sexta-feira, 9 de setembro de 2016


Last day of London Sew Social / Tuttle Publishing blog tour and today Gioia, Olu and Sara are joining me with some wonderful Japanese inspired creations. Head over to  their bogs for inspiration and don’t forget to come back to check the fancy outfit I made for myself…
PATTERN 1: View Q (Liberty Print Jumpsuit) from Stylish Party Dresses. So where is the jumpsuit?! Well, I’ve turned it into a blouse… I really wanted to make the jumpsuit but I knew it would not be flattering for my body type and it would end at the back of my closet. So I changed the side seams using the bolero’s pattern as guideline, omitted the back zipper, as it was not needed anymore, and added gathering (about 14cm total) at the back. Et voilá! A really nice blouse was born! One think I really love about Japanese sewing pattern is how easy they usually are to customize. As hard as it is to me to like patterns without seam allowances, I always feel glad these patterns are drafted that way.

FABRIC 1: Dotted rayon from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). I could not believe how lucky I was when I saw this fabric for 1 Euro at my local shop remnants been. I love the color and print and the drape is perfect for this pattern. Since I had to buy a spool of matching thread, this blouse costed me the fabulous amount of 2,90 Euros! No one can tell, right?

PATTERN 2: View G (Lace Bolero) from Stylish Party Dresses. On the Bolero I haven’t made as many changes but I’ve sewn it with a very different kind of fabric (more on that later)… I’ve cut the sleeves are slightly longer so I could roll them up and turned both front and back pieces (yoke and main) into one single piece, omitting the gathers. At the front edge I added some lines of parallel topstitching for some extra fun and, I completely forgot to take photos so you will have to trust me on that!, finished the neckline hem with lace. See what I was talking about? These Japanese patterns are perfect to customize and turn the garment into what you have dreamt of. Super fun sewing!

FABRIC 2: Double knit cotton from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). Once again I think I got lucky to find this fabric on my local shop. It looks like it is really great quality and the color is beautiful – a very light greyish pink. Plus it is perfect for this pattern! Or, at least, it is perfect for this modified pattern… I really like the fitted look of this little bolero and I am glad the fabric has a little bit of stretch as is makes it so easy and comfortable to wear.

As you can see on these photos, I prefer to wear neck ties loose instead of made into a lace, as it is shown on the book. I think it gives the blouse a younger and more relaxed look…
(After party look...)
Don’t forget to check out all posts on this tour:
Monday: By Eva Maria and DoGuincho
Tuesday: La Folie and DoGuincho
Wednesday: As it Seams and DoGuincho
Thursday: Craftstorming and DoGuincho
Friday: DottaMade By Sara and Neddle and Ted

Well, that it my friends! Thank you so much Tuttle Publishing for sponsoring London Sew Social! Keep on doing the good work translating these wonderful sewing books to English (check them all here)!

quinta-feira, 8 de setembro de 2016


It’s day 4 of London Sew Social / Tuttle Publishing blog tour. I hope you are enjoying it! Today the lovely Laura is joining me with this beautiful dress for her sweet baby daughter Willow while I am sharing yet another garment from my favorite book…
PATTERN: View nº04 (Top with Epaulettes) from She Wears the Pants. This is the perfect project if you are starting to sew with knits as it is incredibly simple and fast to sew. Just pick a fabric with not too much stretch (like I did) and you will be amazed with the final result. For the first time in this book I had to sew size S, instead of the usual XS, as this pattern doesn’t have that much ease and size XS was too small for my shoulders. I made a couple of changes to the original pattern: skipped the epaulettes and finished the sleeve seam with contrasting bias tape. I am pretty pleased with my sweater. I especially like the boat neck collar and the very slightly bell shaped sleeves. Such wonderful details for a simple pattern!

FABRIC: Stripped French terry from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos) and Liberty cotton lawn for the sleeve detail. This French terry is so nice! Soft but sturdy. Really good quality stuff. Plus I love the color (I have this thing for yellow…) and the stripes. It doesn’t have much stretch and I think that was good for this particular pattern. The liberty bias was a leftover from my stash and I think it goes really well with the stripped cotton. It is always fun when you can incorporate a little bit of fancy nice fabric in your daily wardrobe, right?

Plus, I think I got lucky here! Monday’s warp is also perfect for Thursday’s outfit. Yeah!
Have you checked the other participants’ creations for this tour? You must do it! Here they are: Eva’s here, Ines’ here and Victoria here.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more Japanese Sewing fun!

quarta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2016


Day three of the London Sew Social / Tuttle Publishing blog tour! Today I am joined by the lovely Victoria and she is sharing a super cute pinafore from the book Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids while I am back to Stylish Party Dresses
PATTERN: View R (Georgette Two-piece Set) from Stylish Party Dresses. Despite the tittle, this book is definitely not only about dresses, though every single design is so stylish… This two-piece set is composed by a blouse and a skirt. I’ve sewn the blouse, I’ve been wearing it a lot with jeans and shorts and I think it looks pretty nice like this. I’ve sewn size 4 - even if my measurements advised me to sew a size 6 - to avoid too much ease (Japanese sewing pattern can have a LOT of ease!) I made no major changes to the original pattern but finished the sleeves with cuffs instead of elastic as I think it looks a little bit more polished this way. By the way, these sleeves have such a nice shape. Love them!

