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You may already noticed some lovely vintage patterns designed by the super talented Suz: Sewpony Vintage here on the blog.

It’s not a secret that I love to test new patterns yet probably not for the most obvious reasons. I actually love to test my own skills by sewing a pattern as per the designer instructions and unleashing my creativity by making fabric selections that may differ from my usual (aka. conservative) choices.

Nevertheless, time is scare around here (you know it already: full time job, kids with endless school chores, family time, personal time, commuting and house-chores, you name it) so at the moment, I’m a bit picky when it comes to pattern testing – selecting just a few favorite designers at a time.

Well, Suz and her Sewpony Vintage definitely fit into this category: I’ve tested the Debbie’s dress and later this summer the Cosi swimsuit, and I have nothing but the nice things to say about both patterns – they were both instant favorites :)

So, when I heard about Suz’s new pattern, I knew a new favorite was on the works. And I was so right! The Sunday Picnic Dress was released just a few days ago and I almost couldn’t wait to share my version.

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It includes 3 different versions with lots of room for embellishment (if you love piping, there’s quite a few places to add it) so I’m sure everyone will be able to “sew” a favorite Sunday Picnic Dress.

As much as I loved the dress, my girl wasn’t even a bit cooperative during the tester sessions despite been the one actually selecting the fabrics used (she’s getting more involved in the process) and wearing the dress (when no sessions were prepared).

With the Blog Tour soon approaching (and no proper pictures taken), I decided it was better to sew a new dress (and see if it might work), and kindly asked for her collaboration. She immediately declined (very politely, I must add): She insisted that she loved the initial version of the Sunday Picnic Dress and was not looking for another one.

It took me quite a while to understand the root of the problem: It’s a “Sunday dress” and on Sunday her favorite thing to do is riding her bicycle in the park. Because the weather had been cloudy and rainy during the testing stage, we had been taking indoor pictures!

The entire setting was completely wrong and my little lady was not pleased (and was happy to show it) :(

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Lucky for me, the weather has since improved (a lot), so she was happy to model (kind of, but that was a huge improvement) her Sunday Picnic Dress (with her bike).

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Fear not, she actually wears a safety helmet when riding a bicycle. I was holding it for the photos, but she did put it right afterwards.

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The little Prince(ss)

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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I couldn’t sew everything I had planned for this KCW (again, I was over-ambitious) – there are still so much in my list, but sewing time is always limited around here.

This blouse was probably my first pick for this challenge and as usual it was finished in the wee hours of the night.

When I got this fabric I immediately though about The Little Prince – another of my favorite stories and one that, in my opinion, should not be limited to children (in fact, one might start reading at a younger age, but will understand it much better later in life).

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If you follow me here, you are already well-acquainted with this pattern (Agnes blouse by Citronille). This is a size 6 and, again, I skipped the smocking.

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KCW Playdate

Obviously, this KCW is also a great opportunity (and motivation) for starting my girl’s winter wardrobe.

Around here, temperatures are still reaching over 30ºC (86ºF), but soon fall (and hopefully winter) will come and one needs to be prepare.

Oliver+S Playdate dress was released in 2008  (fall collection) and I sewed my first version soon afterwards.

Since then, there have been quite a few versions, mostly made in early fall that are easily worn during the winter months (and, fingers crossed, until the arrival of spring).

Personally, and although I love this dress made in solid colors (a chambray version would look so beautiful), I tend to favor prints (large, if possible), like this one:

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The pattern itself is not complicated, yet sewing the bib style yoke always requires a bit of time (at least for me). After this part is completed, the entire dress sews so quickly.

My girl is now wearing a size 6, and this pattern goes up to size 8 so I reckon we can still expect to have it in her wardrobe for a couple of seasons (assuming she will still want to wear dresses when she turns 8…).

For the dress main fabric I picked a floral twill and the bib style yoke is made from a baby blue viyella (both from here).

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I’m sure this dress will look great with tights, but given the high temperatures (even at the end of the day), she couldn’t be persuaded to wear them (clever girl).

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Yes, she’s grabbing a home fragrance jar. I’ve been told, it matches her dress (a word of advise: one need to know how which battles are worth fighting. This is specially true if your little girl dislikes modelling as much as mine).

Still, I love this dress – and so does she :)

Playdate dress#1

Thank you for reading.

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Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

 

 

Let’s do it again :)

I’m pretty sure I’m about the only person I know (and that sews, of course) that really doesn’t mind sewing the same outfit again and again.

Usually most of the patterns I truly love will be made at least three times in the same season (and I’m not talking about sewing it for 3 different kids, although that could also happen).

Usually my first version allows me to test the pattern, the second version allows me to try a new fabric and/or make some mods that better fit my style or my child measurements and finally, the third version will benefit from all I’ve learned from my previous sewing.

Fear not, most of the times I actually don’t blog about them all :)

Yet, today I’m posting about the same patterns that I did yesterday.

In case, you missed it (I almost did, but Rachel was kind enough to send me a Surprise message), yesterday I was here with My Favorite Oliver+S Pattern: The Hopscotch Skirt.

My last version of this pattern was revised chambray version of the original Hopscotch Skirt using Liesl’s instructions for adding a front sash.

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For that version, made a little over one week ago, I had skipped the pockets, but I kept debating on whether, or not, I should go back and add them. To make a long story short, yesterday I decided to make use of KCW’s 1-hour sewing time and added the pockets before dinner was ready. It was really a quick fix and I even got time to get a picture of my girl modeling the new/revised version of the skirt.

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But, later at night, while I was editing the photos, I kept thinking that a blouse should be added as well. And since I wasn’t happy with my fabric choice for this Myrantine blouse

I’m sure, you know what happened next. The pattern instructions were still vivid in my head and this Liberty print was begging to be used (it’s a print from last season, found on eBay. Need to go back and check the exact name).

Sewing in the wee hours of the night, it’s probably one of my favorite things. Although, early morning rises can be quite tough on oneself …

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The obvious storybook pick for this KCW entry: Oh What a busy day by Gyo Fujikawa (one of my favorite Childhood books. I still have the “vintage” edition in Portuguese, but a couple of years ago I purchased the English version for my kids).

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Luckily, my girl was kind of happy (not really, of course) to model this outfit, despite pointing out the similarities with a “previous” outfit :)

Let’s save it for another day :)

So far I’ve made 2 versions of the new Myrantine blouse. I’m sure there will be a third one coming soon :-)

Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

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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 …

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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 (…).

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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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