sexta-feira, 13 de março de 2015

I’ve sewn baby clothes for the first time! And it was fun. Really fun!

My blogging friend Patricia is expecting a baby girl and some Portuguese bloggers/seamstress decided to put together a baby shower for her with some handmade gifts. A fun idea, right? And the perfect excuse to sew sweet little clothes…

I’ve made a jumper for her (very) soon to be born daughter and a dress for her oldest girl, the adorable Miss Caracolinhos. I’ve also made a softie for them to share (or fight about… How knows!)
PATTERNS: Romper: selft drafted, Dress: View A nº4 from the book Vêtements Amples à Superposer by Mayuko Murata, Softie: Henry & Helga Elephant Plushies free pattern by Christina McKinney for Birch Fabrics Blog

FABRICS: Main fabric is a right flowered red cotton from a baby bed sheet I found on a Zara Home sale. Zara Home has some wonderful prints and I always visit the store at the end of each season hopping to find great bargains. For the romper’s lining I’ve used a white and red pocka dot fabric I had on my stash. The snaps are from Kam. (Oh! I love my kam pliers!)
The romper. I’ve only started sewing when my kids were toddlers so I didn’t have any baby clothes pattern I could use. So I went to my basement, picked one of my daughters’ baby rompers and drafted the pattern myself. I just hope the fitting is right as I have no one at home that will ever fit into such a small piece of clothing. The romper if fully lined with contrasting polka dot cotton fabric and has snaps both in the back and between the leg openings so it is easy to dress and undress as well as to change diapers. This was such an easy and fun garment to sew…
The dress. I love to dress my daughters in matching outfits so I had to make a matching dress for Miss Caracolinhos. I also love to see little girls dressed in simple girly dresses. So I made a spring dress with puff sleeves and gathered skirt. Simple as that! The book is a French version of a Japanese sewing book and I have to say I am in love with all patterns in this book. All clothes are stylish and wearable at the same time. Unlike the romper, the dress is not lined so I’ve finished the neckline with blue bias tape. But, like the romper, the back closes with bright red snaps.
The softie. I had already made a softie like this for my friend Asmita. This is such a great free pattern! It comes in two sizes but I have sewn the largest one both times and it is perfect. The elephant body is made with the polka dot fabric and its ears are made with the flowered fabric as I didn’t have much left after making the clothes…
And why didn’t I have any fabric left? Because Ines begged me to sew a dress for her too! And she also made me sew another romper and elephant to give to her school teacher that just had a baby girl, I must add…

Don't Forget to visit my friends' blogs and check all amazings things they have sewn for Patricias's baby shower:

terça-feira, 3 de março de 2015


Last December, Patricia from the blog Pequeno Mundo a 3 had the greatest idea ever: she decided to ask several Portuguese bloggers if they would like to make a Christmas gifts for the kids living in a Charity named Mum's & Kids , a nonprofit association that helps and shelters mothers and their kids. This was the kind of thing I was willing to do for long time so I immediately said yes.
Patricia created a spreadsheet for us to choose the kid we were going to sew for but, as usually, I was late signing in and all children were already taken. So I thought their mothers would also be glad to receive a Christmas gift and I made infinity scarf. Who doesn't like a soft and colorful infinity scarf?!
PATTERN: Infinity Scarf by Imagine Gnats. I love infinity scarfs! And Rachel has put together such a great tutorial with all the tips there is to easily make them. I love that these scarfs are all sewn from the wrong side so there are no raw edges showing on the finished garment. Perfect easy and fast project to sew and perfect piece of garment to wear!
(I had lost my dummy's "neck cover" when I took the photos but I am glad I have already found it. So sorry for the photos!)
FABRIC: Solid knits from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). I went fabric shopping with my blogging friends Ines and Rita and we all thought these fabrics were perfect for infinity scarfs. They are soft and have a beautiful drape. Plus, I had lots of fun matching the colors…
The Christmas cards were made with a helpful hand from my daughter Teresa. She was really fund of this project! And so was I!
 And don't forget to check all gorgeous clothes my blogging friends made:
Ana Sofia
Maria João


quarta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2015


So, as promised on my last post, I have another free pattern to share with you today. This time I have flipped it a bit so it could be worn in cooler winter days.
PATTERN: Sunny Days Shorts by Oliver and S. I love Oliver and S patterns! Even their free patterns are exceptional and this one is no exception. Super clear instructions that actually look like a sewing lesson! Though I think I would make a couple of adjustments at the crotch if I would sew pants or shorts with this pattern, its loose fit is perfect for pajamas.

