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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PUMPKIN PICKING

Since we arrived to Texas (it will be a year soon) we have been determined to get to know the traditions around here. Halloween is no big deal in Portugal. In fact, while I was growing up, there was no such think as Halloween. Recently (I would say 15 years ago), stores started selling Halloween stuff and the kids went along with it, but it is really noting like here. Anyway, last weekend we went to pick up a pumpkin to decorate our house for Halloween.
A couple of months ago I made a dress for Teresa and a matching shirt for Manel in a red/orange polka dots fabric and I though that these would be the perfect outfits for pumpkin picking.




The fabric is Amy Butler and the patterns are once again the A Dress from Yoshiko Tsukiori's Girls Style Book and the Balthasar shirt from Citronille. I made some modifications to Manel's shirt: took off the collar and used bias tape instead and made short sleeves.









It was super fun, they really enjoyed their day and so did we!

Monday, October 27, 2014

THE HEMLOCK TOP

I am not a big fan of dressing by girl with sweatshirts… I prefer tunics and dresses, even for her to take to pre-school. She is very girly and is always asking me to dress her with dresses, so we're happy like this. But when I first saw the Hemlock Top I completely fell for it. It can be a sweatshirt but it has ruffles... so, it is not just a sweatshirt, it is “The” sweatshirt! I love E&E patterns! I have sewed a couple of Bohemian babydoll dress that I adore (I will be making a post about these in a few days ;-)).

Anyway when I saw the pattern, I instantly knew what I wanted to sew: a tiny floral knit print with the ruffles in white cotton... but I was not able to find the knit I wanted in my local shop :-( so I had to stick with stripes. Here it is:


I really like how it turned out! The top is very easy to put together and since this was my second time working with knits (you can see my version of the Aster Cardigan here), I think it was a good decision. The fit was ok (not perfect in the collar...) and I think Teresa likes it.








I managed to find two beautiful (I hope... with online shopping you never really know) floral knit prints and I and definitely going to try more versions of this top. This is definitely a pattern to repeat in my quest to dominate knits! :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

KCW DAY 5: PINK ANGEL



This KCW has been quite fruitful: I've managed to sew a shirt for Manel, a cardigan for Teresa and today I finished a blouse also for Teresa. I still have a couple of more projects that I would like to finish, though. ;-)
There is no such thing as too much pink! At least not for me not and for Teresa! That is why I had to buy this Japanese print as soon as I saw it. It a very very soft cotton lawn that I found at Farmhouse fabrics (definitely one of my favorite online stores!). For the pattern, I used the Papillon & Mandarine's Angel Blouse pattern, with a couple of modifications.






I only finished the garment after dinner and Teresa was already in her night gown, but she was sweet enough to accept to put on the new blouse so that I could take a few pics. :-)












I really like this pattern. It has nice details (that you cannot really spot because of the floral print), but very easy and quick to make. I only made two modifications: intead of using the original stripe to close the collar, I used elastic, and used a off-white cotton fabric for the sleeves, just to add some more details.
This is not the first time that I use this pattern. I made two versions last winter.
In the first version, I made no modifications (except adding some ric rac to the sleeves):







In my second version: I used the elastic in the collar and also embelished the sleeves.




Anyway, it is a great pattern for fall and winter and I am definitely going to use it again.
Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

KCW DAY 3 - THE ASTER CARDIGAN

After the Mulbery Tunic for Manel (you can see it here), it was time to sew someting for my little girl. I have never sewed with knits before, but after seing so many gorgeous versions of the Aster Cardigan from Willow and Co. and the comments saying that it was easy to put together, I decided to leave my fears behind and buy some knit. I do not know anything about fabric. I normaly only look for 100% cotton fabric and that is all I have ever used. So, when I went to my local store to buy knit, I had no idea what to purchase. Given my "cotton" past, I ended choosing a midweight cotton knit... bad idea. After I pre-washed the fabric it gained bobbles! When this happens, I normally just put the fabric away, but this time I tough, well, it is my first time sewing with knit and I will probably not be able to pull this out, so let's just try with what I have.

I have a serger, so the construction of the cardigan was very easy to make. Yet, when I needed to finish the hems, the fabric just didn't stay in its place. It was a mess. I then realized that it was better that I skipped the buttons part, as I would never be able to make buttonholes in this fabric. So I remembered that Sara (Made-By-Sara) and Marta (Do Guincho) had the genious idea of using bias tape instead of the bottons. I decided to keep the collar, which I find adorable, and made my own bias tape using a fat quarter of a Kaffe Fassett fabric that I adore and that I purchased years ago. I used Constança's (Saidos da Concha) tutorial to make the bias tape. This is how it turned out:



It is far from perfect, but it got me addicted. I will definitely be making some more. I managed to complete it this morning , right on time for Teresa to take it for school. She loved it an that really made me happy! :-)












She is also wearing Oliver and S after school pants in denim. I made these pants a year ago, but they still fit and look great! I also need to make some more of these...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KWC DAY 1 - THE MULBERRY TUNIC

KCW is here! Yeah! I really love the idea behind KCW and I feel pretty excited to be able participate in these projects. Everyone is sewing like mad and showing off their great costumes. So much happens in a week, not only I try to sew every day as fast as I can to try to finish a project, but also I am always checking out new patterns and projects made by other sewists. I always end up with a lot of ideas for new projects and discover new bloggers to follow! It is really great.

