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!

quinta-feira, 30 de junho de 2016


My favorite thing about having a blog is actually the good friends I make with it. The way we push and help and inspire each other is amazing! So there was no way I could have missed the second Sew Social Meeting. It is such a pleasure to share some time with a group of super talented and fun ladies!
London Sew Social logo

This year we meet in late April in the city of London. We had the best weather we could hope for – sun shining every single day! - so we could have fun sightseeing and fabric shopping together. As you can imagine, London has some quite amazing fabric shops…

And, as last year, we also got a REALLY nice goodie bag (and, don’t worry, there is something for you to…) from our amazing sponsors! It was great to come back home and dream about all the things we were going to make with our new patterns, fabrics and notions.

Actually, I was lucky enough to travel back to Lisbon on the same flight as Andreia and Ines and we spend the all two hours checking out our Tuttle Japanese Books and having fun imagining what we would do, what fabric we would pick for each project or what changes we would make to some designs. It was really, really fun!

So, as I arrived, I started sewing and today I have a couple of summer dresses to share with you… Here they are!

PATTERN: Racer Back Dress by Hey June. Though Hey June is one of our sponsors (I’ve just finished sewing a Biscayne Blouse I got from the sponsorship and I can’t wait to show you), this pattern is actually one of her free patterns! And it is a great pattern too! I’ve already sewn 5 dresses for Teresa and Ines with it and I think they will became their “2016 summer uniform”. It is fast and simple to sew and it is super comfy to wear. What more can we ask for? For these dresses I skipped the topstitching around the neckline and armholes and left them with no hem. I must tell you I am quite happy with this “simplified” version. I made size 6 for Ines and size 8 for Teresa (they are 7 and 8,5 years now) and there is plenty of room to grow. Actually, size 6 still fits nice to Teresa so, though the pattern’s biggest size is 8, I think it will fit nicely a 10 year old skinny girl.

FABRIC: Butterfly printed knit cotton from The Sweet Mercerie and solid (almost neon) yellow from my local shop (Park dos Tecidos) for the back detail. The Sweet Mercerie was one of our sponsors too and they have sent us some pretty amazing fabrics! Each of us got a lovely bird printed crepe (inspired by Trine, I intend to turn mine into a Gallery blouse for myself) and could choose one of three different printed knit cottons: anchors, dots or butterflies. It was a hard pick but I am glad I got the butterflies as I am truly in love with theses dresses! The fabric quality is super nice and it has the perfect drape and weight for this pattern. After spotting these tops my friend Ines made with the dotted fabric, I decided to make back yoke in contrasting fabric and this little detail made the dresses look even more special. I might need to cut my children’s hair short for it to shine properly…

So are you now ready for a great giveaway? We have divided all the goodies from our wonderful sponsors into 4 packs and, for a change to win one, try your luck on the Rafflecopter below.

There will be 4 very lucky winners!
Here's what the goodie packs include:

Pack 1
Pretty Panda fabric from Poppy
B inspired sewing pattern magazine by Poppy
2m of your choice of fabric from Girl Charlee
3 spools of thread from Aurfil
25%off voucher for Joyfits
By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit paper pattern
Stylish Dress Book from Tuttle
Sewbox goodies includes: Hot Patterns babydoll nightgown, robe and panties. A small piece of Liberty lawn and a few haberdashery items.

prize 2
Pack 2
Pretty Panda fabric from Poppy
B inspired sewing pattern magazine by Poppy
2m of your choice of fabric from Girl Charlee
4 spools of thread from Aurfil
25%off voucher for Joyfits
She Wears the Pants from Tuttle
Sewbox goodies includes: Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Shadow Woven T-shirt & Tunic, Hot Patterns Mini Me essential dress & top for kids, 2 small pieces of Liberty lawn and some haberdashery items.

prize 3
Pack 3
Pretty Panda fabric from Poppy
B inspired sewing pattern magazine by Poppy
2m of your choice of fabric from Girl Charlee
3 spools of thread from Aurfil
25%off voucher for Joyfits
By Hand London Victoria Blazer paper pattern
She Wears the Pants from Tuttle
Sewbox goodies includes: Hot Patterns 1152 - Fast & Fabulous Origami Knit Top, a small piece of Liberty lawn and a few haberdashery items.

pack 4

Pack 4
£50 voucher to spend at The Village Haberdashery
2m of your choice of fabric from Girl Charlee
Alfa goodies including: 2x Do it Yourself pattern kits and 1x Do it Yourself Patchwork Sewing Accessories box
A very big THANK YOU to all our sponsors.
(Winners will be noticed by the end of July)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plus, you can also go shopping at UpCraftClub and get 20% discount with the code 20SEWSOCIAL.

Good luck and happy shopping!

terça-feira, 14 de junho de 2016


This week the Portuguese online sewing magazine COSE+ is celebrating summer and I had the pleasure of contributing with a post about the Cosi Swimsuits I’ve sewn for my kids. But, since the post is in Portuguese and many of my blog readers can’t understand it, I thought it would be a good idea to share it here too. (Leitoras portuguesas: por favor passem pelo site da COSE+ para lerem o texto em português. Obrigada!)

