quinta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2015


A couple of years ago, buying sewing books and magazines (besides Burda and its impossible to understand instructions!) in Portugal was almost impossible. So, last year, when my sewing bloggers friends and I saw the first Ottobre Magazine on the Portuguese newsstands we were absolutely thrilled! Right away we had the idea of celebrating the arrival of one of our favorite sewing mags to Portugal by organizing a sewing tour. Then life got on its way and we never actually did it…

Back in September someone in the group pointed out that we might have another chance to put together the tour as Ottobre was celebrating its 15th birthday this month. No excuses now and here we go!

For me Ottobre is all about knits! Though the magazine always has a couple of really nice patterns for woven fabrics, I think their knit patterns are the ones that catch my eye. So today I have a couple of knit dresses to share with you.

Let’s start with Ines:

PATTERN: Olive Star from Ottobre 3/2014 (summer edition). I must say I am in love with this pattern! Easy to sew, easy to wear,… What more can I ask for? The pattern is actually almost the same as the one I have used for this tee but the bodice is slightly more a-line shaped and, of course, it has a gathered skirt attached. I love the way the neckline is finished! The snaps give an extra touch to the overall design and are super convenient. Actually, this pattern is perfect for not so stretchy fabrics. Because I have made the skirt in a contrasting woven fabric, I have changed slightly the way the skirt is sewn to the bodice. The bodice has a fake hem and it looks like the skirt is behind it. This is such a simple detail! But I think it looks quite nice. Hope you like it too! (Actually, hope you can spot it on my pictures…)

FABRIC: Octoberama Fall interlock knit by Charlie Harper for Birch Fabrics (for the bodice) and grey, slightly stretchy woven cotton (for the skirt). It was my first time sewing with Birch interlock knits and I loved it! Super soft fabrics, with a nice drape and gorgeous designs. I have a couple more in my stash and I think I might need to put them on top of my “to sew” list right away. The grey woven is also from my stash – don’t you love when you can make an outfit with stuff from your stash? – and, though I can’t remember where I bought it, I wish I did as I would love to get more…

What about Teresa’s tunic? Well, I have cut Teresa’s dress about one year ago when we first talked about the Ottobre tour so I am glad I was finally pushed to finish it. Off course, I am also glad it still fitted her…

PATTERN: Flycatcher from Ottobre 3/2014 (summer edition). I’ve been willing to sew this dress/tunic from the moment I saw in on the mag. It is such a nice and special design! I was a bit afraid that it might be too difficult to sew but it was actually quite easy and fast. My only issue was finishing the neckline properly… As you can see my neckline is a little bit wavy but that’s totally my fault as the pattern asked for rib knit neckband and I have used the main fabric to make it instead.

FABRIC: I think this fabric is an interlock double knit pique but I am not sure… I got it at my local store – Feira dos Tecidos – and I think it was the first piece of knit I have ever bough! It has an interesting texture and I love the color. This interlock was nice to sew - except for that neckband of course… - and I it has the perfect drape for this pattern.
Sorry for the lack of photos on this post but, as you can see on the photos bellow, Teresa and Ines were more interested in playing in the playground than in posing for photos for their mother's blog...

Now for the fun part: the giveaway! Yeah!

Ottobre was incredible nice to sponsor a huge giveaway to delight our readers. Use the rafflecopter below for a chance to win five one year subscriptions for kid+women’s issues and one 50 euros fabric gift card at Ottobre etsy shop. But that’s not all! You can also win one 30 euros fabric gift card at Maças d’Amor, a wonderful Portuguese online fabric shop, curtesy of all tour participants.

By the way, don't forget to check out the other participants’ creations as they are all super talented ladies. Here they are:
Carla . Rita Pirolita
Sara . Made by Sara
Constança . Saidos da Concha
Marta . Pico Pico
Ana Sofia . S is for Sewing
Soraia . Sew Happy
Magda . House of Estrela

a Rafflecopter giveaway

terça-feira, 15 de setembro de 2015


After 13 weeks of summer break, school finally starts next week!
Ines just turned six and will start primary school. She will be a first grader!
But then why is "Sewing for Kindergarden" this blogpost's title? Well, that's
Sewing Like Mad annual sewing series and - guess what? - I got a wildcard to participate this year. Let me explain why: since kindergarten is not mandatory in Portugal, though most kids attend day care from a very early age (as there are not many stay at home mums around here), "real" school starts at the age of six with year one of primary school.

