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I’m quite sure you didn’t saw this coming … A sleep sack pattern :) Sleep Sack#3

It’s no surprise that I love everything made by An (from the Straight Grain blog): I’ve tested all of her patterns so far and I can honestly say that I’ve learn so much from all of them.

Straight Grain patterns manage to combine style (I do love her sense of style) and comfort (her Bubble dress is still one of my girl’s favorite pieces and I’m planning another Hanami top for summer. And I won’t even comment on the Tinny dress – what’s not to love, right?) and An’s flawless instructions lead to quite professional results.

Although I don’t have babies anymore (and no plans to change the situation in the near future), I couldn’t help myself from following the “upcoming” sleep sack pattern. You see, all my 3 kids were “sleep sacks” addicts – I found out about it when I was pregnant with my 1st child and it soon become one of my favorite baby items.

If there’s one thing I can highly recommend to a mother-to-be is a “sleep sack”.  It’s truly a “must-have”. As far as I can remember, store bought sleep sacks can be quite expensive (of course, it varies with the brand and type of fabric. Mines were bought from a French brand and came with a matching price tag – totally worth it btw, as my kids wore them everyday when they were babies) and they do make lovely gifts for babies.

Oddly enough, my brother-in-law and his wife will be welcoming their first baby in a few months (late October) and obviously I couldn’t think of a better gift :) Luckily (for me), An allowed me to test the Lua pattern (did you know “Lua” means “Moon” in Portuguese? Love the name!!) using my “current baby model).

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The Lua pattern comes in 3 sizes: 0-6 months, 6 months-1 year, 1-2 years and can be easily accomplished by a beginner/intermediate sewer.

It has a main fabric, lining and soft batting and it closes with a lined side-zipper (for easy to  use) and button closure (An’s tip for sewing the buttons while ensuring your baby safety is so clever).

My challenge when testing this pattern was selecting a gender-neutral print that could meet the “parents to be” expectations. As we still don’t know if we’re expecting a baby boy or a baby girl, I went with soft hues (mint print from Tilda paired with matching Gingham lining) and skipped the optional front piping.

Sleep Sack#Teaser

Wonder why I made the smaller size? Well, that will give me an excuse to sew the other two sizes (I told you I love “sleep sacks”).

Sleep Sack#1

While the recipients of this sleep sack haven’t seen it (in a few weeks, they will), everyone that saw it, love it (I even got a “special request” from a person who doesn’t usually like handmade. I was so impressed)!

Sleep Sack#5

The Lua pattern is currently sold for $6, but the code LUALAUNCH gives you a $1 discount.

Thank you again, An for the wonderful pattern!

Sleep Sack#7

Happy sewing, Ana Sofia

After this dress, I still managed to find a bit of time (late, very late) to sew another dress during KCW week.

What I did struggle to find was time (and proper light) to document it …

I had fell in love with the lines of one the latest Children’s Corner releases, the Poppy dress and blouse (here and here), and couldn’t wait to sew a version for my girl.

This is a A-line dress with tapered diagonal pleats in the front and back. It also has hidden side-seam pockets, which are always a bonus with my girl. 

As you may have guessed, I was capture by the timeless shape of the dress yet I did manage to select a bolder print to match it (Liberty Thorpe in Red/Blue, Size 6 years). 

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The original pattern also features a front bow, but I decided to skip it (my print was too busy and the bow would be “dismissed”). Nevertheless, it’s definitively a sweet detail and I’m sure it will be a perfect accent with a different fabric combo.

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Obviously, getting my girl to model this dress was not an easy task (as usual). Lately she has been having quite a few ideas for our photo sessions…

Instead of her ballet shoes (love them in navy velvet), she decided my high-heel boots would be a perfect match for this dress (indoor photo sessions can be quite boring…) so this was what I got …

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Trust me, she was having the time of her life (I’m guessing most little girl’s love to wear their mother’s shoes).

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If you’re not familiar with The Children’s Corner patterns, you should give it a try (the instructions are quite detailed and I do find them quite easy to follow. If you need an extra guidance, their Help Videos are a must). Their patterns feature timeless designs (most are suitable to smocking) but depending on your fabric selection you can really get a modern twist.

