlock one from Nutta Fabric Shop. But the print is so special and strong I thought it would be nice to mix it with a bit of basic solid fabric. So, for Ines tee, I chose a mustard yellow cotton piquet thrifted from a man’s polo shirt bought at my local street market. But, once again, Teresa wanted something different… She wanted brown sleeves… So Teresa’s tee sleeves are made of cotton knit from my local store.

I have to say I like both shirts. And the best part is I get to dress my daughters in matching outfits, but each tee really express their styles right now: Ines is still quite a baby girl while Teresa already wants to be a pre-pre-teen…

Sewing with Nutta’s interlock was such a pleasure. You know I have just started sewing with knits and I have just bought a serger but these where such simple and fast garments to make even for a newbie…

So do you also feel like having a couple of meters of gorgeous Japanese fabric? You can win it here.
Then, after trying your luck, you can get inspired by all amazing creations on the fabric shop blog tour. Check them all out here! By the way, my friend Annika has picked the same fabric as me and made these super cozy pajamas for her daughter.
And finally, don’t forget to head over Nutta Fabric Shop and use the coupon code THANKS20 to save 20% off everything until December 8 (that’s tomorrow so hurry up!).

domingo, 26 de outubro de 2014


Teresa and Ines love Charlie and Lola books. And so do I! Lola is such a fun character and I absolutely adore the brother and sister relationship these two have. They are so sweet together. These books are entertaining and educational at the same time.
(Thank you so much Ines for the help with this photo! I couldn't have done it without you!)

And, of course, I love the way Lauren Child dresses her characters. Not only the illustrations are gorgeous and imaginative but also all clothes are simple, comfortable and stylish. So, as this season’s Kids Clothes Week theme is Storybook, I had to make a Lola dress.

The Pattern: The Norah Dress and Tunic by Mouse House Creations. I’ve been wanting to try this pattern since it as released and now I had the perfect opportunity! I loved sewing it and it was quite a simple and fun project to make. The pattern is impeccable and the instructions are spot on. I love the fitting and Teresa loves her new dress too.
Fabric/Notions: Main fabric is Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit and it was bought at my local quilting shop (Patch-Mania) on super sale. Lucky me as this is a gorgeous fabric! I love the colors and the way the plaid is printed on bias. For the collar I picked from my fabric stash a bit of white birdseye pique that I had left from these dresses I made a couple of weeks ago. The button at the back is vintage and was bought at a local street market (Mercado de Benfica) last winter.

And, you know what? I was not the only one making a Lola dress for KCW. My good friend Suz has also made this gorgeous Lola dress on the other side of the world. I wish I could find a bit of that vintage fabric on my local shop. Stunning, isn’t it?! Head over Sew Pony for more details!

terça-feira, 21 de outubro de 2014


If you have been following my blog I think you already know I love Elegance and Elephants Patterns. The Bubble Pockets Shorts (Heidi is improving this pattern and it will be available again very soon)was actually the first indie pattern I bought and it is still among my favorite designs! I’ve sewn my first pair of Bubble Pocket Shorts last summer and, a month later, I flipped them into rompers for Flip This Pattern contest. Then I’ve sewn this colorful Spin Skirt and it has turned out so simple but gorgeous… This pattern is now my “to go” pattern for simple skirts (I’ve got another pair on my cutting table right now!) Finally, this summer I made a Bohemian Babydoll for Teresa and love it! Once again a simple, well draft pattern that fits my daughters to perfection!

So when Heidi asked me to sew any pattern from her new Fall Collection I had to say yes!
The Pattern: The Hemlock Top by Elegance and Elephants. Since I am trying to start sewing with knits I picked the Hemlock Top but Teresa needed a knit dress she could wear during the winter with leggings so I’ve turned it into a short dress. I love the simple but stylish design of the pattern and this dress was so easy and fast to sew! As usually, Heidi’s instructions are perfect and, even if I am not very used to sew with knits, I think I did a great job with her help. I love the overall fitting and I have to confess I can’t wait to try the original pattern! I actually am waiting for some gorgeous fabric from this shop to arrive to start sewing!

Fabric/Notions: Main fabric is a nice polka dot knit in blue and turquoise from my local shop (Ouro Texteis) and, for a little bit of fun, I added a couple of details in a gorgeous Liberty of London woven fabric. While the shoulder ruffles are from the original pattern and are perfect, the kangaroo pocket is self-draft and, next time, I might have to make it slightly bigger…

It is still too hot in Portugal to wear long-sleeved dresses but I know this drees will be worn again and again in the cold winter days!
Finally, I've got good news: all Elegance and Elephants' patterns are on sale (1$ off) until October 24th. Use the coupon code TOUR at the check out!
(Enough photos, now!)

quinta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2014


A couple of months ago I received an email from my friends An and Suz asking me if I would like to join them on a series celebrating Marcel Marlier’s work. Of course I had to say yes! Anita’s books (that's the Portuguese name for Martine) were part of my childhood and are a great inspiration for the clothes I make for my daughters now.
Our public library has an amazing collection of vintage editions of Anita’s books so I went there for some inspiration last September (here is Teresa reading an Anita book and wearing a Debbie's dress). I knew I wanted to sew a dress for each of my daughters and, when I saw these two dresses, I thought they were perfect.
So my first thought was to make an exact copy of the dresses and then take some photos at the park with the right accessories.
(Teresa was really committed to play the book character but Ines not so much so this was the best photo I manage to take...)
But then I couldn’t help myself… These dresses were too classical! I needed to add something to make them look a little bit more edgy…  So I draft a couple of ideas and went back to my local store to get new zippers. Yellow zippers! (Thank you Ines and Sara for helping me on the difficult task of choosing the perfect color for the zippers when I was in between these two options!)
So my daughters look a lot like Anita and her friend here…
..but I don’t think Marcel Marlier would dress Anita and her friend like this.
The Pattern: Hanami Dress by Straightgrain. I love this pattern since I’ve tested last year. The fitting is perfect and it has so many gorgeous options. Besides changing the back invisible zipper for an exposed zipper I kept the pattern original and I think it fits right into Anita’s vintage style.

Fabric/Notions: All fabrics and notions are from my local shop. The white fabric on both dresses is cotton birdseye pique and the colored (red and blue) fabric is lightweight corduroy. I love working with these classical fabrics and I think they look really great together.

I hope you liked my Anita dresses. Teresa and Ines were delighted with them. The photo shoot took place at our wonderful local park that, I think, resemble a lot with the park in the book.  
And one little detail: I didn't cut Ines hear short for her to look more like Anita. A couple of weeks ago she cut her hair by herself and, when I took her to the hair saloon, they told me this was the only way they could fix what she had done. But it was perfect for this photo shoot!


An ans Suz had put together a nice giveaway with some wonderful prizes. Feel free to take part on the rafflecopter below.
And don't forget to check out all other amazing creations on this series! As you can see below I was lucky enough to be posting my creation on the same day as Caro from La cabane d'Elilou. She makes incredible clothes for her and her kids so don't forget to head over her blog and delight yourself with her Marcel Marlier creation.