FABRIC: Printed rayon from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). I felt in love with this print the moment I saw it! I knew this super light weigh rayon would not be easy to sew but I had to have it! Plus I had seen this gorgeous tunic my friend Andreia made so I had no excuse… Cutting the fabric wasn’t that easy but sewing it was ok and I am so pleased with the final result! For the photoshoot I was wearing a white cami underneath as the fabric is slightly see-through and it looked not so nice on the photos but, in real life, the blouse is perfectly wearable by itself with a skin colored bra.

(A non decapitated photo for you, my dears! Yeah!)
Don’t forget to check Monday’s (Eva’s post here and my post here) and Tuesday’s (Ines’ post here and my post here) post for lots of Japanese inspiration! And feel free to come back tomorrow for more!

terça-feira, 6 de setembro de 2016


It is day two of London Sew Social / Tuttle Publishing blog tour. Today I am sharing a pair of short I made this summer with a pattern from one of my favorite japonese sewing books and the super talented Ines has a cool blouse from the same book on her blog, La Folie

When the original Japanese version of She Wears the Pants was released I felt in love with it but never got to buy a copy as I was afraid it would be too difficult for me to sew something without fully understating the patterns instructions.

So has soon as I saw the English version, published by Tuttle Publishing, I hurried to get it. Throughout last year I made View nº04 (Top with Epaulettes) and View nº10 (Pompom Blouse) but the pattern I was really looking forward to sew was…
PATTERN: View nº08 (Sarrouel Trousers) from She wears the Pants. Though I was not sure about the fitting of these Sarrouel Trousers, I found them so stylish and special I had to give them a try. I am still not sure if this is the most flattering pair of shorts I got but I am sure they are fun and different and so, so comfortable to wear. Anyway, I do love the way they fit at the front. I’m just not really sure about the diaper look at the back… I made no major changes to the original pattern but I did skip the belt loops (sometimes I can be so lazy!) and changed the button loop for a regular buttonhole as the loop was not giving the stability I wanted at the waistband. 
FABRIC: Striped pink linen from my local shop (Ouro Texteis). I got this linen on a summer sale a couple of years ago and was planning to make a dress with it. Last month I was going through my stash, took a good look at it again and thought it was to girly and pinky for a dress but perfect for these slightly crazy shorts. I am glad I made that decision! I think this linen has the perfect drape for this pattern and I do love the way the stripes are oriented in different ways in the different pattern pieces.
(I don't care about what people might think. :-) I love my Sarrouel Trousers!)
Feel free to check out yesterday posts (Eva’s Japanese tropical blouse and my basic linen dress and geometrical wrap) and don’t forget to come back on the fallowing days for more. I am sure you will be super inspired!

segunda-feira, 5 de setembro de 2016


Do you love Japanese Sewing Books as much as I do? Then stay tuned as this week my good friends from London Sew Social will be sharing some wonderful clothes made with patterns from several books translated to English by Tuttle Publishing. I am delighted to host this informal series while also showing you some decapitated photos of the garments I’ve been making…
For the second time, Tuttle was our sponsor and was kind enough to let each of us choose a book from their nice collection of – children, women and accessories - Japanese Sewing Books. I already had all their children books (and several women books too) so, though I never go to stylish parties anymore, I picked Stylish Party Dresses

I am so impressed with this book! Don’t, please don’t, get fooled by the book’s tittle! This book is full everyday wearable clothes. Not only dresses but also blouses, skirts, jackets and even a jumpsuit. I think it would not be difficult to build and entire wardrobe just using pattern from Stylish Party Dresses.
PATTERN: View W (Dress with Decorative Collar) from Stylish Party Dresses. I loved the simplicity of this dress and thought it would be a wonderful everyday summer uniform for me. It is such a comfortable, yet stylish, dress. Love it! I made a couple of simple changes to the original pattern: left the decorative collar out and added a central seam by cutting the front piece mirrored, and adding 1cm seam allowance, instead of on fold. The sleeve hems were hard for me to sew and I think they are not perfect yet. Tough I’ve staystitched them before hemming, they still look a little bit wavy. Maybe I need to practice a little bit more… The dress length is the original and, though it is much longer them most of my dresses, I kind of like it as it lengths my body.