Mie has put together a little fun questionnaire for all participants and I will mix my unswers to her questions with some details about the clothes I have sewn for Ines.

First of all, a little introduction to what I have made. I've tried to put together an interchangeable and comfortable wardrobe. I wanted the clothes to be wearable (almost) all year round and I wanted them to be easy to year. I still need to sew a couple of denim trousers and a nice cardi, some tees and a warmer hoodie but I think this is quite a nice starting point.

(Aren't Ines' shoes so sweet? They are from a new Portuguese brand, Coolis. Check all colors available at Coolis online shop.)

Pattern: View D from Vêtements Amples à Superposer by Mayuko Murata (Sunny Spot). When my friend Carla showed me this book I felt in love with this pattern. I have actually already sewn a couple of pinafores like this for Teresa last year, though they have never made the blog. All patterns in this book are amazing! (Here is another one.)I wish I had time to sew them all. But what I like the most about them is their "layerbility". Ines can wear this pinafore in the winter or in the summer and she will be cool a stylish.
Fabric: Xoxo Plummy Silver Metallic by Rachida Coleman Hale for Cotton+Steel. This is such a gorgeous fabric! The silver crosses are the perfect detail. Love it! And so does Ines!

- Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? If not what number child is this?
Ines is child number two. Teresa was the first one two years ago.

Pattern: Kid Shorts by Made mixed with Kids Pants also by Made. I bought the Kids Shorts pattern when it was released because I had sewn the Kids Pants before and loved the fit but then I end up never actually sewing the shorts. Now I needed pants so I kind of mixed the two patterns (Kids Pants is a free pattern and it comes in only one size that doesn't fit ines anymore) and I am really happy with the way they fit too. I have changed one thing to the original pattern: I have made a separated waistband because I think it looks better and more polished this way. The pockets are really cool, though you can not see it very well as the fabric is very dark.
Fabric: Slightly stretchy denim from my local store (Feira dos Tecidos). This denim is really nice. Super soft and, as it is slightly stretchy, really comfortable. The pockets and waistband are lined with a really nice dotted quilting cotton. I forgot to take photos but, trust me, this little details really make me feel good about sewing my kids' clothes.

- Do you feel like crying or celebrating?
I feel like celebrating! This year the kids had 13 weeks of summer break so I think both of us are ready to see other people… As much as I like being with my daughters, I also need to have some time for myself. Plus, I remember loving to go back to school after the summer break so I recall it as a happy time of the year.

Pattern: City Gym Shorts by The Purl Bee. I have actually sewn this shorts I. July and they have been worn over and over again. Super nice FREE pattern. I must try the adult size one day...
Fabric: Cotton Chambray Dark Blue by Merchant and Mills. I got this fabric at The Craft Company and it is such a nice quality fabric. I feel lucky to be able to have a local store with such special stuff. The bias is from Liberty and it adds a nice detail to this shorts.

- And what about your child, does she feels like crying or celebrating ?
She feels like celebrating too! Ines is a super social kid and she loves to play and learn. She is actually super excited about starting to read. During the summer break she has asked me several times when would school start and both Teresa and Ines are counting the days for school to beguin so they can see again their school friends.

Pattern: Star Snap from Ottobre 3/2014 (tee) and Montparnasse from Ottobre 4/2010 (hoodie). When it comes to knits you can't go wrong with Ottobre! Though the instructions aren't as detailed as in PDF patterns, the fitting is always perfect. From now on I think I will sew a lot more with knits so you will see a lot more Ottobre designs around here. Let me know if you have any favorite one!
Fabric: French Terry from my local store (Feira dos Tecidos). I have actually bought this fabric in Porto on my day trip to the city with some sewing friends last July (do you remember Andreia, Constança, Diana and Sara? We must do it again!) Isn't the print gorgeous? It almost looks like a watercolor.

- What kind of school does your child attend? (public, charter, private, homeschool)
Ines will attend the local public school. This will be her second year in this school as last year she was at the school’s kindergarten. We both love this school! It is a very small school with only two kindergarten classes and four primary classes (one per year). The staff is super nice and the atmosphere is relaxed and homely. It is quite close to our home and hopefully we will be able to cycle to school many times!

