KCW – Twill and starts

In case you missed it in my last post, KCW is back :-)

And that means, I’m once again struggling sewing, taking photos (the most challenging part) and posting about it, all in the few daylight hours I have left when my kids return from school :)

So, this week will be about not raising your expectations too high – a bit of storytelling as well ;-)

Today’s outfit is actually made of 2 pieces – a blouse that was actually made for KCW and a skirt that was finished a couple of weeks ago.

I didn’t find the time to sew the shorts I had planned (matching outfits in KCW, who was I kidding?), but I love the way these two look together.

OliverandS Hopscotch Skirt and Citronille blouse

The blouse is a new Citronille pattern, Myrantine, which I loved the minute I saw it, mainly because of the lovely ruffle collar (the pattern also includes a non-collar version) which, obviously, is my favorite part of this pattern.

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My lovely friends An and Suz are hosting an amazing (Sewing) Series celebrating the unique illustrations of Marcel Marlier for the book series Martine (in Portuguese, it’s Anita, but you may also know her as Tiny or Debbie, depending of where you live), and I was invited to be part of it. Obviously, there’s no need to tell you how happy I was :)

I’m a self-confessed “book-a-holic” and, for obvious reasons, it all started with children’s books.

Martine books were (well, still are, as I still read them with my kids) definitely on the top of my favorites and I’ve managed to keep my collection growing throughout the years – adding new titles to the ones I already owned.

Nevertheless, some of our favorites are from the earlier editions – and yes, I also find them suited for boys.

Both An and Suz are incredible talented and most of their own designs fit so well into Martine’s style. I was quite tempted to sew one of their patterns for this Series – both the Tinny dress from StraigthGrain and the Debbie’s birthday dress by Sewpony would be perfect for this challenge (and in fact, I’ve sewn them both before).

Rather than duplicated a Anita’s look, I was inspired by a vintage edition of Martine’s – Martine chez tante lucie (Tiny visits Aunt Lucy), first published in 1977 – which is one of my daughter’s favorite from this collection – it features  animals, soap bubbles, a great outdoors adventure and much more …

Marcel Marlier Fav#3

I also had a tiny bit of Liberty bias and this was the perfect excuse to use it.

While my girl is not a huge fan of modelling (she loves to wear the clothes I sew but would easily skip the photo sessions), I must say she did try her best (for once).

She didn’t even complained when we went picking flowers and leaves right after a storm (of course, she was also thrilled to wear her new wellies instead of Anita style shoes I had picked in advance).

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(Starting) Fall sewing

After a bit hiatus, I’m back on the sewing blog routine (at least, that’s what I hope).

Every new season I drafted a list of the sewing projects I wish to accomplish (yes, I think I’ve said it before, I’m “that type of person”: the one that writes lists for everything. And yes, it doesn’t make me very popular around here – kids and hubby are not very keen on lists).

Just for the record, I’m always pretty ambitious when writing lists (why shouldn’t I, right?) and I was not very convinced I could actually do it all. Yet, by the end of July, everything was done (obviously, I’m only speaking about kid’s clothing, because my home and “selfish” sewing was no where near to be started, let alone completed …), so I decided to start sewing for fall.

Taking advantage of the latest fall Ottobre issue (4/2014) that had just arrived, I decided to try the Magpie Pinafore.

I picked a favorite fabric (originally intended for a pair of summer shorts) and started sewing.

The pattern is lovely (it’s in the magazine back cover) and should be quite simple to achieve, yet I missed a very important prep step: Adding the seam allowances.

I’m sure everyone that has sewn from Ottobre never forgets this step, but, more often than not, I keep forgetting about it (…).


I only noticed that when I started sewing the shoulder straps (that were, obviously, too narrow) and I had no yardage left.

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It finally happened …

I actually didn’t planned it in advance, but when you score a piece of Liberty larger than expected, your sewing priorities change a bit, right?

The Liberty piece (Edenham print) is (was) almost 2 meters length and while I knew it would make a lovely blouse/dress for my girl, I was itching to sew something for myself instead.

I found a lovely blouse pattern (Diana blouse by In-house patterns) and although it took me a few days to finally buy it, I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

The Diana blouse features gathers at the front yoke, a pleat at the back yoke, a stand collar, a front button placket and cuffs.

Diana Blouse_Liberty_1

The blouse is rated as an intermediate pattern and although I din’t find it difficult to sew, it’s more labor-intensive than my usual kids clothes project – still totally doable if you take your time and don’t rush.

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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).

Layout 2

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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