segunda-feira, 25 de abril de 2016


The first PDF pattern I ever bought was an Elegance and Elephants pattern, the Bubble Pocket Shorts, and since then I have become a great fan of Heidi’s designs. So, of course, I had to try the new Mori Dress
PATTERN: Mori Dress by Elegance and Elephants. I felt in love with the Mori when I saw this beautiful photo Heidi shared on IG. Such a cute and girly design… Then I checked the details and loved it even more when I discovered it was a pullover dress with no back enclosure. That little detail makes it such a fast sew and also makes it super easy for my girls to put it on and off without my help. So, when Heidi asked me if I would like to take part of her tour I had to say yes. I made a tunic in size six for Teresa, though she turned 8 last November, as that was the appropriate size for her chest measurement and the fitting is perfect! I made no changes to the original pattern but I had to skip the back tie as I could not find the right ribbon and didn’t feel like making ties from the tunic fabric.

FABRIC: Love Birds by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods (outer fabric) and grey/white striped cotton (lining fabric). Sometimes I love a print but I am not so sure I like the final garment made with that print. That’s exactly what happened with this quilting cotton! Maybe it is too bold… Maybe it drapes the wrong way because it is quilting cotton… Maybe my kids are already too old for this kind of prints… I really don’t know! Anyway, I mixed it with some lovely striped fabric from my local shop (Park dos Tecidos) and matching pompon trim and Teresa loved it so I guess that’s enough for me! But I think next time I will try this pattern with some nice white linen for a softer look…

Another detail I love about this pattern is the lined shoulder ruffles (is this the appropriate name?). They are great to play with fabric combinations and they are way faster to sew then if they were hemmed. Plus, when working with quilting cotton you don't ever see the ugly non printed inside of the fabric. Perfect!

So, don’t forget to check the other Mori Dresses and Tunics on the tour and remember you can get your copy of the pattern at Elegance and Elephants store with 10% discount until midnight (PST) on April 30 with the code MORITOUR.
And finally, I would love to share with you my other Elegance and Elephants creations as they are still among my (and my daughters’) favorite garments: the Bubble Pockets Shorts and the Bubble Pockets Shorts turned into rompers (with a tutorial), the Spin Skirt, the Bohemian Babydoll, the Hemlock Top and the Hemlock Top turned into dress. Enjoy!

sexta-feira, 8 de abril de 2016


One of the greatest things about sewing isn’t actually sewing related… It is the pleasure of being part of an incredible international community made from talented, generous and fun people.

Supporting each other, sharing our knowledge and having fun is what this sewing community is all about. So when Celina and Ines contacted me to ask if I would like to take part of this surprise for our friend Mie I was delighted. (I was also a bit freighted but we will get back to that later…)

Mie is quite amazing! Not only is she an amazing seamstress (check out her blog and delight yourself with her gorgeous creations) but she is also an amazing friend. She knows so much about sewing and she is always willing to share her knowledge. That’s why our surprise is entitled: “What I learnt from Mie!”

I have learned many, many things with Mie! But one remains in my mind the most: she showed me how to line jackets. I remember us talking through Messenger… This is a tricky technic and it took me quite a while to understand it but she didn’t give up!

So on the video, the girls and I are all wearing nice lined jackets I made and I have some more photos of the girls’ jackets to share with you today. (I will try to blog about my jacket one day…)

PATTERN: View Q from the Japanese book Girly Style Wardrobe (check all projects in this book here). The only thing I have to say about this pattern is: I love it! Well, I actually didn’t like that the jacket was not lined… But with Mie’s help that little issue was easily solved. As Japanese patterns don’t have seam allowances, creating the pattern pieces for facing and lining was piece of cake. I know adding seam allowances is a pain but if you are into customizing existing patterns is makes everything much easier and fast. Since I was lining the jackets I also decided to add a little trim where the lining and outer fabrics meet. It is a nice way to smoothly change from one fabric to the other and gives the garment a special touch.

FABRIC: Outer fabric: wool blend fabric from Traetela. Lining fabric: rayon from my local shop Feira dos Tecidos. The outer polka dot fabric is so special… It was given to me by my good friend Rita last year and I am so glad I used it for these jackets. The quality is great! Teresa and Ines have been wearing them almost daily for 5 months and they are still looking pretty good. For the lining I picked a nice viscose to give the jackets a warmer felling. It was my first time working with viscose and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. But I am glad I started working with this fabric for the inside of the garment. Though Mie is totally right when she says the inside should look as nice as the outside of a garment…

And that gets me back to the purpose of this post… The video for Mie! I was so freighted about having to shoot a small video. I am glad I could have my daughters’ help as I think I would not make it all alonee. But now I am so glad I did it!
As usually, Celina made a wonderful job putting together the testimonials of these super talented ladies:
Celina . Petit à Petit and Family, Abby . Sew Much Ado, Rita . Conversas de Hermanas, Heidi . Handmade Frenzy, Olu . Needle and Ted, An . StraightGrain, Jenya . While she was sleeping, Trine . Groovy Baby and Mama, Andreia . In a Manner of Sewing, Jess . Sewing Rabbit, Hayley . Welcome to the Mouse House, Marta . Do Guincho, Maria . My Cozy Co, Natalie . La Gang à Nat, Holli . Hello Holli, Erin . Erin Always, Olga . Coffee and Thread, Delia . Delia Creates, Alida . Alida Makes, Gabriela . Chalk and Notch, Victoria . As it Seams, Rachel . Stitched Together, Chelise . Chelise Patternson, Emi . Just Add Fabric, Inês . La Folie

Check out the video, have fun and… THANK YOU MIE!

sexta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2016


Today I’ve got a beautiful dress to show you: The Eleena Dress!