For the past two years I’ve been sewing many Cosi Swimsuits for my girls and they have always been a hit. I made the first one for the pattern tour and followed to the line the instructions on the pattern...
But then I thought it would be interesting to find other ways to finish the leg and torso openings. These two ways I am sharing with you today are really, really simple and easy to sew. Plus they give you the opportunity to add a simple but cool detail to this great pattern.
1. Finishing the openings with Lycra bands
I was quite impressed with the nice result I got with this super simple technique! Instead of using regular elastic to finish the openings, I did it by sewing Lycra bands, just like I usually do for a tee neckline. I was lucky enough to find pre-cut Lycra bands in my local store but you can easily cut them from a piece of fabric.
So all you have to do it fold the band in half longwise and sew it to the opening. Then turn it up and topstitch all around with a double needle to secure the seam allowance. Don’t forget that for the perfect finish, like for tees, the neckband should be slightly shorter than the opening!

2. Finishing the openings with fold-over elastic
Ever since I made my first swimsuit I was willing to try this technic. It looked so simple! And it looked like the perfect way to add a little detail to my kids’ swimsuits! So last year when I found this glitter fold-over elastic in Paris I had to get it.

To apply the fold-over elastic to the opening all you have to do it fold it in half lengthwise (the elastic has a little crease in the middle that helps folding it) and sandwich the fabric in between. Then topstitch all around with a double needle or a zig-zag stitch making sure you catch both sides of the fold-over elastic. Like with the Lycra band, the fold-over elastic should be slightly shorter than the opening for a nice finish.

I hope you are feeling inspired to sew lots and lots of swimsuits for you girls this summer! Especially because the lovely Suz from Sew Pony has put together a coupon code for COSE+ readers and I am also sharing it here for you. So, to get your copy of the Cosi with a 20% discount until the end of this week (Friday, 9:00pm GMT+1) use the code COSE20 at the check out.

terça-feira, 10 de maio de 2016


Today I am absolutely delighted to be part of Victoria’s series, From my Mother to Me. But I will be writing about my grandmother instead... I’ve actually been willing to write about my grandmother on my blog for quite some time and this was the perfect excuse.
My grandmother and I back in the early 1970's
My grandmother was an amazing seamstress! Not only was a perfectionist, but she also had a great sense of style. I wish I had started sewing earlier as I am sure I would have learnt a lot from her. Right now she is 96 years old and, unfortunately, she doesn’t sew anymore.
I used to spend a lot of time with my grandmother, especially during summer holidays, and I remember her sewing all the time. She used to sew us dresses and nightgowns – my mother save some of them and my daughters still wear them - and then I got to play with the little left over fabric. But unfortunately I was too young to learn to sew…
Teresa wearing a "three generations dress". This dress was made for my aunt long, long time ago...
When my grandfather passed away, after a long disease, my grandmother had not much to do and decided to launch a small home based business making brides and new born clothes. She had a very old seamstress helping her, Olivia, and she sold mainly to her daughter’s friends. All her clothes were impeccably made, most of them with wonderful hand sewn details. The business was a success!
She also used sew a lot for charity. I remember seeing many baby clothes (some sewn, some knitted) aligned in her sewing closet ready to be donated to newborns from needy families. I even saw once a priest vestment being cut on her dinner table. I thought that was so awkward! Why was my grandmother making priest’s clothes?!
My sister and I, with my grandmother between us, in our family home garden wearing the traditional costumes my grandmother she made us
But, from everything we were able to keep of her makings, my all-time favorite are these costumes. They are typical from Minho, the northwest part of Portugal were my grandmother was born. We used to wear them at the local fair every single year and it was so exciting. The process of getting dressed was quite amazing. Almost a ritual! First we had to see what changes needed to be made to accommodate our ever growing bodices. Then my grandmother would make the needed adjustments and we would get properly dressed. Finally we would take a couple of pictures. But we were not allowed to play or run while wearing the costumes!
 Teresa and Ines (above) and my sister and I (below) wearing the exact same costumes in our family home in the north of Portugal
My first sewing machine was actually my grandmother’s old Singer but right now I am sewing with and even older (from the 1950’s) Pfaff that used to belong to my other grandmother. Both my grandmothers knew how to sew but only one was really passionate about it. Actually, my mother also learned to sew but she hates it! She is an avid knitter instead. Maybe one day I will need to start knitting too…
My sister and I, with my mother between us, wearing hooded sweaters she knitted for us

I hope you liked my blogpost. It was a special port for me to write...

Now are you ready for a little surprise Victoria and Frances have put together for our readers? Well, here it is: use the rafflecopter below for a chance to win some really nice fabric from one of my favorite online shops, Miss Matatabi. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to check the other participants blogs for some wonderful histories about their sewing roots:
Monday May 9
Little Cumquat
Tuesday May 10
Wednesday May 11
Thursday May 12

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!