So far, I have only been able to finish one project: The Mulberry Tunic from Kid Approved for Willow and Co.. I made it in a size 3, (Manel turned 3 this month). I used a fine linen in white and I think it turned out pretty cool. This tunic is really great, it has a lot of details, which gives it such a professional look. I pretty much followed the instructions and only made one tiny bit change: instead of using 4 buttons, I used 3. I only had 3 buttons and had no time to go to Joann’s, but, now I think that I like it even better this way!
I already have the fabric cut to make a similar tunic for Teresa… J


Unfortunately I couldn't convince Manel to wear the shirt this morning... I will try to take other pictures later today.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

EASY AND VERY SATISFACTORY PROJECTS!

I really like those projects that though easy to put together provide great satisfaction. This is the case of the A dress from Yoshiko Tsukiori's Girls Style Book.



I really love the design of Japanese patterns and kids look so cool on them. The A dress is a project that can be made really quickly and looks so great! Check it out:




In the first version I made (so far I made 3!), I used an aqua plaid print, which was also a perfect fabric for boys... so I made Manel another Balthasar shirt. This time instead of using the classic version, I included a hoodie and a front pocket.







This is how the two pieces look together!





  













Saturday, October 18, 2014

THE HANAMI TOP

I instantly fell in love with the Hanami Top when I saw Ana Sofia and Marta's gorgeous versions. I was spending some days at my parents' house in the countryside and, though my mom has a good sewing machine, I had no fabric. I headed to a small local shop without much hope in finding anything worth buying, when, surprisingly, I found an incredible stash of quilting fabric. I ended buying much more fabric that I really need, but that is a different story. For the lining, I used one of my father’s old shirts, in a very very soft cotton.



I made this top a year ago, but Teresa still wears it. After looking at these photos, I am again feeling the urge to sew another one. Thank God for Texas weather! 

OLD FASHIONED... OR JUST TOO CUTE?

Dressing kids in matching clothes is considered, by some: old fashioned and corny and by others: very cute! I am with the last group! J Back in Portugal most Portuguese clothing brands have matching outfits for boys and girls, so it is rather common for brothers and sisters to dress alike. Here in Houston, not so much... I have been here a year now, and so far I have not found any store where I can find matching clothes for my children... even at Gap it is difficult to find jeans with the same denim or even the same color. Anyway, not being able to find matching clothes will not stop me... challenge accepted! After my arrival here I decided that except for jeans, sweaters and coats, most of my kids clothes would be sewed by me... if possible with matching outfits! So, here we go. The first matching outfit I did was a shirt for little Manuel and overalls for Teresa.


I used Citronille's Balthasar pattern for Manuel's shirt and Teresa's overalls were self drafted. The fabric used in the shirt is a cotton seersucker in aqua and the overalls are in a Tanya Whelan's print (love Tanya Whelans' prints!).

Here they are at a crawfish party!






Matching outfits reminds me so much of the Sound of Music, one of my favorite movies ever! Is this oldfashioned or just too cute?



Thursday, October 16, 2014

IT ALL STARTED...


It all started around 2008. I really don't remember how I discovered two blogs: Constança Cabral's Saídos da Concha and Rosa Pomar's  A Ervilha cor-de-rosa, but these blogs - which continue to be on my top list! - awakened in me the desire to start making things. I started by making simple things for myself (tote bags, small pouches, etc.). Soon after, I was expecting my first child: Teresa and my mother told me she wanted to sew some baby clothes for her. My mother always sewed things for me and my sister when we were younger. Actually, all the dresses that I remember from my childhood were made by my mother. She did a number of gorgeous dresses (cueiros, in Portuguese) for Teresa, but still then I never though I could do the same. Yet, when Teresa was 1, I bought her a romper at a store and after looking at it, I though that I could do it. So, the first piece of clothing I made for my girl was a romper. Here it is!



I would like to see it now (it must be terrible!!), but I was so proud!

I DID IT!

I am finally doing this! :-) After years of indecision... will I have the time? Will anyone want to read this? Do I want anyone to read this??? Well... today I finally decided to go ahead with this enterprise! The thing is: I love sewing, especially kids’ clothes, but sewing can be a lonely exercise unless you surround yourself of those who also share the same passion. With very very few exceptions, none of my friends sew... so, I hope that the blog will help me connect with other sewing enthusiasts all over the world! Let's see...