This is actually the first dress I’ve sewn for Teresa for quite some time as she isn’t much into dresses anymore. And you know what? She is in love with it. She might even go back to liking dresses again just because of her new Eleena…

PATTERN: The Eleena Dress by Coffee and Thread. This is such a cute little vintage dress! I love it! This kind of dresses were very popular in the sixties and I even got an old pattern – sent all the way from New Zealand by my friend Constança - for a very similar design. But vintage patterns come in one size only, so I am glad Olga decided to launch the Eleena Dress so I can make it in every single size I need! Plus, the Eleena has some really nice sleeve options – flutter sleeves, short sleeves and long sleeves – and that makes it perfect for every season. There is also an option for a pretty collar and a contrasting central panel that will allow you to play with fabric. The dress is quite a-line shaped so it swings beautifully. I think that little detail was actually the one that made me want to sew it for my kids…

Since I had already seen so many amazing versions of the “original” dress (check #eleenadress on IG to be amazed), I’ve decided to play a little bit with the pattern and make something slightly different… I started with the collarless long sleeved version with continuous front panel and then hacked it a little bit: I’ve cut the skirt into two pieces and used a bright yellow contrasting piece of fabric for the bottom part, replaced the back invisible zipper for a big and long exposed zipper and the lining for a little neck facing (because my chambray is quite stiff and I thought the lining might make the top part of the dress too bulky), I’ve lengthen the sleeve a couple of inches (about 5cm) to properly accommodate Teresa’s very long arms and shorted the overall length again about a couple of inches as I like my kids dresses to be quite short.

FABRIC: Denim chambray and solid yellow cotton, both from my local shops (chambray from Feira dos Tecidos and Solid Yellow from Park dos Tecidos). I´ve got this thing for color blocking… I just love these simple designs in nice bright contrasting colors! But in Portugal, especially in winter time, kids wear mostly dark colors and sometimes – especially when I look at school or birthday photos – I feel like my daughters look  a little bit like aliens… I just hope they will not be traumatized adults because I make their clothes! But I am almost sure they will only wear black in their teens!

Don't forget to check out the other creations on the tour:

February, 22 
February, 24
February, 26
February, 29
March, 2
March, 4
March, 7
The Eleena dress is on sale for only $7 until March 7th and you can get it here! 
Olga has also put together a great giveaway were you can win Coffee and Thread two patterns and one yard of Sara Jane fabric.Try your luck on the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

segunda-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2016


Hi everyone! Are you still there? I hope you are…

I can’t believe I am blogging! Actually, I can’t believe I am blogging without a deadline or a commitment! But I am…

So I have been blogging a lot less but I must tell you I have been sewing a lot! This winter I have bought noting besides shoes and underwear for my kids and I am so happy about it. I love to see them wearing me made clothes and I feel good about not having to buy really cheap clothes that I don’t know how – and by whom – were made.

But that’s not all. I’ve been also busy sharing my passion for sewing as I have just started teaching at a couple of my local sewing shops. It has been the most wonderful experience and I hope I can keep doing it in the years to come. That leads me to the project I am sharing with you today since my first workshops were based on the book Happy Homemade: Sew Chick Kids…


PATTERN: View A from the book Happy Homemade: Sew Chick Kids by Ruriko Yamada. The original pattern is actually for a dress but, since the patterns in this book have all the same base, I mixed it with View C and created a tunic. I know it is a pain to add seam allowances on Japanese patterns but that’s also why they are so easy to mix and match and to customize according to our taste or idea. I think that’s actually one of the reason why I love them so much. As you can see, the pattern is perfect. It can be worn both in cooler days with a turtle neck unearned or on its own in sunny warmer days. The little opening at the back is quite tricky to make but the instructions are perfect and, with some patience, it isn’t that difficult to make. Besides that, all sewing steps are quite easy and the overall result is so cute! I think I might need to make many more for the summer time…

FABRIC: Flower printed denim chambray. I bought this fabric with my friend Ana Sofia at a local children’s store that was going out of business. (Thank you so much for the tip Rita!) It was a bargain and the quality is amazing.

Ines is also wearing a store bought turtle neck (got it last year!) and a pair of flared denim trousers I have designed. I actually need to blog about these trousers… I it a super simple pattern but I absolutely adore the way they fit. Plus, Ines loves how comfy they are.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope I will be back soon.

Meanwhile, you can what I have been making on my Instagram.

PS. Do you also like to sew with Japanese patterns? Well, Mie from the blog Sewing Like Mad has started a fun challenge for you: Sew Japan with Mie. Check it out at Celina’s blog Petit aPetit and Family!

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!