domingo, 19 de novembro de 2017

LOTTE MARTENS INTERNATIONAL BLOG TOUR

 

I could not believe when, a couple of months ago, I received an email from Lotte Martens asking me if I would like to try their fabrics and participate on their upcoming international blog. Every time I saw the amazing things my Belgium sewing friends have sewn with their exquisite fabrics I felt so overwhelmed… And now I feel really lucky – and flattered! - to be able to try them too!

 
 
FABRIC: Grus Crèpe from Lotte Martens. I was so in love with ALL fabrics from Lotte Martensnew collection, it took me ages to pick this fabric. I loved all the plissé so much! And, of course, every single hand printed is utterly special. But I knew this rayon was a lot more “my style” so I went for it. My plan was to make a dress but, when the fabric arrived, my daughter Teresa asked me if I could sew something for her with it too so I thought the right thing to do would be to share the fabric with her. This rayon is super, super soft (that’s one of the main reasons Teresa felt in love with it, I’m sure) but was surprisingly easy to work with! Even making the v-neckline went super smooth. I must admit I wasn’t expecting that at all! The color is a beautiful light aqua green and it is lovely to wear but hard to photograph and the little gold/mustard yellow dots (they are more drops then dots, actually) add the perfect combination! Maybe it is also hard to tell from the photos but while Teresa's dress was cut to the grain, my blouse had to be cut cross grain because that was all the fabric I had left. Never the less, the drape is perfect! Most Lotte Martens fabrics are sold by the panel (because they are hand printed) but this one is sold by the meter.

 
PATTERN: Both patterns are self-drafted based on ready to wear garments we already owned. One of the best things about sewing our own clouds is the possibility of making the design we want with the fabric we have chosen. It is easy to find nice designs in ready to wear but not that easy to find good quality fabric and nice craftsmanship. Sewing our own clothes gives us the power to do so! I absolutely adore the drape on my blouse. And I like that it can be worn every day because it doesn’t look too fancy it is fancy enough to be worn to a party too. Teresa is also super please with her dress. She says it is so comfortable, she wants to wear it as a nightgown!


 
 

And now we finally have matchy machy clothes!
 

Don’t forget to check all amazing fabrics and designs at Lotte Martens website.

At the moment you can find Lotte's fabrics at these European shops. But the good news are Lotte Martens is growing internationally so maybe you can ask for their fabrics in your favorite fabric store and they will be the next one caring it...

Thank you so much Lotte Martens for designing such special fabrics!

sexta-feira, 3 de novembro de 2017

ISSIE TOP BLOG TOUR . THE NEW PATTERN BY SEW PONY


My good friend Suz has just released a new pattern, the Issie Top! I am so flattered to have been invited for the pattern tour… And of course, and I am delighted to show you the Issie I made for my daughter Ines.




PATTERN: Issie Top by Sew Pony. The Issie Top is a pattern for a sweet and girly stretchy top and it comes with lots and lots of options. I choose the view with two side ruffles and no cuffs and I made a little change to the original pattern: I lined the ruffles. (Why can’t I just follow the instructions?!) Because my ruffles were lined, I made a small change to the construction of the top: I sandwiched the ruffles in-between the side and the front/back upper pieces. Of course, to do so I had to split both upper pieces into side front/middle front and side back/middle back and add seam allowances to those pieces.  Much easier to do then to explain, I must say… Anyway, the Issie top was a breeze to sew. The fitting was perfect and Ines was really happy to wear it.

 


 


FABRIC: Blue cotton french terry (main fabric) and printed viscose knit (ruffles lining) both from my stash. (Yeah! I feel so happy to sew nice clothes without the need of buying more fabric…) There is not much to say about the fabric I picked this time. It is ok quality (I’ve been spoiling my kids with the wonderful Nosh Organics and they are becoming kind of picky, especially when it comes to knits…) and I hope it survives the playing and washing as I am sure this top will be worn over and over again.


So, I hope I have inspired you to sew this cute top… You can get your copy of the pattern with a nice 10% discount throughout the tour with the code: ISSIERELEASE10 at Sew Pony Shop. By the way, the pattern is available not only in English but also in Dutch and French.
 