Later that day, we went on a movie date and she did wear the dress with the velvet ballet shoes (I wore the boots) - she looked so precious :)

Initially, this was going to be her Easter dress, but she wore it for a couple of events before, so I decided to sew her a new one. Hopefully I will be able to post about it before the summer season starts …

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Happy sewing,

xx Ana Sofia

 

 

 

 

Kid’s Clothes Week – Spring edition is here again!

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#7

Similar to the previous editions, KCW rules are simple:

  • Sew clothes for your kids
  • 1 hour a day
  • each day for 7 days

If you follow this blog, you may recall that usually Kid’s Clothes Weeks are a must for me.

I do manage to sew quite a few pieces and if the Kid’s Clothes Week dates are not always suitable to my schedule, I even try to plan/sew in advance.

Yet, this time, I knew KCW was not going to happen: 1) I’ve been dealing with a couple of work-related deadlines (love it, of course, but they don’t make it easier to accommodate KCW’s sewing schedule), 2) KCW is happening right in the middle of the Easter School break (3 kids, no school and a exhausted mum. Sorry, I couldn’t see it (sewing) working) and 3) my younger boy was submitted to a (scheduled) ear surgery earlier this week (he’s doing great, btw) and needed extra cuddles.

I was sure, I was going to skip Kid’s Clothes Week -Spring edition this time.

It was day three of KCW already and sewing time had been quite nonexistent.

Then, I managed to secure some “quality sewing time” (explanation: “quality sewing time” is what happens when everyone in the house is asleep and you’re still too much awake and not in the mood for more work-related tasks).

In a subtle attempt to schedule my KCW sewing list, I had selected/printed and cut a couple of patterns I was hoping to work with. Oliver+S Hide and Seek dress pattern was on my list. Within a few minutes, the pattern pieces were cut and I was ready for some late night sewing (love it!).

Confession: Oliver and S Hide and Seek dress was not a love at first sight. I was not entirely convinced when it was first introduced, yet I was sure I would change my mind.

Somehow, it always happens with Oliver+S patterns.

You start by convincing yourself that you really don’t need another pattern, that the design is not exactly right (for you) and, a few days later, you see a couple of gorgeous versions (here, here, here and here and much much more) and suddenly … you badly need another Oliver+S pattern. I’m quite sure some of you can relate to this (right?).

From cutting to finish, it took me about 3 hours (nights are great for sewing) and I can honestly say there will be more versions. I just love everything about this dress – the front yoke (perfect for using small pieces of fabric), the welt pockets and cuffed, three-quarter-length sleeves. It’s truly an adorable dress! And the it sews like a dream – not a quick project, but you can easily complete it in a long sewing session. 

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#1

 

I used small dots for the main fabric and a small piece of Liberty Mitsi in green for the front and back yoke.

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#2

I also added a lace trim to the front yoke.

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#3

As for the fit on my girl?

Love it! (sorry about the pictures, but with no prior planning, I do considered it a victory to have some action pictures to show here).

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#4

I’ve selected a size 5 for her, despite her measurements putting her in a size 6. I was hoping for a more fitted look as the dress fit looked a bit loose to me.

Liberty Hide and Seek Dress#6

I plan to search my stash for those little fabric pieces and make few couple more before the summer really hits us (probably I’ll be making the tunic version next).

As for the reaming KCW days, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sew another piece of clothing. Yet, so far I’m quite pleased with myself.

I always love a beautiful dress :)

Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

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My girl turned 6 a couple of weeks ago (yes, I’ve been on denial for quite a while) and, as expected, I sew her a new dress.

I did choose the pattern (which I knew she would love) and her favorite colors (she’s not that much into pink, but she does love bright colors and prints):

Georgia Vintage Dress#1

Do you recognize the pattern?

It’s the Georgia Vintage Dress by The Cottage Mama (size 6, obviously) and she couldn’t be more pleased about it. She love it so much, she wore it 2 days in a row and even asked to sleep with it (which didn’t happened).

I was lucky enough to be one of the testers for the Cottage Mama patterns and while I didn’t actually test the Vintage Georgia dress, I follow the testing phase and knew that I would need this pattern: it’s absolutely stunning, Lindsay managed to capture the vintage vibe so well (sleeves, front bib, precious collar, gathered skirt, you name it. Everything is there), her instructions are flawless and it’s just the sort of dress any girl would love (or at least, my girl).