FABRIC: Beige linen from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). I bought this fabric last summer mostly because it was a super cheap linen. And I love linen! And cheap linen is hard to find! I was not too sure about the color, tough… But now it is growing on me and I am actually loving it. Of course it is hard to iron and it easily gets wrinkled but how cares!
Since I’ve omitted the decorative collar, I thought it would be nice to wear this dress with a nice matching wrap. This wonderful geometric cotton gauze came all the way from Miss Matatabi, was on my stash for almost one year (I loved it so much, I was afraid to cut it!), and was the perfect match for my new dress. Lucky me!
I didn’t feel like hemming it so I followed the instructions for the Linen Gauze Wrap byPurl Soho. Fringe-pulling the hem threads was fun and easy and I think this finishing is perfect for this fabric. I think I will wear this wrap a lot!
Today my good friend Eva, from the blog Eva Maria, is sharing a stunning blouse with a pattern from one of my favorite Japanese Sewing Books. Don’t forget to check it out!
Once again, thank you so much Tuttle Publishing for sponsoring London Sew Social! And thank you for translating these amazing books for us!


sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2016


Back in July my friend An, the designer behind Straightgrain, asked me if I would like to participate in her new pattern’s blog tour. Though I love the Hoppe, a cool knit jumpsuit, unfortunately I had to say no as I didn’t know if I would have time to sew it during our summer holidays…

But she was so nice she gave me a copy of the pattern anyway. So, when we all arrived from our vacation in the south of Portugal, I picked it and started sewing. And I am so glad I found time to do it!

Because of the extremely hot summer weather we are having this year in Portugal, I decided the jumper would be more wearable in a slightly modified version…

PATTERN: Hoppe Jumpsuit by Straightgrain in collaboration with 128. The Hope is a cool long legged knit jumpsuit and I love this pattern for so many reasons I don’t even know where to start… There are several options, including a regular and a skinny version for you to avoid having to mix sizes if your kid doesn’t fit the usual size chart. I chose to make the no front pleat version with shoulder straps and, as you can see in the photos, cropped the legs to turn the trousers into shorts. Though Ines is not skinny at hall (I think she is “petit”) her measurements were closer to the skinny version then to the regular version so I made size 6 skinny. I do like the fit and she says this is the most comfortable outfit she has ever owned. As usually the sewing instructions on the pattern are easy to follow – there is even a video tutorial for the trickiest steps - and this is an amazingly fast project to sew. There are also some clever technics like the way the straps are made and the elastic at the back that keeps the jumpsuit in place all the time.

FABRIC: Solid navy blue cotton kint (main) and solid yellow cotton knit (lining, pockets and straps). It is hard to find nice printed cottons in Portugal so I picked this solids knits from my stash (I think the blue on is from Feira dos Tecidos and the yellow one is form Park dos Tecidos) and I must say I am pretty happy about the final result. I like the way the lining shows just a bit… I didn’t have enough yellow fabric for the pockets so the front piece is blue and the back is yellow.

I am sure this is just the first of many Hoppe Jumpsuits I will make for Ines. They are the perfect summer outfit to play in the sand dunes so here are some action picture to prove it! (Even if the legs' cuffs were not sewn yet...)


sexta-feira, 1 de julho de 2016


Two blogposts in a single week? I still can’t believe it!

You know why? Because the sewing/blogging community is the best! Such a fun, talented and inspiring group of ladies…

And today we are celebrating a new project by one of the most amazing girls in the bunch: An, the designer behind Straightgrain. Not only is she a great designer and seamstress but she is also such a nice and fun person to be with. I had the pleasure to meet her last year in Paris and I was glad to spend a couple of days with her once again last April in London too.

So, what about the big news? Well, An has decided to launch paper patterns! I’ve just received my copy of the Moiano Coat and believe me, they are truly beautiful.

To celebrate this new step the lovely Suz asked some of our blogging friends if they would like to sew and blog about something inspired by An’s creations. Of course I had to say yes!

I really wanted to sew something with one of An’s patterns – actually, I really wanted to sew one more Hanami, my favorite Straightgrain pattern… - but then life got on its way and I run out of time before going on holiday so today I have the perfect excuse to share with you a blouse I made a couple of months ago and never blogged about.

PATTERN: Ruffle Blouse (a pattern, I hope, soon to be released) by DoGuincho. I’ve been working on this pattern for ages… But, though I love the design, the fitting never looks quite right to me so I keep on working to get it right. I hope one day I will finally release it... I don’t really know if such a ruffled blouse really is An style but I know she would definitely make something gorgeous for her girls with this cool fabric.

FABRIC: A Nana’s Fabric in pink/gold by Aime Comme Marie. The reason why I am blogging about this blouse today has to do with the way I got this fabric. I won it on a Straightgrain giveaway! Actually I didn’t really win it. My good friend Patricia won it for me. I couldn’t even believe I had actually won a giveaway I didn’t enter! As usually, An had put together a fun giveaway: each participant would chose a friend to win the giveaway with her. Super cool, right? The fabric design is really great and Teresa was pleased to wear this blouse (though you can’t tell it from your photos…) The thing I like the most about it is that this would be a fabric I wouldn’t pick because I always think light colors do not suit my kids’ skin color tone but I do love the final result. Getting out of our comfort zone is great! I found the vintage button in my sewing supplies box and it was also a gift from Patricia. (Thank you so much my good friend!)

Thank you so much Suz for organizing this fun “get together”!

Congrats An on you pattern patterns!

And don't forget to check out the other blogs participating! I am sure you will be inspired by their creations and willing to start sewing an Anspired piece of clothing right now!