And don’t forget to check out the Issie Tops made by the other participants in the tour! Here are the links to their blogs:

MONDAY 23/10:  anaaisID . frl.love . naaisgerief
WEDNSEDAY 25/10: VINK . amore . MeToezie
FRIDAY 27/10: Beletoile . Flaflinko . Froleintilia . Ariane
MONDAY 30/10: Riddersenrozen . 128
WEDNESDAY 1/11: WithlovebyEva . ByDagbjort . Stannel
FRIDAY 3/11: Nah- connection . DoGuincho . Groovybabyandmama . liiviundliivi
MONDAY 6/11: Pistolwhip . Mendandmakenew . Kneesocksandgoldilocks
WEDNESDAY 8/11:  Creativecatoo . Justaddfabric . Casennina
FRIDAY 10/11:  Enjoyfulmakes . Kaatjenaaisels . Larth . Whileshewassleeping
 
PS: Can you tell Ines still has some leftover make up from her black cat Halloween costume? Well, I only noticed it after all the photos were taken...

quarta-feira, 18 de outubro de 2017

INES INSPIRED

The sewing/blogging community is amazing and sometimes I can’t even believe how lucky I am to be part of it and to have turned so many wonderful, creative and lovely girls into my good friends.

When I think about my sewing friends Ines is always on top of my list. We live quite near and we have met many times already. Not only is she as nice and warm as her smile, she is also a huge inspiration. And I know I am not alone in this… That’s why a bunch of bloggers got together today to celebrate: INESPIRATION!
 
 
PATTERN 1: Sleeveless Top from the Japanese Book Knitwear for Kids. I was already a JSB fan when I meet Ines but I was afraid of getting the original books in Japanese – as I thought I would not understand the instructions - and only got the English translations. Ines was the one opening the doors of the “wonderful world of real Japanese sewing books”. And what a world it is! The instructions are not that hard to follow and there is a myriad of amazing designs waiting to been sewn. The pattern for this top comes from a book that covers all basic knits patterns for kids. I really loved this specific design as it gives a girly twist to a basic sleeveless top. I made no alterations to the original pattern and the fit is perfect.  (Thanks Andreia for borrowing me this book! We need to get together so I can return it.)
 

  
FABRIC 1: Pyry Jersey in Maple Sugar/Black and Rib Knit in Black both from Nosh. Whenever I think of Ines I think of sewing with knits, I think of sewing with organic knits, I think of sewing with good quality organic knits and finally I think of sewing with Nosh! My kids need to thank Ines for making me sew clothes using these amazing fabrics as they say they make the most comfortable clothes ever. They also need to thank Ines for making me try to change my style and trying to make (slightly) edgier clothes for them…


 
  
PATTERN 2: Waterfall Raglan by Chalk and Notch. I know Ines is a great fan of Gabriela’s patterns and so am I. As usual everything in this pattern is simply perfect. For the first time I went to the copy shop to print the pattern and I got totally addicted. So easy. So fast. Not that expensive. And, lucky me, the copy shop is across de street from Teresa´s new school. The pattern was design for jersey knits and I used not as stretchy sweatshirt knit but it still worked really nicely as I sewn one size up to be sure Teresa could move freely. I think next time I will will rise the neckline just a little bit as this one works beautifully for a shirt but is kind of low for a sweatshirt (you can see the tank top rib popping...) Asked by Teresa - yes, she knows what she wants when is come to her clothing - I changed a couple of things to the original design: I added very narrow sleeve cuffs made from the same rib as the neckband and I cut the hem ruffle cross grain. Teresa loved the final result and Ines has already asked me to sew a Waterfall for her too.


FABRIC 2: Loopback Sweatshirting in Black/Vanilla and Rib Knit in Maple Sugar both by Nosh. Teresa picked this striped fabric long time ago but I only got to sew it now… When my kids were younger I though black was not a color children would wear. Ines has proven I was totally wrong and now they wear black a lot and I love it! Actually Teresa wardrobe is mostly black/white/light pink so this sweater fits the bill perfectly. I was thinking about using black rib for the neckband but then I spotted the light pink rib and asked Teresa if she would prefer it. She said yes so light pink it was. I am really happy with the final result and so is Teresa!
 


Thank you so much Ines for all the inspiration and friendship! I hope we can meet again very soon!