Despite the details, the actual sewing was quite simple (this took me 4 hours from cutting to modelling) and the outcome is just as amazing.

PicMonkey Collage#1

The pattern has quite a few variations, but I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I did however, added a lace trim around the front yoke, which might have been a bit “too much”.

PicMonkey Collage#4

Maybe it was because of my fabric choices (recently I’ve been moving towards softer hues), but I have mixed feelings about this dress: I love the pattern (do try it, if you have the chance) but the actual dress just doesn’t feel right on her: it’s stunning, but I find it a bit “different” (sorry, can’t find the proper word in English).

Maybe my fabric selection wasn’t the most suitable … (again, I love the fabrics, but the whole outfit seems “too busy”)

Georgia Vintage Dress#7

On a side note, and because I often get questioned about my boy’s wardrobe, here’s my current favorite pattern for boy’s pants: Oliver + S Art Museum pants.

The never-ending winter lighting (I know, it should be spring by now) and the fact that I’ve used Hampton Twill Solid in Midnight (these are intended for school-wear so they had to comply with the school uniform policy) didn’t do much for the photos.

I bought this pattern when it was released, but kept postponing making the pants (too many excuses). I can’t tell you this is the most easy fast pattern I know (it’s not), but the outcome will make you so proud – after it was done, I just kept admiring the outcome.

I followed the original pattern (with faux fly) but I already have plans another pair (for weekend wear) using the tutorial for adding a front zipper fly (my boy’s request plus a coordinating vest).

And I might even explore the “shorts” option – these would look great for summer school wearing.

The fit is great on him – slim fit which looks very flattering on him and just enough details to make a little boy happy: belt loops, front pocket and back welt pockets.

Although poor winter lighting made it difficult to document the outcome, I had to share: he had some very specific ideas for modeling: reading his current favorite book and drinking a glass of water (he’s 7, lol).

PicMonkey Collage#2

Of course, there’s no way he could have his own photo session. Someone else wished to be included …

Oliver+S Art Museum Pants#4

These two are the best friends (they plan on running their own farm when they grow up) and the sweetest little persons I know.

And just for your info, they are not twins (she’s 6 and he’s 7). 

PicMonkey Collage#3

Precious, right? (love the way, he still kept his pose. We all love our little “drama queen”)

Happy sewing,

xx Ana Sofia

 

My little girl will be turning 6 in just a few days …

She has been counting down the dates and I’m still wondering how did this happened so fast! I’m quite sure, she was crawling just yesterday and all of a sudden she’s reading and writing and counting. My sweet baby :) 

Moving on, we knew it was time for a little bedroom refashion. Having shared a room with her younger brother for so many years, she will now have a room all of her own so a few sewing projects were in order.

I’ve been working on a big-girl quilt, trying to squeeze it in the slot of time I manage to get on my own after the kids go to bed. Still, I don’t expect it to be finished on time for her birthday (I have the “bad habit” of bringing some office-work home and end up working on reports instead of sewing).

Nevertheless, and because I know how my kids love to get handmade gifts I had also planned some smaller projects that she will love (fingers crossed) and that could be completed on time.

Lucky for me, these didn’t took me longer and are now nicely wrapped waiting for her B-day. I will show you in a few days what I made her. Obviously, she doesn’t read the blog yet, but it’s almost impossible for me to take pictures without her noticing (I can sew during the wee hours of the night, but I do need proper light for the pictures).

I’ll give you an example:

Last week, the sweet Virginia from Gingercake asked me if I was willing to try her newest  Gingercake PDF Pattern : Philomena, the Fox. I’ve tried a few of her patterns before (you may remember, Lucky the Elephant, who is still very much loved around here) and I knew a new soft animal pillow would be a great addition to her Birthday set (and to be honest, Gingercake patterns are a pleasure to sew – simple, clear and  straight forward instructions perfect for sewing with children).

Philomena fox#4

As usual, sewing the pattern was so easy. I know I’ve said that before, but Philomena Fox must be the easiest quickest soft toy pattern I’ve sewn to date (and yes, I had a little helper with me – my youngest boy – and even with that extra “help” it was fast …).