Pattern: Vest on page 14 (sewing lesson) from Cucito Winter 2014. (I am glad the blog Japanese Sewing Books has reviewed this issue!)This is such a cute pattern. Look at the collar. Perfect, isn't it? And the instructions, with nice diagrams and photos, are so easy to follow even of you can't understand a word. I got this mag at a Japanese store in Paris last spring. As I went inside there were so many books and magazines I got overwhelmed and only got this one. You can't imagine how much I regret it now!
Fabric: Grey Wool Melton from Urban Sew. This is the perfect fabric for this vest (you might want to check out the collar once again...) as it is stif enough but super soft at the same time. I love the color, a grayish blue. Thank you so much Janice for your generous offer! The bias tape is from Liberty, once again. You can't go wrong with Liberty, right? It just adds the perfect detail to a simple garment! I need to thank my good friend Sacha from The Craft Company for helping me picking the perfect print to go with the wool melton. I just love this vest!

- Question to your kindergartner: What has been the best and worst part so far?
Ines hasn’t started her classes yet. She will only start next Monday so we will have to wait for her opinion…

Oh! I can't believe I have sewn all this! And I can't believe Ines has modeled all this clothes for me! She was such a brave girl! We actually had fun during this photo shoot as Teresa was pretending to be a "top model personal assistant", always brushing Ines hear and making sure she looked nice on the photos.

Don't forget to check out all other participants in this series and you will be amazed and inspired.
Thank you Mie for the wildcard!

terça-feira, 11 de agosto de 2015


Oh, why didn’t I sew when my kids were babies?! Sewing baby clothes is so much fun! The clothes are so tiny and cute… And it is so easy to make a nice garment from the smallest piece of fabric ever…

So Laura’s baby shower was the perfect excuse to sew this romper for her newborn girl, Willow. I just hope they both like it as much as I do!

PATTERN: Pelele para Bebé by Oh! Mother of Mine! This is one of many free patterns available on this Spanish blog. There is a nice video tutorial (in Spanish, though…) and the pattern pieces are easily downloadable. This was actually quite an easy and fun project to sew! I can’t really tell you much about the fitting, as such a tiny little piece of clothing would never fit my daughters, but it looks a lot like the rompers they used to wear when they were babies. I just hope it fits Willow…

FABRIC: YAYDay . Pretty Floral . by Emily Isabella for Birch Fabrics. I think this was the first piece of organic cotton I ever bough and I still love it! The colors are bright but not too bright. The design is simple but super special. Perfect for a baby girl!

Since a blog post without one of my daughters in not a real blogpost, I have asked Ines if she would help me today (I caught her on her way to the pool!). She is wearing a shirt I made two years ago with the same fabric and never blog about, I think… The pattern for this shirt is from the Japanese book Girls Style Book (View B) and it is so cute!

And as this blogging community is such an amazing group of friends, you have to check out what these lovely girls have sewn for Willow. I bet you will be super inspired!

domingo, 19 de julho de 2015


Alice in Wonderland book is 150 years this year and my good friend Sara from Made by Sara has put together a wonderful series to commemorate it. Of course I am delighted to have been invited to join a tremendously talented group of bloggers in this series and to share my Alice inspire outfit with all of you.

I must admit I have never read the book and I am not too familiar with the story or its characters but I was so amazed and inspired with Sara’s Pinterest board that I’ve decided to search a little more and now I think I might have to buy the book and read it during this summer vacation.

What about my Alice outfit? First of all I wanted to make something Teresa would actually wear this summer. I didn’t want one more dress. I wanted to sew everyday cool and wearable clothes. So this outfit is actually kind of a collage of many things that inspired me while I was checking Alice pins at Pinterest:

. Tweedledee and Tweedledum black and white stripes,

. White Rabbit ears,

. Playing card palace guards (the green version!)

. And, most of all, the wonderful Alice quotes!