Get Inespired by all this super talented girls by clicking on the links below:
 

sexta-feira, 6 de outubro de 2017

A COUPLE OF TEES FOR INES . IN LOVE WITH NOSH ORGANIC JERSEY

I never thought I would ever make tees for my kids and now tees are among my favorite sewing projects. Especially when made with wonderful organic cotton jersey…

Tees are quick and easy to sew and, most of all, are worn a lot more then woven dresses and shirts. So it is a win win-win situation!
PATTERN: “Smart Guittars” (hacked) from Ottobre Magazine 1/2015. I LOVE Ottobre knit patterns! The fit is perfect for my kids and the designs suit their pre-teen taste to perfection. This pattern is actually for a long sleeve but, since the weather is still quite nice around here (and, I must confess, I didn’t have enough fabric!), I hacked it and turned it into a short sleeve tee. The sleeves are actually cuffs and were inspired by Liesl and Co. Bento Tee, one of my favorite women’s patterns. I decided to sew one size up hopping that this tees would still fit Ines nicely next summers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed…

FABRIC: KatseJersey in Blue/Light Blue and Midi Stripes Jersey in Vanilla/Blue Grey both from Nosh. When I order fabric from Nosh I always ask my kids to pick one fabric they really like. Last time I knew Ines would for sure chose this lovely printed jersey and I wasn’t wrong! I also ordered a small piece of the striped jersey as I thought both would look nice together (something Mini Boden inspired: printed bodice and striped sleeves) but, when my order arrived, we all loved so much the striped jersey – the blue grey is absolutely gorgeous! – that we decided to use them on their own. So Ines got two new tees instead of just one!


There is not much to say about Nosh fabrics that hasn´t been said before… The quality is top and that makes it wonderful to sew and wear. The fabric never gets distorted and the color does not fade so clothes last forever!
I had the perfect example a couple of days ago: Ines went to school wearing this printed shirt and, when she arrived, she had two big red ink stains in the front. I used a very powerful stain remover, had to scrub out the stains and the color is still perfect. I’m happy!
(That's enough Mum! I need to grab my things and go to school!)

P.S. Thank you so much Olga, Mie, Jenya and Suzanne for all the advices on editing my photos. Though they are still far from perfect, I think I finally got to understand the basics of Photoshop. I hope that, with some practice and help from my good friends in this wonderful sewing community, I will one day be really happy with the photos I share with you.
 

quinta-feira, 11 de maio de 2017

JULIETTE TOP AND DRESS PATTERN TOUR

Ines words when she put on her Juliette Dress for the first time say it all: “Oh! I look so cute!”

I haven’t sewn dresses for my girls for quite some time. I used to make lots of nice dresses and they would always end lost at the bottom of my daughters’ closed, not worn at all. They are quite sporty girls and we live in the country side so dresses are not that convenient for our lifestyle…  

But I couldn’t resist saying yes to Suz when she asked me if I would like to join her blog tour and sew a Juliette for my kids. Especially because my friend Rita told me she loved the pattern… I am so glad I am back to sewing nice dresses!
PATTERN: Juliette Dress and Top by Sew Pony (a collaboration with Kneesocks and Goldilocks) I’ve sewn almost all patterns by Sew Pony and I must say this might be my favorite. Such a cute and simple design. Perfect! The pattern as many options: it can be a top or a dress, it can be sleeveless, sort sleeved or have a ¾ sleeve and, besides the ruffle collar I choose, there is a cute faux placket that can be made with or without the collar. Plus, by joining Sew Pony FB page, you can get a free peter pan collar. Oh, and the pattern comes with inseam pockets. That’s a lot, right?!
So… what about Ines dress? Well, I made the ruffle collar sleeveless dress version and made almost no changes do the original pattern. I really like the fit as it is a little bit loose on her body so it allows her to move freely and gives plenty of room to grow. I loved the way the armholes are finished! Definitely facings are my favorite way to finish armholes as they look so sharp and clean.


 
What did I change from the original pattern? Because I was working with printed fabric and didn’t feel like having a seam in the middle of the back I made my back panel in only one piece. I used a facing for the back opening and then… Disaster! I only read the instructions after finishing the back opening! Why, oh why, do I never read the instructions properly?! The ruffle is supposed to be sewn to the back opening and my back opening was already finished… Unpicking it would be tricky so I left the ruffle free instead. I think it doesn’t look bad this way but it looks nicer on the original pattern for sure.
I must admit I have made another little change to the original pattern, purely out of laziness! Instead of hemming the ruffle, I lined it with a bit of very thin white cotton fabric. It was much easier to sew and, because my fabric wasn’t too heavy, I think it looks nice too.
 