Although I already knew which set of fabrics I was going to use, the most difficult part was to choose the ones to be used for the fox.

In the end, I was rather pleased with the outcome – fabrics are from the new Tasha Noel collection, Country Girls (love love her girly designs).

Philomena fox#3

While my little girl was distracted with her chores (feeding babies, reading stories, …) I decided to take a chance and grab a few pictures of the Fox in her soon-to-be natural environment (if you look closely you can see a glimpse of another Birthday gift).

Obviously, it didn’t work.

Soon, she was in the bedroom checking what we were doing and while we managed to “hide” the basket, the Fox was “caught”.

Philomena fox#7

She kept checking every little detail: How you sew the eyes? Can she sleep with me? What’s inside? … 

Philomena fox#9

She was so happy with her new Philomena Fox, I just couldn’t hold it much longer.

To be honest, who wouldn’t love to get such a lovely Birthday gift ahead of time?

Philomena fox#12

I almost forget to add that this pattern also includes a matching Owl pattern. Around here, the Max Owl is already promised to my little boy (I can tell you there will be some pirates involved. Let’s see how I’ll make it work).

Philomena Fox#Collage

Thank you, Virginia!!

I’m pretty sure this will be another much-lovely animal around here :)

Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

Today, I’m sharing my Mailbox Surprise creation at Marta’s blog and you’re invited to take a look and see what I’ve done with Laura‘s amazing package!

Mailbox surprise

Care to take a look?

Mailbox surprise#6

Mailbox surprise#2

M’s dress pattern from Boat Neck Dress from the Wee Muses Sewing Pattern Collection.

Doll dress pattern: Self-drafted.

Thank you so much to Laura, Marta, and Marte.  This is such a fun series and I can’t wait to check what everyone else is sewing :)

PS: Just in case you missed it, do check Heidi’s post on the package I send her – she did the most amazing outfits for her little girl with Portuguese fabrics. It’s definitely worth a visit!

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xx, Ana Sofia

I was supposed to be absent for so long from this space.

Somehow, I don’t really do Winter very well :(

I always knew I had an higher than average sensitivity to the weather and winter months are the most challenging (and ours are really mild winters. A bit too much rain this year, but that’s all – no snow and no freezing temps). Nevertheless, I keep daydreaming for a bit of sunshine!

So, what can a girl sew while waiting for warmer days (considering that it’s still a bit too soon for Spring sewing – I need some sunshine to get inspired for that as well …)?

Well, just a few random, and quite easy and useful, projects, of course …

It has been a year since I first tested this pattern for my kids (free zip pouch tutorial, again enlarged by 125%) and I really wanted to sew a couple of these purses for me for quite a while as well. I needed to replace my older ones (store-bought) and decided to use some Liberty remnants from previous projects. For the inside/lining I also used a remnant from a previous Oliver+S Birthday Party dress.

liberty zipper purse#3

These turned out so lovely. I was having second thoughts about actually putting them to use, but my girl volunteered to test them for their toys so I decided it was best to use them right away.

liberty zipper purse#2

I’m using the blue one for my make-up and the other for my cosmetics. They look so pretty inside and this way I get to use them daily.

And that makes me happy :)

liberty zipper purse#1

While making these purses I got to check all the bits and scraps of Liberty fabrics that are in my cupboard – most of them are just too small and will be used for sewing hair bows and bias tape, but others are long enough to be used for “bigger” projects.

Like, sheets and pillow sets for my kids (!)

Handmade sheets set#1

Again, the Liberty was a remnant from a previous Oliver+S Ice Cream blouse and had the perfect length for this project. I just needed to add some peach-colored rick-rack.

Liberty sheets set#1

Of course, a boy’s set was also needed – For the blue set, I used blue/mint striped seersucker and blue rick-rack.

Seersucker Sheets set#1

I didn’t use a specific pattern for making this – I just added a fabric band to the top of a sheet (I also made the sheet from a crispy white sheep fabric bought on a local shop, but you can use a purchased sheet and add the fabric band and trim). For the pillowcase I just did the same (and used french seams so there’s no exposed seams inside).

Handmade sheets set#2

Pretty, right?

Happy sewing,

xx Ana Sofia

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