Is it “Alicy” enough? I don’t really know but I like it anyway…

PATTERNS: Twisted Tank by Titchy Threads (untwisted version), Montparnasse Hoodie by Ottobre Magazine 4/2010 (the hood was slightly modified so I could add the rabbit ears) and City Gym Shorts by Purl Bee (I have used the bias tape as facing on these shorts because I wanted them to be as simple as possible). All patterns are absolutely amazing! The untwisted version of the Twisted Tank and the City Gym Short have become my favorite patterns for this summer (I’ve made so far 3 tanks and 5 pair of shorts!) and I think I will sew a couple more of Montparnasse hoodies next fall…

FABRIC: The tank and the hoodie were made in matching black and white striped knit (can you believe this is the same fabric An has used for this series too? We have actually bought it together on our trip to Paris!) While the hood and its ears are lined with a bit of green cotton with some minuscule playing cards black and white clovers and pikes I found on the remnant bin at my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos), the tank has a wonderful Alice quote printed in light blue. The shorts are made with so black denim I found at my local store (Ouros Texteis, Cascais) and it is super soft. The bias tape is blue, to match Alice’s dress and – sorry, I forgot to take photos! - I have also used a bit of the green playing cards fabric on the waistband facing.

But that’s not all! Sara is such a sweet girls, she has put together a giveaway for you. Try your luck on the rafflecopter below and you might win 7 PDF patterns!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to check out the other Alice in Wonderland crations. You will find some pretty amazing clothes!

Monday July 13th ||  Kid Approved  |  Call Ajaire
Tuesday July 14th ||  Sew Country Chick  |  Feathers Flights  |  StraightGrain
Wednesday July 15th ||  Sewpony  | As It Seams  |  Dotta
Thursday July 16th ||  Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy Crafts  |  Brooklyn Pattern Co.  |  Pienkel
Friday July 17th  ||  While She Was Sleeping  |  My Cozy Co. |  Girl Like The Sea
Sunday July 19th ||  Paisley Roots  |  La Inglesita  |  DoGuincho

terça-feira, 14 de julho de 2015


Today I am really happy to be part of the Dear Prudence Pattern Tour! Dear Prudence is the latest pattern designed by my good friend Suz and, like all other Sew Pony patterns, it is absolutely gorgeous!
PATTERN: Dear Prudence by Sew Pony.  Are you into unique and special designs with a touch of vintage style and some cool technics that might challenge you just a bit? Then this is a pattern for you! The ultra-complete instructions will guide you through out the all process and you might learn a couple of things while sewing your Dear Prudence.
What have I learned? I am happy to tell you that this pattern made me face an old fear of mine: shrinking shirring! It was actually my first time shrinking shirring with elastic thread and, though my shrinking shirring is far from perfect yet, I think it is quite acceptable for a beginner... I hope I can master this technic really fast as I love it and want to use it more often. (Thank you Suz for helping me  distinguish shrinking from shirring!)

For Teresa’s dress, I chose the cap sleeve option and I have only changed three things to the original design: 1. Instead of 9cm of shrinking lines, I have sewn only about 5cm because, as I told you before, I was afraid of shrinking! 2. I’ve hemmed the dress with piping because somehow I messed with the dress length and didn’t have enough fabric to make a regular double folded hem… 3. I added a belt. I don’t really know why I did it (because I do like the dress the way it is) but it just felt right! Maybe it was because I was using a solid color fabric. Anyway, I think the belt looks nice and Teresa and she likes it too.
Teresa was the one picking the hat for this photo shoot. She is starting to like to take photos! Should I be happy about it or not?... I really don't know if I am happy about it...
FABRIC: White cotton from a bed sheet I bought long ago at Zara Home. This is a super soft fabric with some nice little wrinkles (I’m afraid you can´t see them on the pictures…). Nothing special but Teresa wanted a white dress so I had to make her a white dress. As I was afraid the white cotton might be slightly see-through, my Dear Prudence is fully lined with some white voile from my local shop too. All notions were found on my very big notions stash (don’t you love when that happens?!): both piping and buttons are vintage and the belt buckle was bought on my trip to Copenhagen at Hadler Tekstiler, a great haberdashery in the city center.  

I hope you liked my Dear Prudence! Now please check all other gorgeous dresses from the pattern tour and, if you feel inspired to make one – as I am sure you will!-, don’t forget to use the code PRUDENCE15 to get 15% discount on your pattern.

And for more inspiration check out my Paris Sew Social post. There you will find a quite free approach to this pattern…