The end of summer (sewing)

Back in July, Linda, from The Merry Church Mouse, contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing her Estherlyn’s Jumper pattern.

I have to admit that my agenda was a bit of a mess at that time (pattern testings were going on and a few other projects were already planned and needed to be completed before the holidays). Still, I was more than happy to sew the Estherlyn’s Jumper (and Linda, was kind enough to provide me with enough time for it).

I ended up sewing 2 versions of this jumper just before the holidays – but couldn’t get proper pictures of any of them.

However, one of the versions was included in her holiday wardrobe and, one afternoon, I was able to sneak a few pictures (finally!!).


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I actually don’t need too much persuasion for sewing/testing a new pattern, so when Ashley and Emily contacted me a couple of months ago with an invitation for the September Showcase (over at Frances Suzanne), it didn’t took me much to say “yes”!

In case you haven’t heard about it (seriously?), the September Showcase features rising indie designers and bloggers that showcase their patterns during this “back to sewing month”, lol (more info here).

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For the September Showcase no ‘flipping’ was required – one just needed to sew the selected pattern and provide a review.

I actually choose to sew the Busy Lizzy dress pattern from Melissa at Sew Like My Mom (isn’t it a cute name?) because as you all know by now I have a soft spot for dresses :)

Nevertheless and despite the temptation to sew the dress version, I decided to sew the shirt version instead for my daughter (and added a few mods along the way …).

Busy Lizzy Flip#1

I made this version in the middle of the summer – just a few days before leaving for our summer holidays.

The days were terribly hot (and humid) and my girl kept asking for lighter dresses and tops. While, her wardrobe was pretty much covered in the dresses department, most of her tops were already too short or too tight :(

Busy Lizzy Flip#2

I might have flipped this pattern (a bit), but I still wanted to keep the top shape as fluid as possible while preserving the original a-line shape of the pattern.

So actually, I made very few mods to the original pattern: changed the neckline to make it a bit less deep, added honeycomb smock to the front and Liberty ties for the back closure.


Other than that I pretty much followed the original pattern – which is quite detailed and includes clear step-by-step instructions.

My fabric option – a soft checked linen (purchased here) -was immediately approved by my girl.

Linen is a perfect choice for summer clothes (as long as you don’t care about the wrinkling factor, or like me, find it quite adorable, lol).

Busy Lizzy Flip#4


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Tell me this also happens to you:

You got yourself a new pattern but you don’t have a clue on how to start it. Every single piece of fabric in your stash just doesn’t seem right for it and even after seeing some great versions from other persons, you still can’t make it happen!

This happens to me more often than I’d like to acknowledge :)

I’m quite conservative in my sewing choices so everything that falls out of my “comfort zone” becomes quite a challenge for me.

The new Stacia pattern from the Children’s Corner was one of these “challenges”.

I had seen quite a few lovely versions of this dress (I was particularly captured by a white summer version I saw in CC Facebook group but that just wasn’t what I had in mind), yet and because the design is so different from my usual style I just couldn’t see it …

Well, and because I knew I wanted to sew a Stacia before the summer was over – the pattern includes both short and long sleeves versions, but I wanted to try the short sleeve version first – I gave myself a deadline. Usually a deadline works for me :)

Can you guess what happened next?

I finally picked a fabric from my stash (Liberty D’Anjo bought from a few seasons ago), decided on a matching trim and sew it in a few hours (almost 4). And I only wish I had sew it earlier! I love it :)

CC Stacia dress#8

I should have guessed it: the Stacia is a peasant-style tiered dress, and although I don’t usually take a second look at this type of dresses (for no specific reason), I think it were actually the tiers that made it work so well.

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Easy summer sewing :)

As mentioned in a previous post, we still have a few weeks before the kids go back to school but summer sewing is officially over by now.

Therefore, and before fall settles in, I’ll be showing a few of my latest summer projects.

This summer, and as per my girl’s requests, a couple of sundresses were made :)

This one, from the book “Intemporels pour Enfants“, was such a quick project … I did use a Liberty print that was almost to impossible to photograph (Lillian’s Berries), but it’s so utterly sweet :)

Easy sundress Lillian Berry Liberty#1

By definition, a sundress is a ” a light loose sleeveless summer dress with a wide neckline and thin shoulder straps that expose the arms and shoulders“. And sewing-wise, a sundress is probably one of the simplest project, one can tackle. My version included 3 buttons at the back, but one can easily skip these due to the shoulder straps. 