 
FABRIC: Flaming printed Linen from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). Can you believe this fabric actually comes from Zara Kids collection? In Portugal we are lucky to have many clothes and fabric factories and sometimes we have access to some wonderful leftover fabric. I got this fabric long, long time ago and made a couple of dresses for my girls. Unfortunately they don’t fit anymore… Luckily I still had enough fabric to make this Juliette as I think linen has the perfect drape for the ruffle collar. The back button was also bought long time ago in a wonderful local store that sells vintage sewing supplies (Retrosaria Fantasia) and I think it has a really nice design for this pattern.




So I guess I am back to sewing dresses… I am glad I took some time off but I am truly happy to be back!

So, the JulietteTop and Dress is for sale on Sew Pony store and, until June 2, there is a 10% discount (valid for all Sew Pony patterns) with the code DRESSEDINSEWPONY. So get it while you can!

And, when you finish sewing all your gorgeous Sew Pony creations, get a change to win some wonderful prices by taking part of the contest Dresses in Sew Pony.
 
Last but not least, don’t forget to check all blogs taking part of this tour. You will be amazed and inspired by all the wonderful Juliette  Tops and Dresses that Suz talented friends have sewn.

quarta-feira, 3 de maio de 2017

A NOSH SWEATER . YEAH FOR BEAUTIFUL ORGANIC COTTON!


How doesn’t like to sew and wear garments made of the nicest quality organic cotton? We love it!

So, last month, we were really existed to receive a package full of wonderful organic cotton by the finish brand Nosh. The girls were allowed to pick a couple of fabrics and I picked some for myself too. And, when the package arrived I started sewing…

I’ve already used almost all the fabric we got, and believe me, we are a much better dressed family now! ;-) Slowly, we will find the time and the mood for the photo shoots so I can share with you all the garments I made. Here is the first one!

 
 
 
 
 
 

PATTERN: Raglan Tee (138) from Burda Style Magazine 3/2014. This spring I saw a sweater from Zara I really loved (it looks like it is no longer available, sorry!) and though I could make one for my kids by hacking a simple raglan sweater pattern. Burda Magazine had the perfect pattern but it needed a couple of changes to be exactly what I envisioned… So, what did I change from the original pattern? Well, I’ve cut the back panel halfway through the sleeve line to create a yoke so I could play with the two different fabrics. Also at the back panel, I made the hem not straight but slightly curved for a high-low look. Because I was using two different fabrics, I also created size vents as I thought the hem would look better this way. Finally, I screen printed (not that successfully, I must add…) the front panel. My kids are super happy with the final result! Actually, this sweater was made for Ines but Teresa picked it first and didn’t want to give it to her sister. That’s why it is a tiny little bit small on her, as you can see from the photos…


 
 


FABRIC: Loopback Sweatshirting in Maple Sugar (main fabric), Tahiti Gauze in Maple Sugar-Black (back panel fabric) and Rib in Black (neckband), all from Nosh. One thing I always loved about the Nosh catalogue was the possibility of having different fabrics in the same color or color combination. It is absolutely wonderful to find rib in the exact same tone as, for example, a sweatshirt knit or tee shirt jersey, right? So I thought I was in even when I saw gauze that would match french terry! This french terry (or loopback sweatshirting) is beautiful and super soft. Plus it is 240cm wide! The color is not uniform – it has a touch of white - and that gives it a special look. I think I need the striped version too… It is gorgeous! The gauze is quite a fun fabric, not as soft as Japanese double gauze, but still nice and cool to work with. The rib – THE RIB! – I remember hearing my friend Annika talk about how wonderful Nosh rib was and, believe me, she couldn’t be more right! I never liked to work with rib but this one… Loved it! I think I need it in every single color!
 
 
 


Many things went wrong when I was sewing this sweatshirt... (see photo above)

Can you tell the neckband is a little bit “not that good looking”? Well, one of the serger’s needle threads got tangled while sewing it… Can you tell the “You are my star” stencil is too close to the hem? (Even my 7 year old daughter Ines pointed that to me!) And the stencil is actually far from sharp? Oh well… At least Teresa loved it and is willing to wear it. Many, many times I’ve sewn “the” perfect garment and it stayed in their closet all season…
 



The fabric I used in this post was given to me by Nosh Organics, but all the opinions are my own.