segunda-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2015


It’s Refashion Month at House of Estrela and I am really happy to be, once again, part of this series. Last time I made a top for Teresa with a shirt I used to love and this time I am sharing a shirt for me made with a piece of nice cotton from a bed sheet I bought several years ago. (I told you on my last post you were going to see a lot more selfish sewing around here, right?)
Pattern: View B from the Japanese book Stylish Dress Book. I love Japanese sewing books! I love the design of the garments, the styling and even the instructions. But I still don’t know if Japanese clothes really fit my body type… (I hope they do!) Anyway, I had to try this pattern as the sleeves looked so cool… Before hemming the shirt I decided to try it on and it didn't feel quite right. Though the shoulder line was spot on, the shirt was so big, long and wide on me! I decided to cut almost 10cm/4 inches in length and a 5cm/2 inches on each side of the bodice. I don’t know if this was the right decision… I don’t know if the fitting is better this way… I have so much to learn when it comes to women’s clothing! (I have a lot to learn about children’s clothing, too, I must add!)
Fabric: White woven cotton from a bed sheet I bought at Zara Home. Good quality bed sheets (bought for nice prices on sale!) are great for clothes too! They are especially good to make “wearable muslins” (here is the first one I made and still wear a lot.) Since I am just starting to make clothes for me and never know if a pattern is going to work, this is a great way to try a pattern without ruining my best fabric but still getting a nice piece of clothing. One more detail about the shirt: the bias tape on the neckline and sleeves is store bought and I had it on my stash for years. The original design doesn’t feature bias tape on the sleeves but they were so short I thought they would look nice this way.

 As you can see, unlike Teresa and Ines, I don’t feel very comfortable in front of the camera… These were the best photos I could pick and I hope you like them more then I do!

Today is just the first day of Refashion Week so stay tuned for all creations that will pop up at House of Estrela during the week.  And don’t forget to head over Pequeno Mundo a 3 and see what Patricia has refashioned…

terça-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2015


The kids went back to school today so I finally have a couple of minutes to blog. We had a wonderful holiday as the weather in Portugal has been absolutely great these last few weeks. We went to the beach almost daily and I got to sew a little bit after the kids were in bed.

I’ve made a couple of tunics, dresses and shorts for Teresa and Ines but today I want to share with you a super simple, fast and easy dress I made for myself. I am so excited!

Pattern: View 13 from the book Drape, Drape by Hisako Sato.

I saw this book for the first time a year and a half ago at a bookstore in Copenhagen and immediately feel in love with it! But I didn’t buy it right away as I thought sewing for me and sewing with knits was a bigger challenge than I could handle… But a few months ago I started doing both things and I am loving it. So when my friend Carla told me our local bookstore had this book in Portuguese (it’s the Brazilian version but it is quite easy to understand) I was thrilled! I think Carla was as excited as I was and decided to surprise me and sent me a copy. Thank you so much!

I love every single pattern in the book (though I am not sure some of them will go with my body type…) but I picked the one that seemed the easiest to start with: a very, very lose racer back dress. Because I am still not and expert with knits I made a small change to the original pattern: instead of finishing the collar and armholes with a bit of matching knit bias tape, I used my serger to make some simple and super fast hems. I kind of like it this way too though I think I will try to use bias tape next time as the dress looks a little bit sturdier with it.

Fabric: Gray knit form my local store (Feira dos Tecidos). There is not much to say about this fabric… It works quite nicely for this dress and I love the color!

So I hope you are willing to see more grown-up clothes as I am willing to sew a lot more for me in 2015! Happy New Year!

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!