.One of the things I love more about sundresses, besides being so easy to make, is the fact that they can really last a couple of seasons.

Easy sundress Lillian Berry Liberty#2

The last version of this pattern was made 3-years ago:) It was worn as a sundress and later, as a breezy summer top. Great right?

Need more inspiration for starting your version?

Well, just check the links bellow (some of my favorites and that would look so perfect for the last days of summer and early fall, with long sleeves and a cardigan):

Saudade Sundress by Straight Grain (free pattern)

Popover Sundress by Oliver + S (free pattern)

Summer Picnic Dress by The Cottage Mama (free pattern)

Katina Sundress by The Children’s Corner (my version was posted here)

PS: If you wish to share your favorite Sundress pattern, just add it to the comments bellow. I will be happy to add it to the above list later.

Happy sewing,

xo, Ana Sofia





The lovely Emily and Ashley at Frances Suzanne have done it again :)

Together with an amazing selection of 10 designers (and several very talented bloggers, if I might say so) they have just released their latest sewing challenge: the Flip this Pattern September Showcase :)

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I’ll be participating with a Flip for the Busy Lizzy Dress on September 10th (love it, of course) and can’t wait to see what everyone else has come up with!

There are several discount codes running through September 19th (do check Frances Suzanne for further details) and I’m including here the one for the pattern I’ve flipped:

Sew Like My Mom: 25% off all patterns {add code: SHOWCASE}

And while you’re checking all the designers patterns, don’t miss the Giveaway that’s also running through September 20th for a change to win some awesome patterns from all of these above mentioned designers!

Happy sewing,

xo, Ana Sofia


I didn’t planned a blog hiatus, but when planning our holiday road trip, we missed to check for proper internet connection along the way.

We’re back now and despite having spend (almost) one month without my beloved sewing machine, I can’t seem to get my inspiration back :(

Summer is officially over around here, as school is starting soon, but the weather outside is not cooperating … It’s still too hot to start sewing for fall/winter, but I can’t go back to summer sewing, right?

I’ve made the decision that unless, my girl has another growth spurt within the next couple of weeks, I’m not sewing her more summer clothes this year.

Of course, and because we may be heading for 2 more months of sunny summer weather, the decision above may not hold true for much longer.

I can give you 2 examples:

First, back in May I made a lovely summer dress for my girl (that because of the bad pictures, I didn’t share here).

I used the Sally dress pattern from Very Shannon (size 6) and a fabric picked at a local store (the owner told me it was from The Netherlands, but because it had no selvages I couldn’t confirm it – it has a lovely paisley print).


I was capture immediately by the gorgeous front pockets (so cute) and, obviously, these were my girl’s favorite part of the dress.


I bought the Sally pattern when it was released, but took me forever to try it out (you know, the usual reason: too many patterns, too little time).

Besides the pockets, the unique square neckline and the fact that didn’t need any closures (simple sewing, for sure), did the trick for me. In case you wonder, it was indeed a simple project (suited for a beginner) and the step-by-step instructions are well written. This dress also includes a couple of options, that I might need to try (soon).

When cutting the dress, I decided to make the dress length as per my girl’s measurements and failed to include a few extra inches.

That was not a good option :)

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On challenges …

A few months ago (seriously, that long?) I got an email from the lovely Sabrina, a student designer from England, that had just started her own pattern company – Student Designer.

Sabrina propose me to test a new girl’s pattern: The Secret Garden Tea dress (seriously in love with the pattern name) and, as expected, I was willing for the challenge.

It was rather nice to test a pattern actually made by a fashion design student and learn more about drafting and dressmaking terms.

I must say that the dress is quite lovely and if you follow the instructions carefully (which I didn’t) you should end up with a very professional-looking dress. Nevertheless, there’s quite a few work to be done before the actual sewing begins: the pattern doesn’t include seams allowances and there’s a bit of drafting to be done before you start your dress.

Secret Garden#3

Sabrina pattern’s are meant to teach you some proper dressmaking techniques and this pattern is actually rated as advanced, so approach it with caution as you really need to be accurate with the measurements and your stitching to achieve great results (I can see so many flaws in my version …) :)

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