FABRIC: Flower printed flannel from my local shop (Park dos Tecidos). I had this flannel on my stash for years! It is really soft and I love the print. I just hope it ages nicely and doesn’t peal much…

(This last photo as nothing to do with the pajama pants but I thought it was so cute!)
All this photos were edit with PicMonkey (thanks for the advise Ines!) and, as I am just starting to learn how to work with this softwear, if you have any advise please let me know!

sexta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2015


I am so happy to be, once again, part of Flip this Pattern! This is such a fun and inspirational series and Emily and Ashley are making such a great job by adding new challenges all the time...


So this month's challenge is to use free patterns. Great challenge, right? There are so many fantastic free patterns out there that, for me, the biggest challenge was actually choosing just one or two. So today I am showing you a tunic and a skirt but I must admit I have sewn also a pair of pajama trousers, a tee and an infinity scarf. I will try to photograph and blog about these projects next week so stay tuned!
But now let's get back to what I have to share with you today...

PATTERN: Simple Skirt by MADE for the skirt. Dana's simple elastic band skirt was my first ever sewing project so I had to make a skirt like this for Flip this Pattern! Though I wanted to keep it simple, I did add a couple of details to the original pattern for a little bit of extra fun factor. So not only the skirt is lined but also has deep side pockets. Never the less it was an easy and fast project.
Sweet Tea Tunic by Shwin & Shwin for the tunic. As soon as I saw the pattern for this tunic I felt in love! Such a simple but great design! The deep neckline at the back is so lovely... Though I haven't actually flipped this pattern I did change a bit the construction of the tunic, omitting the lining on the yoke, as I wanted the neckline and armhole to be finished with piping. I love the loose fitting of this tunic and I can't wait for warmer days to arrive so Ines can wear it without the turtle neck.

FABRIC: The skirt is made of bright red corduroy and lined with white and red polka dot chambray. I had just a little bit left of this corduroy so, to make it work, I had to cut it cross grain for the pockets. Sometimes these "challanges" make the garments look even more special (though you can not tell from the photos as it is such a small detail. Sorry! Better photos next time, maybe...)
For the tunic I mixed a bit of very lightweight denim with a beautiful printed linen from MissMatatabi (leftover from this project I made last September.) I love these two fabrics together! The piping was bought in Lisbon and it is vintage. I was going to buy simple red piping but them I spotted this one and knew I had to change my idea.

Thank you so much Emily and Ashley for this invitation!
And, I almost forgot, I have a couple of free tutorials too. Don't forget to check them out!

quarta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2015


It’s time for Kids Clothes Week and I am so excited to have been able to sew, photograph and blog about something I actually made this week!

This long sleeve tee was a really quick and easy sew and Teresa loved it. I am truly happy I finally started sewing with knits! It’s fun, easy and super-fast. Plus my kids love comfortable clothes and knits are so much comfy then woven…


Pattern: Climbing Flowers by Ottobre - Winter 2014. The original pattern is actually for a tunic, not a tee. I had turned it into a tee last October and loved the result so, as I needed a quick project, I picked the pattern pieces and.. Voilá! In just about 1 hour I had a new long sleeved tee for Teresa.
Fabric: Grey and navy cotton tricot knit from my local store (Feira dos Tecidos). This is such a soft and comfortable fabric! Love it!


Teresa likes the colors of this fabric but, when I bought it, I thought it was kind of too serious for little girls so I thought adding a stencil would be fun. I bought golden ink and gave it a try with the help of this wonderful book. Though I like the result I think it would have been better if the ink was opaque instead of transparent... But she is happy and that’s what really matters!


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!